Leadership

The National Training Academy had organised this training program for about 30 doctors from all over India.

Venue: Hotel 34 Crescent, Sheshadripuram
Time: 11.30 a.m. to 1.00 p.m.
Number of people present: 30 doctors from all over India

Dr. Ali Khwaja started the session by sharing an experience where he had asked a friend to manage his business for a few days. The friend was very good at handling the daily works of the office, but did not know how to do multi tasking or management of time. Finally Dr. Ali gifted him a book titled 'Practical tips for time management'. When Dr. Ali asked his friend, after 2-3 weeks, if he had read the book the friend replied saying that he did not find the time to read the book.

leadershipDr. Ali also asked as to why we need someone else to make us think, and why is that we cannot think for ourselves about our future. Why do we always look outside than looking into ourselves, to improve ourselves.

One should always learn to recognise and manage the emotions. An example was given by Dr. Ali about two colleagues. Once he had visited a reputed company and was taking a snack break with  the HR head of the company, when he overheard two colleagues discussing about cricket. Since it was a reputed company there was no doubt that the people employed there would be from good educational background and from reputed institutions. Both the employees at the food court were discussing about Sachin Tendulkar, and one of them opined that it was high time that Sachin Tendulkar had retired and made way to the upcoming cricketers. The other colleague was furious to hear this and started raising his voice. Though the former tried to explain to him, he was not ready to listed and had seemed to be completely out of control.

Dr. Ali said how he had started the social work that he was doing today. When he was a student five of the friends met everyday evening after college and went home after they had a small chat. Since  it was evening, and they had come directly from college they were very hungry. They always  looked for a place where they could get snacks at a subsidised rate, as they were given less amount of pocket money. The canteen at a reputed hospital at Mumbai had snacks at a low rate, but this facility was given only to Doctors or medical students. Hence all the five friends decided to avail this facility by pretending like medical students. This went on for a few days and all were happy as they could enjoy good food at a low rate, they also thought that no one were aware of this act of theirs. One day the warden of the college stopped them and said that she was observing them form the past few days, she also told them that she knew that they were not medical students. All five were trying to explain to the warden, the reason why they were doing this, but the warden was not convinced. Finally she told them that they can enjoy the canteen food only if can help the hospital patients, and everyone agreed. This is how they started understanding other people and their problems, and also saw to it that they can help them in even a small way. Dr. Ali also mentioned that today all the five friends, though were at different parts of the world they are doing something  different from all others.

<leadershipWe can always go back and think what had inspired us, their can also be something negative that can inspire us. Dr. Ali gave an example of how he had taken up engineering and not medicine. He said that their Biology teacher was very good at teaching Biology, but he was also very strict. So when given a choice of taken up engineering or medicine many opted for engineering as their was no Biology involved in it.       
Dr. Ali also mentioned about Mr. Charu Rangnekar who was a Professor at IIT and thought them Management which was included as an extra curriculum. The first day of the class only 11 students were present out of 38 students, the second day the number of students who were present increased to 35 and on the third day 45 students were present out of 38 students which meant that students from other classes were bunking them to attend his lecture. The reason why Mr. Charu's lecture was so different and interesting was because he spoke about human emotions and human mind. For example one day he drew a dot on the board and asked the students to stand up one by one and say what they saw, all the students said that they saw a black dot. When all the students had answered he asked them why did'nt anyone say that they saw the huge board, and why were everyone concentrating only on the dot. These kind of sessions interested the students.   


