Thursday, August 17, 2017


From December-end# ABVYM Annual Camp (playlist, hosted at Vidyamandir, Belur Math), procured few copies of the booklet titled, "Leadership: Its Concepts and Qualities" from the camp book stall. This booklet was part of our recommended reading in our younger days of KVYM. Sri Nabaniharan Mukhopadhyaya writes there,
We find and have to admit that there are some differences in creation, in society, in human beings in respect of understanding, qualities, capabilities etc. We can always make use of such special capacity in some for the benefit of those who are on a little lower level, to bring them up, to push them up, to elevate them to help them to make for progress. That is the fundamental idea of leadership.
Sundar Pichai came to IIT Kharagpur campus in January beginning. There was a long interactive session (full video) at packed Tagore Open Air Theater. On being asked about his secret of leadership, Sundar told the following,
It’s learning to let go and really empowering people at all levels of the organisation, and trusting them to do the right thing. As a leader, a lot of your job is to make those people successful. It’s less about trying to be successful (yourself), and more about making sure you have good people and your work is to remove that barrier, remove roadblocks for them so that they can be successful in what they do. So that’s how I’ve always thought about it. I also value teamwork quite a bit and I think it’s really important to build organisations where people really want to work together. Everything comes out of that. So, setting up collaborative cultures is another big thing I’ve been trying to focus on.
Most of the reporting on this section of his speech though missed the pre-requisite part 'making sure you have good people.' There was an apparently innocuous question to follow but answer to that also showed where not to make an error in judgement, keeping the personal an professional space separate. A young student asked if as the CEO of Google, can he change the Google doodle to the IITKGP building for a day. Sundar replies this way.
I am going to send a message to the team. (takes his phone out of the pocket and pretends to text a message, applause from audience) Before you get too excited, I mean, the good news is Google is set up in a way so that even if I send that email, they would not do it. Here's the reason why: we have built an organization with strong ideals and values on when we show doodles, for what occasions. And it's less about what I want to happen.
It is not easy to bring this sense of trusteeship. One monk of Ramakrishna order was telling that one needs to acquire the spirit of Sanyasins to deliver one's best in this Samsara.

#The draft of this post was prepared in January beginning. Today evening, four senior students came to discuss their social work related initiative. While referring to some earlier posts of this blog during the conversation, realized that the draft needs to be pushed to publication stage!!

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