Learning from Nature

By Ankita Misra

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Being an Environment and Development Student, it is natural that I feel for the natural world.  In today’s time and age kids hardly learn anything from nature. I might be partially wrong but I have no worries about being partially correct. No outdoors and therefore no healthy learning! It’s a world of an ever increasing use of gadgets and therefore in numerous risks. Not only do they have health hazards from their electromagnetic radiations but the notion that it takes ample amount of unnecessary time of your life away from your natural surroundings.

The simple natural phenomenon of transforming sunlight into food, by a leaf in the natural world is invisible and yet we take it for granted the wonders nature can do over and over again. This sets a model for our ability to achieve anything. Leadership is only a mental block. Having the courage to do the impossible is not difficult. Another interesting example is to learn from Ants. They are efficient and teach us a lot about leadership. Research finds that, Ants are highly social creatures. They have only one common motive and that is survival, they embrace change and work in a team. We as humans should approach work and communications naturally. This right common intent (just like the ants) can drive any organization in a needed direction.

Being in nature sparks fantastic, important, creative work from people such as philosophers, artists, etc., but it can also offer lessons for basic living.   For instance, how to be healthy, how to be calm, and how to find balance. By simply taking the time to appreciate nature some very important life lessons can be learnt as it serves as a magnificent classroom.

 

Courage to Lead

(By Ankita Misra)

Courage

According to me, Courage is nothing but stepping out of your comfort zone and doing something you have never done before or taking accountability of your own actions (example of being courageous). Without getting too philosophical, it merely goes to say that the more you do that the more you step into your learning zone.

When you step out of your comfort zone, you feel the discomfort of doing something that is either new or still a learning for you. Like learning to ride a bike or drive a car, it takes practice. The more you do it, the more skilled you become until eventually it becomes something that is in your comfort zone.

Start by believing in yourself. I’m sure there are some situations where you are courageous or have been in the past. Children are often courageous. They ask bold questions, do what they think and feel is right in every moment. They don’t worry about what might happen.

As for leadership, it is a practice. For instance, Olympic athletes don’t hope to get a gold medal just by turning up on that same day. Similarly with leadership, you need to practise and fine tune your leadership capabilities. That requires courage to stay when it’s uncomfortable and not easy, in the hope that what you are doing matters and makes a difference. If it doesn’t matter, then have the courage to stop wasting your time and energy on it and do something else instead!
Eventually you become effective as a leader only when you step into your danger zone when you’re courageous so you know where your boundary lies.

Why does Leadership begin with Personal Growth?

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Our most common idea of a Leader is someone who stands higher than us, somehow directing our collective destinies with little or no regard for our opinion.   He or she is someone “special”, someone we have bestowed  with special powers and rights.

Learning and participating in Leadership work actually dispels that myth!  Leadership has nothing to do with managing, controlling or “playing god” to others.  It is all about growing and transforming ourselves so we can lead authentic lives – lives that reflect our inner truth.  And as we lead these authentic lives, our hard work, passion and compassion begins to inspire others too.  This inspiration, this magnetic pull – which is the by-product of our actions, thoughts and feelings – is Leadership.

So how can a true Leader not continuously invest in his or her own growth and transformation?  Tell me what you think…