Posts Tagged ‘Mumbai Terrorist Attacks’

Leadership from Below

Friday, November 27th, 2015

I am using the occasion of the long Thanksgiving weekend to catch up on my reading and came across an inspiring interview with Harvard Business School Professor Rohit Deshpande in HBS’s podcast series Cold Call. Professor Deshpande wrote a case study titled “Terror at the Taj Bombay: Customer-Centric Leadership”. So you can read or listen to the interview according to your preference. MBA students at Harvard learn via the case study method which presents a situation for discussion and analysis. The professor typically begins, or “opens the case” by “cold calling” (asking without warning) a student with a specific question to initiate the class discussion. This case centers around what happened on November 26th, 2008 when a group of terrorists  attacked several sites, including the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in Mumbai. The kitchen staff attempted to help the guests escape through the back street behind the hotel and when the terrorists caught up with them, the chefs lined up in front of the guests and took the bullets. Many of them died in the process, accounting for the largest number of casualties in a single area of the hotel.

I found the interview to be an inspiring account of personal courage. At the same time, I also know from my own experience of 9/11 and from the experience of others impacted by major trauma that there may be strong emotional reactions on anniversary dates. So as we are enjoying our Thanksgiving feast, there are those in Mumbai who may be re-living aspects of the tragedy and the losses they sustained on November 26th. Another reason to give thanks for our blessings and pray for those who are in need.