Epistimo Vikas School, Nallagandla, had an MUN event. Pavan, my old friend, invited me as a guest speaker on the occasion. It was a pleasure speaking and meeting youngsters - Kaumidi Acharya (Head Girl and Secy General of this MUN), Chanakya (Head Boy), Siddharth and others. And Principal Padma Kolli who was very energetic and supportive and shared a fine rapport with her students.
I structured my talk around the leadership black box of - Why (vision), How (Values, Productivity), What (Goals) and Who (People Management). This is the gist.
"The UN stands for peace , dignity and equality in the world. But do we see that? Right now we see chaos. War - explicitly and implicitly. Who is to blame? The leaders. There is a dire need for good leaders. So we will talk about leadership today. And how we can make a difference to the world from where we are today.
Let's first understand leadership. In a simplistic way, leadership is about leading our lives in a way that influences those around us positively. Now, this is something we can all do. It is about awareness, or rather, what I call, taking the leadership position. How can we lead our lives in a manner that influences the world.
Let's look at four things that are integral to leadership. I call them the Leadership Blackbox. They comprise of four things – Why, How, What and Who
What's your vision? Why are you doing what you are doing? Ask yourself this question and answer it. Am I studying for marks or for knowledge? Am I applying my knowledge or merely studying?
Write down a vision for your life. Your academics. Your class. Your world.
For example when we set our cricket team a vision that we would win the championship we actually won. That's how a vision helps. Look at the biggest possibility and hold it, things happen,
Exercise for you - Write down your vision for your life. For this year.
HOW (Values, 10x Results)
HOW 1– Values
Our values guide our behavior. Your values are what you value most, what is non-negotiable to you. Honesty, fairness, peace, dignity, equality, non-negotiable stuff.
For example, in our cricket team we decided on punctuality as a value. When our star batsman came late by five minutes one day, we dropped him. That sent a message that it is a non-negotiable thing.
Exercise for you - Write down your values that are non-negotiable to you.
HOW 2 – 10X Results
There is a way we can get 10x results. We must first decide the areas that have maximum impact on our life, set a 10x goal (like if you are getting 30 marks, set a 100 mark goal), focus exclusively on that and keep looking at ways to achieve that. Have someone to report your progress to.
I shared an example of how I scored 156 as a batsman and won a game – a 10x moment in cricket by first deciding and then working on it backwards.
We can 10x anything if we want, needs focus on priorities
Exercise for you - What do you want to 10x in your life? List that. .
These are goals, SMART goals, Write down your goals clearly (specifics like names, numbers, designations, brand, visuals), stick them up. Have committed goals and aspirational goals. You will be amazed at how much gets achieved
In cricket we would have match wise targets – like getting five wickets, or scoring a hundred.
WHO (People, Your team)
This is about people in your team. Who is your team? All the people in your ecosystem are your team. Are you getting the best out of your team? How different would your life be if you had their support?
Instead of waiting for them to be nice to you, to help you, you begin. Practice the 3As - Appreciate, Acknowledge and Ask for help. Lesson – Cant achieve stuff alone.
Exercise - practice the 3As on everyone in your ecosystem and see how your life changes, how you change.
With minor tweaks you realise you get more out of your life. There's more control. More happiness. You lead your life. You influence it. You make it what you want. More importantly you have made a difference to yourself and to others."
When I asked questions I found that the children interacted well. Came up with intelligent stuff. I wished I had started asking questions and involving them more from the beginning. It would have been more fun. Maybe some other time.
While leaving I noticed that there was a board outside the Principal's office that said - "Who's having lunch with the Principal today". They randomly choose 6 students every day to have lunch with the Principal in her room and chat casually. How brilliant is that. Ms. Padma said that the idea was to dispel fear of the Principal (and authority) in children.
Caught up with Pavan after the talk and we had some fine coffee at a nice coffee shop nearby. Hopefully do a workshop for the children along these lines.