Posted by: Satheesh Kumar Muthu | September 7, 2013

A Remarkable Speech from an Inspiring Leader

Just thought of pouring out some words to share my views about an interesting read which I went through recently and which happens to be a speech by His Excellency, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, the Former President of India. Not to mention, everyone in the country knows about his extraordinary capabilities as an orator and an inspiring leader. His speeches are always intensely thought-provoking, no matter where he delivers them.

Wait a second. Before going into the core of my discussion, let me share some of the features of a ‘Leader’, which I had learnt recently from someone I know(Thanks to them!). When we say a person as ‘Leader’, it definitely means a lot. As we all might be knowing, one needs to have certain unique features for him to be qualified as a leader.  The word ‘Leader’ might sound a bit similar to the word ‘Boss’, but they are not same. Infact, they are totally contrasting to each other. Here are a few differences between a ‘Leader’ and a ‘Boss’.

1) While a Boss drives his employees, a Leader coaches them.

2) Boss depends on authority whereas Leader serves on Goodwill.

3) A Boss inspires fear, while Leader generates enthusiasm.

4) Boss almost always starts(whatever he wants to say) with the word ‘I’, whereas a Leader starts with ‘We’.

5) A Boss places blame upon someone for a breakdown, whereas a Leader ‘Fixes the breakdown’.

6) A Boss ‘knows’ how a task is done, while a Leader ‘shows’ how it is done.

7) A Boss ‘uses’ people, while a Leader ‘develops’ people.

8) A Boss ‘takes’ credit, whereas a Leader ‘gives up’ credit.

9) A Boss ‘commands’, while a Leader ‘Asks’.

10) A Boss says ‘Go’, while a Leader says ‘Let’s go’.

So, it is an universal fact that a ‘Good Leader’ is one who takes more of a ‘blame’ and less of a ‘credit’. That is what makes Dr APJ Abdul Kalam a Good Leader. His relentless contribution to the nation for decades is well known to everyone.

Coming to the core of my disccussion, which is about my views after going through a read of the great speech by His Excellency, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam at OSMECON 2013, a National Undergraduate Medical Conference held at the Osmania Medical College, Hyderabad on August 27, 2013. I came across this article when a friend of mine shared this on a social networking site. Thanks to him. In case you are not familiar with the lecture, here’s the link for details..

http://www.abdulkalam.com/kalam/jsp/display_content_front.jsp?menuid=28&menuname=Speeches+%2F+Lectures&linkid=68&linkname=Recent&content=2368&columnno=0&starts=0&menu_image

I hope you find the speech as much motivational and thought-provoking as me. Now let me share my views about the same. I know I may not be the best analyst, but I think there’s nothing wrong in sharing my perception of the speech(sort of ‘Freedom of Speech’ thing,remember?).

Firstly, most of the points mentioned by him (except for a couple of them) as characteristics of a dynamic healthcare center are realistic.

Secondly,  I agree with his emphasis on the importance of Medical Conferences. It has got tremendous potential to bring about a lot of difference in the quality of health care. It would serve as a platform that allows medical professionals to share their knowledge and clinical skills with fellow healthcare providers and thus gives an opportunity to promote unity, integrity and team behaviour which are most crucial in hospital settings.

Thirdly, what’s more appealing is that he points the first and foremost characteristic of a great healthcare center as a scenario where ‘Patient’ is the most important person in the hospital. Although in a country like India, where this is far from reality owing to the burden of diseases and illnesses, which in turn, results from a relative shortage of Health care providers as compared to the number of patients seeking mediccal attention, I believe that one day, this might conveniently be possible.

Finally, his view of how an ideal Doctor should be, as exemplified by the lives of two selfless and dedicated Doctors from different parts of India namely Dr Venkatasamy(from Tamil Nadu) and Dr Sudharshan(from Karnataka) provides an insight into how a person’s love towards his own profession coupled with strong determination, perseverance and endurance makes him a good son for his own mother country.

Last but not the least, his definition of ‘Excellence’ is what, I think, should penetrate deep into the brain and never leave from there no matter how hard the world might constantly be triying to destroy it. Here’s is how he defines it…

“Excellence is a process, where an individual, (or organization or nation,) continuously strives to better oneself. The performance standards are set by themselves, they work on their dreams with focus and are prepared to take calculated risks and do not be deterred by failures as they move towards their dreams. Then they step up their dreams, as they tend to reach the original targets. They strive to work to their potential, in the process, they increase their performance thereby multiplying further their potential, and this is an unending life cycle phenomenon. They are not in competition with anyone else, but themselves. ”

Awesome it is, isn’t it? Personally, I feel blessed to have born in a country which has produced so many powerful and inspiring leaders as him. We owe him a lot for his relentless service to the country. Lastly, I want to end this discussion with something close to my heart. As a Medical Professional, I see so many Medical Graduates from many Indian Medical Institutions dreaming to pursue their higher studies or jobs abroad. After giving it a thought for a while, I now feel that there’s nothing wrong in dreaming about pursuing a career abroad. Rather, taking into consideration the standards of Health Care System in India and the huge list of challenges we are faced with in the Health Care Sector, one would undoubtedly benefit from their study abroad especially when they gain some work experience in some of the excellent health care systems like US and UK.  Nevertheless, whereever we are and whatever we do, we must always be grateful for whatever we have gained from our mother country that makes us what we are today. Hope you enjoyed the read. Thanks for coming by.

P.S. Here’s a humourous depiction of the recent fall in the value of Indian Rupee

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