GTH started its journey from 2015 and somehow, I was a part of the project, would say destined as I happen to get involved through the process. Being a business student back then, I also had a zeal to manage a business, take the management and make things happen through my so-called business management skills. I say so cause, I believed that the theories learned in my business schools were enough for me to take a lead to any business and manage. But what happened to me was expectation versus reality.
2016 was the year I took my first lead on the project GTH, completely new and challenging. New roles and new avenues to explore. This year was the major step up for the project, as the fire was already ignited in 2015 and its all about making the fire big. What else it could be than taking the project to a national level? I was numb for a while…as it was national that the team decided to go for. All the years in my life, I had organized programs that is intra- level and this is was a major jump for me to initiate the project to national level. I hold back myself and say “Ok, it’s time for me to use all the knowledge I’ve learned and implement here. But then, it struck me exactly what?”
I use to brainstorm during my class projects on how do we make this collage presentation look better. No doubt, it worked out always. For a change, this was a whole big project that is going on national level and brainstorming wasn’t an easy nut to crack. There were hundreds of thread and clouds that gets linked to the project. People, Partners, Applications, Logistics, Management and so on. The list keeps going and not to forget whole part of Nepal to reach out.
Strategies were made and to implement them was quite challenging. We have been listening that if your idea is great, you will succeed. I believed so and moved on but what we miss out is how well we present the idea will make us successful. I learned this when we had to pitch the idea of recognizing teenagers of the nation. The most difficult job was to convince people to believe in you. The list goes on, time and again, new things and new challenges. I had to encounter my first press conference, which was the word I had heard first time in my life. The media world is so different than what we think of. We heard people saying, “You find media people in every street but then you realize getting their attention to your work is a big challenge. You hardly get 1 or 2 among 100s.” Hard to believe but yes, this does happen!!
Time passing by, things moved on with a lot of learning encompassing failures and accomplishment. Process was done, things were moving and the best result of my work was seen through the flow of applications. This was the feeling that made me realize that we could make this project reach out all over Nepal. Getting application from Eastern to Western, gave a certain satisfaction to what we did. Receiving applications wasn’t enough to embrace my challenging work. It was added by the quality of teenagers who applied. There was a feeling goosebumps when I got to encounter teenagers who were doing so much at this age. Which made me recall my teenage, which was completely blank. That moment of time, I felt proud to be associated with this project. All the challenges, ups and downs were gone by that one feeling of bringing these teenagers to light through our effort. And there, I had a feeling of just a start that was well accomplished.
2017, the third season of GTH and this year a new milestone was set; Glocal International Teen Conference. I was again struck by the thought, how am I gonna do it? It was just a start to nation wide and on the second step I had to reach out to international level. It was a very questionable moment for me cause its our of the boundary that we were visioning of and double the effort of what we had in 2016. Different countries, diverse people and get them all to one platform. There was a sudden fear with new energy. Mix of emotions, completely new challenges, new perspective to the project and a new chapter to my leadership. I learned a lot about different countries and their policies. Encountered numbers of teenagers doing so great. It’s just few countries that I got to overlook at, and this gives me thought that the world is covered with x many numbers of teenagers. What would the feeling be when this platform is reached out to all those numbers? What would the platform look like in next few years? My feelings and thought was taking a round back to some positive vibes of fire getting bigger and lighting of the world.
Year by Year, this initiation went bigger and bigger. Year by year, I get a feeling at the very start of Can I make it this year? Will something go bad this year? And a hopeful feeling that this year has to be better than the last year. Something new has to be done, something big has to happen. 2018 is the fourth year and what else big could happen than BIMSTEC during the program? Things went jumbled up all at once. And this is the year where I learned about people. Out of all, what is really important in your project or business is the people. I along with my team had a vision that we would be initiating this and will make it a great success. When we shared this idea to our other team members, we were able to deliver the vision and objective of organizing this conference. In the course of organizing, I could see the role of many hands that had literally helped me mobilize in making my vision a reality. The team members, volunteers, outer country representatives, etc. The synergy or energy that the people involved in organizing the event was very powerful and it did lead to make our vision a reality. All the team members, volunteers had taken the leadership of their own responsibility and working restlessly. I could see the ownership feeling in them while doing their work and this particular thing motivated and assured me in my works. The feeling of having people with much dedication beside you is what I call power. I could embrace my team and call them my people.
The day BIMSTEC ended was a huge challenge, as we had our international delegates coming to Nepal for the conference next day. We had road blockage, flight delays, hotels entry was prohibited and what not. All I can recall is every next hour, there was a new issue coming up. It was a day to remember where all my team mates were clustered all over the city receiving delegates of the program without any complaint, restless and with full of dedication. All the hassle of the day was gone in a flash when I saw all those delegates in their national dress along with my people in the same hall with smiles and enjoying themselves. That moment I realized what is the power of people in your lives. Without them, I couldn’t have seen colorful faces that night.
Every year there was a new learning and new challenges. I would define my leadership through all the learning that I had in these past years, from people to administration, management, etc. I see myself a buildup person every year and no year misses to surprise me with new challenge and not to forget a great learning on every step.
This is my leadership journey shaped with learning!
By: Cajol Jha