Something truly good happens

What coaching taught me about empowering intrapreneurship through disruptive leadership:

You arrived not long after I did. You were tired from the long flight. You were, I noticed, surprised by the warm welcome you received.

You made your way hesitantly around to the dining room and joined a few of us for a cup of tea and a spicy snack. It was so much hotter than you expected. You settled in as others arrived and introduced themselves.

You participated eagerly in the exercises that formed our learning community. You struggled to understand the different volumes, intonations and accents of English amid the fans and the birds. You started to realize the extent of Making More Health with mixture of pride in what Boehringer Ingelheim was supporting and irritation at not knowing more about it. Part of you held on to your skepticism — is this good for the company? Am I really going to get something out of this week? How can I make a difference? Then you started to trust, and your curiosity grew.

You were profoundly touched by the children who greeted us in the village, by the teachers who do so much, by the basic necessities that seemed to be missing. You didn’t know where you would be able to go to the toilet; you were slightly concerned about what you were offered to eat and drink. Very little worked exactly as we had intended.

You worked long hours. You were up for yoga at 6:30 a.m. and on the terrace with the group after dinner working on your group project. Sometimes you snuck off to bed and tried to snatch some sleep in the relentless heat, only to be woken by the firecrackers that were used to frighten off the elephants.

You were exposed to leadership role models in the structured MMH organizers and fellow participants, the humble and patient NGO project managers, the passionate university scientist, the courageous HIV survivor, the dedicated young hospital superintendent, the quietly wise kindergarten teachers known as anganwardi, and many more.

You were disrupted. You became much more aware of your values, your limiting thinking and your core purpose. You gave yourself a different perspective and the little complaints back at the office seemed less important.

Your pride in working for an organization that did something so in tune with its stated values grew. You challenged yourself to lead your teams differently. You changed habits, took initiative and made something truly good happen in the world around you.