Leadership Nirvana at NIPM by Rajeev Dubey, President Group HR, Mahindra & Mahindra


Rajiv Dubey, President, Group HR (Corporate Services After-Market) & Member of the Group Executive Board, Mahindra Mahindra Ltd, discussed the theme of ‘Creating Future Leaders” at the 22nd Naval Tata Memorial Lecture organised by NIPM.


Students of Maharashtra Institute of Labour Studies (MILS) at NIPM Mumbai Chapter

We are living in a world where volatility and uncertainty have become the New Normal. The dynamic and fast-changing nature of our world today is best described by VUCA, a term coined by the US Army War College. VUCA stands for Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity. As a result of this, businesses, industries and careers are disrupted faster than ever before. To discuss this theme, National Institute of Personnel Management (NIPM) organized 22nd Naval Tata Memorial Lecture on ‘Creating Future Leaders’. The guest speaker was Mr. Rajeev Dubey, President (Group HR, Corporate Services & After-Market) & Member of the Group Executive Board, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. Rajeev Dubey believes that the norms which are applied to business today cannot be applied tomorrow. We have to rethink about how we lead ourselves, others and our organizations. Old ways of leadership have to give way to newer mental models.

Rajeev embraces the following Nine Leadership Principles that aid him emerge as a glorious warrior in the VUCA world:


1)         Higher Order Purpose

Vital for all organizations, today, is to have a clear purpose. It is equally important to articulate that purpose and communicate it to each employee in such a manner that the organization’s purpose becomes a part of every employee’s purpose.

Businesses must rethink their purpose to achieve far better results. There must be a high aim. It has to motivate, inspire and lead all towards attaining the goal. It must be an uplifting and enhancing activity for all.



  • Organization’s purpose should be clear
  • Vision should be communicated with each employee, so that, it becomes a part of his/her purpose.
  • Purpose should be have a higher order and must involve growth.


2)         Whole New Mind

Rajeev emphasized revolutionary thinker – Daniel Pink’s theory of the ‘Whole New Mind”.

Rajeev believes that the sequential, logical, and analytical skills of the “left brain” are necessary but no longer sufficient. In the VUCA world, the capabilities we once overlooked, the “right-brain” qualities of inventiveness, empathy, joyfulness, and meaningg, would determine who flourishes and who flounders.



  • World is moving from the logical and analytical brain to the inventive and conceptual brain


3)         Multiplier of Energy

There are two different types of leaders. The first type drains intelligence, energy, and capability from the ones around them. They always need to be the smartest ones in the room. They are the idea killers, the energy sappers, the ‘diminishers’ of talent. On the other side of the spectrum are leaders who lay down the foundations where all can learn and grow. When these leaders walk into a room, lightbulbs go off over people’s heads, ideas flow, and problems get solved. These are the leaders who inspire employees to stretch themselves to deliver results that surpass expectations. These are the ‘Multipliers’. Rajeev says, “Unfortunately, our world has considered ‘diminishers’ as the role models than the Multipliers.”

And the world needs more of the Multipliers, especially now, when leaders are expected to do more with less.


  • VUCA world leaders analyze themselves on the scale of Diminisher to Multiplier.
  • Multiper – bring out intelligence in others and get the best ideas and work out of the people they lead.
  • Diminisher – stifle others and deplete the organization of crucial intelligence and capability.

Multipliers Vs. Diminishers



4)         Innovation and Leverage Failure

Rajeev quotes, “It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default. – J. K. Rowling

Innovation implies risk taking. 50 % of innovative ideas fail. Innovation thrives on failure and they are the part and parcel of the learning process. Rajeev strongly recommended to have a culture were failure is accepted. It is important to do away with the fears involved with failure in an innovative culture. Unless, that is done, one would never be able to take risks which could hinder many innovative organization’s vision. We need leaders who manage fear, who takes learning from fear.



  • VUCA managers leverage both innovation and failure to accelerate learning and create a stronger organization in the long term.


5)         Mindfulness in the Age of Distraction

Ellen Langer’s principle of mindfulness also motivated Rajeev. Mindfulness is the process of actively noticing new things. Once we do that, we put ourselves in the present. We live in the world of over information. In such a chaotic world, it is easy to drift away from here and now. We may shut ourselves to the information that can help us reach the highest effort.

Therefore, it is important to priorities and focus our work and give 100% of ourselves to what we are doing, here and now.



  • VUCA Leaders are present in the here and now.
  • They prioritize and focus on their work.


6)         Global Mindset

Rajeev emphasized that it is important to have a Global Mindset. People who have a global mindset are open to actively challenging themselves to operate beyond their comfort zone. We need to constantly reinvent the ways in which we work.


  • Global mindset involves being Open, being Comfortable with differences, and Reinventing oneself according the changing times.


7)         KISS Principle

If you cannot convince them confuse them. This principle hardly works today. What works is the KISS Principle – Keep It Simple, Stupid! This involves in keeping the content concise and focused.



Effective communication is clear, crisp and precise. It needs to be understood by all.


8)         Change the Game

Rajiv focused on transformational strategy. Transformation implies change. If nothing changes, if nothing is created. If nothing is transformed, then you don’t have a game changer. Speed and Surprise are the elements required in a business strategy today.


Strategy must have element of Speed and Surprise.


9)         Trust

More important than developing competence in an organization, it is important to develop trust. Trust can be developed by a simple alignment between thinking, saying and doing.


Rajeev Dubey summarized his Leadership model by using the following 6 steps:-
Rajeev Dubey's 6 Steps to VUCA Leadership

Rajeev Dubey’s 6 Steps to VUCA Leadership


Rajeev Dubey's Leadership Model

Rajeev Dubey’s Leadership Model


Students of Maharashtra Institute of Labour Studies attend the 22nd Naval Tata Memorial Lecture organised by NIPM




About NIPM


NIPM is a non-profit making body devoted to the development of skill and expertise of the professionals engaged in the management of human resources through regular lecture, meetings, seminars, training courses, conferences and publication in its chapters all over the country.

 You can connect to NIPM via – http://nipm.in/
About LNML Maharashtra Institute of Labour Studies

LNML Maharashtra Institute of Labour Studies is an independent department under Maharashtra Labour Ministry. It is one of its kinds in the field of labour studies. It has a glorious past of 64 years and has emerged as a stronger body which has contributed to the economy and industry in many ways.

You can connect to LNML Maharashtra Institute of Labour Studies through the following website –

Website – http://www.mils.co.in/

LinkedIn- http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=285636594&locale=en_US&trk=tyah2&trkInfo=tas%3Amils%20%2Cidx%3A1-1-1

FB – https://www.facebook.com/milsplacementcell

Maharashtra Government Website – http://www.mahashramm.gov.in/mils/index_mils.html



Late Narayan Meghaji Lokhande Maharashtra Institute of Labour Studies (LNML MILS) - Institute is an independent department under Maharashtra Labour Ministry

Late Narayan Meghaji Lokhande Maharashtra Institute of Labour Studies (LNML MILS) – Institute is an independent department under Maharashtra Labour Ministry


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