Gandhi Jayanti- October 2

MAHATMA GANDHI

Born as an Indian, one can never forget this date. Can we?

In our blood, brain and cells, October 2 etched on us. We die with this date on our hearts too. Proud to be Indian, just because this personality was born in India. Many of us learned a lot about his teachings during our school days. The man, the leader, the guru and ofcourse most fierceful freedom fighter. His biggest weapon is “Ahimsa”

Many leaders followed his teachings and messages. Dr. Martin Luther King and Dr. Nelson Mandela to name a few among them. Today also many influencers take his teachings and interpretation to reach masses. Remember, he did this with no social media help. He did this by walking in to masses. I would like to remember Terry Fox here. He did it by himself to bring change. His legacy still follows many years of him leaving us.

Mahatma Gandhi inspired people by leading them with what he preached always. He never leads them from behind. He was there, walking with them. I still remember the screenings of his footages we have from freedom fighting days. Those black and white fast motion movies definitely moved our hearts.

I do not know whether in our lifetime another Mahatma will come in our lives. I know this much, Mahatma had given us a lot for our generation and many more generations to come. His teachings are still relevant and will not get outdated, regardless of what century we are in. How many of us can say this with confidence, the lessons we give to our children will be relevant for a different century. I highly doubt that.

This October 2nd we are celebrating Mahatma Gandhi’s 151st birth anniversary. During this pandemic, I want to say, believe in ourselves. We will come out of it. Gandhi believed in Ahimsa, and he knew that is the only weapon he needed to get freedom for India. He believed, and he reached masses with this message. Today, politicians are struggling to reach masses with a simple message like “Wash your hands, Wear masks”. I am not comparing politicians to Mahatma Gandhi. I am just saying he was divine. The most important teaching he gave us and influenced me is

“Ahimsa is the highest duty. Even if we cannot practice it in full, we must try to understand its spirit and refrain as far as possible from violence”

He is our superhero for our nation. We lovingly call him Bappu. Happy Birthday dear Bappu. You are our father and will be always in our hearts as our Nations Father. Salute.

Leaders Should change

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Throughout my career, I have got guidance from many leaders. Some leaders stayed with me even though they have done with their careers. Those were the ones who are open to change. The ones never stood out, even if they are so good in what they do are the ones who did not accept change. I am almost closing towards three decades in leading various teams. Leadership 101 I learned is to trust your team. You hired them to do the job. You should let them do.

What I am trying to say here is, We all have our own ways to get the job done effectively. My father used to say you want to go from A to B, whether you walk, you run or take a bus. It doesn’t matter, as long as you get there eventually in a timely manner matters. Same thing here at work, If an employee is doing a chore in a certain way and it is not to your liking, trust that person to do that job. As long as the job is done with quality and we meet safe practices. You should be good to go. Those are the leaders. They will let their team grow with them.

These days we all communicate via email. If you have an employee who writes an email longer than your liking. Do not push that employee to change his way to bullet point form. This will hinder his thoughts. He may not find it easier for him to convey his thoughts. He will miss valuable points. As a leader, read that email regardless of the length, because this employee put effort in that communication. If you constantly try to change this employee, he will soon or later stop communicating. He will wait till things fall apart for you to fix or he simply moves on to next job. Another point to be noted her in this scenario. He or she may finish the lengthy email in 10 minutes, compared to bullet point format. Here this is not his or her strength. He or she will doubt how to write and wastes valuable time to convert a simple email to bullet forms just to please the boss. On the other hand, if the boss is complaining, that he or she doesn’t have time for long emails, then that shows his interest in this particular employee. This is not a leadership quality.

Guiding a person is different than changing a person. Do not change their strengths. You are the leader, you should change according to needs. Let them perform in their turf at its best. Involve with them with the same passion they show. You will have a great team to support you back.

Answering calls is an important part of leadership. Everyone is busy and employees know that. If a leader continues to let his calls go to his voicemail over and over, then this shows he is not taking the calls. Soon or later, this becomes an annoyance. Employee will not bother to ask any questions. There are many times an employee need support right away from his or her boss. He or she understands if they cannot get hold of them once a month, but if this is a recurring issue, Leader will be considered as ignoring the staff. They will not feel the support.

Answering calls is an important part of leadership. Everyone is busy and employees know that. If a leader continues to let his calls go to his voicemail over and over, then this shows he is not taking the calls. Soon or later, this becomes an annoyance. Employee will not bother to ask any questions. There are many times an employee need support right away from his or her boss. He or she understands if they cannot get hold of them once a month, but if this is a recurring issue, Leader will be considered as ignoring the staff. They will not feel the support.

One who works or takes Credits?

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I heard from someone today. There are two types of people. One who works and other one takes credit. Who you want to be?

For me, I want to be the person who work. You know why? There is less competition with this group. You are like minded. The other group always wants to takes credit from other people who work or bring ideas. They will compete each other to claim the work or Ideas others bring to table. Let me tell you one thing, here, I am also kind of doing what the group I don’t want to be in. The line I heard above is not mine. But the lesson I learned from the question is big. So I would like to put some work here to make this easy to relate to. I will not claim any credit for the question in discussion here.

As a leader, It is very easy to sit back and take the credit of the team themselves. Lot of people tend to do this unknowingly.A true leader will work hard and walk with the team. Credit will be given to the team as well.

Same thing applies, Some leaders support their subordinates with all their power as long as they are working together. The day they move to a different part of the company,the leader will not even talk to them. This gives the employee a big doubt in their mind “Did my boss used me to move up the ladder?” That is not a good motivation spark for the employee. There are many times leader may have to re enter the same department due to organizational changes. Then that dynamic between the employee and the leader will be struggling for sure.

Leaders are not born, they are born through hard work. Motivating others and guiding others to succeed with out fear is what makes the unique strong leader. They will have followers. They will last long. Showing that soft side of vulnerability will take you to higher stands in the mind of employees. So who are you? One who works or one who takes credit? Food for thought here.