Hospitality Paradigm just concluded a two-day program with The Leela, Goa on “Managerial Effectiveness” and I could not but reminisce during the final presentation by the participants, on Tagore’s poem learnt during my schooldays.
Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high… Where knowledge is free… Where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls… Where words come out from the depth of truth… Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection… Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit… Where the mind is led forward by thee into ever-widening thought and action… Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake… Rabindranath Tagore (1900 A.D.)
Amongst the participants, all of whom were at various managerial levels, Ajith Kumar – Horticulture Executive stood out with a different profile, perhaps one that spoke of his hard work and dedication to The Leela, Goa rather than his educational qualifications. During the presentation at the end of the two day program in front of their departmental heads and General Manager, many of the participants spoke on specific learnings over the past two days and how they planned to implement the same in their daily work. Ajith Kumar came up at the end and spoke purely from the heart…
Describing his humble background and his growth from being the Chairman’s butler to Horticulture Executive, Ajith confessed that he was extremely anxious when he was nominated for this program by his manager. He tried to squirm out of it, saying that he would not fit in, that training was not for a hands-on person like him and that he would rather be working on his 75 acres of landscaped gardens at The Leela Goa than sitting in a classroom for two days. His manager would hear none of this and insisted that he attend this program. When he sat in on the first day, he hoped that he would be ignored, but to his dismay he realized that he would have to participate in the interactive program and group exercises. Ajith said that he gradually began to feel comfortable thanks to our coaxing and encouragement and he soon began sharing experiences at his workplace, spoke words of respect about a recently deceased colleague and even participated in an exercise on talent management, identifying his subordinate as the high performer for this assessment exercise.
Thanking us – the trainers for helping him get over his fears, as well as his manager for nominating him for this program, Ajith said proudly that he now felt he was no less than anyone else and that he would be most glad and willing to attend similar trainings in the future.
We recieved many positive compliments from the participants during this session. See http://www.hospitalityparadigm.com/company/media/Leela_Goa_Jul12.php. However the greatest compliment was from Ajith Kumar and a trainer can experience no better joy than to know that he has contributed in making a participant believe in the importance of training!