No Looking Back
I met someone today who was obnoxious to me almost two decades ago, but this time, it was very different!
Should I have handled it differently? You tell me!
“It is nice to be important, but it’s more important to be nice.” – John Templeton
I had a very interesting conversation today.
Someone was trying to reach out to me through my organization since past week and we had scheduled the meeting today with him.
Half-way through the meeting, it struck me that, long ago, I had met this individual who was sitting in my office today saying how it would be a massive digital transformation for his company if my company agreed to do business with them and in turn it would be great for us associating with a brand like their organization. He was very polite, humble and had a pleasingly requesting tone when he was pitching the business partnership to me.
And then he said something about his employees, something negative and disrespectful and tried to break the ice by saying, ‘that is why they need a strong leader like yourself heading services for our digital transformation’ and that’s when it struck me, where I had met him, that tone, that disrespectful condescending tone…..
Almost 16 years ago, I had gone for an interview in some other company where this individual was heading that division. He was taking the final round of my interview and I distinctly remember, how badly he spoke to me, mocked me for what I aspired to be (you know, after hearing my answer for the typical, ‘where you see yourself 10 years from now’) and even went to the extent to ridicule me saying ‘people who keep dreaming have no place in my company, you can get out, that’s the door, we need people who are realistic of what can be accomplished’).
I was 20 years old then and was hoping to get that job, like each one of us do when we go for an interview. I was devastated hearing his remarks but luckily, I have to be thankful to the almighty for I was always blessed with a tremendous ability to bounce back very fast and always was blessed with a WILL that was stronger than my dream, desire, aspirations and plans.
I just looked at him and reminded him of the above mentioned scenario and I am not kidding, I could feel his voice and body tremble in front of me as he quivered and expected me to throw him out of my office, when I asked him, so, “would you like coffee or tea sir?”.
The next 10 minutes were no doubt awkward for him but as he left, he apologized 4 times with 4 different excuses every time and as he left my cabin, folded his hands and said sorry and thanked me for not taking that anger out on him today to which I simply replied, “No need to thank me sir, it’s people like you who keep reminding me that anything is possible”, I smiled and told him I will get back and he walked out of the door with his head down, shoulders crouched and in utter disbelief that he just met a kid who he had guaranteed was not going become anyone and was unrealistic with what or where I will be in 10 years.
I didn’t get angry or irritated, because, in the past 16 years of my professional work which includes my current 8 years of Entrepreneurship as a Founder & CEO at my Digital Agency, I have seen more ups and downs than success, more times has life beaten me down than I could count, but the Will to get up quicker each time has kept me going.
My Dad told me this even today morning when we were having a conversation, “Always keep your head high but your feet grounded and stay humble, grateful and never give up on who you are, your values, your ethics and of course YOUR VALUE! Remember, you started with Rs.500/- and one laptop 8 years ago, so you know anything is possible”.
And it made perfect sense, because, we never know who we will meet a decade down the line or have a literal Throwback Thursday if you may!
As a Founder and CEO of my Digital Agency, I always ensure that I only work with brands that showcase respect and discipline for employees within their own organization and treat vendors or agencies like us too with respect and value our time and efforts. Because, at the end of the day, we really don’t work with organisations, we work with People.
Businesses are built dime a dozen, but organizations are seldom created!
Do you feel I should have handled it differently?
Do let me know if you have had such experiences and or your thoughts on the same too. Would love to hear from you.
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. ~ Dalai Lama
Have a blissful day ahead.