“I am not a very good boss to work with”, he asserted, “I may refuse even the facilities otherwise legitimately due to you. So think twice before you decide to come to this department”. No he was not trying to threaten or puzzle me. He was speaking the truth, the naked truth. I did not take even a second to respond, “Sir, I am not interested in anything but my self-respect. I cannot do things my conscience does not permit me to do. If you just allow me to be guided by the voice of my conscience then I don’t care what other things you give me or not. I don’t need to think. I have already decided to come here. I will be highly obliged if you accept me as your sub-ordinate.”
This was my first encounter with the man way back in 1994 who ultimately became a role model for me and with whom I share a “guru-sishya” relationship even today. I can describe him as a dead honest straight forward man who has the guts to call a spade a spade and a perfectionist who believes in giving his 100 percent to the job in his hand. To put it in his own words, “If you take up a task complete it with such precision that the onlooker is mesmerized by the quality of the job done. If you are unsure about quality of delivery it is better never to take up the task”.
In an organization where manipulating financial and other resources used to be a common affair with almost everybody occupying a seat of authority my down to earth boss was the only person who strictly avoided using official resources for any kind of personal gain. And this was the reason why most people in the organization looked upon him with awe. The financial papers which he signed were never scrutinized by anybody, whatsoever. His proposals were never rejected by the company. This was something I enjoyed the most. Gradually my colleagues and seniors in other departments began to regard me with the same respect as they used to do to my boss. Some even wondered how I was able to adjust with such a strict awe-inspiring personality. I do not know even to his day whether I could come up to his expectations or not. But for me he was certainly the most adoring person to work with. He never compelled me to do any unethical thing as most of my previous bosses had done. He never gave me an unlawful order. He was always ready to advise and guide me whenever I faced any problem either professional or personal.
He was a voracious reader and read anything and everything. What is more fascinating is that he remembered a lot of what he read and reproduced it whenever the need arose. He had the ability to talk on any subject almost extempore. He was the perfect man to head the training and development department. He was known for his vast knowledge in every field and even the CEO of the company often took his advice in certain critical issues. My department was considered as the knowledge centre of the organization only because of his wide spread knowledge. He was a great mentor as well. Seeing my academic interest in training activities he started mentoring me to become a good trainer and probably to head the training function in due course. If I have developed myself as a management faculty today the entire credit of this goes to my boss. He created opportunities for me to attend training conducted by renowned management consultants and subsequently encouraged me to facilitate training sessions for our employees.
In a nutshell he was my work place guru who taught me the following life lessons by exhibiting them in his own day to day activities. I learnt the following great lessons from him.
2. Honesty is the best policy. If you are honest in the true sense nobody can exert unnecessary pressure on you.
3. Punctuality is something which gives you the ability to hold your head high. If you are in time no one can point a finger towards you.
4. Be a perfectionist in whatever you do. Perfection demands your 100 percent. If you give your 100 percent you need not have to worry about anything. Success will run after you.
I learnt these life lessos when I was 32 and today after 21 years I can assertively announce that had I not worked with him at that time I would have either become corrupt like many others in the organization or I would have commited suicide under the pressure of unethical practices.
The person to whom I have dedicated this post is no celebrity but an ordinary human being who was branded by many as a very difficult person to deal with. But I found in him the most ideal human being devoid of common vices and frailties and practicing ethical values in life. I do not know if he reads this post today what will be his reaction. But for me he was and is an ideal personality committed to ethical human values. He is my teacher, my mentor, my trainer, my tormentor all rolled into one. I take this opportunity to salute you Dikshit Sir (Mr. Hari Sharan Dikshit) for teaching me great life lessons and making me rough and tough from within.
P.S. 1. This post is specifically written for Tata Motors and their made of great campaign. For more details follow the link : http://madeofgreat.tatamotors.com/
P.S. 2. If you are here please answer the question below in the comment section of this post and the best answer will win a Amazon Gift voucher of Rs.750/-.
What do you think of Tata Motors’ association with Lionel Messi?