Oasis of Learning

Co-Creating More Purpose and Joy!

Case Study: Personal Leadership

This case can be used in any behavioral program where the trainer would like to highlight the importance of personal leadership and proactive behavior.


Vikram works in the operations department of an MNC as a manager. He is a very responsible manager and someone who really believes in creating a difference with his actions. One day after putting in some extra hours when he was leaving for home he noticed Kavita, the receptionist talking very loudly over the phone. It seems like she was on a personal call. Vikram waited for the conversation to end and then approached Kavita. He told her that it is not professional to attend personal calls at the reception. This projects an unprofessional image of the company. Kavita didn’t like this conversation and just kept quiet. After some days Vikram again noticed the same behavior. Kavita was talking and laughing very loudly over the phone. Next day Vikram spoke to Kavita’s Manager, Francis and got to know that other people have also reported similar incidents about Kavita. Francis also told that he has spoken to Kavita about this but it has not helped. Vikram told Francis that he would like to talk to Kavita. During that day, Vikram told Kavita to see him in the meeting room. During the meeting Vikram explained Kavita the importance of her role and also emphasized her contribution towards creating a professional atmosphere at the reception area. He was very patient and understanding during the talk. He listened to Kavita side of the story and helped her to understand the organization’s expectations from her. Towards the end of the discussion, Kavita apologized for her behavior and assured Vikram that she would not repeat her behavior in future.

       Questions for discussion

  1. Do you think Vikram was right in correcting Kavita’s behavior?
  2. What other consequences he could have faced?
  3. What made Kavita understand the situation afterwards?
  4. What personal and professional traits helped Vikram create a win-win situation?
  5. Where shall one draw a line between personal leadership and interference?


We all want many things in our lives and we often wonder why we don’t get those things.  A big part of it has to do with the concept of deserving, or as Louise Hay terms it, “deservability.”  If, at the deepest core of our being, we don’t feel we deserve to have what we wish for, that belief will block those things from coming into our lives.  We end up settling for less than what we truly desire as a result of our limiting beliefs.  To achieve our goals in life, it is necessary to work on our beliefs as well as take concrete actions towards that which we want.

Lot of people have the potential to do remarkable things in life. They also have the ability to do those things. If they don’t feel worthy of those good things in life, then in spite of their efforts they might not be able to achieve those things.

Start with these affirmations:

  • I am worthy.
  • I deserve.
  • I enjoy all the pleasures of life.
  • I let of anything that does not serve me.
  • Abundance finds it way easily in my life.
  • My life is filled with love and gratitude.

Deservability- Inner Work

Once you start practicing the affirmations, you can also do some inner work for worthiness. Sit in a comfortable place where you have least disturbance.

Answer these questions:

  1. What are my beliefs about being successful and happy?
  2. What holds me back to be successful and happy?
  3. If I reflect on my parents’ life what messages do I get regarding success and happiness?
  4. What exactly I want from life right now?
  5. Am I allowing these things to come to me?
  6. What steps do I need to do to get out of my comfort zone?
  7. Am I willing to let go of my limiting beliefs about deservability?
  8. If I have to plan a life I want how would it be?

Write a detailed description of what you expect from your life. Write it in present tense.

Example: I have a wonderful life and a job that I love. My colleagues appreciate my work and get along with me nicely. I am recognized for my work. I have the flexibility of time at my work place.

It is all about Attitude

Jerry is the manager of a restaurant in America. He is always in a good mood and always has something positive to say. When someone would ask him how he was doing, he would always reply, "If I were any better, I would be twins!" Many of the waiters at his restaurant quit their jobs when he changed jobs; they would follow him around from restaurant to restaurant. The reason the waiters followed Jerry was because of his attitude. He was a natural motivator. If an employee was having a bad day, Jerry was always there, telling the employee how to look on the positive side of the situation.

Seeing this style really made me curious, so one day I went up to Jerry and asked him, "I don't get it! No one can be a positive person all of the time. How do you do it?"
Jerry replied, "Each morning I wake up and say to myself, I have two choices today. I can choose to be in a good mood or I can choose to be in a bad mood. I always choose to be in a good mood. Each time something bad happens, I can choose to be a victim or I can choose to learn from it. I always choose to learn from it. Every time someone comes to me complaining, I can choose to accept their complaining or I can point out the positive side of life. I always choose the positive side of life."
"But it's not always that easy," I protested.
"Yes, it is," Jerry said, "Life is all about choices. When you cut away all the junk, every situation is a choice You choose how you react to situations. You choose how people will affect your mood. You choose to be in a good mood or bad mood. It's your choice how you live your life."

