Ram Charan was born in a small Indian town and bred up working in his family shoe shop, where he had his first approach to business. He earned an engineering degree and went to Australia and then to Hawaii to work. After that, his business inspiration came and earned an MBA and a doctorate degree from Harvard Business School, where he later served.
Dr. Charan has also served on the Blue Ribbon Commission on Corporate Governance and was elected a Distinguished Fellow of the National Academy of Human Resources. Nowadays, he is on the board of Austin Industries and Tyco Electronics. Dr. Charan is well known for his ability to solve any kind of rough business problem, due to the fact that his advices are down to earth and relevant and they take into account the real-world complexities of business. For more than 35 years he has been working with top executives at some of the world's most successful companies, who often seek his advices on group dynamics and on talent planning and key hires. For this reason, Fortune stated that he is the leading expert in corporate governance.
Ram Charan has also been sharing his opinions with many others by teaching and writing. He has won several awards (the Bell Ringer award, the best teacher award at Northwestern and so on). In addition, he was among BusinessWeek's top ten resources for in-house executive development programs. In the past five years, Dr. Charan's books have sold more than 2 million copies. Moreover, he is a frequent contributor to Fortune. 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, Dr. Charan described the reaction of DuPont’s CEO, Chad Holliday, to the current economic crisis. Mr. Holliday had the first clear signal of the crisis when he was warned about another company’s cash position. He answered the call for leadership and the first thing that he did was to summon the six top leaders in his company to a meeting. The answers that came back over the next few days were grim. After some different evidences of the crisis, DuPont became to be in the head of contingency planning. It had a plan named The Corporate Crisis plan that brought together DuPont’s senior managers to evaluate the cause of the crisis and put appropriate disaster-control procedures in place.
Over the course of four days it was clear that it was time to let the troops around the world know what was going on. Within 10 days every employee in DuPont had had a face-to-face meeting with a manager who explained what the company needed to do. The actions aimed at conserving cash were taking hold quickly. Nevertheless, Holliday had the feeling that people still didn’t realize the urgency with which they needed to be acting because of the initial confidence he gave to them. Together with his CEO and CFO, Holliday asked its company’s top 14 leaders to explain what they were doing to deal with the crisis. They all brought long lists and seemed to feel confident that they were doing a lot. But the problem was how fast it was getting done. Some actions had to be done immediately. Holliday decided to have a three-person team of top executives looking at longer-term actions the company needed to take.
As a result of these actions, DuPont’s initial reaction to the economic crisis took place in less than six weeks. Even when the slowdown ends and things return to normal, Holliday predicts that the inflationary trends that preceded the financial meltdown will reassert themselves. But DuPont will be ready for that too if and when it happens.

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