Leadership Journey – Saurabh Dhabu, Indian Institutes of Technology, IIT Delhi

Saurabh Dhabu

Saurabh Dhabu is a B. Tech Mechanical Engineering student of Indian Institutes of Technology, IIT Delhi, who has been continuously involved in beyond the classroom activities.

Here, Saurabh is sharing his experience being involved at Board for Hostel Management, Wellness Club and Indoor Sports Club. His hard work has the potential to propel him ahead of the curve.

Go ahead and know what his story has to offer so that you can easily find a path of self-growth. Young Influxers go ahead and upgrade yourself!!!

What was your role? Briefly list the responsibilities associated with it.

At House Secretary, you have to collaborate with hostel warden. Where I have to convey all ongoing activities to the warden and plan them with proper structured 2 tier team of other secretaries, representatives and captains. Discuss and confirms the allocated budget to sections like maintenance, sports, cultural, library and gym. Basically you have to take. care of the planning of all hostel related activities in coherence with other secretaries and representatives.

In Wellness club, we team if CTMs have to do all back end planning of activities and events related to wellness basically spirituality, yoga, meditation and speaker sessions. Wellness club organises international Yoga Day with collaborations with different clubs. Events consist of daily morning/evening yoga, mediation sessions, Zumba dance session, keynote speakers sessions based on varied topics from yoga, nutrition to time management.

As Indoor sports secretary, you have to take care of all activities of campus related to Chess, carrom, pool. Used to organise tournaments, fressers week, inter hostel tournaments for these three sports. Somewhere Foosball also came to action.

What’s it like to juggle between leadership roles and academics? Pen down the challenges you faced.

Struggle to work for some initiative in full swing due to time constraints so some timelines got extended due to responsibilities of academics.

But when you define your work and timelines, when you have a good team, when you clear your to-do things in mind it doesn’t bother much in academics.

Few times I got soo excited about some of my initiatives and it’s impact effect of which I lost my focus in academics and vice versa. The struggle between this comes to end when I started to communicate well with my teammates and understanding their response.

Sometimes I had to do more groundwork because it’s your event or initiative and it’s your responsibility to make it happen as you thought of. So in the unpredicted absence of volunteers or teammates, I have to leave all academic work and rush to the desired place for some arrangements. Then my sleeping timings used to extend.

Did you also get a chance to connect with any other activity while working on this post?

Anchored international day of yoga 2018 at IIT DELHI.

Collaborated with Zomato India NGO which picks up remained food in hostel mess and distribute to slums.

What are the top learnings, skills and values that you acquired here?

The team is a must if you want to do impactful work.

Your insecurities or bad habits should not become in your way or responsibilities but your creativity and innovative solutions must find their way out through you to express and impact.

You can’t be personal when you thinking about the whole group or can say a large number of people.

Whatever may be the behaviour of any member or person but you have to behave responsibly.

You have to consider all stakeholders and sometimes you have to strategise some decisions to get people with you.

There are always two leaderships positions. Authoritative and non-authoritative. In authority, you have system power which is set up to maintain order and balance and other is unauthorized where people give you power. This means they will see you as a leader without being in the system. Both have different dynamics. I personally believe in non-authoritative there is so much dynamism and fun. I think One should transcend from the second to the first type of leadership. Or influence such a way that he/she should go from first to second but restricting to duty or the first type of leadership.

(ex. after becoming CM you can’t act like a common man, you are at power use it wisely keeping the real connection with people)

In the end, you don’t have to think like a boss but a worker, working for others, working for the vision which only your team can picturise it or sometimes it’s only you!

Do you feel your current role fills you with pride and gratitude? Illustrate how the experience gained will help you going forward.

Yes, definitely. Working for others gives you a sense of usefulness which increases your gratitude and decrease your bad ego. It’s like giving your service, which improves you a lot in many ways

  1. New situations come with difficulties that forces you to be flexible.
  2. You can’t do my way, highway because there a varied stakeholders which will affect your decision then you have to develop quality thinking of so many factors at a time. Integrating, summing and coming up with a decision is the unique intelligence one develops.
  3. You get introduced to the newer world on upper levels. Where your brainstorm your decisions taking considerations of different examples and suggestions.

I think the most important thing one learns is how to do work for others besides their ego. You can’t get any justification for your good work. The habit of doing work without expectations of any returns is the greatest habit one can develop.

As Swami Vivekananda used to say I am the sound without form. This means I am just a medium, I am not doing these things. You get a platform to practice this.

As when we talk about leadership we have a whole team with us. How do you persuade others to accept your ideas/ways?

First of all, you don’t have to persuade anyone just keep discussing the best solution, which means keeping the problem at the centre and doing teamwork to find the best solution is the key here. I used to discuss and listen to their suggestions, at the required time have to criticize to reassess the solution provided. If I have to communicate my innovative ideas first have to make a proper plan before presenting it to teammates. Keeping the groundwork check is the solution to get the best impactful work.

What is your message to students, aspiring to the same or a similar role to do?

Be genuine and authentic. Go with fewer expectations and most important keep problem at the centre.

Get a habit to hear from those who are unheard in the room most of the time. While discussing ask everyone’s opinion, a less talkative person may have good solutions. His/her silence should not be a constraint to your team leadership.

Have thoughtful faith in yourself team members. I have a simple formula for this, if you think he /she have actually good character then you don’t have to worry much. Whatever your team will do it will be in coherence and constructive, just communicate well that’s it.

How can we (Friends, Family, YI Fraternity) encourage young students such as yourself to engage with co-curricular or extra-curricular activities?

By showing them the fun involved in the uncertainties of these things. Encouraging them to stand if they have deep thoughts and have guts to take action in that direction in which they want to actually implement it.

Leadership can be learnt. Sometimes it comes up naturally by facing difficult situations, habituated to make their way or learning techniques of communication, developing more sense of purpose and usefulness.

Anything else would you like to say to the YI learners who’ll be reading your experience?

A leader is not perfect but never fails to learn more to reach perfection. In this pursuit of reaching his/her full potential, he gets ignited and introduced to the new energies of the universe.

As there is an awesome dialogue in the Spiderman movie that with great power comes great responsibility. That’s true, but I think to reverse is also true. With great responsibility comes great power. Take great examples from histories like Netaji Subhash Chandr Bose, Mother Teresa, Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi, Chhatrapati Shivaji Mahraj, Abdul Kalam and many more they actually took the responsibility of people. They widened their heart for someone’s suffering and due to which they got ignited by the immense power.

So my suggestion is to start taking responsibilities. Starting with your loved ones then expanding your horizons to your friends, surrounding, society the world.

Think about this life-transforming thought. With great responsibility comes great power.

We at Young Influx would take this opportunity to thank Saurabh for taking a leap of faith and sharing his impeccable story. We are humbled and grateful, your efforts mean a lot for the youth seeking growth and development.

And hello, dear readers, we welcome you to explore the platform with an open mind. Help yourself gain the most out of the experiences and opportunities listed here.

And before you bid us adieu, we would like you to know that you can read more such student stories here.

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