Having the right boss makes a huge difference…

Right through my career of more than thirty years, I have had the good fortune of having the right boss at the right time. Of course there have been few exceptions but I am not going to share about them here.

My very first boss, at Cipla, Mr Narayanan, was an exceptional leader. Exceptional because he always demonstrated by setting examples, at every step of the way. He was always punctual, threw challenges at us, showed us the way to present and excel in every presentation, provided solutions to our problems in the field, worked with the team almost every day, and encouraged us to become better a sales professional. To a very large extent, Mr Narayanan is responsible for development of my work ethics and approach to work.

The other boss for whom I have great regard (and so do many of my then colleagues) for is Mr Jagdish Kini. Jagdish was Director Sales at L’Oreal India between early to late nineties. Most of us who had joined L’Oreal (through a joint venture at that time) then as Managers came from MNC background and were very impressed with Jagdish’s manner and conduct right through the interview process. When the sales team launched the products in 1991, the company was an unknown entity in the Indian market and faced challenging situations, to put it mildly. Right through those early stages of establishing the products and company, Jagdish was a source of strength and inspiration for the entire team, and thus contributed immensely to L’Oreal’s firm footing in the market today. I always admired Jagdish’s inclusiveness in the decision making process and transparent style of functioning.

Although I have learnt from every single boss that I have heard in my career, I owe my strong foundations in management to Mr Narayanan and Mr Jagdish Kini. My heart felt thanks to both of them. Always.

I am sure that many of us know about the Pygmalion Effect. The “Pygmalion effect,” also sometimes known as the “Rosenthal effect” for the psychologist credited with discovering it, is a theory teaching that people will act or behave in the way that others expect them to. It is very similar to the concept of a self-fulfilling prophecy. The effect has both positive and negative outcomes — a person expected by his or her superiors to succeed will, but the opposite is also usually true.

By setting right examples, demonstrating values and ethics at work, Mr Narayanan and Mr Jagdish Kini set high expectations from their team members. This in turn made their team members not only to perform their very best but also become better professionals later.

Having the right bosses does make a huge difference…

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