(04-09-1937   ~  10-04-2012)

  • A solid pillar of support and strength to the author.
  • A noble soul who practised Annadhan, Vastradhan, Vidyadhan and Mangalyadhan throughout her life.





Any exit has to be graceful, honourable and generous. In the modern era, it is now accepted that the top executives of a company may lose their jobs if the business results in their domain are not upto the mark.Today, loyalty is not a part of the company strategy or vision. Employee is expected to be loyal but the company loyalty is a fallacy.

This malady has entered the education field also.In one school, when the results were poor the Principal was shown the door the next day, unsung, unnoticed, he left the school.He came at 8:30 am and left at 9:30 am with a cheque for 3 months’ salary.

Some years back, the Correspondent of another school met the author and spoke about the sudden steep fall in the results. The Principal was dynamic person with 9 degrees to her credit. He said there were a number of failures in Maths and Science. He requested the author to address and lift up their morale.

The author described how KV teachers have made every topic in Maths and Science for class 9-12 with copious examples and he also asked them to analyze the previous half yearly exam paper and find out the types of mistakes committed by each pupil and take suitable remedial measures after school hours, which they agreed to do. At the end of the 3 hours session, the Correspondent requested the staff to put aside the past and look ahead with hope. He said, “Yesterday, the Principal told me that you are afraid, you may not get your increment because of the results. Please rest assured that you will get your increments on the due dates as usual. I know you are capable. I want to give you 6 year time frame to come up again; we have 2 sections-30 each. This coming year, I want you to get 100% pass – All 60.

If you achieve this target each one will get Rs 1000/- gift on the Annual day of the next year. His announcement was received with a big applause and they got Rs 1000/- one year ahead of his target. His encouraging and understanding words had the staff ‘Stepped-Up’.

George R.R. Martin observes in his book “MEAT HOUSE MAN”:- “Of all the bright cruel lies they tell, the cruelest is the one called Love”.

George R.R. Martin

This love is exhibited or masked during the exits. The author was privy to another example or real love at exit time. The Chairman of a school told the author that a person who joined his school as a teacher 35 years back was going to retire as Headmaster and has been a source of great strength to him in building the school. So, he wanted advice as to how he can give him a memorable farewell. The author’s advice was accepted. A grand lunch was arranged by the staff, presented him a silver plate with the names of all staff members engraved on it. The Chairman presented him with a 3 gram gold ring. As the school had CPF scheme ,the HM’s PF contribution with the matching contribution from the management came to Rs 30000/-.The Chairman added another Rs 20000/- and presented a fixed deposit receipt for Rs 50000/-. As a crowning glory, he finally announced that as only the HM and his wife are there, the Management is presenting a single room flat to them. He also announced that he wanted the HM to continue to help the school as its Correspondent. To cap it, the Chairman took the HM in his car along with the Principal and dropped him in his house. Oh! what a fine way of saying ‘Thank You’ with Decency, Dignity, Decorum and Respect.

You can step-up your staff when you match your wave length with theirs. That will ensure fine results in your work situation or in personal relations.

Sri A.M.M.Arunachalam

Sri A.M.M.Arunachalam, Former Chairman of the famous Murugappa Group was one such person with whom all his staff felt ‘stepped-up’. He knew by face and names almost everyone working in his group. He encouraged a person who joined as a typist to study and improve himself and enabled HM to become managing director of a company in another group.

Not even once did he ask his Personnel Manager as to why he did not recruit a person recommended by him. He never favoured any one from his community out of the way. His uncanny ability to spot an error or something not quite right at a glance made everyone alert. He treated everyone on an equal level at family functions. Once he finished greeting a middle level executive and then only attended to Sri P.V.Cherian, former Governor of Bombay.

He valued loyalty and integrity. When once, he asked a candidate the selling price of the product manufactured by his employee, the candidate gave the price .But, when he asked him the manufacturing cost, the candidate said “I am sorry, I can’t tell that. I am still in their employ”.Mr.A.M.M appreciated his reply, immediately rang up the Personnel Manager and asked him to recruit that candidate.

No wonder all the staff felt stepped-up. Attend the marriages in the families of your Vice -Principal as well as your colleagues. Sri T.S.Krishna, former Chairman of TVS used to do so.


Robert Cooper and Ayman Sawaf in their famous book “Executive EQ” gives 4 factors for you to Step-In and Step-Up:

  1. Emotional Literacy: “Become aware of other people’s emotions.
  2. Emotional Fitness: “Expand your circle of trust”
  3. Emotional Depth : “Align your life and work with your unique potential”
  4. Emotional Alchemy:“Extend your creative instincts and capability to flow with problems and pressure “.

D.M Mathur

Commander D.M Mathur ,Chief Instructor at Defense Institute of Psychological Research, New Delhi mentions 13 critical areas which will  make your staff feel stepped up because of you :-

  1. Inspiring yourself and others –Multiplies your achievements.
  2. Adopting an empathetic attitude – It works like magic.
  3. Controlling negative thoughts-They will spoil you.
  4. Learning optimism – See the doughnut not the hole.
  5. Developing Trust – You got it, if you give it.
  6. Managing conflicts – Resolving to resolve.
  7. Complex decision –  Making and Emotions – Essential logic isn’t everything.
  8. Winning over office politics – It is an irritating irritant.
  9. Building stress immunity – Adjusting to meet challenges of the mind.
  10. Controlling Anger – Don’t show it.
  11. Increasing Sensitivity – Survey the emotional landscape.
  12. Building and maintaining a cohesive team – You can’t do without it.
  13. Handling Diversity Successfully.

