My passion, your passion

Today was as usual another day filled with impacting sessions at the 2017 ANLP.  It has been a whole week of deep immersion into the tenets of nutrition leadership.  Today’s theme was advocacy and lobbying with facilitators, Mpho and Thabo (identical twins), constantly playing pranks - confusing their identities!

My ‘aha’ moment, was realising that I need to see things from others perspectives – we all see the same issue differently. If I am committed to a cause, I must be ready to teach and convince someone, using the ‘each 1, teach 1’ principle, if I am to truly succeed. This requires that I must be consumed in the passion, and have the ability to infect and win others over to my cause.

All hands on board

Sitting by the bank of the popular Vaal river this evening, I could not help but reflect on what I have learnt from my ANLP training up to this point. A popular song came to mindwe are the world we are the people, we are the ones to make the world a better place, so let’s start giving” (Michael Jackson). As if other participants of the ANLP had read my exact thoughts, dinner started with a karaoke of the same song.  It was clear that at this point we all shared this common vision and felt a sense of responsibility to make a difference on the African continent.

Being William.

It is unbelievable how someone with limited resources and unfavorable environment can achieve huge impact and transform an entire community….” said one ANLPer after watching an emotional and inspirational video of William Kamkwamba, a poor Malawian village boy who invented a windmill to generate power for his home and eventually his village.

“Imagine what we ANLPers are capable of achieving with the all rich resources we have!”

As I heard this, I could not help but shed tears. Tears of joy. Although William is a secondary school dropout, he did not just sit and complain. Neither did he blame the government for the crisis experienced in his community nor did he play victim of not being educated (external locus of control). He took actions to challenge his situation and work within the limitations of his circumstances. He is a great example of leading from where you stand by doing what you can, with what you have and thus having a great impact! 

Overcoming our fears: The high rope challenge at ANLP

Another morning at ANLP and participants are all gathered under the Raaswater high rope grounds. By just looking at them, the word FEAR was written all over their faces. With no doubt, the majority of participants were not ready to take the high rope challenge. I still remember Neels (our dedicated team-building leader) carefully giving instructions on how to put on safety wear and the rules that would keep us safe.  Everyone looked so puzzled, confused and still not ready to take the impending challenge.

 “There in no way in HELL I could ever do that!” I am acrophobic: super scared of height!” are a few of the numerous negative statements from participants.

Who is to blame for failed targets?

The faces of the ANLP 2017 participants went blank and clueless when Alice (ANLP Alumnus – 2013, facilitator of the leadership session) introduced the topic for the period – “LOCUS OF CONTROL”. What could this mean? How was this relevant to the development of our leadership abilities? The next few minutes of the facilitator’s presentation brought so much clarity as the message resonated with every participant.

We all remembered either professional or personal instances where we were internally- or externally-oriented in terms of our control. Simply put, internal locus of control refers to taking responsibility for the results of one’s action. On the other hand, external control is characterized by blaming the system, other people, supernatural forces – in fact everyone and everything else but NOT oneself! Although all these external setbacks may be real and valid, simply blaming and folding our arms denies one the opportunity to grow.

“We cannot direct the wind but we can direct the sail” (Thomas S. Monson). And, we add, you never know what wonderful destination your ship might take you to!

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