There was a short story narrated by Dr. Ali. Before this he told the doctors that whoever knew the answer should only raise their hand. Giving this instruction he started the story: One day there is a fatal accident of a two wheeler in which a father and son are traveling. The father is killed on the spot and the son is seriously injured. People gathered around the horrific scene and saw that the boy was still alive. They rushed him to the nearest Hospital where the Doctor informed them that the boy cannot be rescued. The people pleaded to the Doctor, so the doctor replied that to rescue the boy an operation has to performed while can be done only by a Neuro-surgeon, they did not have such a surgeon in the Hospital and hence the boy cannot be saved. One person from the crowd said that there is a  Neuro-surgeon in town and we can contact that surgeon and ask for help. When asked upon the surgeon agreed to perform the operation and went to the Hospital. When the surgeon entered the operation theater and was ready to operate, saw the face of the boy and said “ Oh God, I will not be able to perform the operation on him, he is my son”.Dr. Ali asked them as to how this was possible, how can the boy be the surgeon's son? Only one doctor gave the right answer.

leadershipDr. Ali mentioned about a discussion he had with a Neurologist at NIMHANS. It was a conference for Neurologists and everyone gathered there were discussing about the development of science, and how it had helped them. One of the doctors who was listening to this told Dr. Ali the all were busy discussing about the brain and how it has helped the Neurologists, but all of them have forgotten that there is a body that is attached to the brain.

He narrated an incident which happened during his collage days. 7 of his friends attended a campus interview which was conducted by an MNC company. Only 1 interviewer was present. He casually had a group discussion about cricket which all the 7 were interested and everyone participated, one trying to dominate the other. After this the interviewer had to take a personal interview and he asked the students to come to his room one by one. The first person went in and the interviewer again started chatting with him about the traffic. This went on for sometime and after that realising that it was late he said “OK now I have to ask you some technical question, so tell me how much percent phosphorous is present in Phosphorus bronze” the interview did not know the answer but still said “about 25%”. the interviewer look very happy and said that it was the right answer and that he can go and sent the next person. The interviewee went and told what had happened to all the remaining six people. The next person came in and the interviewer repeated the same question and this person too answered the same. This went on till the last candidate. When the interview was complete the interviewer ask everyone to come in and said “ Well it seems that everything went on quite well and you are all pleased with your performances. Let me tell you that I wanted a Employee who can be a good team member and a person who is honest and should not give away the secrets. I am very sorry to tell you that none of you matched those qualities. I had the GD to see your ability as a team member and you all had easily dominated your own classmates. When asked the question in the interview the 1st person did not know the answer but still lied and went on to say this to all the other. Let me also tell you that there is no  phosphorous in  Phosphorus bronze and there is no job for anyone of you in my company. 
leadershipAnother experience that Dr. Ali shared was a discussion he had with a Professor who came from America to teach the students of IIM. He visited IIM only for a few weeks in a year. When Dr. Ali asked him as to what was the difference he found between students in India and students in America, the Professor without a pause immediately answered that the students in India never asked any questions.

Another person who had spoked to Dr. Ali was an employee in an MNC, told him that he had a very good equation with his boss. He went on to say that he had to invariably laugh at all the jokes told by the boss, and the boss used to inturn laugh at all the suggestions given by him.

There was another power point presentation of a story about coffee. One day a few students decided to meet their teacher. All were placed in good companies and were also holding respectable positions. When everyone gathered at the teacher's residence, they had a discussions on various topics and shared various ideas and experiences. As the day progressed, everyone started complaining to their teacher about their jobs and the stress it was causing them. The teacher listened to everyone and did not comment on it. Later he went to the kitchen and came back with a pot of coffee and few cups. The cups were of various types which included glass, plastic, crystal etc., and asked the students to help themselves with the coffee. He observed as they one by one picked up a cup and poured a coffee for themselves, after everyone had filled their cups with coffee he asked them a question. He asked everyone as to why they had chosen only the expensive crystal cups when they were given a choice of other types. The type of cup never changed the quality of coffee, but still they decided to take the crystal ones, they also not happy with what they got and were eying what the other person had taken. This is when the students had realised how they thoughts were.

