My main motivation in delving into leadership and coaching didn’t stem from an educational background in a related field. It rather did through various life-experiences. For instance, as a teenager growing up in Nepal, I found myself hooked to books: principally on mindfulness and spirituality.
The observations that stemmed from those books can be applied to real-life scenarios: something I did personally and religiously. And to good effect. Few simple lessons can be summed up as below-
1) We as humans are basically bundles of energy. When we channel that energy into something creative or positive, we make a significant, positive and lasting difference in our personal front, and at Organizations that we create or work for and in the World at large.
2) Everybody needs mentors. And the best way to be a good mentor is to become a good mentee first. Now, what do I mean by that? Let me illustrate through examples.
Not everybody has had or can have seamless and successive successes and opportunities. Life is fretted with challenges and setbacks. And so it goes about the organizations that we work for too. So, when we inculcate an open mind, remain open and accepting of constructive criticisms we grow.
Later, I also read many books by coaches and leadership thinkers. One that spoke to me many a times was by my mentor and Coach, Thinkers50 World’s Number one Leadership thinker, Coach and author of New York Times bestsellers, What Got You here won’t get you there, Mojo and Triggers, Dr Marshall Goldsmith. He asserts that we, in any conversation, are habitually inclined to uttering words like : “No. But. However.” It, according to Dr Goldsmith, is a leadership habit with detrimental consequences. So, in any role, whether as a mentee or a mentor ( and surely as a leader) we need to be better listeners first and resist endeavouring to put our own thoughts and agendas at the start or amid any conversation . Suffice it to say that a better listener or mentee will create a better coach, mentor, leader or boss.
3) Also, getting back to how life-experiences can usher one towards the wonderful World of leadership and coaching, let me cite you another personal example.
A decade or so earlier after completing my basic training and education in medicine, I started working as a doctor in a semi-rural setting in Nepal. During my tenure I tended to thousands of patients. In due course, I realized that what I had been witnessing was “mere tip of the iceberg” and a large magnitude of the problem lay in the society itself. That the majority of population remained bewildered about the fact that “better lifestyle choices and health behaviors led to better health”, was something that was beginning to slowly dawn on me. Which brought me to sharing those observations and common denominators…through articles and radio and television interviews or simply put, the media. The result was that my articles were shared and liked on social medias hundreds of times and needless to assert reached close to a million readers, and in no time at all. Wow! That to me was an example of the power of leadership in action– the leadership in this case of that of the journals or the media. Why? Because, I as a doctor could only have treated or tended to so many patients. There are only twenty-four hours in a day after all. But through sharing my knowledge through media–a powerful vehicle or tool– I could impact the multitudes in a short period of time.
4) Basically, let’s commit to becoming a reader and a life-long learner. Why? Because to master a skill or idea is to commit oneself to life-long learning. Achieving excellence is a process!
Overall, these lessons also translate to an Organizational setting. For instance, the boss or leader who is a better listener is better poised to become an effective mentor or leader. The boss or leader who helps sub-ordinates channel their energy to meaningful, positive and positively productive endeavors ( and not dissuade into engaging in relentless petty flaws like back-biting and gossiping), it helps create a better work environment and a better Organization.
Author- Dr Ujjwal Bikram Khadka is a doctor, professional coach and co-founder of Khadka World International, a leadership training firm in Nepal. He is also an author of many books, including Leading the Soul Way: How to understand your true nature to understand the true nature of happiness, peace and lasting fulfillment.