Tag Archives: motivation

Leadership: Roll Up Your Sleeves

1219392226973_ratan tata_t

One of Mr. Ratan N Tata’s first assignments was the stewardship of the ailing electronics company in the Tata portfolio – Nelco.

Story goes that a team of senior managers from Nelco was driving to Nasik along with RNT. Halfway into the journey, the car had a flat tyre,  and as the driver pulled up, the occupants – including Mr. Tata – got off for a comfort break, leaving the driver to replace the tyre.

Some of the managers welcomed the forced break, as it allowed them a  much-needed chance to light up a cigarette. Some used the opportunity to stretch, and smile, and share a joke. And then, one of them suddenly noticed that Mr. Tata was not to be seen, and wondered aloud where Ratan Tata might have vanished. Was he behind some bush? Had he wandered off inside the roadside dhaba for a quick cup of tea?Or was he mingling with some passer-bys, listening to their stories?

None of these, in fact while his colleagues were taking a break, Ratan Tata was busy helping the driver change tyres. Sleeves rolled up, tie swatted away over the shoulder, the hands expertly working the jack and the spanner, bouncing the spare tyre to check if the tyre pressure was ok. Droplets of sweat on the brow, and a smile on the face.

In that moment, the managers accompanying Ratan Tata got a master class in leadership they haven’t forgotten. And that’s a moment that the driver of that car probably hasn’t forgotten either.

Questions to ask:

  1. When was the last time I rolled up my sleeves to do a task much below my hierarchy?·
  2. Do I wait for the big opportunity to showcase my leadership?
  3. Is that big opportunity ever going to come?
  4. Am I trying to manage upwards so much that I’ve lost the feel of the field?
  5. Ideas for action:
  6. Humility is the essence of success.  Be humble and even teach your children to be so.
  7. To reach the top and remain there, always start from the bottom, else your days at the top will  not last long..
  8. Practice leadership in small things instead of waiting for the big crisis or a major product launch.
  9. Seek to find opportunities to lead in everyday moments.
  10. Build your leadership skills one baby step at a time.
  11. When ones hands get dirty – The mind remains clean !!!



When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and the 2 cups of coffee…

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar
lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous yes.”

The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.

“Now,” said the professor, as the laughter subsided, “I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things — your God, family, your children, your health, your friends, and your favorite passions — things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.

The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house, and your car. The sand is everything else — the small stuff.” “If you put the sand into the jar first,” he continued, “there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls.” The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you.

Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your partner out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal. Take care of the golf balls first — the things that
really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.”

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented. The professor smiled. “I’m glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend.”

Importance of Focus in life


One young boy aged 20 once met a very rich man. He was impressed with him and realized that he shall also earn money, like him. He started working and earning. While he was doing this, he met an intellectual man. He got impressed with him and left his work and started studying. He studied little and then again met a classical singer. He got impressed with his singing and left studying and started to learn Music.

Life moved on and the young boy turned into a man but neither he had money, nor he had intellect nor music.  One day he told his problems to a Spiritual Guru. The Guru after hearing his agony said, “ The whole world is full of lot of attractions. Make up your mind and go forward to achieve that without doubting your selection. You will surely become successful. If you keep on digging at lot of places then neither will you be able to search water nor you will be able to digg a well.”

The man, understood the indication and moved further in his life with one mind and achieve success.



An old man used to earn his living in the village by teaching kids to climb trees . One day a young boy came to his classes to learn this art.

The old man said to the boy , “ Child, you need to be cautious when you climb the tree”.  The boy remarked, “ Don’t worry this is simple, everyone can do this”. He said this and started to climb the tree. The old man looked with his tranquil eyes. The boy reached the top of the tree and then stared to come down.

When the boy was one third distance away from the ground, the old man shouted , “ Just be careful son, don’t be in a hurry”. The boy jumped to the floor and came to the old man and said , “ you never said a word when I was climbing up but you were telling me to be cautious , why so?”.  

The old man said, “You started climbing with excitement, so you would be very cautious at that time yourself. But when people are more nearer to there destination, that is when you starting to come down, they start thinking that the destination is near and simple and lose focus, that is why I reminded you”.