10 leadership lessons – from Chandrayaan 2 Moon landing

This weekend India and the world watched with anticipation, ISRO Chandrayaan 2’s Vikram Lander’s landing on moon’s south pole. It ended with a collective sense of disappointment as contact was lost with the Lander just minutes before it’s landing. Prime Minister consoling the ISRO chairman video became viral. (‘Men crying’ and ‘men crying in public’ is an equally precious aspect to explore, especially in a culture where alpha male behavior is worn like a badge of honor, but that is another topic).

For now, I wanted to focus on the role of ‘failures’. After all in life aren’t we always faced with unanticipated outcomes! How do we face them? Feeling resourceful or feeling depleted? The question is that of our psychological wellbeing. So here are 10 sweet reminders if you’ve felt yourself struggle to make a vision a reality.

  1. Dream big. And prepare bigger. Obstacles match the size of the dream.
  2. Making mistakes may not always be a problem. But giving up certainly is.
  3. Making mistakes is different from ‘failing’.
  4. As humans we err, and we learn. But failure is a debatable assessment. Failure is not the truth but the label of failure ‘wounds’ psychologically. Stay at a distance from that label.
  5. If you feel a sense of overwhelming inadequacy with obstacles, be certain that you are growing, not failing.
  6. Cognitive resilience is built through reframing problems. But problems are necessary to build that resilience. Let them come.
  7. Discomfort is the soil in which consciousness grows; it does not grow in comfort.
  8. Struggles lead to growth in consciousness; tenacity is the input, resilience its output.
  9. Growth in our consciousness paves the way for growth in all domains of our life. Take time to reflect on mistakes, learn and re-apply.
  10. Collective anticipation leads to collective euphoria (or collective disappointment) – an emotional pitch that can put us as leaders under tremendous pressure. The way out is reminding our work as a leader is to be a ‘servant’ to the vision and people. Love is the foundation for everything. Ego is not.

As I post this, news just came in that the whereabouts of the Vikram Lander have been known today! Hopefully, contact will be established soon. What a great reminder, if you really want something and it serves others as well, nothing can keep you away from making that vision into a reality.

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