Leadership is determined by Service!

As an alumnus of Udgam, it’s hard to believe that it’s been thirteen years since I walked the corridors of the school as a student. Time has certainly flown by, but my memories of Udgam and the impact that it had on my life still remain vivid and strong. I wanted to take a moment to express my heartfelt gratitude to all the teachers and staff members who played a role in shaping me into the person I am today. Your tireless efforts, unwavering dedication, and passion for teaching, inspired me to strive for excellence and to always seek knowledge and personal growth. So, I recently made a humungous change in my career and decided to follow my passion. And just as the Universe has its mysterious ways of working, I started meeting more amazing people, sharing my exact same vision!

However, I felt that there are such impressive dreams and ideas buried in their hearts, and somehow, fear disguised as practicality doesn’t let these desires manifest. I personally, undertook this mission to help people bring their absolute best, and it has been one of the most meaningful journeys of my life! It has become my calling, to lead these people, and guide them to their own dreams, and in turn, it has helped me realize my dreams.

Not everybody can be famous, but everybody can be great, because greatness is determined by service. Leadership is determined by service! These lessons I learned at Udgam under my then class teacher – Dhanya ma’am – have stayed with me throughout my life, and I am grateful for the strong foundation that it provided me. Now, we live in a world, where everybody wants to be famous and where we admire people for just being famous. We think being known brings us value! The truth is all of that will fade in time. The real truth is that the service and significance that you bring to your service is that which is lasting! And if you look at all the most successful people in the world, whether they know it or not, they have that paradigm of service. When you shift the paradigm of whatever it is you choose to do to service, and you bring significance to that, success will, I promise, follow you. Service and Significance equals Success! That’s what true leaders do.

However, you cannot change the way our leaders lead. I wish we could! No number of anonymously sent books will suddenly change the way that they lead. We can keep trying but it won’t work! We must be the leaders we wish we had. We can’t change the way somebody three, four, or five levels above us are leading the company, but we can take responsibility for how the people to the left of us, and how the people to the right of us, feel when they come to work. By the way, the person who we work for, our boss, they’re a human being too. And though they may be difficult, do we really know why? Are they just genetically difficult people? They may be. It absolutely is a possibility! Or maybe they are under extreme stress that we don’t know about. Or maybe their boss is an extremely difficult person, and it just filters down. Or maybe they were never taught how to lead, and they are just trying to make the best of it, and they’re lying, hiding, and faking every day! But there are so many reasons, and so, sometimes going into our boss’s office and saying, “Hey! You were really tough on us in the meeting today. I just want to make sure you’re okay. Are you okay? I’m worried about you. We’ve all been going through a lot during this time, and so have you!”

Being a leader doesn’t just mean being a leader to the people on our level, it means being a leader to the people around us. And so, the way we lead from the bottom of the totem pole is the exact same way we lead from every level of the totem pole, which is, we take care of those around us, and we’d be the leaders we wish we had. I have had the privilege of pursuing my dreams and achieving success in my chosen field, and I know that none of it would have been possible without the support and guidance of my teachers and school. Your work has made a difference in so many lives, and your legacy will continue to inspire future generations. Leadership is nothing to do with rank. It has nothing to do with where we sit on the totem pole. It’s how we take care of those around us. Leadership is the awesome responsibility to see those around us rise!

By Dhruven Shah