Leadership Lessons From An Uber Ride - FocusU

Leadership Lessons From An Uber Ride


Recently, a Mumbai girl saved an Uber driver from an ordeal that was about to turn nasty. On November 23rd, 2016, Himani Jain (name changed), showed care towards the Uber driver who was about to face the heat from the Mumbai police if she would have not intervened.

Here is the complete Facebook post of Himani:

Happened with me yesterday.

I took Uber Pool to home from office yesterday. The driver, Shahid (Name changed), was very polite and well behaved. I was sharing cab with a lady, Gayatri (Name changed), who was probably in her late thirties. She got into the cab and within a minute she started arguing with Shahid about the drop. He explained her politely that it doesn’t matter, he will drop according to the App to the provided address and she can’t choose the route.

Gayatri started speaking to Shahid in extremely derogatory tone. She said (shouted) that she is not new to Uber and he is too stupid understand her question. Gayatri used words like dumb, Ch***ya, MC, BC, “I will slap you”etc. Shahid kept calm and asked her if he should start the trip. I asked Gayatri to stay calm and explained that there is a miscommunication between you and Shahid, and I will explain him. By this time she lost her cool completely and asked Shahid to come to police station and asked me to join her in her complaint. When I disagreed she started verbally abusing me as well. Shahid ended my trip, apologized for the inconvenience and asked me to take another ride home. While all this drama was happening 20 odd people and two security ladies gathered around our cab. I gave my number to security lady so that they can contact me in case police trouble Shahid. Meanwhile, both Gayatri and Shahid had already dialed 100 and cops came in no time. I explained them the situation, gave my number to the police as well in case they want my statement in favour of Shahid. When I was about to leave, the security Lady came to me and said “Madam, please jao na police station, wo maar daalenge isko. Ladies ka case hai toh iska koi nahi sunega”. Though it was already 9pm and I was scared to go to police station (first experience), I didn’t feel like leaving him in that situation so I decided to go police station along with them. And the funny part is that when Gayatri was explaining all this ruckus to the Constable, he asked “madam where is the problem”. When she saw nothing happening her way, she made false accusations against Shahid of verbally abusing her and asking her to get out of the car and asked them to lodge an FIR against him.

I gave my statement to the police and told them that neither I am related to Shahid nor Gayatri and I had no reason to come here. I came here to support Shahid who is completely innocent in this case. She did not leave police station till 11pm. Gayatri demanded that the driver should apologize her and touch her feet as a part of apology. Apparently she wanted to teach him a lesson. I stayed there till she left the police station. I spoke to the police and fortunately, they understood the situation. They placated her that they will take action against him and asked her to leave. Meanwhile they took Shahid to a room and I could hear sounds of someone getting beaten up. I ran to the Constable and I said there is no mistake of him. To my surprise, they were beating the floor with the belt and Shahid was just making noises with a smile. I don’t know if it was right or wrong but I felt happy. Cop came and thanked me for standing up for Shahid otherwise it would have been a disaster for the driver. I felt contended. I called Shahid after an hour of reaching home. He is sound and safe. 🙂

Thanks to Mumbai police for understanding.


Here are the three leadership lessons from Himani and the Uber Driver:

  1. Don’t react, instead respond:
    The Uber driver, instead of reacting to the verbal garbage being thrown at him by Gayatri, responded by being calm. Throughout his conversation, he was aware of the intensity of the situation, for example – he asked Gayatri if he could start the trip (instead of refusing her with contempt) even when Gayatri was forcing him to follow a different route. In another situation, the Uber driver apologized to Himani after the ordeal and requested her to take another cab. This showed that he maintained his calm throughout.
  2. Stand up for what’s right:the-oz-principle
    Himani knew what was right in the situation when the police arrived. She went out of her comfort zone to go to the Police Station late at night to fight for the right cause. Leadership is about going beyond your comfort zone and doing the right thing. It would have been easy for Himani to let go of the situation and go home, but she assumed accountability and took ownership of the situation instead. In the book The Oz Principle, the authors emphasize that leaders assume accountability by living the four principles: Seeing it, Owning it, Solving it, and Doing it. Himani did this by sharing the correct sequence of events with the police and closed the issue fully before she left.
  3. Show your care:
    Himani lived a powerful business lesson when she called up the driver an hour later after the entire ordeal was over. She showed the value of care towards the driver to check if everything was okay for him. A leader’s job is not just to resolve issues, but to also connect with people emotionally. This is because they know that building relationships can enable people to give their best. It also restores the faith people have in such leaders. Imagine how the Uber driver would have felt when he received a call from the passenger just to check if everything was fine with him. It would have changed his beliefs about passengers or it might have even restored faith in customers. Think of your experiences and share examples with us of how care shown towards you changed you as a person. Happy caring!
Read Also  The Marshmallow Challenge!

Share it on

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin