Notes From A Second Life
These Second Life updates are what I send friends – some from my first life
that lasted 18 years in the corporate world, some from my second life when I
decided to quit my job, come back to India and work with children and young
adults on the values and skills that will prepare them to be leaders with a difference. To read my first Newslet for context and later ones click http://talentease.com/blog/
Warm wishes to you and your family for a very Blessed Christmas and a Joy-filled New Year.
Last week my wife, Teresa and I drove to a school at Warangal (about 200 kms outside Hyderabad) to spend some time with the children there. Meeting with them was a reminder to us about their talent, intelligence and openness to learn. This year therefore, gave us much happiness as our Light Lives projects expanded.
This is the work we do through TalentEase especially focused on orphans, children from low-income families and children from rural and smaller towns who sometimes miss out on opportunities to learn. Two small projects – one at Bangalore and one at Hyderabad– both at orphanages, have started off and our Facilitators are there in a round-the-year programme working on skills and values with them.
In our work with other schools and colleges, it was fulfilling to double the number of children who have been through the TalentEase leadership courses – we crossed the 20,000 children and young adults milestone this year. What was even more satisfying is that with over 75% of these children, we were accompanying them right through the academic year. The continuous interaction and engagement is what eventually makes the biggest difference and we are grateful to the school managements and parents who believed in us. A big shout out to our team of over 50 Facilitators across different towns and cities who, through their commitment and passion, are making a difference in the lives of children and young adults.
One of the big highlights was also our programmes for teachers. Along with our dear friend and collaborator, Dr. Brian Horvath, over 1,000 teachers went through the TalentEase Teacher Leadership workshops during this summer. Brian’s work with schools in the US, China, Vietnam, Jamaica and other countries gave him great credibility with the teachers. This is high impact work because one teacher who changes her teaching style or methodology can impact thousands of students.
On the personal front, there was bad news and good news. Mum was diagnosed with cancer, but the good news was that it was caught early and we were able to get the surgery done immediately and she is now cancer free. Of course, with cancer it’s always a Damocles sword; so periodic checkups are filled with anxiety but we are grateful that she came through the episode strong and still cheerful.
Another piece of sad news was hearing that a good friend and colleague from my Accenture days, Girish Tutakne was killed in a road accident. A very intelligent and balanced leader, it was shocking to hear of his sudden death. It triggered reflection on what we are trying to achieve every day – what would we like to leave behind when our time comes. It’s a question I keep asking myself and hope I’m trying to answer well.
William Bruce Cameron put it well “Not everything that can be counted counts. Not everything that counts can be counted”
One big lesson I learnt this year was from my wife, Teresa and son Marcus. As context, we’re not a ‘running’ family. Our idea of vigorous exercise has been the walk to the gate. So, it was very inspiring to see Teresa and Marcus aim for and successfully do a 10 km run. I was breathless just watching them, but filled with pride, having learnt a very important lesson about pushing your limits, as I watched them pose with their timing.
While I didn’t get down to completing a book, I did stay disciplined with my fortnightly column LeaderSpeak which I write for Business Line On Campus. Here’s a link to a few of the articles, since posted on LinkedIn.
Hope 2016 has been a year of growth, happiness and peace for all of you and may I wish you and your family a very Blessed Christmas and a very Happy New Year.