The ability to constantly disrupt yourself and make one redundant is the only way to grow. As a young 10-year-old, I saw my father who was an international badminton coach, move from one challenge to another: embodying new roles, traverse new cities and embrace new people like he would have known them all his life. This left a huge impression on my mind, and I realised early on, that there is only one life that we have got, and we need to give our 100%.
The second important lesson came undisguised when I was 16 and had applied for learner’s driving license. Like all fathers, I expected my father to work around the formalities. Clearly, this was not to be: I was given the mandate of doing the rigor of filling up the form, meeting the officials, going for the test drive and finally clearing it all by myself. This lesson has stood the test of time: Shed the feeling of entitlement early on, you have to do the grind.
When you have values of hard work yet flexibility, openness yet having a POV, compassion yet resilience, you start the journey with unbounded optimism. This sheer experimentation and taking life as an adventure has taken me through unchartered territories with aplomb -
When I joined Indian Armed Forces: As a 22-year-old served in the toughest terrains of the country in Kupwara, Gurez and Tangdhar and earned myself a high-altitude medal and got selected as only woman officer for Intelligence Warfare. Leading a unit of 300men, I learnt the value of teaming and spirit de corps from grounds up.
Transitioning to the Corporate world: To pick up a completely different career in Learning and Development, embracing ambiguity with grit, moving from SOP to fluidity and enabling a future vision for myself which challenged me to meet new people, shed old patterns of work and jump the S curve of learning. Introduced new paradigms of future leadership within Accenture, Emcure Pharma and EY and got recognition at the global level.
Taking the leap of Faith to be a Leadership Coach: The time to move is when you are absolutely comfortable in a given role, so I decided to launch into a consulting - crafting my vision and philosophy of great leaders into an astute reality. I am working relentlessly to bring my mission to life - to develop inclusive leaders for building innovative, bold and psychologically safe organizations.
Lessons I learnt along the way:
Progress has little to do with speed and everything to do with direction. Find your North Star and then relentlessly pursue the path to get there.
You came alone, you will go alone. If you want to be the best version of yourself, you have to do the grind. As they say, if you don’t ask, the answer is always a no. Stretch yourself, you can do more, be more!
This may sound cliched, but it’s true. No-one became successful alone, it takes a village, a community and network for your ideas to come alive. Invest in people, their ideas, their passions and their dreams, for what you give is what you get.
The journey has just begun, and as I discover myself, I realise there is so much more to explore..
- Contributed by Rupinder Kaur