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Gratitude for People around us at Work

Gratitude for People around us at Work

Caught in a rush of deadlines and projects, the conferences and the appraisals, every day is a struggle at work, and every sent document a sigh of relief. We are often so caught up in our busy work lives that we forget people who work tirelessly, round the clock, putting in longer hours than us and surely receiving lesser incentives than us, to make our jobs easier. Would we be able to spend a day at work without coffee? Doesn’t all hell break loose when there is no Wi-Fi even for a few minutes? God help us if the IT guy chose to take a leave on the very same day! This post is about 5 such people at work, who are definitely way more important than we give them credit for! It is a reminder for all of us that it is nice to be important, but it is MORE important to be nice.


1. The Security Guard

The keeper of the gates indeed! If you think your job is tiring, think about this guy’s job. Getting up every second minute to open the doors to someone, and a part of his job description is also to greet appropriately. Many of us don’t even acknowledge the greeting by as much as making eye contact, let alone returning it verbally. When you smile to acknowledge his greeting, you give him the confidence that he is doing his job well. Doesn’t everyone deserve that? 🙂

2. The “IT Guy”

One of the most important people ever. Virus attacks, problems of the technologically challenged, router fixing – without him, things would come to a grinding halt for sure. We all want our IT problems solved, and we want them to be solved quickly. In that rhythm, we might end up being unintentionally rude to the person who is doing his best to help us. Remember that being polite and courteous will always help you get your work done. Perks of being a nice, polite person!

3. The Cafeteria Staff

Even if the food is horrible, they didn’t cook it. So save the dirty looks and the rude comments for someone who might actually be responsible. Remember that they don’t even get to sit while they work.

4. The Office Boy

Again, one of the most important people. If you are the kind who cannot function without tea or coffee at regular intervals, you better be nice to this person. Don’t forget that this resourceful person actually saves you a lot of other errands as well, so that you can concentrate on your work.

5. The Photocopy In-Charge

In our hurry to get the photocopies, we actually forget at times that the person doing it for us is a human being and not a machine himself! We are going to repeat what we said earlier – “Remember that being polite and courteous will always help you get your work done. Perks of being a nice, polite person!”

Gratitude is an attitude that will truly take you a long way. It is easy to ignore or take for granted people we assume will always be there, or people we assume are not important. It is these small, yet meaningful gestures which define us as individuals, which make us human. So, no matter how busy you are, how stressed you are, remember to acknowledge the people who serve you tirelessly throughout the day, it can’t be that hard to just smile now, can it? 🙂

Five Leadership Lessons from my Teams

Five Leadership Lessons from my Teams

Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.
– John F. Kennedy

When I look back on my career so far, leading and mentoring teams for the best results has been the most fulfilling among all my experiences. While a lot has been written on what examples leaders can set for their teams, not much focus is there on what leaders can learn from their teams. Leaders and their teams are part of one ecosystem – to succeed and grow, BOTH leaders and their teams need to keep the channels of learning open.  This week, I took the opportunity to list down a few of the valuable lessons that I have learnt over the years from my team:

Lesson #1: It is OK to pass on your leadership hat to the team sometimes – There are times when you have to lead from the front, but there are also times when you need to sit back and let your team lead. Not only do you get a break from the “always on” mode, you also get to see a fresh perspective in action. Empowerment benefits the leader the most.

Lesson #2: Sharing Bad news is as important as sharing Good news – As a leader, my first instinct was always to “protect” the team, to not let anything demotivate them.  I have learnt now that transparency is extremely critical, you have to trust your teams enough to process all information – good or bad – for them to feel valued and empowered to deal with all situations.

Lesson #3: Learning happens best when experienced and not “taught” – We cannot teach people anything; we can only help them discover it within themselves. A leader has to be patient and wait for the right time to transfer wisdom – and the right time is when the team is ready to learn. You have to allow people to make their own mistakes, it’s tough but it is only then that the lesson is most valuable.

Lesson #4: No matter how big the challenge is, a tightly knit team can overcome it – Everyone has unique skills and strengths that can be leveraged to face difficult situations – much like a herd of buffalos facing lions and hyenas, the strongest circle around the herd protecting the one ones who have not grown strong horns yet – all moving together in the same direction.

Lesson #5: Influence is longer lasting than Authority – Today’s organizations are complex and most often have matrix structures. We can gain credibility and make a larger impact in business, without the positional authority of a job title by persuasion, motivation and engagement. The satisfaction and results that I get through these relationships go on longer than titles and reporting structures generally last.

I have learnt so much from my teams – possibly more than they have learnt from me – I end with a big THANK YOU to all my teams, present and past for being my companions on this journey of growth and discovery.

“No matter what accomplishments you make, somebody helped you.”– Althea Gibson