I Love Stomping on Numbers

Since our arrival in Mussoorie, we have spent two days applying the theories of leadership that we learned in the classroom to some leadership games and today we just got started on the Wilderness Advanced Firstaid Training. One of the instructors gave us a preview of what we are to expect on the 10-day trek and gave us a short glimpse of what we are in for. While the talk of the conditions has got me a little nervous, I feel more excited now than ever. I know I’m in for a lot of firsts but my nerves feel at ease knowing that I will be with a group of trusted people and trek guides who are there to make sure that we feel prepared and supported. 

In the midst of all this, we also did some self-reflection on our personal goals for the month. I’m sure I’ll experience growth in more ways than one but my main goal is to overall gain greater confidence in situations that make me uncomfortable or feel unnatural to me. So far, the leadership games, the daily debriefings, and the WAFA training have all pushed me outside of my usual comfort zone. While many times I feel awkward, it’s also rewarding when you begin to feel yourself fall more at ease. 

What new perspectives did you learn about leadership from the leadership games/activities from the past few days? Is your perspective of leadership changing? 

To be honest, I was not looking forward to the leadership games prior to coming on this trip because I had an assumption that all the games we would play would deal with puzzles, logic, geometry, and riddles. My respect goes out to all the people that enjoy these things, but I do not and I’m also terrible at them (maybe the is me being self defeating but I would call it being self aware). While playing these kinds of games, I felt kind of guilty because I noticed that I was taking a backseat and not contributing with suggestions for completing the task. However, I felt a lot more confident in the other games we played which were more physical, requiring speed and fast reflexes. My favorite game was a game I am calling Stomp on Numbers. It was physical but in order to beat our self-given time, it was also important that our team developed an effective strategy.

Reflecting back, I learned that not all leaders will always be the ones that you see directing the tasks. Sometimes, if you don’t know much about a certain topics, it’s best to let others who are strong in their respective areas lead and let yourself be a “follower.” This is in line with the Strengths Based Leadership model which encourages leaders to recognize the strengths in their team members and delegate tasks to those who are strong in the areas in which they are weak. 

What does a good leader do when they make a mistake? How can you learn from the leader’s example? 

One of the hardest things about the WAFA course is accepting that fact that you will make several mistakes in the journey to becoming certified. As someone who places high standards on themselves for success, it is difficult to adapt to this new learning model. That being said, I think it’s important for leaders to become comfortable making mistakes because how else will they ever learn? When good leaders make a mistake, they admit it and instead looking at it as a sign of failure, they look at it as an opportunity to growth. When you have a leader that is comfortable making mistakes in front of others, others learn that it’s okay and that all the missteps are part of the learning cycle.