The story starts around 11 years back when I was doing my graduation and was also taking tuitions as time was something which we have in abundance. This thought of giving tuitions was primarily around getting some self-income source and to utilize the time I have. I never thought this will be my first step in developing leadership traits. This story is very close to my heart as it enabled me to connect, understand, and develop certain traits in me.
The story surrounds around a boy studying in class fourth of an English medium ICSE Board school, one of the best local school known for its education. Interestingly, the father of this boy was a milkman who used to come to my home daily on his aged Luna to deliver milk. As I was giving tuitions at that time and he asked me if I can teach his son as well, and I accepted that with an open heart.
Vishnu was unique. He was naughty, cheerful, and studious. But then there was something I realized when I interacted with him closely. He had developed an inferiority complex in him. In retrospection, I found out that the feeling was developed in him because he lacked a sense of belongingness because of the mere fact that he was not a son of a businessman or any serviceman for that matter. He lived in a small nearby village. He always thought that he was not a perfect fit for the outside world and can never match up to other students of his age despite having all the skills. He was intelligent but was never able to come first in the class because of the lack of self-confidence.
I had an immediate connection with this boy. His simplicity and selflessness made him special and I knew that now it is my responsibility to hold his hand and let him overcome his complexes. I do not need to invest in educating him, I just needed to invest in giving him confidence.
I started treating him as a family member, we played video games, he used my mobile, we used to go on bike rides together. I showed him my certificate of achievements and photographs which made him motivated. We were developing a bond and slowly and gradually he somehow started looking up to me as his guardian. All small wishes which an 8-year-old could have, I somehow tried to fulfill those for him so that he feels equal within his classmates. To my surprise, the boy did not let me down and came first. In the coming years also, he maintained his confidence and never looked back.
Vishnu became a confident kid and I am sure he would be doing great now. I have not met him for the last 10 years since I have relocated, but I surely want to do so and see how thins boy is performing in his life.
This boy had made a huge impact on my life. He had made me realize the importance of being a mentor and a coach, which has helped me immensely in my corporate life.
As you grow in your career, you need to act as a mentor, coach, and leader. And to be able to successfully deliver these responsibilities, I believe you need to build a strong relationship with your team and understand them as if they are a part of your family.
Ending my story with which, I feel is the simplest yet one of the most profound thought-
“To make a difference in people’s lives, you need not be brilliant, you just need to CARE”