More than often our lives get crowded by motivations that we draw from the super achievers, the great scientists, the billionaires, the inventors, the business leaders who have made an amazing difference to the planet and to the mankind. Mine does too.
But a few days back my wife and I visited Mallaya Hospital Bangalore, for a general health checkup and while waiting for my reports that were seemingly taking an infinite time I was just observing the Bangalore life and traffic go by when i heard an ambulance siren at a distance and this security guard, approx 40 yrs of age wearing the cleanest and most well ironed uniform, emerged from somewhere and immediately, with the agility of a soccer player, readied a wheelchair and a stretcher and an oxygen cylinder.
Within this time an auto driver (tuk tuk) screeched and brought in a very sick woman and this guard pulled the wheelchair got this lady into it and shouted at 2 nurses to whisk away this lady into the hospital’s care.
The ambulance arrived in the meanwhile and this man was ready to open the door and get the patient in emergency out of the ambulance and pushed the stretcher up the ramp to handover to the nurses who were just emerging from the hospital.
All this happened within a 2 min time frame and over the next 15 minutes that i observed this man tirelessly and relentlessly made a difference to the life of every single person who crossed or arrived at the hospital porch spread over no more than 80 sq mts. To a few passerbys he simply enquired about the health of their near and dear ones. I just assumed that this must be the guards first day at a new job/assignment.
I collected my reports and left for the day but somewhere the memory of my 20 mins there lingered on and i asked my chauffeur to go by the hospital next day and stopped my car 50 mts short of the porch and again saw this man, the security guard, at it with same enthusiasm, same speed and same smile.
Couldnt resist the temptation to ask this man what his exact job is – and he said he is ideally supposed to just stand there to ensure a simple law and order at the hospital entrance. I felt a sense of pride shaking hands with K.M. Nathan and felt his infectious energy and enthusiasm. He told me that he has been doing this right here at this spot the same thing for 22 years. And he is 50 now. I have not been so moved by anyones commitment ever in my life. Since 22 years Nathan was performing at 200% of his efficiency, every single day, as if that was the first day of his job.
In an era where billions of dollars are being spent to do research on how to break mission fatigue (repetitive job syndrome) and on office ergonomics where legal rights of employees make them sue their employers just if the shape of the chair isn’t correct, Nathan is a definite outlier and a fine example of what commitment means.
Commitment is really the most important dynamic of strategy and success. A committed team that collectively moves towards common organisational goals can make any company or a project successful. It cannot be taught in business schools, it cannot be developed externally.
The trick is to find Nathans in your midst and nurture them. Nathan is made of an element that doesn’t exist in the corporate world anymore. More than often our myopic corporate visions fail to recognise the Nathans around us. Mallaya hospital did and maybe Nathan is their best brand ambassador.
You are my hero Nathan and you have taught me a new connotation of commitment.