Never Too Early, Never Too Late

Never Too Early, Never Too Late

Many years ago, I was a young civil servant on my first posting after the Academy. Learning the ropes of the government, I had a little army of reports, mostly much older than me in age. One day, as I was leaving my boss’s office, he asked me to come back and sit down.


“Prabir, I have been observing you,” he began, and my heart started sinking, fearing I had ticked him off. “And I have learnt something from you,” he added. Quite surprised, I responded, “Sir, from me?” He nodded.


“I have observed that you compliment at least one of your team members every day. I realise I do not do so. But I will start. And with you. Thank you for teaching me some good leadership practices.” I blushed, muttered a little thank you, and left.


The story has stayed with me for a good reason. Every feedback does not have to be critical or developmental. Let people know of their strengths that they may be unaware of, as I was.


Even better was learning the art of humility in leadership. My boss had no reason to tell me what he did. Great leaders express their vulnerability and learn from anyone. This is another lesson I learnt very early in life, and it has kept me in good standing all these years.


It’s never too early to get feedback and never too late to become a better leader.

Read another Story Byte: Don't Shoot The Messenger!


Prabir Jha is the Founder and CEO of Prabir Jha People Advisory. He has been the CHRO of two Fortune 500s and two NYSE-listed Indian majors.


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