I did not know this man's greatness till yesterday.
Blame the boring History books of this country - they never taught how cool this man is. I was busy mugging the dates and the events to get marks - actually used to hate these history classes.
It was the last keynote of TiE Summit held on Dec 20,21 in Goregaon, Mumbai. I was actually bored - a linkedin geek came and gave a geeky boring presentation. Sorry dude - any other day I would have appreciated the hard work and innovation that is happening in linked in - but I did not pay to TiE for this gyan. Rant done.
Then this fine old gentleman, Alyque Padamsee - comes on stage - with lot of difficulty he climbs the stairs. I had no clue who he was - [ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alyque_Padamsee ]. Apparently he is the father of Indian Advertising and has created over 100 brands in his time. Also he had portrayed Jinnah in The Gandhi.
The topic was Leadership Through Innovation.
The content was very simple - just 3 core ideas
As a leader :
2. Enthuse dont enforce
3. Have a Vision Statement
He was full of anecdotes and amazing stories. He kept the hall in trance. He came to the importance of Vision Statement.
Then he asked a question - what was Gandhi's vision statement.
Lot of answers - be the change, give me freedom, follow me etc. - the crowd shouted lot of answers. I tried very hard to think what was the Vision Statement.
Then he displayed on the screen.
"Quit India. "
He demonstrated how powerful this vision statement was. It was so simple but it shook the mighty English Empire.
He narrated the Dandhi march. Gandhi started walking from his Ashram to Dandhi. He walked 24 days - and in those days when there was no facebook, twitter, SMS - the crowd kept joining him as he walked through the villages - growing day by day. He picked a handful of salt and got arrested. The symbolism was so powerful.
No big baashan. In fact any explanation given on this incident would have deflated the power of this idea. Just a simple action - that every single Indian understood - educated or other wise.
Next incident he narrated was Gandhi's Patented Fast Unto Death.
Gandhi could have drank poison or shot himself for the cause ( stop the riots, or the partition or the numerous massacres that were perpetrated on poor helpless unarmed Indians ). The wave would have lasted a month or two. However this cunning old man decided to die the slow way.
Those days any news of Gandhi was banned in the Newspaper. However the message spread like wild fire. The hindu muslim riots stopped. International media picked up the news and they started putting pressure on the British Government ( Want to credit the British Govt of 1940s - they had a heart. ).
Again - simple yet powerful - and without any big statements or Punch Dialogues - he brought change, melted stone hearts.
Thank you Alyque Padamsee for having shown Gandhi to me. It was an aahaa moment - I will always cherish.
And to top it all - he showed lot of short videos he had directed - one of them being Gandhi - which demonstrates this idea of Gandhi - the power of simplicity of Gandhi - and that I had seen million times on Doordarshan but never understood the message.
Here is a video of Alyque Padamsee at TedxJaipur.
Here is a TeD X Video of Alyuqe Padamsee