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The Boss

About Lalitha Swamy

Lalitha swamy was born and brought up in Mumbai. Having graduated in Economics (hons) from Lady Sriram College, Delhi, she went on to pursue her Master's and B.Ed, followed by a steady career in the financial services sector. She worked with Sriram Finance, Sterling Holiday Resorts, became Vice President of operations at Kothari Pioneer ( later taken over by Franklin Templeton services) and later, COO at Sundaram BNP Paribas. After she retired in December 2014, Mrs. Swamy freelances as a consultant for a Registrar and Transfer Agent. She enjoys reading, writing, watching movies, travelling, cooking and is well versed in English, Hindi, Marathi and Tamil. She currently resides in Chennai with her husband.

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The caricature of a boss as depicted in cartoons and sometimes in everyone’s mind is that of a scowling, growling personality; whose main objective in life is to pursue the path of being a tough task master and reticent to some extent.
But, there are exceptions to every rule. I have had the good fortune to encounter one such person – a human being par excellence more than anything else.

My first meeting with my “boss” happened when I went for the interview and I found him casually and patiently posing for some pictures downstairs; it was a magazine photo shoot and the camera man was trying him with different postures for a coverage. Amused, I proceeded to the 2nd floor where I had an appointment, not knowing that the person who was being subjected to the photographer’s maneuvering advises was the very man I had come to meet.
I was instantly struck by the pleasantness and non-intimidating appearance. He introduced himself as the CEO of the company and extended his hand for a warm handshake. The meeting lasted for half an hour. I was preparing to leave as it was customary to be told that I would be informed later. He simply asked me to wait for a few minutes and lo! I was taken aback by a pleasant surprise when the offer letter was handed over to me right there. That was the fastest decision I had ever experienced in my career span till then.

My first lesson was learnt- decide immediately when you want to clinch something.
As I started to work, I found more revelations and discovered that he was a leader in the true sense of the word. He was humility personified, he always had a pleasant word for everyone – from the lowest rung in the hierarchy to the top most officials. He was easily approachable and his cabin was always open. He would simply meet any employee without any hesitation.  He remained calm and patient in the most trying circumstances. Adversity did not affect him. I had seen many people in such positions cracking under pressure. His room was always clean and devoid of any papers or files – as decisions were taken in a jiffy.

Some more important lessons learnt.
His vision to take the company to great heights was infectious. It was passed on to every employee.  People just loved to come to work – it was indeed one of the best places to work, with an open and transparent environment where work culture wasn’t affected by office politics. The boss had his own inimitable way to bind the team together.
His fun loving nature was the biggest asset. Yearly outings were real stress busters and there was non- stop fun and frolic of which he was always a part of. His approach to people, the method of rewarding them, the sense of belonging that was created, had remarkable results. Above all, the humane helpful nature that he exhibited whenever there was any adversity in anyone’s life; was sublime.

When everyone is happy with the boss, you know a leader is born. Working under such a leader has truly been the golden period in my career that will always remain etched in my memory.

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5 Response Comments

  • Asis Dasgupta21/07/2016 at 12:07 PM

    nice recollection of leadership experience

  • S Balasubramanian21/07/2016 at 1:06 PM

    Wonderful article. No morw words

  • Prakash R22/07/2016 at 4:05 PM

    Very true and inspiring… Only a group of people can actually relate to it.

  • Sangeetha24/07/2016 at 12:25 PM

    Great article by “my boss” an exceptional human being and woman.

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