Ten years back ‘Dare to Lead’ was published ( Sage 2011). This is about my journey of life, often walking the path of adversity both in personal life (especially childhood) and in certain phases of profession working, observing, learning, reflecting, understanding, and building perspective to practice leadership in various senior roles in Bank of Baroda, finally culminating into a CEO. The book is about transformation of a large public sector bank from its rapid slide to dramatic rise as a valuable brand in a short period of three years (2005-08).

Apart from pre-publication praise from such stalwarts like Dave Ulrich, Tom Peters, Rosabeth Moss Kanter( HBS), Peter Capelli ( Wharton) and leading business leaders like Anand Mahindra, KV Kamath and others, the book has received welcoming reviews from academic journals and business magazines (side bar). In the last 10 years of post-publication of the book, I received hundreds of invitations from several leading corporations both in India and abroad including multi-nationals, private sectors, public sectors, leading academic institutions and invitations to address Boards of many companies. I could never imagine that the book will receive such an overwhelming response. Our transformation story also received international recognition and the Asian Banker Singapore honoured me with their highest Life time achievement award for leadership in financial services and National HRD Network awarded the life time achievement award. I too had the pleasure of being included among the 100 most powerful CEOs by the Economic Times three years in a row.

Feedback on my website (www.anilkhandelwal.in). The book also became BEST SELLER in 2013.

All these years, a number of CEOs, senior and middle managers have been writing to me about their learnings from my story of transformation in the banking sector. I am happy to watch the continued growth of the bank over the years and today, it stands as one of the leading Banks of the country.

Over the years, many leaders have asked me to share my philosophy of leadership that has driven me to pilot the transformation. ‘Dare to Lead’ carries the entire story-the pains, traumas, exhilaration and moments of truth that I experienced on this journey. For my LinkedIn friends, I am happy to share my core beliefs and style that drive me.

I believe that business outcomes are only one measure for leader’s effectiveness. My belief that great organisations are created by the firm touch of a leader’s actions rather than the rapid fire business aggression while pursuing growth journey alone stands vindicated by my work. Based on my experience, I have developed my own code of leadership which is described in detail in the book. In my various roles, I always challenged the status-quo, occasionally rocked the boat, challenged the ways business is pursued and stuck to my relentless pursuit to believe and act to mobilise the passion of people as a central theme for transforming the Bank. I even assumed a role of an activist for the customers and challenged the way, we looked upon the customers as either Profitable or unprofitable!! ‘Dare to Lead’ is a story of my leadership activism within the organisation for both the employees and the customers.

I have always believed that our credibility and initiatives are the guiding force for our employees to rise above the call of duty and contribute with passion. My basic premise of leadership action is firmly rooted in my belief, that employees are not only the assets for any organisation but they are the only assets. During the transformation programme, my team and I kept ourselves on toes by asking following questions and designing our action plan to realise them.

Did we move the stuck vehicle ( the organisation) from the quagmire of stagnancy and learned helplessness? ; Did we respond quickly and prudently to relentless changes on the horizon?; Did we lift the morale of our foot soldiers by listening to their concerns and considering them as important inputs in strategic management?; Did we lift the site of our managers and employees to set audacious goals and achieve them?; Did we empower our operating managers and hand held them to achieve business goals?; Did we listen to our customers and used their wisdom in designing new service standards and products?; Did we remove hassles, bust internal bureaucracy to make the bank agile and move on speed fast track for implementation of our vision? Did we confront the road blocks in our journey of change with guts and equanimity?; Did we build accountability for performance? Did we build human processes and meritocratic system and institutionalise them ?; Did we create a brand for service culture?; Did we work with integrity and courage? And finally did we internalise a culture of compassion and care in the organisation?

Our transformational story as detailed in ‘Dare to lead’ is based on my relentless and intense focus on the above questions. Our focus on the above questions yielded some extraordinary business results and make over of the bank as a technology ready and customer responsive Bank . Based on this experience, I have developed 15 actionable leadership insights for transformation (for details, please refer to my recent book, Transformational leadership in Banking, sage 2021.

If you would like to hear the main essence of my transformational journey, in my own words, I had a recent discussion on Secrets of Storytellers podcast. You can listen to the episode at:

Spotify: https://spoti.fi/3y3Z4j2
Apple Podcasts: https://apple.co/3kRCQNp

Those who would like to read the full story and my leadership code,
'Dare to Lead' is available on Amazon.in
You can also check-out my YouTube channel which has numerous videos on Leadership: