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This is Kanniamma, a service provider at our residence. She is an immense tea lover and survives mainly on it. She has a signature laugh and on a day she is on leave, her absence will be felt by her peers as well as by us at home.

A few months back, there was some issue involving a bus. The driver parked the bus opposite our gate and I couldn’t take my car out. Kanniamma intervened and told the driver to carry on and drive the passengers. She said “Go man do your work, people inside will be late to work if you behave like this’. Arguments between the driver and passengers are a usual occurrence. One of the passengers took the privilege of appreciating her and uttered in a loud voice ‘tell that driver, then only people like him will learn’. He didn’t know Kanniamma well enough. She went near the specific window through which the passenger screamed and told him ‘why should I tell the driver ya, don’t you have a mouth to tell? Am I going to the office? Am I getting late? When you are affected, open the mouth and talk’. The passenger kept quiet, perhaps the whole day.

I appreciated Kanniamma aloud and told her that she is a real leader of sorts as I saw the driver move the bus immediately. ‘Well done Kanniamma, you are a leader, we need to learn from you’. She laughed in her signature style and even blushed. Later, in less than 30 minutes, she applied for a soft loan/advance from my wife and got it hands down.

She acted as a leader in resolving an issue, questioned the silent majority, ensured visibility and earned appreciation and finally leveraged the situation in her favour.Lessons are around us – Kanniamaa taught me one.

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