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Love and Light

Youth Wing - Sathya Sai Leadership Training Programme: August

Our SSLTP module this month was over 2 days – Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd of July at the Committee Room in Reading. Saturday started beautifully with a big yellow rose falling from Swami’s photo just as we started the day’s proceedings. The weekend was packed with open forum discussions on various aspects and characteristics of Leadership and was led by previous SSLTP graduates who are also committee members. We all feel so fortunate having such a structure in the course as we feel like a big extended family and everyone is looking after each other, whilst serving Swami is the core of the programme.

Saturday started with a description of the leadership wheel by Sima Mistry Patel. She mentioned that the most important factor ‘To Be’ with the sub-values of Character, Adaptability and Flexibility, Feedback, Reflective Practice and Harmony in thoughts, words and deeds. This made me think of Emerson’s saying ‘What you ARE shouts so loud in my ears that I cannot hear what you say’. We went through all the aspects of the leadership wheel – To Do, To See and To Tell.

Afterwards, Mathan Arulvel led a session on Adaptability. To me, the important message from this part was that if I continue to go along the route that I am going, I won’t change myself to be better. We discussed how Adaptability is strength as long as our core values are not compromised. We then watched a video of Steve Jobs. One quote that stood out from what he said was, ‘Sometimes life hits you with a brick but don’t lose faith. Do what you believe is great work’.

After a scrumptious lunch contributed by every candidate, we returned to discuss ‘Thought Leadership’ led by Uncle Sri. As Swami graced us with a beautiful hot sunny weather, we did some of the discussion outside. Everyone’s spirits were high and we were all picking up relevant personal points from the wealth of information that was mentioned. Our 1st day finished beautifully with linking together Swami’s teachings to Thought Leadership.

Sunday started with beautiful prayers and a discussion on Versatility. We all realised the importance of stepping back and getting a bigger picture before making rushed decisions. I thought of Swami’s sayings about silencing the mind to hear the inner voice of God as a way of stepping back. In my eyes, step back was a way of pausing to connect to the God within. We learnt that Leadership starts with yourself and that for Thought Leadership; we need a sustainable long term strategy or direction.

Each SSLTP candidate then came up with a well-planned model of a business that we want to set up. We discussed the proactive analysis of PESTEL and SWOT. We then explored how organisations like our own Sai Organisation goes further with an established Vision, Mission and Values. Our Values and Swami’s teachings form the core of our organisation and faith in The Lord is what should keep all strong united together.

After lunch, we had a session on Time Management by Prashant Mistry, Laavanya Nagendran and Deviesh Tankaria. We discussed how to make the most of the time we have and key points in having an organised and balanced life. One tip that I found helpful is waking up a few minutes early and saving that time for meditation or silent sitting.

I am sure that I speak on behalf of all the 15 candidates when I say that our weekend was very thought provoking and packed with immense positive energy. I feel blessed to have such a heart-warming circle of people who are there helping each other through this course blessed by Swami himself. We all departed in high spirits looking forward to our next outbound weekend in September.

Jai Sai Ram

Pooja Tankaria
SSLTP 2012/13 Candidate