The leader’s privilege and responsibility

“Being a leader is a privilege and a responsibility” – K.K. Shailaja

Nuggets of wisdom and inspiration from Shailaja teacher- former Health minister Kerala, delivering the KeyNote at WITI (Women in Technology International) India annual summit.

A recipient of multiple awards and accolades from the UN to Vogue, she shared her thoughts on leadership, service, and teamwork.

Answering the question “What kept you going, amidst all the darkness and gloom?”, she remarked “..(besides) I am not alone. I have built a team and I’m enthusiastic about working with my team..”

She credited her high-functioning team of handpicked members who continually rose to the occasion with novel ideas. She helped inspire and establish cohesion.

She believes “In a small crisis, power moves to the center, in a big one, it moves to the periphery”
With both a centralized and decentralized ground plan (call centers, control rooms, etc.), well-oiled machinery worked round the clock, top-down and bottom-up.

When the going got tough, she realized she couldn’t show her fear; she forced herself to stay calm. She prioritized the protection of physical and mental health of frontline workers by providing psychological support.

In a crisis, there’s more information and less clarity. Leaders must use their creativity to provide swift and timely proactive responses. Act early and decisively. 

Leaders must be Visible and Accessible to build Trust and take an inclusive and humanized approach.

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