Reflect, Rediscover and Roar- We CAN, We MUST
Thanks to all my sponsors, I joined the 14th African Nutrition Leadership Program (ANLP) in Potchefstroom, South Africa. I arrived filled with enthusiasm and courage to learn more about leadership, myself, and network with colleagues from other African countries, as well as share experiences.
The quite, green and well preserved area of Elgro River Lodge along the Vaal River was my first WOW moment and impression. The course soon became the other one. I had attended a few leadership and management programs before. For me, the unique thing in the ANLP, is that the learning is primarily from self rather than from the outside.
I have never thought of myself as a learning object, and this contradicted my expectations. On the contrary, it has really given me a unique opportunity to start thinking of and rediscovering my leadership abilities/potentials, challenges, and opportunities. I am excited.
Reflection, reflection and reflection is my number one take home message from this ANLP for my future leadership development. It is through self-reflection one can openly critique oneself rather than relying on externals. It is through self-reflection too that we can rediscover our potential, raise our emotional intelligence and thereby shine for people around us and be seen as a rising and blossoming flower that everyone wants to be around.
Listening from personal experiences of self-reflection from some of the speakers, including Alice, Averalda, and Jane, encourages me to further question how honest and critical am I of myself, my skill, and potentials? How honest am I about my gaps or weaknesses? Who am I not to take myself and team to the next level?
It is through self-reflection one can responsively learn new ideas and thoughts. Some of the greatest leaders, who have changed the world to a better place, are consistent and open self-reflectors. This helped them change themselves first before they tried to create followers. A quote from Rumi reads, “Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. But, today, I am wise, so I am changing myself”.
It is through self-reflection too that one can unleash one’s team’s potential by being the servant, respectful and unnoticed leader. The open and continuous learning of these leaders helped them rediscover themselves too, and unreservedly helped their teams grow and roar confidently in their fields of services.
I want to extend my message to my nutrition colleagues in Africa, to journey with me to embrace the habit of self-reflecting. Let us continually rediscover our nutrition leadership development processes in order to help people around us unleash their potential and then roar with confidence. Through us as leaders we can create a better Africa and a better world. Leadership has a great part to play to improve nutrition.
I am prepared to play my part when I leave here. Will you join me? Together we CAN!
Ethiopia- ANLP 2016