Sunday, October 29, 2006

Inspirational Leader

On Diwali day Shobha and myself visited the home of Mr Sonu Mirchandani. He was our first boss and one of the major influences in our life. We meet him at least once an year and always go without prior appointment, deliberately. He and Mrs Soni always welcome us with lots of warmth.This time too it was sheer pleasure to meet him.

We got talking about Children and how we are struggling to take the right decision for our elder son, once he clears his 12th exams. Mr Sonu said that we must not hesitate to put him in a good college and send him away. He said that we must however not let the family bonds weaken in anyway eg. sometimes if the child wants to visit home during a holiday let him come and meet the family and not worry about cost etc. How true because most of us always take extra efforts to plan a child's future but ignore his present and thereby affecting his and family's future.

Driving back, we fondly remembered how Mr Sonu and his Father Mr LG Mirchandani related with each other at Onida and gave each other space, respect, understanding, patience and empowerment. A model relationship between a parent and a grown up child.

I remember Mr LG, as he was fondly called, calling me one day and handed over half a sheet of a neatly typed paper( He was extremely cost conscious) and told me.." Beta(Son), always ask yourself these questions before you start any project for your company:

  1. Is it ethical and law abiding?
  2. How does the project fit into the stated mission and vision of the company?
  3. Why are you doing it?
  4. When do you have to start and when do you finish?
  5. What resources and skills do you require?
  6. Would the company support it till the end?
  7. Where will it take the company?”


I was just 21 at that time, like most MBAs and found them pretty simple questions to answer. Time and experience has taught me that these are not easy questions to answer and also that not many understand the full implication, magnitude and each stake holder’s involvement to answer each question, even after many years of experience.

I was abroad when Mr LG passed away and even today his voice asks me the above questions whenever I take up any new project in the company I work.

Shobha remembered how on her first official air trip Mr Sonu did not let her pick up the briefcase and carried it for her. A small gesture but it still stands out after 20+ years, because not many bosses care to demonstrate that they care. Many bosses also forget that the employees not just look at inspirational vision and mission statements from them but they look at them every day, every morning for cues. Bosses set the tempo and the mood everyday. The employees pick up all verbal and non verbal signals and if they are not appropriate on a particular day the productivity goes down massively on that day. I myself am guilty of this behavior however I would like to believe that the frequency of such behavior from me has gone down over the years.

I also remembered of what Mr Sonu said to me just before I went abroad. He said “ Rajeev..just remember that there are only 2 types of individuals in this world - the Creators and the Destroyers. The creators take their families to the next level. There are many who believe that they are preservers. However, no one can just manage. Sooner than later everyone’s actions turn them into creators or destroyers.” It left a deep impression on me.

We cannot thank Mr Sonu enough but for Shobha and myself he will always remain our ‘Dearest Boss’.

3 comments:

Pawan gulani said...

Hi! though m posting on this post but this is not related to this one particular post.. its my reflection on the people i have met in my short life - especially those who have left an indelible mark on me.

i read this somewhere way back

People come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. When you figure out which one it is, you will know what to do for each person.

When someone is in your life for a REASON . . . It is usually to meet a need you have expressed. They have come to assist you through a difficulty, to provide you with guidance and support, to aid you physically, emotionally, or spiritually. They may seem like a godsend, and they are! They are there for the reason you need them to be.

Then, without any wrongdoing on your part, or at an inconvenient time, this person will say or do something to end the relationship. Sometimes they go to meet your maker. Sometimes they walk away. Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand.

What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled, their work is done. The prayer you sent up has been answered. And now it is time to move on.

When people come into your life for a SEASON. Because your turn has come to share, grow, or learn. They bring you an experience of peace, or make you laugh. They may teach you something you have never done. They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy. Believe it! It is real! But, only for a season.

LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons; things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation. Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person, and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and spheres of life.

It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant. Thank you for being a part of my life; whether it be for a reason, a season or a lifetime.

Work like you don't need the money, Love as if you have never been hurt, and dance like no one is watching.


People come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. When you figure out which one it is, you will know what to do for each person.

When someone is in your life for a REASON . . . It is usually to meet a need you have expressed. They have come to assist you through a difficulty, to provide you with guidance and support, to aid you physically, emotionally, or spiritually. They may seem like a godsend, and they are! They are there for the reason you need them to be.

Then, without any wrongdoing on your part, or at an inconvenient time, this
person will say or do something to end the relationship. Sometimes they go to meet your maker. Sometimes they walk away. Sometimes they act up (misbehave/be on the blink) and force you to take a stand.

What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled, their work is done. The prayer you sent up has been answered. And now it is time to move on.

When people come into your life for a SEASON. Because your turn has come to share, grow, or learn. They bring you an experience of peace, or make you laugh. They may teach you something you have never done. They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy. Believe it! It is real! But, only for a season.

LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons; things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation. Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person, and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and spheres of life.

It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant. Thank you for being a part of my life; whether it be for a reason, a season or a lifetime.

Work like you don't need the money,
Love as if you have never been hurt, and dance like no one is watching.

Manish said...

hey rajeev, a very warmly penned post...
and pawan a very nice comment ...
love the reason , season and lifetime thought!

You can check my blog on brands, advertising, creativity and more when you get the time - www.indiadrant.blogspot.com

Pawan gulani said...

great to see you accepted the comment rajeev

thought you would dump it as spam.. given its length

trust all's well with you