Series on Credibility: Consistency in behavior

The behaviour of a leader is always under scrutiny and hence it is of utmost importance that all his/her actions should always convey the core values of a righteous, empathetic human being. That is the true mark of a credible leader.


Hanumant Singh was the royal prince of Banswara and he sat out of the posh offices of the State Bank of India, where he was a Chief Manager. One day a villager came to see Hanumant Singh in his office. This person stuck out like a sore thumb. He was older, had a stubble, wore a pink turban, had soiled and slightly torn clothes and carried a stick and a cloth-covered bundle in his hand. He walked slowly and asked for directions to Singh’s office. Everyone turned around to see this person, who was clearly out of place. The office was located in the posh Cuffe Parade, a very rich area in South Mumbai.

As soon as Singh heard that someone from his home town had come to see him, he stepped out of his cabin and went to receive the person. The old man squatted on the floor. Calmly, Singh helped the man to sit on a chair. Common man and royal prince then engaged in a dialog in Rajasthani. The employees at the bank could understand very little of the exchange. Someone in the village had sarcastically told the person that if he met the prince, all his problems would be solved. So this person actually made the trip to Mumbai to meet his prince.


At Singh’s behest, and with his ration-card in hand, one of the employees at the bank took a cab to the Azad Maidan ration store and bought rice, wheat and sugar for the villager. Grain used to be rationed in India during the time and a ration-card was required for its purchase. Singh didn’t need government ration – after all he was royalty.

But for the villager, the gift was as valuable as gold. Not only did he get his ration, but he also got royal treatment from none other than the prince of Banswara. There was a look of great satisfaction in eyes.

While sharing came very naturally to Hanumant Singh, it was his behavior with a person of much lower stature that opened the eyes of the employees that day. They witnessed the whole episode firsthand and saw Hanumant Singh display the same calmness and gentleness that puts everyone at ease. To them that was a fine example of consistent behavior by a leader which builds credibility.