What do you do when you have an extremely critical meeting with a top Government official - and your nanny takes the day off? Read on to find out.
Here we go again, the next one of the SheSells series.
This story is less than a year after “tiny she” was born in early 2003. The tiny she (my baby daughter) was all of 11 months old, a bundle of joy and happiness.
Parenting was hard, being a working mother was harder and being a Mom to a one year old required never ending reserves of energy. We had established a nice pattern of early morning play time, bath time and feed time before I left for office. I returned at lunch to check on the baby and feed her and went back to office. My spouse took over in the late afternoon, when he was not travelling on work – which was quite often.
This happy situation didn’t last long. The baby’s nanny started taking frequent days off as she was unwell. We somehow managed to juggle our schedules and stay with the baby as there was no “WFH” then. Anyways, in banking there was always WFB (work from branch) and the bankers know what I mean!
One fine day, I had an extremely critical meeting with a top Government official heading the state department of Finance. As you all know, the protocol in Government appointments is very strict. The names and designations of the persons who wish to meet the Government official, the meeting agenda, the date(s) and time required had to be clearly mentioned in the formal request for appointment. Once this request was reviewed by the Executive Assistant of the official, it was forwarded to the official for approval. Finally, written communication was sent to the requestor granting the appointment (phew). This entire exercise had been completed and we had received a confirmation for the meeting with the Government official at 11 am on a particular date. I was all set to meet him and present our bank’s credentials with the objective of getting our bank on the approved list for investments.
That’s when things started to get challenging. The nanny didn’t arrive on that fateful day. My spouse was travelling and the “the tiny she” was in high spirits, ready to play. I had taken leave to look after the baby, but knew that the Government appointment couldn’t be missed or rescheduled. We would most likely not get another chance to meet the official and our credibility would be severely dented if I cancelled in the last minute. I could not depute anyone else in my place as the approval mentioned my name and designation with no changes permitted at short notice.
I was wondering what to do. Duty called me – both ways. That’s when I got a brilliant idea. If the tiny she could not be left at home alone, she could surely come along with me for the call. I packed up her feed, ball and her warm clothes and off we went – for her first sales call.
The appointment was at 11 A.M and the location was fortunately close to my house. My Branch Sales Manager and I (I was heading the branch then) reached the location in my car at 10.50 am. I told the driver to park the car in the building and gave the Sales Manager (a young, unmarried clueless chap – poor fellow) detailed instructions on how to handle the baby and to call me if she cried. I left the baby with them downstairs while I went for the meeting on the 5th floor. I was apprehensive about leaving the baby, but knew that the meeting would last only for 10-15 minutes, as mentioned in the approval.
I handed over our request for empanelment and had a quick discussion on the bank’s credit ratings with the official. He seemed to be in no hurry to complete the meeting and offered me a cup of tea.
For the first time in my life, I had to refuse an opportunity to get to know the client better – because babies wait for no one! I told him we could have tea some other day as the baby was waiting. He was surprised and amused when he heard this and asked me to get her upstairs. And, also told me that he was very impressed with my commitment and zeal, so he would certainly take our empanelment request forward.
I thanked him profusely and left. No, I didn’t take the baby to meet him. I rushed downstairs to find the “tiny she” throwing the ball happily near the car and the Sales Manager running all over trying to find it. I thanked him and we left.
All was well, and we were done for the day. I had kept my commitment to both – my job and my baby.
Of course we got the empanelment and my branch signed up its first Government client. It also became the fastest branch to cross 100 crores in deposits within 6 months of launch.
It is possible to find solutions when you look for answers, not excuses.
Don’t let your circumstances defeat you or diminish you or destroy you.
Instead, use you circumstances to learn new ways of doing things, a new approach, to find a new path.
Let challenging circumstances open the door to learning and growth.
Don’t make excuses or wait for someone else to show you the way when things get difficult.
Create your own path towards success, make your own way towards your goals.
Success comes to those who persevere, not to those who procrastinate.