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Gandhi – The Institution

Gandhi – The Institution

Inspirational

Geet Jalota

Geet Jalota

2 Oct 2017, 09:51 — 4 min read

It was 20 years into my corporate career that I started to see Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi as a management icon. I was writing a Job Evaluation report for the Late Ranjan Bannerjee, ex- Director HR of HUL, and a board member of ConsIndia HR Services where I worked as an HR Consultant. I had completed the Job Evaluation Survey at Breach Candy Hospital and now a client was expecting the report. It had been a month of days that stretched into nights. I assumed the difficult part was over and the report should not take more than a couple of days. 

 

Sure enough, my first draft was thrown straight into the dustbin by Mr T. Sengupta, our MD. He said, “No, first you get the objective right then write the report”. So I wrote an objective which went the same way the draft had. I mean how difficult can it be, writing an objective after completing an assignment?  Thirty five attempts later TSG, as we used to call him, asked me, “Geet Mala have you read Gandhiji’s Autobiography?” I said I had; I mean which avid reader has not read “My experiments with truth” He said, “No, you have not read it - go read it again.”

Fuming, I left his room but picked up a copy on my way home that night. By the next afternoon, he asked me again whether I had read it. I said yes I had reread it. He asked what I learnt from it and I said the simplicity of his language. He said, “Yes, you have got it. Now go rewrite the objective again.” This time he just made a couple of corrections and passed it. 

Then I started writing the report, which gained the admiration not only of the client but also converted Dr. Bannerjee into a fan of my writing. What I true-ly imbibed from the book was:

 

  1. If you want the reader to understand you, then write short and simple sentences.

  2. If you want to bring about change, first the people have to understand what you want to say.

  3. The ability to communicate your vision to the masses is very important in your journey as a leader.
     
  4. If you want to do something meaningful, you have to touch peoples’ hearts, where the pen is more effective than the sword.

  5. You have to walk the talk. This lesson has really impacted my career the most. I realised that if I want to talk about Commitment, Job Satisfaction, Integrity or Leadership then I have to live those values. Because I cannot expect my candidates or clients to practice values which I talk but do not practice. I have had to do a lot of work on myself to achieve this. I may not be 100% there but I will get there. I cannot be a true HR professional till my inside and outside are integrated.

  6. Another aspect of his way of life which made sense to me was that change cannot be lasting till it comes from the ground. Only then will it be real and personal. I guess that has been partly responsible for my success at implementing change. 

I am sure every person will have a different take away from Gandhiji’s life. These were mine. I would love to hear yours.               

 

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