Category Archives: Leadership Development

Quit, when you think its no longer going to work….. Trying harder is stupid certain times.


Boss called me and gave a project, felt he believed me.

was so motivated about he selected me to do this when there are couple of experienced hands, I dont want to get into the negative track of why he has selected me to do this having more experienced people out there….

That project, if finished successfully, will add up to the company’s profit (a decent %).

Started with full enthusiasm and want to prove my stuff to the team.

How to start and go about it is my area of scope. Somehow done 30% which are all the basic ground work, I couldn’t go beyond that, felt my ideas and execution doesn’t work.

I worked hard, traveled lengths and breadths of Tamil Nadu, met many people. Planned each and every day and executed, something went wrong. Feedback from boss was “just go ahead”.

Some point of time realized this single project has already consumed 2 months in the financial year. I am not in track of my KRA (Key Responsible Area). This will badly impact on my performance appraisal.

Quit, when you think its no longer going to work… Trying harder is stupid certain times.

I learnt this during my quarterly appraisal. My Boss saw the progress and was unhappy  about my KRA and the special project both. He said, Understood the project needs good experience to handle.

‘Goddamnit’, I wasted a quarter of year for his experimentation. The problem is not with my boss, it was with me.

The time when i thought trying harder will not bring the result what is expected, I should have stood up and said, “Boss i couldn’t handle this, If i continue its waste of your time and my time”. In his case trying harder messed up.  HARD WORK NEVER FAILS IF PUT ON RIGHT THINGS


I was pissed off… so much of anger, It made positive change in me

In continuation of my previous post….

I somehow managed to get into Spencer’s.

I was reluctant to accept the change that no body is behind me to say “I am there with you”.

actually i was used to this psychological dependence from my childhood, these words will be uttered  by my Mother/father/brother/sister/lover(now my husband:-))/Friends.

Now all alone in the new job, felt like a lonely tree without roots to hold. 

The day of Induction in Calcutta, there were around 50 new joiners in my batch, We were called RMT-2007 (Retail Management Trainees). We are from different parts of the country.

Introduction session,

“Bony from manipur, studied … here, my hobbies are….., My strengths are….., I enjoy…..” 

“Vishal anand from pune, ……………….” he was speaking atleast for 2 min. Many followed and spoke fluently except one or two like me


“Shalini from TN” thats it. I couldnt speak more. I wondered where these people got the flow?

It was break, 4 to 5 like minds formed their own group, its awkward to stay alone so i tried to cling to one of the groups, actually i couldn’t get along well with groups.

That was 6 days induction programme. Was in the same scene for 3 days. People gave their views, answered uninterruptedly when asked a question, Shooting questions (some of the questions was what i thought but decided not to ask). I was a silent observer.

What the hell am I doing here?

I was pissed off….. so much of anger. Decided to interact something weather its right or wrong…. 

4 th day I dont want to think what will happen if i am wrong, how fluent will I be?, what others will think if it is a stupid question?…. didnt give time for my mind to think of these….

Just asked a few questions, people around looked at me as if unexpected happened.

That was the time when I broke my inhibitions, that anger made me to do…

Later I was fair in interacting with people and last 3 days passed with ease.

Take away point : We will be good at certain skills but will be reluctant to exhibit that skill in a new environment, Just break your inhibition after all you will be master of it after breaking the inhibitions.



It was so harder to gain the confidence…… felt I was in battle field.

That day, lots of butterfly flattered, i couldn’t enjoy….. b’coz it flattered in my stomach. I don’t want to get out of my bed. Somehow managed to get up, had shower, dressed up well, actually in a professional attire for the first time in life. You know that was my interview day in Spencer’s Retail Ltd.

15 of my classmates attended the interview, I didn’t know they also had the same feeling. lub dub, lub dub…… my heart increased its pumping frequency. “Shalini, Come in please” receptionist called me. I went in… sat in front of brainy heads, the interview panel.

There was couple of questions which i could manage to answer, later the questions came like bullets from gun towards me… I managed to give answers but I was told straight that they were not satisfied. I wondered how can i make a right answer to be a satisfying answer? I was ashamed as they were not satisfied…. thanked them and came out of the interview cave where questioning loins defeated me. I felt coming out of a battle field.

I was not confident of getting  that job. I went out looking for coffee shop. Friend of mine flying towards me said” U R SELECTED”. My heart stopped, “Is it the time to play” I shouted at her. She dragged to the office reception. To my Surprise its true. I GOT A JOB.

One of the person in interview panel crossed by, I ran to him and asked innocently ” Sir, You are not at all satisfied by my answer how did I get the Job”.

He replied “Dear Kid, Its not how well you answer, its about how well you handled the stressful situation. You have done well so you got it” he smiled and walked away.

Oh that was “Stress Interview” until then I didn’t know i can manage stress well, one of the leadership qualities.

Got little confidence on me….

will share you what happened during my first few days in my job, One more shattering experience… will continue in my next post. 

Trying to be a leader – What best you can do?

You wanted to take up the transition of being a team member/follower to a leader. its a great opportunity if you tune yourself in a right track.

1. Master your area

Knowledge brings confidence and confidence is the lifeline of a leader. So you need to know in and out of your area of shine. For example: If you want to be a leader in Import and Export business, know how the product is produced to how the consignment reaches the customer, how many signs the customer has to put to receive the consignment.In simple words get into the details.

2. Find out areas of weakness and work on it

If you find you have best of knowledge and lack of communication, try, try and try to acquire the skill ASAP. Practice makes it perfect.

3. Learn to think from Other persons shoe.

Understand other persons situation, problems, strength, weakness and opportunities. For eg: If you are negotiating for a deal, understand that person comes for negotiation because you have something worth, try to find what is his need, strength, weakness etc…,

4. Be optimistic and enthusiastic, believe you are a leader.

You are in the process of transformation, in a learning stage. So you may fall sometimes,have self motivation. Its about how well you bounce back after touching the rock bottom….

5. Shed fears.

Get rid of all fears, after all you are going to master this skill. Shed the fear of failure, criticism and inability.

Student Leadership is it happening?

We, at least myself,  during my college days, think a leader is someone who commands, speaks with charisma, CEO of a company, A old experienced person…………. probably a rare human being. Concept of leadership has changed from traditional leadership to shared leadership. Somebody who can work well in a team and have the ability to influence the team is definitely a leader. With this definition I feel all my team members are leaders.

Those are the days where companies recruit candidates with good knowledge and train for the leadership qualities, today the need of the hour by corporates are instant leaders from colleges.

Is this understood by college managements? Hope not…. there is no syllabus for  leadership in the curriculum. Still leadership development is considered as one of the  extracurricular activities. But if we ask an educationist or a corporate “What is expected out of a student?” the answer will be the same “Leadership skills”

As per BASS Theory of leadership there are 3 concepts.

Trait theory, where leaders are born.

Great event theory, A crisis or important event may cause a person to rise to the occasion, which brings out extraordinary leadership qualities in an ordinary person.

Transformational/Process theory, People can choose to become leaders. People can learn leadership skills and become leaders.

Approx 80% of college groups fall in Transformational theory, but are the curriculum giving the platform/facility for this transformation?

I feel I am a leader now, if certain insights are given during my college days itself this transformation of mine would have happened several years back. Im working on how to provide this transformation to the student community…..

See you in next blog.Imagei