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Why the CEO of this multi-billion dollar firm wants to ‘unboss’ companies

Source | www.cnbc.com | Chloe Taylor

“Unbossing” companies by reinventing outdated management hierarchies is the key to leadership success, according to one chief executive.

Speaking at the One Young World conference in London on Friday, Vasant Narasimhan, CEO of pharmaceutical giant Novartis, described himself as an “accidental CEO,” and emphasized that leadership still carried huge importance.

“The most powerful thing we have that can improve the world is leadership,” he said. “The most precious resource we have is leadership. The reason society has been able to make so many extraordinary gains over the last century is leadership.”

Narasimhan also urged future leaders to stay grounded as they were given more responsibility and authority.

“Leadership is not a right, it’s not a rank — it’s something that you earn every single day,” he said.

However, Narasimhan said traditional attitudes toward management were from a bygone era and needed an overhaul.

He said the corporate world was slowly learning the “wisdom of ancient (societies),” noting that many big firms were built during a different time and had been slow to adapt to a changing workforce.

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