On a recent trip back to the UK, I had the amazing opportunity to speak to a group of Indian community elders.  It’s a group that’s been meeting fortnightly for over 12 years and was the vision of my father.  They discuss topics, share ideas and enjoy a lunch together in Woking, Surrey.

As I was preparing my presentation, I reflected on the leadership lessons learned from father:

  • (Gujarati) “Bada khada ma pade to taree kahda ma padwanu”. 🧠 English translation – if everyone falls in a ditch, do you have to fall in too?  Whilst this was annoying as a child when used to exercise parental guidance, I later realised that he was also leading me to be independent minded.  To become my own version of the best that I could be and follow my own path.
  • Leadership is about community 🧑🏽‍🌾 👫 👩🏽‍🏫. We arrived as refugees in the UK in 1972.  From that time, my parents have been instrumental in setting up 3 different community organisations to serve various aspects of the Indian community.  They volunteered their time, effort, energy and money to form a sense of cohesion and camaraderie.  I learned that leadership is about creating a cohesive and collaborative community that supports and lifts its members.
  • Constructive conflict is a catalyst for growth 🌱. Accepting that every group, no matter how cohesive, will have challenges.  Channelling the challenges towards evolving the group rather than individuals is the role of the leader.

I am in awe of my father, still vital and engaged in serving the community in his 80s. 👴🏽🦸🏽‍♂️  No doubt his motivation and longevity has something to do with the lovely people that I met at Vadil Parivar (family of elders).

Thank you to everyone that came along and participated in the Mahabharata quiz and yoga nidra. I hope you enjoyed the Timtams! 🇦🇺🍪

What are the leadership lessons that you have learned from your parents or family? 

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