Uday Salunkhe

Creative Leadership - The key to effective leadership’

Dr Uday Salunkhe says: -
Creative leadership is all about taking risks, making mistakes, giving oneself the space to learn from them and getting back in the arena at a higher and more intelligent level. It is therefore important to reflect frequently on some of the issues leading to these mistakes and ways to overcome them to emerge high on the leadership curve


  1. Lack of Feedback:  According to 1,400 executives polled by The Ken Blanchard Companies, failing to provide feedback is the most common mistake that leaders make. When the leaders don't provide prompt feedback to their teams, they are depriving them of the opportunity to improve their performance.

    Dr. Uday Salunkhe’s advice to overcome this issue:

    Weekly meeting - A weekly meeting with the department or direct reports is a great method of providing guidance and exchanging information between team members.

    Daily rounds - Another effective tactic to increase communication is to “make daily rounds” by visiting each of the departments for five to ten minutes to keep abreast of the activities and provide on-the-spot guidance as needed.
  1. Inability or unwillingness to effectively delegate: Some leaders don’t delegate work, this can cause huge problems as work gets piled up and they become stressed and eventually burnt out.

    Dr. Uday Salunkhe’s advice to overcome this issue:

    Empowering the team- By delegating work, one will empower team members so that they can either take away and/or share the pressure. He/she will allow them a few mistakes along the way as long as they learn from them.

    Shift the emphasis- Leaders cannot afford to do the same activities they performed as team members; they must shift their emphasis and concentrate on leadership activities
  1. Failure to develop subordinatesMentoring and training subordinates is a time consuming but essential role of a leader. Providing regular coaching and guidance is vital, but all forms of professional development are important in developing employees.

    Dr. Uday Salunkhe’s advice to overcome this issue:

    Make resources available – A leader should provide required resources to allow its employees to participate in formal and informal training. Leaders should be measured not only on their own accomplishments, but also on the progress of each member of their team in professional development efforts.

    Set standards- Leaders should set standards by mandating a certain number of continuing education hours or events that must be accomplished.

A creative leader is: -

  • A forward looking person who looks out for potential challenges & opportunities and can see invisible things that others miss. He/she accepts personal responsibility of the group. He/she gives credit to the team for success but accepts blame for failures.
  • He or she makes peoples development a priority and wastes no opportunity to improve the skills of the group. He or she constantly evaluates the skill sets of team members and provides them with specific and corrective feedback.
  • A creative leader establishes a clear vision, sets goals with his/her team, engages in highly collaborative behaviour and encourage the team to be more innovative. Collaboration, Co-creation and Network Thinking is always high on the list of priorities.



Dr. Uday Salunkhe - The Journey to leadership 2

Dr. Uday Salunkhe, Group Director, Welingkar, took upon himself the challenge of moving from the industrial sector to education, a relatively unattractive field in those days. Dr Salunkhe had finished his MMS in 1993, moved out of Mumbai to take up the responsibility of turning around a couple of industries in Rajkot, which he did successfully. However he yearned to move back to the fast multi-tasking jobs that Mumbai could offer .This is certainly not an easy transition for anyone to make but Dr. Uday Salunkhe took it up as a challenge and made his moves. The Field of management education in general and Welingkar in particular were completely new to Dr. Uday Salunkhe and he soon got the sense that the systems and processes in the industrial sector were very different from that in academics .As he understood how the wheels in the field of education field work, he became more and more determined to give it his 100% and there was no looking back since then.

While doing his Ph.D. in ‘Turnaround Strategies’, Dr. Uday Salunkhe got a sense of the management of the best of the corporates across the country and their operations. This was the most challenging and demanding period of his career. However, Dr. Uday Salunkhe believed that he had to take these types of plunges and give full commitment to. Dr Uday Salunkhe’s philosophy has always been to be committed to whatever cause or task that that he chose to undertake. There are people that want clarity from Day one, but in Dr Salunkhe’s opinion the clarity of vision and purpose of life evolves over a period of time. “The successful leaders are only 2 to 3 per cent and they are the ones who listen to their own inner voice, take their own call, and use their assessment and their own judgment for creating the future. As I made the transition from the post of a teacher to take on a higher responsibility as Deputy Director in 1988 and that of the Director in 2000, I was already planning the course of future not only for me but for institute “reminisces Dr Uday Salunkhe.

After having joined Welingkar as a faculty, Dr Uday Salunkhe started benchmarking it with the best of the institutes in management education across the country including IIMs and soon began to explore the global patterns by looking at ASEAN, European countries and finally USA. Initially Dr Uday Salunkhe looked at Asian Institute of Management at Manila, Philippines and decided to pursue a two weeks program on Executive education, also to acquire a sense of how AIM was being managed. After this Dr Uday Salunkhe. Visited Japan through AOTS scholarship, where he could get the exposure to educational programs in Japan. When Dr Uday Salunkhe had the opportunity to go to Harvard as a visiting fellow in the doctoral program, he also made sure to spend time at Wharton, NY Stern and other such top-notch institutes and began to think of creating a business school like those great schools in India. Dr Uday Salunkhe enrolled himself for a program titled ‘Teacher as a Leader and Leader as a Teacher’, by Prof. Harry Davison at the University of Chicago. That was the turning point in his life as it totally changed Dr Uday Salunkhe’s perspective by making him realize that if teacher has to be a leader then he must play multiple roles. In March 2000, when Dr. Uday Salunkhe took over as the Director of Welingkar, the new blueprint of the expansion plan was already ready in his mind. Thanks to vision, strong sense of committeement and his global exposure, Dr. Uday Salunkhe was very clear that instead of waiting for Welingkar to create the future for him, he must create the future for Welingkar.



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