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BW Businessworld

A Leader Finds The Blue Ocean, Says Randstad India’s Paul Dupuis

Randstad India’s Managing Director and CEO, Paul Dupuis, says leadership is like climbing a mountain, where you must set milestones and keep moving

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Paul Dupuis, Managing Director, and CEO of placement consultancy firm Randstad India has had a long stint in Asia and has drawn his learnings on leadership from diverse cultures. The COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown across India and most of the world occurs just as he completes a little more than three years in India. 

In a conversation with BW Businessworld & exchange4media Group’s Chairman and Editor-in-Chief Annurag Batra, as part of the ‘BW Businessworld Dialogue on Leadership’ series, Dupuis muses on the “organised chaos” that is India. “In spite of 1.3 billion people and various economic changes, things work,” he marvels. “I really like India’s agility. I love the positive energy in India and connecting with people,” he says.

Dupuis has spent more than 20 years in Japan. “If we can blend these two ‒‒ the secret weapon of India that is ‘jugaad’ with the laser-sharp focus of Kaizen from Japan, India would be unstoppable,” he says. Dupuis follows two simple values as a leader ‒ gratitude and that a full life is about doing well and doing good. “‘Doing well’ is about delivering the best on the expectations and ‘doing good’ is about making a positive impact or leaving a legacy behind,” he explains.

Akin Mountain Climbing

The Randstad India CEO draws a simile between climbing a mountain and leadership. Dupuis has, as a matter of fact, climbed Mt. Fuji with his two sons. “Never focus on the top but keep the focus on the milestones. I really enjoy being a transformational leader. There are moments when leaders must walk alone. I want to say to leaders that ‘Keep moving, set the milestones, listen to the positive voice on the right shoulder and things will happen’. Most of all, besides all the challenges, enjoy the journey to the top.”

He explains that over time, leaders craft their own version of leadership. Dupuis has been using an “E5 model” for several years. His upcoming book is about a model for game-changing leadership based on observations of game-changing leaders, his own journey, anecdotes, and stories of leaders across the genres. “The book is what I call the E5 - Envision, Express, Excite, Enable and Execute. Simply put, the E5 guides the transformation of the leader from a tactical pacesetter to a strategic enabler,” Dupuis says.

Critical thinking, he feels, is a skill required in the post-COVID world. “Critical thinking would be required in the world of VUCA (volatility, uncertainty complexity, and ambiguity). Critical thinking can be muscle. We need to find a way to teach E5 skills much faster and foster those skills in schools,” he says.

Asked by a member of the audience if good leaders could be equally good managers, Dupuis defines the line between managers and leaders. “Managers deliver on the expectations, KPIs, they deliver on the vision of the company and we need competent managers, but the leader changes the game. The leader creates the vision; a leader finds the blue ocean and inspires to deliver, to surprise, to delight.”

To Watch This Full Episode of ‘BW Businessworld Dialogue on Leadership’ With Paul Dupuis, CLICK HERE


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