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Experiences in India - Quiet & Authentic Leadership

By Barbara – October 2007

Working in India this week (written 17th Oct), I have been touched, moved and inspired. I came here with Franklin Covey and Results Coaching Systems (thank you), to train people on a public program to be Coaches using the Results Coaching Methodology. While that in itself is an amazing experience, it is not the focus of this story.

Before my visit, I made contact with 5-6 coaches listed on the ICF (International Coach Federation) web-site, as I was interested to meet established coaches and to learn about coaching in India. I have appreciated meeting the coaches I could meet and each generously shared their skills and experiences with me.

One of the coaches listed was D. Satya Murty, Managing Director, Karnataka Irrigation Corporation (a Government Company) - his first email said "basically I am a civil servant with an experience of around 23 years in the Government and NGO sector". I was to learn this was a very very simple explanation of a man who has achieved so much, been awarded many prestigious awards, and who leads his people (4525 staff) using an authentic leadership style from the heart as well as the head. Also in his first reply email to me he wrote: ... it will be a great privilege to meet you ... Please let me know your program if you are visiting Bangalore, I request you to be my guest and I will take care your travel and accommodation which will be my privilege". My first email, and his generous reply, was the start of much time together, many exciting conversations, many meals shared, many laughs and 'ticks to the universe' and to my training 60+ of his staff (mostly engineers) in 2 x 1 day coaching skills for mangers programs. And the start of a wonderful friendship and to our goal for starting an ICF Chapter in Bangalore in 2008.

Satya Murty had recently trained to be a coach, and while not wanting to start a coaching business, he had immediately begun applying the coaching principles he learnt with his staff. He began the goal setting process with his staff, while using a coaching style allowing them to set their own goals. He got his own bridge line, not heard of before in India, and now runs weekly 'team Coaching' sessions with his people, hearing of their successes, and coaching them around any challenges. His application of coaching builds on top of what appears to be already an Authentic Leadership / Coaching style of Management. Over the past week I have spoken with many of his staff and they all say he is the best manager they have ever had (he has been in this role and with this department only 18 months). He has encouraged them apply 'work-life' balance and to achieve more in less time with ease.

Satya Murty says I am angel who has been sent by the Universe to bless him. I feel truly honoured and appreciate his words, and yet I find it difficult to comprehend how he sees me. He acknowledges me as a "Master Coach" and aspires also to gain this credential. At our first meeting I mention 'the Secret'. I ask has he seen the DVD? He tells me he has heard of it, but so far has not been able to view it. He is genuinely interested of my explanation of the "Law of Attraction", how we attract to us that which we focus on and put attention to, and he enjoyed my examples and stories of how the 'Secret' works. The next day he invited me to his home. He was eager for me to share the "Secret" with his wife and daughters. Satya Murty then sets his own 'intention' to acquire the DVD as soon as possible. The following day he visits a bookshop and sees the Secret book on the shelves. I have not mentioned there is a book but he finds it and is delighted that it is the same thing I spoke about. He reads the book that very afternoon, not sleeping until he finishes. He is so excited that the next day he orders 100+ copies from Mumbai and has them delivered urgently so he can begin passing these books to his staff and friends. My husband is coming from Sydney to join me so I request he brings copies of the DVD which he did to Satya Murty's delight. Our conversations mostly focus around the 'Secret', and what he calls 'the secret of the secret' and all we can achieve by making it up, putting it out to the universe, and believing it will happen.

The lessons I have been reminded of this week while being with this man, and which I believe are essential tips for any Manager/Leader, include:

  • The power of acknowledgement - a dinner or a meeting was never over before the acknowledgement process. Each person acknowledges each other, speaking to the 'who' of the person, not just a thank you. This process is taught to coaches in our training, but I have never witnessed before how someone applies this into their business and their lives so quickly and effectively.
  • The need for being quiet (meditation) - Satya Murty achieves more in a day, a week, a month, than most can even imagine, and yet he does it with 'ease and calmness'. He puts this down to his 45 minute mediation every morning and every evening.
  • The importance of gratitude - The 'Secret' talks of keeping a 'gratitude journal' and while I doubt being grateful for life and his experiences is not new for Satya Murty, he has immediately begun his gratitude journal after reading the book.
  • Applying what you learn - so many of us 'know' stuff. We read, we learn more and more all the time. But do we apply it? Satya Murty is a man who immediately gets into action and applies the things he learns that he knows will benefit him.
  • Enjoy laughter - we had many good hearty laughs. He created a little symbol for "ticking the universe" - with our right hands we would make a 'ticking' action in the air when we discussed something that we wanted to create and laughed loudly as we know our wish is now left with the universe to be created.
  • Set big goals - others have said if you are going to set goals, they may as well be 'big hairy audacious goals'. These are the types of goals Satya Murty sets. One of his awards was for bringing an automated process in 201 sub-registrar Offices on a public - private participation mode (registration of property documents) and the delivery of registered documents from a month's process, down to 45 minutes ! that's a big goal, with great results.
  • Create a Mantra and get your people excited - I heard this mantra several times "great engineers ... great team .. great Karnataka (the state) .... great results ...." and then the team would all yell " Great MD". There was a buzz in the air. A very positive culture evident in these moments.
  • Give Generously - I have been 'blown away' with the generousity I have seen and received first hand. An example, if Satya Murty gives a gift he will often gift 2, so that the person he gifts to can then also gift one on to someone else! How's that for generousity! li>
  • Live and Encourage 'Work-Life Balance' - Take time off from work. Spend evenings and weekends with your family and friends. One of the senior engineers told me that when Satya Murty first took on the role of MD 18 months ago, they were told to go home at a decent hour, leave work at work and be with their family, and when at work use the team to achieve more. This man says that he now achieves 200% more while doing it easier and having more time away from work.

And this is just the tip of the ice berg. I am very very grateful for this first time in India. I know it will not be the last. I am very very grateful for my meeting with Satya Murty and to the universe for attracting us to each other. I have also increased awaresness, and can acknowledge myself, that while I can see the greatness in another, I also have a greatness, and I am continuously learning to accept the compliments paid to me. There is still so much I could write, and yet I know this article is already too long for the attention of the reader, so will leave that till another time.

Written by Barbara Anderson.

To discuss your needs phone Barbara Anderson on + 61 2 9527 9396
email her at barbara@shirecoachingtraining.com.au

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