I am documenting herewith what I communicated to young MBA students at a convocation recently. I was asked to share some key lessons which made my work easy. I decided to share five key blessings which entirely depended on me/myself.
Family support: In all my work, the key to my giving my very best to my work was unstinted family support. It was based on respect and understanding of my work. My family respected my total engagement with public service and the challenges which my police service posed. They welcomed me whenever I returned home and never complained. They knew I was in service. My home was my re-energising station, where all contributed to its energy.
But this was not a one-way traffic. I, too, ensured due regard and respect for all the support I was receiving and ensured all that belonged to me first belonged to all. I remained grateful to each of them. I, too, served them in my own capacity.
The message value family support and do not take them for granted. They must remain your equal priority once your essential work is done. Do not compromise on that. Family support is your real backbone, on the basis of which you will stand tall.
Support from my juniors and the people: I was never let down by my team members. On the contrary, they gave me their best. They worked harder and remained trustworthy. They shared ideas and concerns with me with faith and willingness. Most of all, they trusted in me. I, too, never ever let them down.
The message work with your juniors closely. Groom them. Delegate and win their trust. Ensure they have the tools to deliver. And then lead them. When rewards come, pass them to the team. When challenging times come, lead them. Once you build this reputation, your team will always stand by you. And you will achieve always what you set out to.
People's support came along by working with them and for them. Establishing the trust that it shall never be betrayed. People spoke up for us in the time of need. Sometimes directly or through the media.
Be loyal to your clients. Once you win their trust, they will not abandon you. They will build your reputation.
Being visible and communicative: I was out in the field early, to learn, see, feel, experience, observe and understand issues. Mine was a paperless functioning. I did not seek unnecessary reports for I had seen many matters directly. I knew what had happened. Who did what? What were the areas of improvement? What corrective, anticipatory steps were needed to take?
It was all self-driven: My seniors never ever had to ask me to do more. On the contrary, I was the one briefing them on what had been done already. I bothered them only when I absolutely needed to. I valued their time.
I was at the police station at 9am daily when heading a district police charge, to meet, hear and share. When in the traffic police, I was on the road at 8am, or 11pm outside railway stations, bus stands, airports, borders, to check traffic flow or ensure no bottlenecks.
All to keep matters smooth for the people. It was exhausting but essential. People's needs were being met. All this was based on constant communication among the team members as well as the people. Communication, visibility, and being on the ground for direct learning, listening and sharing are crucial in their management and leadership.
Sense of gratitude: Anyone who did me or the department well was not forgotten. Opportunities were created to recognise them. If an idea came from a police constable of any member of the public, the source of that was duly recognised. In person or otherwise. This encouraged people to collaborate.
Stamina: Remaining holistically fit is most important. Having endurance is self-reliance. Overall health of mind, body and soul is stamina. It's about all-round fitness. Hence, finding some time for one's own self by way of sport, yoga or fitness regime, along with spiritual nutrition, is absolutely essential to keep one's missionary zeal recharged.
The message keep a watch on what you consume, what you think, how you spend your time, or expend your energy, as also your hard-earned money. It's about endurance. You have to outlast all to be a leader and enjoy your work at the same time.
In the end, I asked the students if they had read the Bhagavad Gita. A few universities in the West are already prescribing it as an essential read.
In all the five keys, it's all about YOU!
The writer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org