HYDERABAD: Former Lt Governor of Puducherry & IPS (Retd) Dr Kiran Bedi believes that it is vital for women to be entrepreneurs — for themselves, the nation and the next generation. She addressed young women at a session — Policing, Politics and Playing Fair — organised by the FICCI Ladies Organisation (FLO) at The Park, Somajiguda, where she encouraged them to go the extra mile every day in everything that they do. Kiran addressed over 150 members of FICCI FLO Hyderabad on the sidelines of the recent launch of her book Fearless Governance.
Kiran spoke about the myriad habits that led her to be the person she is today. “I took meditation to the prisoners, then to the police academy and I do it till date. I led from the front at the Republic Day parade in 1975 and do the same today. It’s the same with fitness, being greedy with my time and more. It’s not who you dream to be, but who you groom yourself to be,” she said.
One of the many things she’s proud of having done as a leader is breaking hierarchies. “I realised that being at the top wasn’t the ideal way to lead, being the centre of it was.” And how did she achieve that? By establishing human contact that stemmed from her being a woman. “Meeting my subordinates one-on-one regularly, sharing details about their life and enabling development at a personal level have all aided administration; it also allowed me space to mentor them all. Dispensing hierarchies always leads to better coordination. Not to forget the habit of recognition and appreciation. Add to that self-evaluation, upskilling and you have for yourself an A-team,” the 72-year-old added.
One of the very few leaders who took her governance to the streets, Kiran said accessibility, visibility, recognisability, problem-solving and being ready to move were her five-step tips to better leadership.
Asked how she deals with the barrage of negativity that comes her way, Kiran took a quick second to gather her thoughts and said, “I question my intention behind whatever I get criticism for. If it was honest and for the larger good, I move on. With the law and resources on my side, I have nothing to fear,” she said.
When a participant called her the Lady Diana of India, she shyly replied that Diana was too beautiful. On a concluding note, when asked how she finds the motivation to keep going every day, she said, “I respect my time enormously — I try and delegate. For instance, cooking. I believe it’s a wonderful art, but I know it can be delegated and I’m better off reading and doing something more productive in that time. I wake up to do what I think is the right thing to do, with a purpose for the day.”