I have learnt that goodbyes are not only tough for the people leaving but also for the ones being left behind.
After a great 15 years, today August 10th marks the last day for Ravi Prabhu in the CGIAR who has been Coordinator of the CGIAR Collective Action in Eastern and Southern Africa the past two and a half years.
It was interesting to see Ravi blush at his farewell and no, not because of the heat as it was a very chilly day but because of all the pleasant words that people said about him! Some of which include; kind, good sense of humour, eloquent, visionary, committed to what he does, a big dreamer and one who never fears to break the rules (own confession).
Having worked with Ravi for close to two years now, I must acknowledge that I will miss a great boss and a mentor, more specifically his wit, counsel, support, critical thinking, among others. Not only did he know what to say and how to say it but most importantly when to say it. He had a word for each season making him an all season communicator. He had a way of making me (and I believe those working with him) feel appreciated, gave credit where it deserved and acknowledged everyone who made contribution and was never short of correction when need be.
In Ravi’s own words the transition plan mapped out will “build explicitly on our achievements in engendering collective action within the four Flagship Programs, our editorial team at Collective Action News, our collaboration with the ICT-KM program in delivering the ‘ESA Map’ online database of research and other elements of the collective action that we have initiated”
I find console in Stephen Covey’s statement that “With an agreement (read vision) in place employees can manage themselves within the framework of that agreement. The manager can then serve like a pace car in a race. He can get things going and then get out of the way. His job from then on is it remove the oil spills.”
I believe that he has done more than that. Being the good manager that he is, he made us co-own the vision and I am convinced that the team which he built is keen on realizing the CGIAR’s mission in the eastern and southern Africa region through better alignment of research activities, more effective collaboration and dynamic integration of research programs.
If there is anything that I have learnt from working with Ravi is that the way of doing business is adapting to change and with that I believe that our paths will cross again, aren’t we all working for betterment of agriculture and related disciplines anyway!
I thank Ravi for his contribution to the CGIAR and wish him all the very best in his new assignment.