English and Literature
Submitted By jhonlalis
“Communication and influential leadership.” This should be a 2-3-page essay (typed) on a specified individual you admire (who is/was also in sort of leadership position over you). Specifically, describe how their communication behavior added to their effectiveness. Be specific and don’t just describe what they did communication-wise, but what sort of affect it had on you. Draw conclusions from your arguments.
(Deadline for Submission: 15th July)
“Leaders are either born or nurtured, but never made”
I was pondering upon as to about whom should I write. There were many leaders whom I admire, the most inspirational being A P J Abdul Kalam, our own president. From being a mere (no disrespects, just to show the growth of our President) boatman’s son in Rameswaram (in my own state, and I could very well imagine the type of scenario he would have been in at those days) to becoming the First citizen of India, the leap has been tremendous. Of course, nothing would have been possible without his hard work and dedication. But, should I write about him as the MOST influential leader who changed my life as such. It is true, but only to some extent. The one who has mentored my whole life and taken me so far (IIM L) and is also urging me, inspiring me, motivating me to dream big is my brother, Mr. Subramani Ramakrishnan, the leader I admire the most. There are many reasons to it, blood relationship being the last. His communications skills being the most important one, various other skills are also prevalent in him, like coolness, ability to create a congenial environment wherever he goes, taking his team along, his leadership skills, the way he tackles people from various age groups, to name a few. The first time I saw him on the dais was when he was in his 10th standard. I was in my 4th standard. It was a inter-school Debate (in Tamil) conducted by our Tamil Literary Club association. He didn’t have a wristwatch on that day and I gave him the brand new one (incidentally, that was the first watch for me) I had. I was only too worried about that watch because I had heard from his friends that he bangs the podium whenever he wants to make a strong point. I had also heard that he posses lots of enthusiasm, zeal and zest while he delivers any speech. No wonder he had won hundreds of oratorical competitions. But, I hadn’t seen him seen him speak before that day. With the wristwatch at the back of my mind, I was sitting along with the whole of T.I. School to witness the debate. It was an open-air auditorium and we were all waiting for my brother’s turn. He was the last to speak, after two of his team members and three members of the opponent team had spoken. Though I cant recollect the topic, I very well recollect that his team was clearly on the losing side, with both of his team members clearly messing up. And the onus was on him. There came my brother. He went straight to the podium, glancing at the judge, who apparently had decided the winning team. There was a big applause among the crowd, as most of the audience already knew his capabilities. Everyone was just waiting for this moment. I was slowly coming out of the shock at his immense popularity and sheer stature that he had commanded over all the fellow students over the years.
“Thannai then thennai thaluthaanda nin karunaikku,
Ennai kondu enna palan endhaai parabharame”
(Oh Lord!!! What do you get by immersing this humble devotee of Yours in the sea of sorrow) His voice thundered. It is a small sloka that he recites before making a speech . He went on, greeting the audience as those who had helped him reach that level, the faculties who had nurtured him, and the judge, for being the needle of a weighing device, never biased. He went on, to the topic, explaining many things, enlightening most of us, quoting from the legendary works of Agasthiya (the greatest sage of all times, who had written the grammar for tamil) and Thiruvalluvar (author of the world-renowned “Thirukkural”). He explained all those literary tamil terms mixed with humor, comprehensible even to a layman. He hit the podium with his hand, exhibiting his assertiveness, confidence and correctness of his thought, making the point to the opponents. It was the greatest execution of a perfect speech I had ever seen till that date. The judge had to revisit the decision and it was ruled in favour of my brother’s team. All his friends flanked him at the finish of the event. He somehow avoided me at that moment. I couldn’t figure out why. But, later, he sheepishly admitted that he had broken my wristwatch while delivering the speech. It didn’t matter to me much. I love to speak like him, on stage, and live like him, a perfect human being having a spiritual outlook. I confessed to him. Right from that day, he has mentored my life, guiding me carefully and advising me when it mattered the most. My life was fully shaped after my brother’s. Till my 6th standard, we both were very interested in artistic works. We both have won many prizes at many levels, my numbers being no way comparable to my brothers’. Then, it was in oration. Initially, he wrote the script for me and made me deliver all the speeches before him. He used to even record his speeches and asked me to follow it. It was fully ‘parroting’ till my 8th standard. After this phase, he asked me to put my own viewpoints on the topics given and he used to give the structure for the speech. It slowly evolved to a phase wherein I started giving impromptu speeches; meanwhile my brother had left our place for work-reasons. Like him, I involved myself in many other activities, especially in histrionics. I was also elected as the Tamil Literary Club President for 2 years, the highest honor given to any individual in our school in recognition to his contributions towards Tamil. I followed his footsteps, to the Engineering College. He was a University topper, and by God’s grace, I was the College topper. And the chase continues. While he has finished his PGSM from IIM B (a Gold Medallist there too), I am starting my PGP here. We both share the same vision too. And the dream we have was fully motivated by my brother. Two years back on a Sunday evening our family (me, my brother and parents) went out for a short picnic to the picturesque Marina Beach. My brother was into his 2nd year of MBA at that time. Both of us were silently gazing the sea and ships that were lining the horizon. “Anil, Do you see the horizon there?” My brother broke the silence. I was surprised. For no one by name Anil was nearby. My brother was addressing me as Anil (Ambani !!!). He went on…. Addressing me by that name. He went on to say about his dream of starting a big empire. He went on to say about how we both should be 10 years from then, 15 years from then and on and on…
I could see the spark in his eyes. There was not an iota of doubt in my mind. I was inspired by his dream. But, I didn’t know the path that I have to tread if had to complement my brother. I confessed to him. That was when my brother started his mentoring in this direction, which he continues to do till this day. He gave me the direction and explained why he wanted me to take that path. As we discussed more on this, we felt the need for a formal education in management if we were to chase OUR dreams. The first step has been taken. We have miles to go. Many more miles to tread, many more hurdles to cross. While I am starting my MBA here, my brother has assumed a role in the IBM Business Operations Group, and he is part of the group framing the strategy for Global Operations of IBM. . My agenda for the next two years is to get my fundamentals in management studies right, then supplement my academics with work-experience for 3 years While working I would keep my eyes and ears open for opportunities. Five years from now, we will be starting our own company. We have not zeroed in on the industry yet, but given our IT background, the IT component would be significant in our venture. We want to keep our options open at this point of time, as my brother often tells, Success is all about being in the right place, at the right time, with the right IDEA. It is not just a dream. It is a penance that we have done. It is converting to thoughts part now, for both of us. And 5 years from now, it will be the ‘action’ part…
 The university ranks are yet to be disclosed, at the time of writing…...