Leading by action | Dr.Sanjeev Kumar | TEDxVIFT | Summary and Q&A

September 25, 2023
TEDx Talks
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Leading by action | Dr.Sanjeev Kumar | TEDxVIFT

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In this video, the speaker discusses the importance of leading by action rather than just words. He shares his personal journey of overcoming challenges and achieving success, despite not having a privileged background. Through his experiences, he emphasizes the power of believing in oneself and taking chances.

Questions & Answers

Q: What are the two verbs the speaker mentions in his talk?

The two verbs the speaker mentions are "words" and "action." He highlights that while words have their own significance, action carries a different connotation. He believes in leading life through action rather than just speaking words.

Q: Can you provide an example of why leading by action is important?

The speaker gives the example of his own life. Despite facing obstacles such as studying in a Hindi medium high school and being a simple BA graduate from a lesser-known university, he was able to achieve success through his actions. He studied diligently, pursued higher education, and achieved remarkable academic milestones. His story demonstrates that action speaks louder than words.

Q: How did the speaker overcome challenges in his education?

The speaker lost his mother at the age of nine, which affected his academic journey. His father wanted him to become an engineer or a civil servant, but he realized that he was more comfortable with subjects like English, Hindi, sociology, political science, and geography. He pursued his BA and stood fourth in the entire state. He then accepted a challenge from his father to pursue an MA in English, promising to achieve first-class honors. He fulfilled his promise and continued his studies, obtaining degrees such as Anfield and a Ph.D. from prestigious universities.

Q: What message does the speaker have for students who consider themselves average?

The speaker encourages students who think they are average to believe in themselves and have a strong mindset. He shares his own journey as proof that success is possible regardless of one's background. He wants students to take chances and not underestimate their potential.

Q: What is the significance of the speaker mentioning his current position?

By mentioning that he is now a professor in India's Premier University with over 32 years of experience, the speaker wants to highlight that he has achieved a stable and successful career. Despite starting from a humble background, he has established himself and is now a fulfilled and happy person. This underscores his message of the importance of taking action and believing in oneself.

Q: What achievements does the speaker mention towards the end of the video?

Towards the end of the video, the speaker reveals some of his remarkable achievements. He mentions being awarded the Padma Shri in 2023 and being nominated for the International Excellence Award in London Parliament. These accomplishments showcase the extraordinary journey of a student who initially considered himself average and is now being recognized at an international level.

Q: How does the speaker conclude his talk?

The speaker concludes by wishing his students well and encouraging them to embark on a great journey. He emphasizes the importance of believing in oneself and having a strong mindset. He shares that he is a happy, well-established person with two daughters working in a multinational company. He hopes his story will inspire his students to overcome their mediocrity and achieve success.


The speaker's message revolves around the power of action and self-belief. He emphasizes that words alone are not enough, and that true leadership is demonstrated through action. He shares his personal journey of overcoming challenges, achieving academic success, and attaining recognition at an international level. The speaker's story serves as an inspiration for students who consider themselves average, urging them to believe in themselves, take chances, and strive for success. Ultimately, the speaker's key takeaway is that anyone can achieve greatness as long as they have a strong mindset and are willing to take action.

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