Several years later, I heard that Jerry accidentally did something you are never supposed to do in the restaurant business: he left the back door of his restaurant open one morning and was robbed by three armed men. While trying to open the safe, his hand, shaking from nervousness slipped off the combination. The robbers panicked and shot him. Luckily, Jerry was found quickly and rushed to the hospital. After 18 hours of surgery and weeks of intensive care, Jerry was released from the hospital with fragments of the bullets still in his body. I saw Jerry about six months after the accident.
When I asked him how he was, he replied, "If I were any better, I'd be twins. Want to see my scars?"
I declined to see his wounds, but did ask him what had gone through his mind as the robbery took place.
"The first thing that went through my mind was that I should have locked the back door," Jerry replied. "Then, after they shot me, as I lay on the floor, I remembered that I had two choices: I could choose to live or choose to die. I chose to live."
"Weren't you scared?" I asked.
Jerry continued, "The paramedics were great. They kept telling me I was going to be fine. But when they wheeled me into the Emergency Room and I saw the expressions on the faces of the doctors and nurses, I got really scared. In their eyes, I read 'He's a dead man.' I knew I needed to take action."
"What did you do?" I asked. "Well, there was a big nurse shouting questions at me," said Jerry. "She asked if I was allergic to anything." 'Yes,' I replied. The doctors and nurses stopped working as they waited for my reply. I took a deep breath and yelled, 'Bullets!' Over their laughter, I told them, 'I am choosing to live. Please operate on me as if I am alive, not dead'.

Jerry lived thanks to the skill of his doctors, but also because of his amazing attitude.
I learned from him that everyday you have the choice to either enjoy your life or to hate it. The only thing that is truly yours - that no one can control or take from you -- is your attitude, so if you can take care of that, everything else in life becomes much easier.


A Leadership Lesson

The year was 2002 and I used to work in a BPO as a process associate. We used to get subsidised coupons for coffee at Barista at the office canteen. One day, there was an hour for my shift to get over so I thought of taking my last break and sip a cup of hot chocolate at my work station. As I reached my work station I don’t know what happened; my hand sipped and I ended up spilling coffee all over. My key board was all covered in hot chocolate. I got scared and thought that my boss would come and yell at me. I immediately called up IT for a replacement key board and then informed my boss about it. He didn’t say anything to me. The next day he came to our bay and told everyone to take a huddle break. He announced that he was running a ‘Best Bay’ contest and after a month the cleanest and most decorated bay would get a prize. He appointed me as the bay manager and gave me 200 rupees. He told me, “Atul, I trust you with this responsibility and I know you won’t let me down”. The next day I got some posters and balloons and decorated the bay. I also put some ‘keep your workstation clean’ handouts at each team members display board. After a month the results were announced and our bay won the prize. He came over to me and patted my back. He handed over a coffee mug to me and said, “For you to drink hot chocolate. Now, I can trust you that you won’t spill” with a smile on his face.

This leadership behaviour of my boss stayed stamped in my mind. I learnt that if we give people opportunities to contribute then generally people do well. I also learnt that in case I make mistakes then I can correct them.

The Remote Control of Life

The year was 2006 and I was working as a lead trainer in an organization. My personal life was a little turbulent at that point in time and in addition to that another trainer with whom I was working on a project was really giving me a hard time. It reached a point where I felt totally helpless and devastated. During then, I was supposed to get a presentation reviewed by my learning head. As we started the meeting and I had just started taking her through my presentation, she said, “Atul. Stop. What is bothering you?” I replied, “Nothing, I am fine.” Just when I was supposed to go back to my presentation, she said, “Let us take a break. I am hungry. Let’s go to the food court. My treat.” We went to the food court and sat there for two hours. I just vented out all my emotions and felt so relieved. All the while she kept listening empathically. Towards the end she said, “Atul, you are a person who uses his heart more than your mind. It is easy for you to get hurt this way. Do you think you can let the remote to your emotions in your hands only? No one has the right to take that remote from you. As a human being we do get affected by the people we work with and the circumstances around us. It is during these times that you need to develop more resilience and bounce back. You train people in customer service for all this- implement it on your life”. And remember.. the remote is in your hands.”

It has been a decade to this incidence and I have kept the remote in my hands! I think we unconsciously pass on the remote to others and then feel hurt. Let’s keep it in our hands. 

Pearl Goleman

 “am writing about Jug in my life for the #DearZindagi activity at BlogAdda“.

Yes, Pearl Goleman…that’s the alias I suggested her.

It was my first job as a corporate trainer in a contact center. I was in a graveyard shift which used to begin at 12.30 am. In my first batch I met Poonam Dhaliwal. She joined the company as a Call Center Executive, like the rest of the executives but she was different from others. She had a spark in her that set her apart. She had a deep resonating voice which echoed experience and life.

