Institute for Strategic Leadership

As I stand on the threshold of new beginnings and set forth a roadmap for my personal and professional growth, I want to take a moment to reflect on the invaluable insights gained, having immersed myself in a week-long leadership training with actionable insights from the Institute for Strategic Leadership at Millbrook, Queenstown, New Zealand. I am just recovering from this transformational experience along with 20 other attendees from NZ Defence Forces, NZ Police, Hospice NZ, Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment NZ, UNICEF, and C-suite executives from NZ, Australia, and the UK.  There is so much to process and reflect on in the coming weeks. The journey to becoming the best version of ourselves is not without its challenges, but it is undoubtedly worth the effort. I wouldn’t have endured the week without the remarkable support provided by my syndicate, .

No other executive development program in New Zealand can boast such an illustrious roster, including a Governor-General, Prime Minister, 2 Mayors, the founding CEO of New Zealand’s largest company, 5 Chiefs of Defence, 2 Commissioners of Police, 3 Vice Chancellors, and several leading CEOs of large New Zealand enterprises making strides on the global stage. These programs stand unrivaled in New Zealand and have garnered comparisons to those offered by prestigious institutions like Harvard, Stanford, and INSEAD.

I am grateful and would like to thank the following people for supporting and sponsoring me in reassessing my leadership potential and what holds significance in my life.

Here are a few snapshots from this enriching experience.

75th Republic Day Celebrations

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take but by the moments that take our breath away. Yesterday, I experienced one such moment. I felt immense pride and honor while participating as the Chief Guest at VIT-AP University’s Republic Day celebrations. I had the privilege of hoisting the Indian National Flag and presenting awards to some of our society’s unsung heroes.

VIT-AP University, also known as Vellore Institute of Technology, Andhra Pradesh or VIT University, Andhra Pradesh, is a private research university located in Inavolu, Amaravati, the capital of Andhra Pradesh, India

Thank you, Vice Chancellor, Dr. Seelam Venkata Kota Reddy Garu, and Dr. Jagadish Chandra Mudiganti – Registrar, for choosing me to do the honors this year.





The Rabbit & Tortoise Story

# Fast and consistent will always beat slow and steady: 

As soon as you read this statement, our childhood version of the race between rabbit & tortoise will flash into your mind. The story with which we’ve all grown up. A tortoise and a rabbit argued about who was faster. They both decided to settle the argument with a race. The rabbit was complacent and fell asleep, and the tortoise won the race. The moral of the story is that slow-and-steady wins the race.  

But we were not taught that the rabbit was disappointed at losing the race and did some thinking. Rabbit again challenged the tortoise for another race. This time the rabbit remained focused and finished the race way ahead of the tortoise. The moral of the story is fast and consistent will beat the slow-and-steady. 

# Focus on your core competencies: 

The tortoise was upset and thought there was no way he could beat the rabbit in this race; hence after careful consideration tortoise challenged the rabbit to another race. But this time, the tortoise gets to design the race route. The rabbit sped off just as focused as the last race but arrived at a broad river. The turtle arrived later, swam across the river, and reached the finishing line. The moral of the story is to identify your strengths and change the playing field to suit your core competence.

# Teamwork first

By this time, the rabbit and the tortoise had become pretty good friends, and they had done some thinking together. Both realized that they could have run the last race much better. So they decided to run the race again, but this time as a team. The rabbit carried the tortoise for the first part of the route, then the tortoise swam across the river with the rabbit on its back and finally finished the race together. The moral of the story is that pooling resources and working as a team will always beat individual performers. Also, working in a team helps harness each other’s core competencies. 

The story of a Pencil

A boy was watching his grandmother write a letter and asked, “Are you writing a story about what we’ve done? Is it a story about me??”

His grandmother stopped writing her letter and said to her grandson, “I am writing about you…actually, I hope you will be like this pencil when you grow up.”

Intrigued, the boy looked at the pencil. It didn’t seem very special. “But it’s just like any other pencil I’ve ever seen!” he said.

“That depends on how you look at things,” the grandmother replied.

“This pencil has five qualities which, if you manage to hang on them, will make you a person who is always at peace with the world.

First quality: You are capable of great things, but you must never forget that there is a hand guiding your steps.
We call that hand. God, and He always guides us according to His will.

Second quality: Now and then, I have to stop writing and use a sharpener. That makes the pencil suffer a little, but afterward, he’s much sharper. So you, too, must learn to bear certain pains and sorrows because they will make you a better person.

Third quality: The pencil always allows us to use an eraser to rub out any mistakes. This means that correcting something we did is not necessarily bad; it helps keep us on the road to justice.

Fourth quality: What really matters in pencil is not its wooden exterior but the graphite inside. So always pay attention to what is happening inside you.

Fifth quality: It always leaves a mark. In the same way, you should know that everything you do in life will leave a mark, so try to be conscious of that in your every action.

Note: The story is an extract from the book “Like the flowing River” by Paulo Coelho, published by Harper Collins.

Stay True to Your Values

Qualifications, certifications, test scores, gold medals, internships do not define your career. What will make or break your career is who you are and what values define you because your values are the ones that define and differentiate you over time. They define what is unique and consistent about you.

There is no quick fix or magic formula to become a great leader. Leadership comes from how you think, act, and treat others but not from your title or position. You become a leader by empowering others and creating conditions for your teams to achieve important business goals. You become a leader by rallying people around a common mission and creating a sense of shared purpose, a sense of succeeding or failing together as a team.

You are allowed to take pride in your leadership title only if you are empowering others due to your presence and creating an environment for them to bring their whole selves into the office not because they have to but because they want to. They feel empowered, enjoy their work, and want to be around their leader.

#leadership #borra #bluebird #makeitbetter #getleaderized #dontcoast #values

Before you go…

If you enjoyed this post, you would love my books, “Don’t Coast” & “GET LEADERized” which are available on Amazon, Flipkart & Notion Press

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