My Autobiography: My tryst with Leadership & What I understood very early!

I was not exactly a born leader. In fact, I was not even close to it.

When I was studying in fifth standard, one of our teachers formed groups of four and appointed leaders for each group (among the four members). We have to study, they will ask questions and we need to answer them during one period. In my group, one girl was made the leader. I was irked because I had got a better rank than her in the recent examinations. I went and enlightened the teacher about this fact and asked her why I was not made the leader.

To this, she replied that my handwriting was pathetic and the girl who was selected had better leadership skills than me! So, that was my leadership credentials till then. But what did my handwriting have to do with that? Anyways,

Fast forward. It was sixth standard and elections were introduced in our class to select the class leader. But no one actually came forward to contest. So, our new class teacher asked the students to give some names who they wanted to become the leader.

During this time, and most others, I was as usual in my blissful state of imagination and dream world. Ah, those student days…… Suddenly, my name was put forward and the teacher asked me to stand up. I stood, and other students were asked to vote. Damn, almost the whole class voted for me! Two more names were called after me and they did not even come close to my performance.

The teacher innocently made me the class leader! Having no idea of what this ‘duty’ would entail, I too innocently started minding the class (during the period when a teacher leaves and another teacher arrives).

So, whenever I wrote some names on the board, the teacher who comes in, sees it and scolds those students for being talkative or sends them out for that period. But immediately after that, those guys will come up to me and say, ‘I thought we were friends’, and look so sad and make me feel so guilty that I subsequently came to believe that I was a betrayer of friendship by writing their names on the board!

Obviously the class was not quiet at all (during my ‘minding’). I should make a special mention about the assistant class leader, who got the second highest number of votes. I have never seen this girl come out of her place to mind the class in my entire leadership career of 3 months! Once I got irritated and looked at her firmly. She was busy talking with her friend but looked back at me. I gestured to imply, ‘Come and Mind the class’. She gestured back by shaking her head and went back to talking!

Somehow, this torture lasted for three months. Then one day I went to the class teacher and offered my resignation. The second time, she chose the class leader by herself. Teachers do learn fast!

After a few years, I thought about why the students elected me as their leader. Did they think I was capable? Did they think I was extremely good at this job? Did they think I was a born leader whose skills were somehow hiding all the while?

Obviously not. They elected me because they can have all the fun and I will not come in their way. How insightful, even at sixth standard the students knew how exactly to make democracy work for them!

When ever I think of this incident, I always think – If sixth standard students were so clever, how clever would the 18+ year old citizens who could vote in the elections, be?

Destination Infinity

These articles (Category: My Autobiography) are a part of my marketing efforts to sell my Autobiography which I will write after 31 years (When I am 60 years old). It will come out in the name of ‘Destination Infinity’ – So, please buy it then 🙂

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21 Replies to “My Autobiography: My tryst with Leadership & What I understood very early!”

  1. Now, we are not clever enough while electing our leaders, D.I. Are we having fun? No, only the relatives and friends of the leaders have fun!

    You have got great sense of humour, D.I.!

    I am booking now itself for your book!

    1. Think about it once more: Are we not clever enough, or are we trying to be too clever while we elect our leaders?

      I think the relatives and friends of the leaders are as human as ourselves and they would also have problems like we do. Its not like once a person gets a lot of money, they live happily ever after. They just face different kind of problems from that point on.

      Only now I am learning to write humorous stuff, but I guess I have enough time before I start with the book to learn enough 🙂

      Destination Infinity

  2. 🙂 we all see what happenes when we elect leaders he he he

    well and to answer the question of 18+ years old WE are seeing how clever ..

    Take care DI.. Good one

    1. If people are still able to get away from a cop by paying a small amount instead of the stipulated fine for not having insurance, for example, then it means that they think they are too clever. Perhaps the establishment has allowed them to be too clever. Maybe this happens Because the establishment was elected by them?

      Destination Infinity

  3. Nicely written DI.
    Also, I think your classmates must have liked you, and popularity is certainly a measure of leadership. However the trick is being popular but firm, at least in a democracy! Just strictness without popularity doesn’t work either. Overall, a very difficult balance!

    1. At that age, students should have voted unconsciously. So, unconsciously they knew the characteristics they wanted in their leader!

      There are certain people who can refuse a favor asked by others, and others actually look forward to their refusal. I think they suit the ‘popular but firm’ tag. But some people do it for honest public good reasons, and some people do it for vested interests. Thats something people have not been able to gauge at all.

      Destination Infinity

    1. OK, so I have two pre-orders now 🙂 But before I publish it, I want thousands of pre-order commits – I guess there is a lot of time for the remaining 😉

      Destination Infinity

  4. before i read the following line, i thought exactly the same! 🙂

    “How insightful, even at sixth standard the students knew how exactly to make democracy work for them!”

    1. Democracy work for them, or democracy (not)work for them? While they do get a few advantages by selecting a such a leader, they get a lot of disadvantages as well. At sixth standard (and perhaps even at sixtieth standard) we do not fully get an insight into what we lose when we try to tame the system like that…

      Destination Infinity

  5. indeed! how smart they can be!
    i remember when i was made the class leader in school, it was because i was NOT strict & i would not write their names because i’d be easily emotionally blackmailed & they’d get their way. and if they cracked jokes, i would join too!! so who better than me!

    really nice episode of your life you shared here

    1. You too…? 🙂 Did they select you via an election or class teacher appointed you? Generally class teachers appoint leaders…. Sometimes the first rank holder automatically gets to become the leader. That’s the punishment for getting first rank!! 🙂

      Destination Infinity

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