She was a post graduate in Micro biology but as she got married and had kids she could not pursue her B. Ed and so was left with the option to work as an agent. She had an exceptional memory. I got to know this when she was giving a presentation on American Culture. She had remembered all the US history and holidays by heart.

We started taking our breaks together and the more I spoke to her, the more I found a real and genuine person in her. She was ready to listen most of the times but when she would be disturbed, she just wanted to vent out and would not give you any chance to interrupt her.

One day she brought bread halwa for me. I had never tasted it before and found the bread halwa very tasty. I also started carrying Samosas and Jalebis to the office sometimes and we would sit, sip, munch and chat in our breaks. I developed a special bond with Poonam and it was as if I have found a guide, friend, sister… all in one person.

Due to some reasons I had to leave my job very abruptly. On the day, I left the job I called Poonam and asked her how she was doing. I asked her with whom she took her break. She replied, “I don’t need a break now”. I literally had tears in my eyes but I could not do anything to help her. I did call another team member and told her to take care of Poonam.

The bond that got formed within five months was so strong that I still get comfort by just thinking about a friend who resonates with my thinking and understands me.

Due to different cities I don’t get to meet Poonam that often and because of our busy schedules I am not able to talk very frequently too. In spite of all these limitations, whenever we talk or meet it seems that we are starting from where ever we left. It is very difficult to find a friend who is there for you come what may. I feel lucky to have a friend like Poonam in my life.


  • I possess an endless supply of creativity, energy and tolerance for any project that I assume
  • Everything I put my hand to prospers and succeeds
  • My work is deeply fulfilling
  • I am dynamic and full of energy and passionate about what I do
  • At work, my mind is focused and I have clarity and energy in all that I do
  • I possess an endless supply of creativity, energy and tolerance for any project that I commit to
  • I am often promoted at work
  • My success and reputation for being a stellar achiever brings me wealth
  • I am respected and appreciated by my all work colleagues
  • My opinion is valued
  • I am an expert at what I am doing
  • I am respected at work
  • I love my work!
  • I am a magnet for creative ideas
  • My work now fulfills and enriches me
  • I am easy to work with
  • My work is deeply satisfying
  • I always achieve more than is asked or expected of me in my work
  • My work is always recognized positively
  • I work hard at what is important to me and I accomplish amazing things!


In case you feel that you have more of negative thoughts, ask these questions from yourself in the following manner:

  1. What am I thinking?
  2. Are there any distortions in my thinking? (See the unhelpful thinking styles poster)
  3. What worst can happen?
  4. What is the likelihood of it happening?
  5. What is the evidence supporting it?
  6. Has this happened in the past?
  7. How did I cope with it?
  8. What worked out /didn’t work out?
  9. What can I do differently this time?
  10. Who can support me?
  11. What’s my advice to my best friend in case she is in a similar situation?
  12. What are my rights in this situation?

A Proactive Customer Service Story by Adrian Swinscoe

A little while ago, my Mum and Dad flew to New York to go visit my brother and family when they were based there.

When they were planning their trip, my Mum and Dad looked into booking ‘cheap’ flights (possibly something to do with being Scottish!). However, my brother and his wife recommended that they did not just book a cheap flight but that they book a ‘good’ flight.

My brother went on to recommend that they check out, Virgin Atlantic, as he has flown with them a lot and really likes them as an airline.

Eventually, my Mum and Dad took his advice and booked a couple of economy tickets flying out of London Gatwick.

What happened next is a great example of proactive customer service and shows how a small personal touch can have a huge impact on customer experience.

A few days before they were due to fly, my Mum received a call at home from a young man by the name of Kevin at Virgin Atlantic.

He asked for my Dad, who had booked the flights, but my Mum explained that he was out but that he could speak to her.

Kevin explained that he was calling just to let them know, if they didn’t know already, that they could check in online but also to ask if everything was OK, if all of their passports, ESTA forms etc etc were in order and if they had any dietary requirements.

According to my Mum, this was not a scripted call and was done with real sincerity, with Kevin keen to make sure that everything was OK with them with regards to their impending trip.

Kevin even asked my Mum if they needed anymore legroom as that was something that he could arrange too. My Mum laughed and then explained that this was not an issue as they are both only 5 foot 4 inches tall.

Finally, Kevin enquired as to the purpose or occasion of the trip, showed real interest in my parents plans and even offered a couple of suggestions of things that they should visit whilst in New York.

Now, I don’t know if this is a routine part of Virgin Atlantic’s customer service or if my Mum and Dad were picked to be called for any particular reason. But, what I do know, is that by calling them Virgin Atlantic has created two new advocates for their business for the cost of a short phone-call.

I think that proactive customer service presents a real and future opportunity for many firms and I hope that this story shows how a small, proactive, personal touch can have a huge impact on customer experience and a company’s ability to create brand advocates, customer retention and customer loyalty.

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