Dr. Ali also mentioned how various people can teach you good lessons. He told about a though that was written on a lorry which read 'Insaan ko ethna dhok nehe hotha apne dhok se, jithna se dhoosre he sookh se hotha he' which meant that a human will not feel bad or worry about his own misfortunes, that feeling worried about another persons happiness. We always compete with with another person and not with ourselves. We compete keeping the other person's growth in mind and aim at his level forgetting our own capacities. Then even though we have done better we are not satisfied or happy because we have not reached the position of the other person. It is like how two students compare their marks. The student who had got 60% in a paper compares it with another student who has 75%, and says not I will aim for 75% in the next exam. Now in the next exam, though the student has achieved 75% marks, he will not be happy because the other student would have gone up to get 90% in this exam.

One has to learn to make a SWOT analysis about his method of work. He should know his Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. And one should not stop only with making these analysis, they should also know how to implement it. Only then will you know how it can be bettered.

leadershipAnother power point presentation was made about the story of Bamboo. A man was very worried about his life as he felt that it was not improving and wanted to stop trying to improve his life, and approached his mentor for advice. His mentor told him a story about the growth of a bamboo. He said a man decided to grow bamboo and planted a sampling, he used to water it daily but the bamboo did not grow tall, this went on for five years, and in the sixth year the bamboo grew for six weeks and became very tall. Now the mentor asked the man how long did the bamboo take to grow and the man answered “6 weeks”. The mentor said “No, it took 6 years for the bamboo to grow, the first five years the roots of the bamboo was growing and spreading under the soil to give the bamboo strength, and only then did the bamboo grow. The man had not stopped watering the plant because it did'nt grow, if he had stopped for even a day the plant would have died. This is how  you need to look at life, and do not stop try or putting in your efforts only because you are not getting your results immediately”. And this what we have to prepare ourselves for. If we are only expecting results immediately and give up the efforts for not getting the results then people may find themselves being unsuccessful. It is only when there is continuous efforts and the results are shown  effectively.

Dr. Ali also mentioned about how instant success is expected like instant coffee. In the olden days there was no instant coffee, their was only filter coffee. The preparation of coffee would take some time and the coffee decoction had to be prepared in advance. This took a lot of patience for the person to wait till the coffee was ready. No in the age of instant coffee where the preparation takes only a few minutes there is no efforts put in for the same. The same way life has changed where people have started to expect results instantly.

Question.1: Do you think traditional values are decreasing?
Answer: It is only because of our temptation for taking short cuts. These temptations are caused due to our eagerness to reach to a higher level at a faster pace. For example in the earlier days when one  had to purchase a Bajaj scooter, they had to book for it and wait for a few days for taking the delivery. Now if some one had to purchase a two wheeler they only have to walk into a showroom and select the vehicle and within a few minutes the delivery is done.

Question. 2: Is competition not important for the growth of a person?
Answer: Competition is good, but it should not be against others. One can grow only if he can compete with himself and not with others. When one can compete with himself he can know his strengths and his weaknesses. He can know if he can improve in areas of his weakness or can also find new interests. This inturn will help his self growth.

Question. 3: Thoughts of educating children?
Answer: The concept of educating children is very important and what kind of education is given to the children is also equally important. The values come basically from families and hence what children are taught at homes play an important role in the education and welfare of the child.

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Just mail your counsellor now, sharing your problems, your worries, your anxieties, your fears. Your counsellor will reply to you, and be there for you until you need her to help you cope and get going.

Leading Banjara Academy's online email counselling team of volunteer-counsellors, I realize it is not an easy task reaching out to a person one has never met, never seen, without the added advantage of gestures, eye contact, a gentle reassuring touch, tone of voice and yet providing empathy, positive strokes, making the person feel heard and understood.

With the aid of only written words, it is quite a task building trust, making people open up and share and helping them cope and feel better. So when in many instances they write back saying thank you and that they feel so much better, the feeling one gets is priceless and incomparable - knowing one has done something right, something good!

Hats off to all the volunteeer-counsellors of Banjara Academy who have been carrying on this work silently, anonymously for the last couple of years. Truly commendable! - Ali Khwaja

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