‘The art of acceptance is the art of making someone who has just done you a small favour wish that he might have done you a greater one. Martin Luther King, Jr.’
The stimulus for this post was a recent discussion on ‘BHAG it’ by David Moore in #leadwithgiants Google + community. I share the community discussion link here: https://plus.google.com/u/0/114414831154896320161/posts/ffjbBa8HJes – and this very much sets the scene for this post and leadership inspiration from the East.
The discussion took place before watching Bhaag Milkha Bhaag – A film I was eagerly waiting for and it didn’t disappoint! An emotionally and creatively moving experience; which I would highly recommend watching (subtitles are in English). Incredible acting, composition and visual direction; encapsulating the essence of struggle, personal transformation and success. Including welcomed #leadership reflections by an inspirational icon Milkha Singh. The film shares historical references to the partition of India and Pakistan; and how this impacted survivors post ‘Divide and Rule’ – An enforced imperial power strategy that saw the extreme hardship and struggles; in the partition of India. This indeed is a encouraging reminder of leadership disrepute and aggressive impact that we dare not repeat in the future.
Leadership is about inclusive practice, teamwork and integration. In the West, we are embracing leadership thoughts that welcome diversity of opinion and perspective as part of business development, growth and innovation. I hope this in some ways shares some key reflections from the East that complements this leadership thought and approach. For me, there are no leadership barriers globally – but only of the richness of leadership experiences that the East offers; which can be under-represented.
Some leadership reflections:
Success is earned: It is through momentum, persistence, consistent action, reflection and determination; which rewards success and excellence. The journey of success ultimately transforms individuals, actions and ability. The skills developed for success are life enabling and defines not just the individual; but the culture and community.
Adversity is a trigger for greater good: The key ingredients for personal development and excellence is adversity and tolerance. Challenges aside; it develops the right mind-set for success – if channelled appropriately. It also liberates individuals in a position of roundedness – life skills that support personal growth. Those that have channelled frustration, anger and resentment to transform practice are indeed humble, grounded and accepting that the higher good prevails – rewards aside.
Seek to develop in greatness: A key leadership reflection here is in order to develop in excellence; we must strive to access excellence and perspective i.e. the right community that promotes and values excellence; and those that enable and stretch potential. Key to personal development are the right mentors and coaches – these need not be just the ones you remunerate; but associations, communities and networks with a wealth of lessons, perspectives and thoughts to share and embrace. Be focussed and yet be aware of wider perspectives – this enables you to see more clearly about your role, in line with wider developments and the bigger picture – so you remain grounded and rounded.
Reward is not the endgame: Enjoy the journey of personal development and lessons life shares. What is worse is running, gathering momentum and collapsing. Energy zapped, rushing to success. The unique experiences mould you for greater good – at a pace you are not in control of. Performance is measured and controlled, but one must not be too hung-up on reward or success as an end-game. The experience of personal development will be at the pace you can afford to take time out to, for introspection, rumination and acceptance. Milkha Singh ‘is probably best-known for his fourth-place finish in the 400 metres final at the 1960 Olympic Games.’
‘In 2008, journalist Rohit Brijnath described Singh as “the finest athlete India has ever produced”. In July 2012, The Independent referred to him, saying that “India’s most revered Olympian is a gallant loser” and noting the paucity of success — 20 medals — achieved by Indian competitors in the Olympic Games despite the country having a population in excess of 1 billion.’ – Wikipedia reference.
Despite losing his ultimate race; he has aspired many individuals with his leadership qualities, charm, pride and excellence. The film now released proves this and individuals like us now experience his exceptional story. He continues to lead by example (in India and beyond) in ways even he wasn’t aware of (at the start of his career in the military) – both by ability and potential. He has strived for excellence and his movement and passion prevails for athletes and leaders alike in India and beyond: 40+ years on … a living legacy.
Perspective of failure: Failure is a way of channelling self to success. A mind set to overcome pitfalls, minor set-backs and perceived difficulty is a way of developing undiminished resilience – and step on the step to progress. Every little step (by way of momentum) creates opportunity and achievement.
Richness in perspective and contrast: Life offers rich perspective and contrasts ‘everywhere’. You don’t need to go to the East to experience this or the West. You need to make sure you have all your senses open to absorbing this richness of information and how it shapes you and those around you i.e. personal association and embrace the value of personal impact.
Rewards are shared: Personal development; we are personally accountable and responsible for; is no use if we are to create a legacy. Reflections and learning must be shared so that I becomes a WE. We enable individuals to lead by excellence and strive in adversity. We offer guidance to support and empower individuals to think beyond challenge(s) and act head-on beyond uncertainty, potential and ability. We stretch individuals so that they inspire others – enable them to share their story by giving individuals the platform to accept and celebrate achievement. Every achievement is a success. Every individual has a part to play in the success of a community or team. Ultimate success is in individuals aspiring others to follow suit. An empowering movement is created when others in your sphere excel in talent, skills and knowledge – for the benefit of the team and organisation. Connection by way of team strength and abilities. Have we rightfully offered the time to seek out strengths in the individual we manage? You might be surprised by what they offer – including their story and experiences awaiting to be tapped, shaped and awarded.
Leaders are holders of the key for potential. If you don’t open the door by connection; you lose a sense of purpose and meaning for that individual and that of the team – the impact … a land of opportunities completely missed by simple loss of connection and dialogue.
I leave you all with this personal motivation quote from the official @MBMTheFilm twitter feed … Bhaag Milka Bhaag (Run Milka Run) – his personal association with the past; a key inspiring factor, in his journey forward.
I share huge respect for individuals that share their story to inspire us, in leadership greatness; for greater good.