Lesson in Leadership

Last night after an especially gruelling day at work – and I don’t mean the pregnancy side, I mean the corporate angle, I dove straight into bath and dinnertime as I was late. My patience and energy levels were at an all time low so I was trying my level best to ask my kids about their day and be involved in their chitter chatter.

With an incredibly somber face as I was towelling him dry, my 4 and a half year old son said ‘Mama, I tell you this Suresh Kalmadi, he’s just too much.” Immediately amused and impressed at the same time, I casually asked why.  ‘I was stuck in a traffic jam for so long, I was late for school also. As soon as the commonwealth games are over, Payal Maam my principal is going to punish him.’ Way to go Step By Step World School! The fact that a kindergarten student knows what the commonwealth games are all about, who is responsible for them and the consequences of these events is seriously impressive!

The other thing that struck me about our chat was his belief in his leadership. The innocent yet certain faith in the power of his leader, the principal of his school was so resilient that he was convinced she would change things for the better. That she could get justice for the kids of her school, the little ones who were stuck in jams, their tummies rumbling as they got home late for lunch.

I wish as adults we could have that unwavering belief in our leaders. The ones who run our country, our organisations and therefore have a strong impact on our lives. I wish we could trust our leaders to always do the right thing, to always look out for us and understand that their actions impact the lives of all the people they are responsible for.  Leadership comes with great privilege – the principal of a school, the MD of an organisation, the prime minister or president of a country. Leaders get respect, get accolades, and have the support of people who lay their lives down for them (both literally and metaphorically!). But all of this, in the opinion of my son and me, comes with great responsibility.

My message to our leaders:  we are willing to stretch to do our bit for those success stories, we are willing to give you our unfailing loyalty and faith, we are even willing to pick up the pieces should there be the need. All we ask is don’t fail us – keep us in your line of vision, as without us, you are nothing.

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