5th September is a special day to honour our teachers, Gurus, Mentors and Coaches and to express our immense Gratitude for making us who we are today. At different phases of our life, we come across a guiding light, a teacher who inspires and transforms us. We evolve and learn to deliver our best.
I never realised a recent casual conversation with my friend Meera in a café would actually inspire me to write this blog. Meera’s daughter has enrolled for unschooling and is learning at home. I am neither for nor against home schooling, but am curious to know what has prompted so many of us to look at home schooling as an alternative. To set the context right, let’s understand the evolution of formal schooling in India.
We have a history of Gurukula – Guru Shishya Parampara. The word gurukula is a combination of the Sanskrit words guru (‘teacher’ or ’master’) and kula (‘family’ or ‘home’). Before the British rule, they served as South Asia’s primary educational system. The term is also used today to refer to residential monasteries or schools operated by modern gurus. Schools have definitely played a very important part in developing and shaping an overall personality of a child.
Now the question arises if schools have been such an important part of our society, why are we debating over unschooling then. Are we being too possessive and overprotective that we don’t want our children to face any adverse situations in life? We are living in a VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous) World where Leaders need to deal with adversities every now and then. The probable solution is not shying away, but working very closely with corporates to understand their requirement so that seeds of Leadership are sown at a very young age. A recent venture, Avasara Academy is a beautiful example of how corporates and educationist are working very closely to develop Future Women Leaders of our country.
Can overprotecting and being over possessive actually help develop our Future Leaders. No! definitely not. We might postpone a situation, but we cannot avoid a situation. Sooner or later your butterfly will come out of its cocoon and fly. Why wait for so long, let them be independent now!
Our corporate journey is not any different from our other learning journeys; I still remember how my boss spent hours coaching me during my initial management trainee days. He, like a teacher of Kindergarten school kids, helped me shape up my thinking, improve focus, use my creative instincts productively and be able to deliver results. A leader as a teacher has to work very closely with his team members to hone their skills and lead them to success.
When we enter the corporate world, we are naïve, unaware of the complex business problems that we are going to handle very soon. To be able to deliver exceptional results, we need laser-sharp focus and crystal clear understanding of the problem statement which is definitely not thought in B-schools but is learnt gradually over the years as we keep graduating from one corporate role/ladder to another. In each role, we come across a Leader, a Mentor, a Coach and a Teacher who educates and empowers us to be successful in handling new challenges.
A Leader as a Teacher inspires trust and acts as a catalyst to enhance the learning. Hence, developing Leaders at all levels is a must for all organisations.