Lessons for the Future - from one student to another
Extract from the speech made by Priya Chetty-Rajagopal, Partner , Multiversal Advisory as Chief Guest at the University Investiture Ceremony on 26 July 2018. She is an alumnus in addition to being part of their Academic Council.
'Welcome to the investiture ceremony of my Alma Mater, Mount Carmel. Its a privilege to speak to you today as you enter your new roles as leaders among your peers, which is the greatest honour you can have. What you do with it will determine how your legacy will be viewed by the present and future students of this prestigious college. Use this opportunity and time well. This will serve as a launchpad for your life and career ahead whatever you choose to pursue. There are some lessons I have learned over my years in industry and other social causes as a leader.
1. Define your purpose. Over communicate this. Keep it simple but it must be the big hoary goal that everyone including you will aim for. Great organizations, institutions and causes are successful as they have an overarching purpose. People don't work for personal glory or enrichment but for achieving that big goal that binds everyone together to put in the 110%. 'To make Mount Carmel the best women's college in India in the next 3 years' would be one sample but you can define your own and make sure everyone around you believes in that goal.
2. Listen well. Listen to understand and not to reply. Every person has something unique to offer so your ability to listen, to evaluate and to choose wisely will make you a successful leader. The power to make decisions is yours but being humble enough to choose the best ideas from others is what marks a good leader from a bad one. You don't need to be the fountainhead of all ideas which I call the Atlas Complex. You only need to pick the best from those around you and yourself to be successful.
3. Leadership is a responsibility, not a privilege. Use it well. You have been chosen so you can take the institution forward and take everyone with you in this inclusive journey to success. Its not a ticket to a power trip as many leaders around seem to think. This college and this country needs young leaders in every walk of life to take us all forward together.
4. Learn to delegate. Involve others who want to help and make a difference. There are always those who want to help and others who will be indifferent or even hostile. Shut out the nay sayers, get the best out of people around you who are committed to the common goal. You cant do it all yourself however good you are so dont fret about it. You need people around you else you are a lone ranger, not a leader.
5. Enjoy it. Have fun. Make sure everyone around you does too. When work is like play, that is the essence of success as everyone goes the extra mile to achieve the goal. Inevitably this time will pass and whether you look back with pride and joy or with sorrow and regret depends on what you do in the present. This is the best year of your life. Live it to the hilt and make a difference to your college and your colleagues as it all comes back to you with interest '