Thursday, April 5, 2012

Leadership by Ownership.

On the 13th Of March, 2012, I was returning from Singapore with Leela and Nilaa after the MVP function and trip to Malaysia. We were flying Jet Airways which was delayed by more than 7 hours. As always, the in flight services were not up to the mark and I don't know why Jet Airways has become so bad.

However, this is not about that and we as customers will always complain about the service. It is about an young flight attendant called Runal and how his attitude and passion inspired me.

The boarding was supposed to be 2:00 PM and we almost ran to the gate at Singapore after all the free lunch and duty paid purchases (you know what) and somehow reached on time to secure place for baggage. The flight was normal cramped one and the take was good. Then came the service, the food was not to our liking, but we were not complaining as we had a blast of a lunch within Changi Airport. And Wine was disappointing.

As always, I took the Aisle seat, Leela next and Nilaa on the window seat. There was a Gentleman called Srini (name changed) seated on the other side of the Aisle, who I believe was flying from the US and was on the phone until take off. Probably due to jet lag or tiredness because of the long wait at Changi, he dozed off and was not even taking food served. 

The flight was normal after an hour and Nilaa wanted to use the rest room. Just when I was taking here, Srini was walking ahead of us towards the rear side rest room. The path was blocked because the flight attendants were serving food still. Srini probably was feeling uncomfortable and was desperate to get to the rear. But the passage was blocked and seeing his desperation, people were trying to help him go past the food cart. Just when crossed, he just crashed and fainted on the floor. Quickly, people chipped in sprayed water, pulse was checked and he somehow regained consciousness but was too week. There were seats which were made free for him to lie down and he was given a juice and may be it was low sugar. However, he dozed of again. And it was this young man called Runal who was leading the taking care part of it with others as well. I also for my part informed them about his seat number and that it could be low sugar as he could not had food in a long time and got back to my seat with Nilaa.

I had collected the passport, mobile phone and the boarding card of Srini and was waiting to hand it over to one of the flight attendants. Runal was back to collect the food tray and he was standing next to me in no time. I handed it over to him and was checking how Srini was doing and was suggesting that may be lot of fluids should help Srini. And for his part Runal was checking what exactly happened and I explained things as I saw it. He took note of all of it and out curiosity I was saying may be a doctor on board could help and that it was the first time I've experience such a thing. 

He was looking at me calmly and said, "Don't worry sir. I'll never let anything happen grave on my flight." I was really inspired by his statement. Here was a flight attendant who was probably the lowest in the organizational chain of Jet Airways from Naresh Goyal's until him and yet was stating my flight! It might sound a bit arrogant, but to me it was assuring. He wanted to ensure that none on his flight should feel insecure and was exhibiting sheer passion which really inspired me.

This is what leaders do. They take ownership, inspire people and guide them to success. They run what ever they own as their company. Leadership is not complete without 100% ownership which I always understood, but Runal made me realize it one more time. Am sure Runal would really fare well in his life because he is a leader. All the best Runal.

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