Leading Is Like Living In Goa
Just as living in Goa requires resilience and adaptability, so does leadership.
Leadership roles are enticing. When people aspire to transition into a leadership role, we often have a romanticized view of what it entails. We envision ourselves inspiring the team to achieve audacious goals, making important decisions that will steer our organization towards success, and achieving great results.
I asked the leadership team members in my organization – ‘why did they choose to take up this role’, and here are a few reasons they shared – an opportunity to drive bigger impact, to make things happen, to influence action at a faster pace, to be able to contribute to other people’s success, to empower and mentor others, to gain exposure to a wider ecosystem, to learn new skills etc. My own reasons were no different. However, in reality, leadership also involves handling unglamorous responsibilities such as performance reviews, resolving interpersonal conflicts, budget approvals etc.
For example, a leader has to handle performance reviews for their team members, which can be a challenging and time-consuming task. Providing feedback that is both constructive and motivating can be difficult, especially when dealing with team members who may be struggling with their performance. Similarly, a leader may have to deal with conflicts between team members, which can be a draining and emotionally taxing experience. Resolving these conflicts requires strong communication skills, empathy, and the ability to find solutions that are fair and reasonable for everyone involved. Changing business requirements can bring ambiguities and discomfort.
In many ways, being a leader is like living in Goa (or Mussoorie, if you prefer mountains over beaches).
Goa, a coastal state in western India, is known for its beautiful beaches, vibrant culture, and laid-back lifestyle. Many people dream of living in Goa, imagining themselves spending their days strolling along the beach, enjoying the local cuisine, and soaking up the sun. However, as anyone who has lived in Goa knows, it has its own set of challenges and drawbacks. For instance, living in Goa may mean dealing with insects in your bungalow, power outages during the monsoon season, and delays when dealing with service providers.
Just as living in Goa requires resilience and adaptability, so does leadership. A leader must be able to adapt to changing circumstances and find creative solutions to problems. Ultimately, the key to success and happiness in both leadership and living in Goa is to focus on the positives while being prepared for the challenges. One has to make time to remember why they chose to be a leader in the first place. Just as someone who moves to Goa can continue to cherish the sunsets on the beaches while accepting the realities of insects and power outages, a leader can learn to appreciate the rewards of inspiring their team, and not get overwhelmed with the challenges.
To me, embracing the similarities between these two seemingly different experiences can teach invaluable lessons; and those can help us succeed in leadership roles.