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Ram Charan


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Ram Charan

Management and Leadership Speaker

Ram Charan is a highly sought after business advisor and keynote speaker famous among senior executives for his uncanny ability to solve their toughest business problems. For more than thirty-five years, Dr. Charan has worked behind the scenes with top executives at some of the world’s most successful companies, including GE, Verizon, Novartis, Dupont, Thomson Corporation, Honeywell, KLM, Bank of America, and MeadWestvaco. He has shared his insights with many others through teaching and writing. He is a renowned leadership, growth and business strategy speaker.

What the CEO Wants You to Know, Boards at Work,

Every Business Is a Growth Business, Profitable Growth, and Boards That Deliver. A frequent contributor to Fortune, Dr. Charan has written two cover stories, Why CEOs Fail and Why Companies Fail. His other articles have appeared in the Financial Times, Harvard Business Review, Director’s Monthly, and Strategy and Business.

In his book Leadership in the Era of Economic Uncertainty, Ram Charan traces the causes of this crisis, identifies the essential priorities managers need to focus on now, and offers clear guidelines for top executives and managers. In November 2010 Ram Charan and Bill Conaty released The Talent Masters. This book teaches readers how to identify and accurately judge the raw human talent and unique combination of human traits that comprise and determine a business- success or failure.

Ram’s introduction to business came early while working in the family shoe shop in the small Indian town where he was raised. He earned an engineering degree in India and soon after took a job in Australia and then in Hawaii. When his talent for business was discovered, Dr. Charan was encouraged to pursue it. He earned MBA and doctorate degrees from Harvard Business School, where he graduated with high distinction and was a Baker Scholar. After receiving his doctorate degree, he served on the Harvard Business School faculty.

He is well known for providing advice that is down to earth and relevant and that takes into account the real-world complexities of business. Among his recommendations for achieving profitable growth, for example, are to search for singles and doubles as well as home runs and to develop what he calls a growth budget to instill discipline on growth initiatives. Identified by Fortune as the leading expert in corporate governance, Dr. Charan is helping boards go beyond the requirements of Sarbanes-Oxley and the New York Stock Exchange by providing practical ways to improve their group dynamics.

Boards, CEOs, and senior-most human resource executives often seek his advice on talent planning and key hires. Many people have come to know Dr. Charan through in-house executive education programs. His energetic, interactive teaching style has won him several awards.

He won the Bell Ringer award at GE’s famous Crotonville Institute and best teacher award at Northwestern. He was among BusinessWeek’s top ten resources for in-house executive development programs.

What Ram Charan Talks About:

Know-How: The 8 Skills That Separate People Who Perform from Those Who Don’t

How often have you heard someone with a commanding presence deliver a bold vision that turned out to be nothing more than rhetoric and hot air? All too often we mistake the appearance of leadership for the real deal. Without a doubt, intelligence, vision, and the ability to communicate are important. But something big is missing: the know-how of running a business the capacity to take it in the right direction, do the right things, make the right decisions, deliver results, and leave the people and the business better off than they were before.

For well over four decades, Ram Charan has been learning the underlying reasons why leaders succeed and fail. As one of the most influential advisors to top management teams of leading companies around the world, he has had a front-row seat to observe the cause and effect of leadership practices and behaviors.

Ram Charan’s insight into the real content of leadership provides you with the eight fundamental skills needed for success in the twenty-first century:

  • Positioning (and when necessary, repositioning) your business by zeroing in on the central idea that meets customer needs and makes money
  • Connecting the dots by pinpointing patterns of external change ahead of others
  • Shaping the way people work together by leading the social system of your business
  • Judging people by getting to the truth of a person
  • Molding high-energy, high-powered, high-ego people into a working team of leaders in which they equal more than the sum of their parts
    Knowing the destination where you want to take your business by developing goals that balance what the business can become with what it can realisticallyachieve
  • Setting laser-sharp priorities that become the road map for meeting your goals
  • Dealing creatively and positively with societal pressures that go beyond the economic value creation activities of your business

Know-How is the missing link of leadership. By Showing how the eight know-hows link to, interact with, and reinforce personal and psychological traits, Ram Charan provides a holistic and innovative portrait of successful leaders of the twenty-first century.

Execution – The Discipline of Getting Things Done

For many leaders, creating a strategy is the easy part. Making it happen is the bigger challenge. Why is flawless execution so hard to achieve? Because few leaders understand what it requires. This presentation shows how to get the job done and deliver results, whether you’re running an entire company or in your first management job. Ram explores what execution really means, and how it brings together the critical elements of any organization – its people, strategies, and operations. Execution takes personal discipline, and more important, a systematic approach to synchronizing the moving parts of the organization. Based on the best selling and highly praised book Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done this is practical, insightful, leading-edge business thinking for organizations that want to do things differently.

Confronting Reality – Doing What Matters To Get Things Right

The fundamentals of how a business makes money are being rapidly and permanently altered by sweeping structural changes. With his extraordinary depth and breadth of experience, Ram Charan is the ideal guide for everyone – entrepreneur, mid-level manager, or CEO – about what is to be done so you can get things right in this challenging, radically changed world. He starts by showing you how to understand the most fundamental element of any business: whether you can realistically make the money you hope to in the game you’re playing. He then shows how to use the business model to develop a robust, reality-based process for thinking about the specifics of your business in a holistic way. He shows how to tie together the financial targets you must meet, the external realities you face, and internal activities such as strategy development, operating tactics, and selection and development of people.


Especially in a slow economy, growth can seem impossible to achieve. But growth opportunities almost always exist. What is needed is a disciplined approach to identify, pursue, and fund them. Based on Ram’s two books on growth, Every Business Is A Growth Business and Profitable Growth Is Everyone’s Business: 10 Tools You Can Use Monday Morning, this presentation will stimulate new ideas and explore new terrain in the quest to find new markets, new customers and new business opportunities.

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