Honoring the Hidden Army … by Dr. Anil Maheshwari
This long Labor Day weekend we attended our Indian ethnic community’s convention in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It was a beautiful 3-day affair with over 700 guests visiting from 27 states in the US and Canada, and some from India. This biennial event offered colorful environment, sumptuous food 5 times a day, nice bollywood entertainment, and 52 breakout sessions serving a variety of stuff from Yoga to financial advice to ‘rangoli’ competition. People greatly enjoyed the program and danced their hearts out. More importantly, they rebuilt old relationships and then built some new ones.
On the last morning of the event, many people behind the event were being thanked from the stage. A few named leaders were thanked for their vision, commitment and dedication. As is customary, the organizers called all of the almost 100 volunteers to the stage to thank them and take a nice group photo. That was a great moment of cheer.
However, the organizers did something even better. They called on stage all the hotel staff which included the servers and the chefs and many others who in their black and gray uniforms worked tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure our every wish was met. Their picture was taken with the leaders of the event. It was a touching moment, at least for me. I don’t recall having ever before seen the hidden army of servers and cleaners being brought to the fore and thanked in such a prominent way. It was the right thing to do. In one stroke it brought cheers to so many undervalued overworked people. By this action, we also taught our younger generation the value of respect for everyone.
This is the future of leadership. Everyone who performs their tasks in a conscientious and quality manner should be respected profusely. It does good to the spirit of the individuals, and it also builds a nice culture for the organization. It builds the thickness of connection in society that lubricates collaboration for success in the future.