Stories Of Leadership: Resilience
Heroes and leaders aren’t born, they are made.
The other day I was coming back from Mumbai, via a shared cab. These cabs ply between Mumbai and Pune on a regular basis at a pretty nominal rate. However, they are notorious for their speed skills. They are the ‘gamers’ of the highway and it always seems like they are trying to push the limit to see how far they can go. Obviously, the white faced, ‘scared out of their wits’ passengers, disagree with their philosophies. But he who has the steering wheel is king.
But on this particular day, things worked out differently. The driver, Ashok, was a young man of 27. He seemed like a regular guy, but then again special people rarely have tattoos saying ‘I’m special’, now do they!
He kept his car at 80kph on the highway, as per the regulations. These cabs usually move from Mumbai to Pune in two and a half hours, and this feat is usually achieved by maintaining speeds up to 120kph. But Ashok was in no real hurry, but unfortunately for him, his passengers were.
The grumblings began, but Ashok paid no heed. He made it clear that he was uncomfortable driving above 80kph and if anyone had a problem, he would gladly drop them off at a convenient spot and refund their money. He never lost his temper, but he was as assertive as they come. But the grumblings, never stopped. Everyone had their own agenda, and to them, he was being unreasonable.
Life has a funny way of proving a point, but when it does, you better sit back and take notes.
Somewhere on the highway, a trucker realised that he was on the wrong route. He saw a gap in the barricades separating the two highways and decided that he would risk a U-turn. So he steered a hard right, straight across a busy highway. And unfortunately for us, the truck was right in our path.
Ashok, slammed the breaks and the car went into a slide. Using his judgement, Ashok floored the accelerator and threaded through the gap between the truck and the barricade.
The car went ghostly quiet. The passengers were in shock. What could have been a fatal accident was averted because one man was resilient in his beliefs. If he had decided to speed up to satisfy the needs of his passengers, Ashok would not have had the time to make a quick decision that saved our lives.
This was an important lesson for me. When you do things for the right reasons, there will always be the nay sayers. Ignore those voices, for they do not see how far you see. Their vision has been blocked by the stress of the daily grind. Be resilient. Endeavour.
And in time, they will see what you see; they will live your dream.
Heroes and leaders are not born. They are made.