Every path to leadership and accomplishment is an individual one, with unique circumstances and trials and opportunities. My journey began as a young Indian woman entering this country with some trepidation, but with a spirit of adventure to embrace a new land. I faced many challenges, missed my family and the pulsing community of India.
Accompanying me was the mentoring and advice I received as a child from my father: “A job worth doing is worth doing well.” Those who are fully engaged, dedicated to progress and committed to excellence are guaranteed success.
I also believe one must be fearless in approaching the future and embracing change. I value the words of Marcel Proust, “We must never be afraid to go too far, for truth lies
beyond.” The truth of any situation and the solution to problems usually lies beyond the obvious, the routine or the habitual. Whether it is devising strategic program direction for the U.S. Postal Service or teaching Indian cooking, I always try to provoke, enlighten and engage all at once; moving beyond the stereotypes that limit our vision and ability to change for the better.
At the Postal Service, I have been involved in communicating the value of change and technical innovation, and found that by involving a spectrum of stakeholders and perspectives, change truly can be transformative. Our backgrounds and communities lend us strength, definition, and character. But it is the diverse communities of thought and talent we create that executes a vision that brings new value and innovation. I see my work as enabling these communities by communicating a vision that energizes individuals to work toward a common goal.
Staying grounded and carefully measuring progress is essential. Winston Churchill concluded that however beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results. I am known within the USPS for being focused and demanding extraordinary effort. As a leader, I know I must constantly keep our focus on our vision and see to it that we get the results we need.
I know that hard work will take me as far as I can dream. In this country my status as a woman was less important than the value I could bring to whatever goal I set. This was a true freedom: a freedom to choose what is best of one’s background, while inhabiting a variety of thought and learning to enable new visions.