The sixth edition of MOHAN Foundation’s Synchrony Dialogues series, on the 12th September 2020, featured a webinar on Personal Leadership. The speaker was Prof DVR Seshadri, Clinical Full Professor of Marketing at the Indian School of Business (ISB), Hyderabad. The webinar was organized on the Zoom platform and was broadcast on the Foundation’s social media handles.
The 3-hour webinar kicked off with Mrs. Lalitha Raghuram welcoming the speaker and participants and giving an overview of Prof Seshadri’s professional career, teaching at various IIMs, his stint in the corporate world, engagement with various NGOs and publications. Dr. Sunil Shroff, Founder-Managing Trustee, MOHAN Foundation formally welcomed Prof Seshadri and thanked him for sparing time from his busy schedule to accommodate the webinar. Dr. Shroff also explained the importance of the session for the personal and professional growth of everyone, the transplant coordinators in particular.
Prof Seshadri began the session by posing the question ‘Who is a leader’ to the audience, and went on to describe a good leader as someone who inspires others to dream, learn, do and become more and mentioned that leadership is not merely defined by designation. He then briefly explained the Eight Intelligences derived from Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences. The session primarily focused on the emotional and spiritual quotients of Interpersonal and Intrapersonal intelligences. Ways to nurture one’s emotional quotient were listed and Dr. Shroff emphasized on transplant coordinators practicing empathy to become champions.
While giving examples of the Infosys Founder Mr. Narayana Murthy and Wipro Chairman Mr. Azim Premji for exceptional leadership, Prof Seshadri also mentioned Lal Bahadur Shastri, Kabir Das, Guru Nanak Dev Ji and Ramakrishna Paramahamsa who were great political and spiritual leaders. The importance of role models was discussed and Prof Seshadri stated how Dr. G N Rao and Dr. Shroff have been powerful role models for many.
The emotional quotient concept was effectively explained with the example of how the terror attack of 26/11 in Mumbai was handled by the Taj Hotels and Mr. Ratan Tata personally assuring the safety of all guests and employees, making him a leader to look up to. Inspiring incidents from the life of Mr. JRD Tata and Mr. Satya Nadella’s rise to Microsoft’s CEO from being a dark horse were also narrated. Daniel Goldman’s framework for EQ competencies was presented and participants were given a self-assessment exercise.
Prof Ravi Matthai, the first Director of IIM Ahmedabad who left a long term impact on both his colleagues and students, including Prof Seshadri, was the first example used to help understand the notion of spiritual quotient. The Ten Perfections from Buddhist literature and a story from the Jataka Tales were also introduced to the participants. The idea of connecting with a higher power to achieve great heights was elucidated with examples of the lives of Dr. Kalam, Rani Ahalya Bai Holkar, His Holiness Dalai Lama and Mr. Chuck Feeney. Patanjali’s path to perfection, disciplined ways of dealing with world and self and the levels of consciousness to enlightenment were the other topics discussed. Dr. Shroff made an observation that the spiritual quotient of India, as a country has slipped own and the professor attributed this change to the changing role models, increased materialistic aspirations and the current system of education. Remaining true to one’s core values and never compromising is the antidote. Prof Seshadri concluded his talk by mentioning how role models as benchmarks help us evolve and self-reflection aids to enhance EQ and SQ.
Questions received over the multiple platforms were answered regularly. Mrs. Lalitha and Dr. Shroff thanked Prof Seshadri for the enlightening session. Participants were asked to share their thoughts and feedback as the session came to a close.