Practicing leadership in daily life


Neha Somani

Organizational & Counselling Psychologist

Lessons lurk everyday around us, it’s just that we are too busy to look around and pick them up. Here’s a wonderful lesson on leadership that will linger on.

We all know about Ratan Tata, but not many know this story. Once Ratan Tata was driving to Nasik with members of the senior management of a company called Nelco, an electronics company in Tata’s portfolio which needed attention as it was facing certain challenges.

On the way to Nasik their car got a flat tyre. While the driver got down to changing the tyre, those travelling with Mr. Tata took this as an opportunity to take a comfort break, relax, stretch, light a cigarette. Suddenly some of them noticed that their leader was nowhere to be seen. Some assumed he must have walked to sip some tea from the nearby stall and perhaps get feedback about Tata Tea or maybe he was talking to a passerby and making an interesting conversation with them.

To their surprise, they spotted Ratan Tata on his knees, with his sleeved rolled up helping the driver change the tyre. Sweat on his forehead but a smile on his face.

The managers who had accompanied Tata got a valuable lesson on leadership and humility that day. Sometimes, as managers or leaders, we wait for the right time (a certain project) to come so that we can demonstrate our leadership and people skills but in simple moments like this, one can see what truly a leader is.

To assimilate a few learnings, let’s write down the name of at least one celebrity that we have been following since a long time.

Let’s answer the following questions:

a. What have we observed about them?

b. What are the latest developments in their professional life?

c. Have they gone through a rough patch in their life recently and how did they manage to come out of it?

d. How many similarities did we strike with them and what lessons can one learn from their life ?

Doing this activity will give us some perspective and go-to tools and methods that we can imbibe in our day to day living. Writing down what one feels or gathers is essential if one really wants to begin to make a difference in one’s life.

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