My inspiring co-worker

June 2, 2022

I have worked with hundreds of people over the last 14 years. A lot of good ones, but some were special. As a CEO of the organisation I am not supposed to have favorites, but I am a human being after all. I too need inspiration. Inspiration to keep walking towards our purpose with grit and determination.

So, this person who motivates me the most nowadays has certain unique characteristics. Those are not disjoint sets, but gels so well to become an inspiring whole! Let me try and write. Tough though.

S/he is a happy person. Well, how does that matter? Not sure about you, but I find it very hard to remain surrounded by sad people. Grim faced. People who look serious all the time. (Remember, there is a difference between looking serious and being serious about work.) Maybe it is to do with some of my childhood memories, or seeing so many troubles around – lack of basic amenities we need as human beings.

Courageous person. There is now a significant age gap between me and my team. It’s good I can help them learn using my experience, but it creates a big problem. People not being able to give honest feedback to me. Being so young, they are not able to hide nonverbal cues though. S/he always tells me wherever I am wrong. Whenever I err. 

Yet so respectfully. What is respect? Is it about agreeing with everything I say? Whatever I do? Or, is it about disagreeing and still not making me feel small. Is it about ignoring my mistakes, or helping me correct those? And, sometimes taking the responsibility of organisational evolution. Toughest of conversations, s/he does with at least some warmth. Hard for me to work with a "cold blooded employee". Maybe my limitation, but that's my truth. 

What could we achieve if my team is not impact-oriented? The founding team members and many others in the journey have worked hard in building an “impact-first” culture. However, it is people like her/him who nurtures this culture. It might look ironic, but just by virtue of us working in an NGO doesn’t make us humanitarian. Or, benevolent.

“Action. Action. Action.” – I once replied when asked, how did Agrasar achieve so much in such a short period. I believe this even more. Of what use is any talent, if that goes wasted in talking, talking, and talking or whatsapping, or some other social mediaing. (I know mediaing is not a word, not sure what makes me still use it). Well, s/he acts. Any problem – s/he attempts a solution. Any confusion – s/he reaches out. Any dissonance – s/he shares. S/he doesn’t sit idle and wait for work. S/he seeks. Rather, s/he thrives on “a lot of work”. That doesn’t mean s/he needs to work for long hours. But, with hand, heart and soul every moment s/he is at work.

Imagine a person in your team like this.  

(A clarity – this person I wrote about might be many in Agrasar or just one. Or, none.)

Prerit Rana