“Leaders are created by virtue of hard work, commitment and dedication”.
Dr Satya Pal Singh, India’s Minister of State for Human Resource Development, responsible for Higher Education graced the occasion of the 26th Leadership Lecture organized by T. A. Pai Management Institute (TAPMI), Manipal, on 27th September 2018.
The ceremony commenced with the ceremonial lighting of the lamp. Dr Shantaram (Member of the Governing Council of TAPMI) and Dr. Madhu Veeraraghavan (Director of TAPMI) were among those in the dais, accompanying the speaker. Dr. Veeraraghavan welcomed the gathering and introduced the TAPMI Leadership Lecture series, which in the past has hosted several eminent speakers. Prof. Rajiv Shah gave a brief introduction on the illustrious career of Mr Satya Pal Singh and invited him to address the gathering.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Singh acknowledged and praised the efforts of the founders of Manipal Academy in making Manipal a kernel for Higher Education, acclaimed in India and abroad. “Education, apart from imparting knowledge and skills, should equip students to appreciate the value of human life”, he said. He advised the students that success shouldn’t be at the cost of one’s health or conscience.
Dr. Singh’s began by outlining what he called the 7 C’s of successful management of life – Cosmic consciousness, confidence, commitment to lead, communication, conduct, connectivity and collective responsibility. He said that to achieve greatness in life, one’s background doesn’t matter as much as having confidence does. If we emulate the commitment to succeed from great leaders and inculcate commitment, then no corruption can ever corrode us.
Citing an anecdote from the story of Chanakya’s teachings, that it is not the head which lies at the base of the crown, but speech, Dr Singh stated that the ability to articulate can empower leaders to capture the attention of listeners. Communication can be employed as a powerful tool to influence people and convert enemies into admirers.
Dr Singh stressed on the indispensable role played by the conduct and character of leaders in shaping the outcome of their actions. He also said that connectivity and networking armed a person with a strong support system that one can bank upon. He also highlighted the collective responsibility that leaders have not only towards themselves, but also towards their followers.
On this note, Dr Singh opened the floor for questions. Asked about changing the mindset that focussed on marks rather than learning, he said that achieving competence was more important than gaining multiple degrees. On being asked about the happiness score of India, Dr Singh said that people tend to be unhappy as they try to sail on two boats simultaneously. One should capitalize on their ability to think of the greater purpose of their life. This would enable one to reduce the dissonance within onself. Quoting the inspirational lines from William Blake’s poem, ‘To see a world in a grain of sand and a Heaven in a Wild Flower, hold Infinity in the palm of your hand and eternity in an hour’, he said that we can find vast truths in the smallest of things.
He concluded by exhorting the audience to recognize their unique strengths and to make the most of the opportunities in this world of possibilities. The lecture, attended by the students and faculty of the institute, proved to be a fount of inspiration for all.