From his 41 years service experience, the author has found that the staff, students and parents can be made to feel Stepped-Up if the following 15 measures are scrupulously followed:

a. Safe guarding the students’ interests.

b. Protecting staff interests.

c. Service to the community.

d. Promoting National Integration and Patriotism.

e. Practicing professional ethics.

f. Following moral ethical standards.

g. Following rules of law.

h. Personal Ethics – Cool head, Clean Hands, Warm Heart.

i. Good Interpersonal ethics.

j. Respect constituted authority.

k. Fair treatment of staff, students and parents.

l. Dispassionate approach to staff problems.

m. Scrupulous adherence to departmental rules and regulations.

As long as the river (Principal) does not overflow the two banks (Academic and Administrative Rules) there will not be any problem.

n. Dignified relationship with other schools.

o. Constant and consistent adherence to truth.

Everyone will feel ‘Stepped-Up’, when a person of values and ethics enters it. Values are rooted in one’s personal belief system and thought. Basic ethics are norms of behavior that arise out of one’s view of good and bad, right and wrong. Hence an activity-based concept – as nicely codified by Chandersen Mirchandani, CEO of Dynamics Direct Marketing Services. He further adds, “Business ethics deals with policy considerations founded on an institution values and core beliefs. Managerial ethics treats the managerial response at the time of decision-making and decision-executing when faced with a dilemma”.

William Butler Yeats

To get people ‘Stepped-Up’ William Butler Yeats gives you a simple formula:-

“Think like a wise man but communicate in the language of the people” (who work with you).

Encourage your staff to take a more active role in their work, motivating the staff to think of ways of improving the quality of their work and giving them the freedom to take decisions without reporting to a higher authority are simple and easy ways to get your staff “Stepped-Up”.

The author found a useful tool to step-up his staff in the bucket example given by Tom Rath & Donald Clifton in their interesting book “How full is your Bucket?”We have an invisible bucket which we are continuously emptying or filling it up. Depending on what others say or do to us, we feel happy when our bucket is full and sad when it is empty. We also have an invisible dipper. If we use it to fill others buckets they get ‘Stepped-Up’. By doing so you will also get ‘Stepped-Up. We have to make a choice everyday”. We can fill one another’s bucket or we can help others fill theirs. It is a very important choice-one that will greatly influence our relationships. Our work quality, our health and happiness.”


Just remember your five levers to effect a step-up operation.

  1. Appreciation:-A kind look, a nice word and a pat.
  2. Affiliation: – Relate to him in all possible ways.
  3. Autonomy: – Give him freedom to act.
  4. Status: -Confer a status on him to create a halo effect.
  5. Role: – Give him a role to play in your decision-making process.





247. One who knows that the best would come out of him when he is in a corner.

248. One who knows that being a principal is like being the captain of the West Indies cricket team – different personalities to be welded in a team.

249. One who knows that the Brian Lara he has to set small goals and go on achieving them which will get him ready to shoulder bigger responsibilities.

250. One who knows that if he embraces difficult situations, if he prepares himself and believes himself, then he can achieve.

251. One who believes, even when shaking hands with the winning opposition team that he is not the second best.

252. One who after delivering a speech, goes back to see the video and observe where he tripped.

253. One who practices, rehearses hard so that he gets into the act, he is in perfect cruise control.

254. One who knows that he should have a favourable mindshare of his staff and be relevant to them.

255. One who prefers making decisions to wallowing in doubt and self-pity.

256. One who knows that his school brand proposition must suit the level of development the market and consumer perception require.

257. One who knows that when he starts in a new place, he must listen, respect and learn from the local environment.

258. One who knows that he should be integral part of the educational world – a part of the “ conversation”.

259. One who knows that he can’t take any fool hardy decisions because he has to nurture a family of teachers.

260. One who knows to create a basic human desire to belong and to be a part of something larger than themselves.

261. One who knows that distributed intelligence and distributed decision-making is the way to proceed because he wants to go faster.

262. One who knows that his school enduring competitive advantage is his team members imbued with the sense of mission who are carrying the institution forward.

263. One who knows that there is direct route to the top of his dream profession and that pursuing opportunities when he is free to explore, will provide learning opportunities to become more valuable to the future of his institution.

264. One who knows that he should take the time to experiment, try to identify his competencies and short comings and it is important to repeatedly question his decisions so that he is always on track.

265. One who knows that he has to stepout of his comfort zone to explore an area. He is not sure about, test his skills and conviction in a smaller setting, understand its excitement and difficulties and then move on to the next stage in his professional journey.

266. One who knows that when he ignores grievences, he is sitting on a St. Andreas fault.

267. One who knows to fight against the dueling polarities in his mind – The Caledonian Antisyzygy – the Scottish ability to say yes and no at the same time leading up to the unique Scottish ability  of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.



(Whose ideas have been adapted for Education Management)

Timothy Geithner

  1. Andres Ruzo (CEO Link Pharma)
  2. Hugo Cirotus ( Holland Jurist )
  3. James Frazer
  4. May Mueller
  5. Robert Graves
  6. Sigmund Freud
  7. Carl Jung
  8. Claude Levi Strauss
  9. Lord Denning
  10. Lord Atkin
  11. Fali Nariman
  12. Lord Templeman
  13. Maulana Abulkalam Azad
  14. Franz Kapeka
  15. Fierre/Legrand
  16. Confuctus
  17. Lamdon Jamyang
  18. Kodungallur Kunhikuttan Thampooran (Poet)
  19. Rolls & Royce
  20. Washington Carver
  21. Thomas Edison
  22. Julia Roberts
  23. APJ Abdul Kalam
  24. Swami Sachitananda
  25. Jimmy Falton ( Artist)
  26. Timothy Geithner (Economist)


 If teachers play their role properly, the nation can be transformed. For all the malpractices among students, the parents and the teachers are to blame. – Sri Sathya Sai Baba

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