This weekend I came across an article on Mother Teresa and was reminded of my first meeting with her a good 30 plus years ago. I had just stepped out of my teen years and had a taken a job with a Christian agency editing a newsletter for them. I was also responsible for their Library of inspirational movies. One day we got a call from one of the sisters who worked with mother Teresa asking if we could organise to show her team an inspirational movie. When I said that we would be happy to do it, she asked me to meet Mother Teresa later in the day to decide which one should be screened.
I had heard of Mother Teresa and the good work she was doing and felt privileged to meet up with her. That evening I reached the Mother House the headquarters of Mother Teresa with a lot of excitement. I wanted to meet the saviour of the poor. As I walked into the compound I saw lot of activity, the sisters were unloading a huge trailer truck filled with baby food which had arrived from the port, a gift from some European country. I walked past the truck looking for the Office where I could announce my arrival and wait for the meeting.
After that I met her many times but that first meeting will always stand out for me . I went back touched and inspired by this extraordinary lady. It was a humbling experience to see Mother Teresa unloading the truck. There was no need for her to get involved in that task as she had an army of people at her command and they could have got it done but she joined in!
It was only much later after I joined the corporate world and worked with a number of Bosses that the full significance of her actions dawned on me . . . Real leaders don't hide behind secretaries or closed doors, they are where the action is, with their troops, getting their hands dirty and extending Support to make things happen!