I have learnt my earliest and the best leadership lessons from my Parents. My Father is the face of the family and the “Chairman”, and my Mother the “CEO” and behind the scene worker. However they functioned as Equal Stakeholders. Together they formed a formidable TEAM and created a “Family” which is now over 60 years and running.
The first and the most important lesson of leadership which I learnt is TRUST. They trusted each other and all around them. This enabled them to take our mistakes and blunders in their stride, because they never doubted our intensions. When somebody trusts you, it becomes your responsibility. That’s how we became responsible.
While they trusted and gave us freedom, they knew what was going on and had a grip on what was happening. They had a system of Feedback and Review.
They are eternal OPTIMISTS. They never talked ill of anyone, complained or blamed. For them there is a second time to rectify even if something went wrong. They were always in the Circle of Influence trying to do something about the situation and moving forward, rather than staying put and lamenting. They are willing to forget and forgive.
Their decisions were always unanimous for us. Even if they had differences, we could never see it. We could not complain one to the other. Their answers to our questions regarding their decisions were the same.
They always had and have a genuine INTENTION TO HELP, not just their family members but all those around them. They were “there” for all important events and occasions - happy planned events or unplanned crises or misfortunes. They never missed a marriage or a funeral.
They are “HARD WORKERS”. They had great work ethics and were disciplined. Whenever required they put in long working hours. They epitomise commitment.
They are LIBERAL. They are open for new ideas, careers and just wanted their members to be happy in whatever they do. They would throw doors open for whoever was in need. Our house was always streaming with people. They were people centric.
They took RESPONSIBILITY for whatever they did. They are always willing to take more than their share of blame when things went wrong, and give more than their share of credit when things went right.
They enjoyed what they were doing for the family and others and were happy doing it.
They are emotional, but are emotionally strong. They have shown Character. They have overcome financial difficulties, taken on the burden of a large family and gotten over personal tragedies.
As I write this piece and reflect, the numerous occasions and examples, where they demonstrated leadership qualities are in front of me. I have been fortunate to have parents, who taught me a lot about effective leadership, both through their words and deeds.
My parents are now over 80 years young and continue to inspire us with lifelong leadership lessons. Being a parent myself, I realise that Parenting is the ultimate test of one’s leadership skills.
I dedicate this, my first blog, to my parents – NRS, as my Father is affectionately known and Sundari, my Mother.
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