When the unexpected happens, is preparedness the answer or flexibility? We stand at the corner of the 19th SAARC Summit and things go wrong… countries that belong to a bloc that needs to be propelled towards shared prosperity suddenly stand divided and taking sides. Politics yet again!
South Asia has so much potential as a group of nations with young human resource, the power of ideas, diversity of geography and the will to achieve. Yet we are also home to the poorest, stand under the threat of war and terrorism, are ravaged by hunger and dysfunction. We have some of the most brilliant minds in our world, yet we stand burdened and divided under the threat of guns and bombs and lines of control and borders and regulations.
Freedom is the basis of humanity. Freedom to live to your highest potential, freedom to move and trade, freedom to think and write and speak, freedom to be. Yet our freedoms are often curtailed by the very people we choose to represent us in government.
When life is so temporary, why do we choose to live like we will be around forever? If you can‘t do any good for the larger mankind, don‘t do anything. Politicians need to understand that power is fleeting, their time is impermanent, and people need to build bridges rather than live in chasms. Leaders need to build better relationships and become agents of change for a better world. They need to go down in history as heroes of peace and prosperity not war driven strategists who sacrifice innocent lives.
And when we choose our leaders we need to ask ourselves, what kind of leadership best enables men and women in positions of authority to navigate the unexpected. It takes great humans skills to be a good leader. It takes deep caring. I am certain that leaders like Modi and Sharif understand restraint and the broader implications of their decisions on the region.
As businesses in the region, we need to ensure that we minimize risks, foster better relationships, communicate with equanimity and embrace uncertainty. And know that no matter how prepared we are, navigating our way through new challenges will constantly put us in situations for which we are unprepared. Becoming comfortable taking action in the face of the unanticipated is a huge asset.