Give Respect, Get Affection; Give Affection, Get Respect

A Simple Approach to Relationships
I shall forever remain indebted to Subrata Roy and his company Sahara for what I learned during my four year stint. I have had high respect for Japanese management style of equality but I still found myself a misfit in Sahara’s Japanese ways.

Subrata Roy has written a book called ‘Sukh, Shanti and Santushti’ (Happiness, Peace and Satisfaction). There are few quotes/statements from the book which have left an indelible mark on me. He says, “Respect your elders/seniors and you will get affection, give affection to your younger/juniors and you will get respect.” No doubt it is common sense, but alas humans have to be reminded constantly of simple principles of life we conveniently choose to forget. He says no human relationship in this world is a relationship of equality. Even in a close friendship one person tends to dominate the other. And the one who dominates is respected and the one who is dominated gets affection in return. And about self-respect Subrata Roy says, “A person who respects himself will never be disrespected.”

Parent child relationship, teacher student relationship, boss subordinate relationship and mentor mentee relationship are good examples where one gets affection by giving respect. Subrata Roy says, “No one does anything for anyone, only for the self. We either do something to return what we got (to satisfy our own conscience) or we do something to get something in return.” This statement was a real eye opener in the days when I was an emotional and romantic fool.

In today’s corporate environment, the respect affection relationship between boss and subordinate is missing. On one hand the productivity levels are very high and on the other hand, the rate of burnout is equally high. People with high capacity for stress and high levels of independence only can only grow in such organisations while emotionally not so strong can feel misfits. If we want a mentor, an anchor we have to find the right person and attract the vibes of affection by giving the vibes of respect. If we are strong and independent and can fight our own battles all the time, then and only then we are fit for such environment.

I remember Alvin Toffler’s book ‘Future shock’ which talks of huge divide in future in the society, between people who want very fast lifestyles on one hand and people who want very slow lifestyles on the other hand. Similarly we will have a society hugely divided with very emotional and very logical, very westernised and very eastern in the days to come. And these subcultures will have to have separate identities as they will not be able to adjust with each other.

If you have an attitude of looking at the half glass full there is a lot to learn from Subrata Roy Sahara.

Excerpts from Outlook magazine “India's Weirdest Worker, Sept 8, 1997”
“As a rebellious youngster, he wanted a mobike. His mother was against it, but he finally got his father to buy him a second-hand, dilapidated Jawa, that would turn comatose at the slightest pretext. Others would have sacked it off, but the stubborn Subrata mastered it, by learning every little thing about the machine's innards. Today, he scoffs at '90s Hell's Angel wannabes: "They don't even know how to change a spark plug!"

“Roy isn't looking for managers, he wants men.”Emotions," says he, "are the key to corporate success." All talk about dissociating emotions from the workplace is hogwash. There are three kinds of insecurities that drive men: physical, financial and emotional. Conventional businesses tell employees to leave their emotions back home. This, says Subrata, is wrong, as you then get an incomplete man on the rolls. He believes that instead of breaking the emotional cord that binds the man to his family, the organisation should give the man a chance to become a part of a larger, corporate family. A family where all his emotional needs and insecurities are taken care of.”

 Dr Amit Nagpal is a Life Skills Trainer, Coach and Inspirational Speaker.

He may be reached at


  1. The next thing i am gonna do after reading this is buy a copy of ‘Sukh, Shanti and Santushti’

    Saying thanks is the least one can do to your posts..


  2. Reference to the para in which you are calling yourself an emotional fool; Sir, "Emotion" is a key product in commercial & professional transaction, bearing direct relation to cost, benefits & other consequences. These are better termed as "Displayed Emotions". Emotion is very important for making decisions, where sometimes it binds us to certain decisions (Ex: Tata's investing so much on India's development & CSR) & as well as blind us to some of the dire consequences.
    During organisational change, the change managers manipulate group emotions in order to impose change & so is the case with leaders & line managers, they all do it... I opine that those who feel they are a misfit are a subconcious analysers of the emotional manipulation being imposed on them. I believe all the great leaders have diverted energies of the masses by manipulating the emotions (Ex- Mao Tse Tung), it may also be a case that they carried that emotion themselves as well.
    When you concluded that orgs must make every resource a part of the corporate family... We all can clearly see change managers whether those who take care of internal customers or external, they all manipulate emotions & we either as part of the organisation or a possible customer... we all subconsciously get attached, whether we are mature or not... I see Respect & affection in corporate world, in most cases as a "Displayed Emotion" & not the one you have with Subrata Roy...

  3. Well, I agree with Param that emotional manipulation is the norm in the corporate world, but I also strongly believe and have seen people with strength not only manage to sway tides for themselves and their subordinates but get the most out of these systems mostly with integrity. Have learnt a lot in life from managers who stand tall and unwavering even against the system for their people with grit and often succeed.There are managers who truly develop their people and holistically. And those are relationships based on respect and affection formed for a lifetime. Though I agree that they are a rare breed.God, I wish we had more managers like that which is sad with the plethora of management institutes in every nook and corner. What to do, organizational changes are often necessary, often inevitable and often in best interest of businesses, isn't it ;-))-Bhumika

  4. Thanks to all for the feedback. Param, interesting observations on displayed emotions and non displayed. Bhumika such managers are what we call as real leaders and they are a rare species. Anamika thanks for your kind words


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Mind Lost, Heart Won

Everything Connects, A Book by Faisal Hoque & Drake Baer

One Plus One Equals Eleven