Ten leadership lessons you can learn from Dr. Abdul Kalam!
- He was an early riser: Staff at his office and Rastrapathi Bhavan later had to change their timings to match his schedule. As an early riser, he had extra hours for thinking, planning and relaxing.
- He was meticulous: His planning was perfect. He was always ahead of his schedule and finished his tasks to perfection. He also had small breaks to ensure there is enough space if there needs to have overflow.
- He was a leader: In thought, ideas, plans and execution. He was always ready to shoulder responsibility. It is rumored that Atalji wanted to speed up the nuclear programme that PV Narasimharao started and despite being low on resources, Kalam accepted it as a challenge and fulfilled it.
- He could see ahead of his time: This was essential to set goals. Dr. Kalam could see much ahead of his time. While all the new world and Asian countries were looking to send satellites to the moon, Dr. Kalam looked beyond and set his eyes on Mars - Hence Mangalyaan.
- He helped solve simple problems: While this is a famous story about Abdul Kalam and his team made lightweight crutches, he was ready to spend time in solving simple, everyday problems to common people. Being extremely busy with his work at the Nuclear research and working on rockets, he was able to take time and motivate his team to come up with a cost effective, easy, usable solution to many people.
- He was a voracious reader: Tea and books were his companions till the end. He read a lot of books. I was told that he spent most of his free time at Rastrapathi Bhavan at the huge library or in the park reading and thinking. At 84 years of age, he was far more smarter and knowledgeable than many youngsters.
- He loved youth: He was always thinking and working with young men and women to help them achieve their goals. Most of the people who spoke to him had the privilege to cherish his ideas and his thoughts all their life. He believed in coaching, motivating and setting goals and achieving them.
- He was humble: One of the most important factors we could see about him was that he was very humble and down to earth. He always had simple tastes and choices and lived frugally. I was told that the first day at Rastrapathi Bhavan, he chided the people not to waste so much food and wait on him as he would love to have two idlies and one wada in the confines of his room. Simple man, simple choices, humble lifestyle and extraordinary vision.
- He skipped protocol: Many a times, he broke protocol and mingled with children, youth and common people. He was more of a people's man than to follow the rules. He always had a jig in his step and was very spontaneous.
- He was a great communicator: He conversed mostly in small sentences carefully worded with simple easily understood words. Though he has an amazing arsenal of languages, he was true to his diction of Tamil, Malayalam and Hindi and could quote many verses easily. He told so many stories and anecdotes in his speech that people would remember what he said clearly.
- He was a great teacher: As his twitter handle says, he is a teacher forever. Once you learn something, make sure you teach that and add value to many people. He was a great man and could just relax in his retirement years. He chose to teach and as you saw, he was teaching even a second before his death.
May his soul rest in peace. No. May he make more shooting stars and send them to many unknown planets.
Pic is from here.