Leading with words

It’s been a long long time since I wrote on the blog. Some of you have said you’ve missed reading (I feel thankful, truly!) and others have been reading and seeing the older posts. Thank you for bearing with me. But honestly, more than my blog missing me, I have missed the spark the blog brings to my writing! And while there hasn’t been much writing over the time I have been away (more of communication strategy instead!), one thing that did come up was speech-writing for one of corporate India’s head honchos. I am excited about it and the adrenalin rush is thrilling – writing speeches that would be heard at CII, FICCI and NASSCOM summits, is no small stuff…

However, since I am on the subject of speeches, I’d like to share this fantastic speech by Dunn & Bradstreet Chairman and CEO, Sara Mathew, at the Business Today Most Powerful Women in Indian Business 2011 Awards.

Sara’s speech lists 5 ‘dares’ for women and takes them through her personal journey of learning. Her words aren’t made of stuff written in management books but are simple learnings from her own working life. Which is why they hit home right away.

It gets even better when she closes with straight-from-the-heart words for India’s business women. Notice the style of spotting the glory in the worst. For it is in those darkest hours when we need to spot the ray of hope. Her words have a wonderful quality of taking you through the highs and lows and still staying with the highs. Read on and be inspired!


Life is short. Don’t take shortcuts on the important stuff.

I’ll close with a few final words (none original) for the women who are being honored today.

I wish you could know what it’s like to run with all you heart, and lose, horribly – I’ve done that

I hope you make some stupid mistake and get caught red-handed, and are big enough to say those magic words – I was wrong.

I wish you could achieve some great good for someone else, and have nobody know, except you — There is no greater reward.

I hope you are faced with a challenge so big that it frightens you – Yet, you find that inner strength to push beyond the barriers of your personal limitations – you will grow as a leader.

I wish you could find something so worthwhile that you deem it worthy of investing your life in – that’s when your job becomes a calling.

I wish for you a magnificent obsession that will give you reason for living and purpose and direction in your life ….

I wish for you the extraordinary experience called leadership.

For to lead, is to learn, to care, to serve, to subordinate your needs and desires for the greater good – the good of your customers, your shareholders and your employees.

Fantastic isn’t it?! This is what good copy, good leadership, and good speeches are made of. I’ve throughly enjoyed writing some speeches in my career and truly look forward to more.

Please write and tell me if you liked it too. Read Sara’s full speech here.

Will be back sooner… I promise! πŸ™‚

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