Ang Tshering Sherpa, President of Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA) has more than 40 years of experience of working in the mountain tourism sector. Asian Trekking Pvt Ltd, a commercial adventure company operated by Sherpa organises treks, mountain expeditions to Everest, and other activities related with mountain tourism.
Sherpa was always inspired to work in mountaineering; even as a child he dreamt of working in the mountains. At the beginning of his career, he even worked as an interpreter. Later he lived his dream handling many expeditions.
Sherpa is among the first graduates of the Sir Edmund Hillary School. He is also Honorary Member of UIAA-International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation.
Pema Tenzin Lama from Business 360 ° talked with Sherpa about leadership and its various dimensions. Excerpts:
What does leadership mean to you?
Leadership is a very important thing in life, be it social or political. A leader should be well educated and have a vision, mission and projection. He should have a long term and short term philosophy to take his/her organisation forward. Leadership is a kind of management and is important in every sector.
What for you are three traits that a leader should possess?
A leader should be flexible; can‘t be rigid in her/his decisions. A leader should be a visionary and should be able to constantly work to attain organisational goals. The other would be the fulfilment of organisational goals by driving and motivating everyone.
What is the significance of leadership to run an organisation like NMA?
NMA is a National Alpine Club. The main objective of NMA is to produce skilled manpower in the field of mountaineering, minimise the effect of climate change, and increase our network with the outer world and to promote tourism in Nepal.
In such case, leaders here need to drive the organisation forward towards their goals. We need to motivate and give proper direction to the staff, co-workers and industry players. We need to know the strength and traits of our employees and motivate them. So leadership is very crucial here.
How do you assess yourself as a leader?
I believe it is better for other people to assess me and figure out what kind of leader I am. I would like to leave this to others.
Who has helped shape leadership qualities in you?
My brother-in-law, Dawa Nurbu Sherpa, the former President of NMA helped me in this process. I‘ve been in this sector for the past 42 years and he has been a very influential figure in helping me learn leadership skills.
Three people who have inspired you?
My brother-in-law, Dawa Nurbu Sherpa again. Dr Harka Bahadur Gurung, the Chief Advisor of NMA since 2002, and Sir Edmund Hilary are three towering figures who have inspired me immensely.
Does happiness have anything to do with leadership?
Yes, it is a very important factor and they are quite associated with each other. An unhappy person is unable to provide proper judgement and guidance. A leader should first be happy and also try to make everyone around her/him happy.
Any books that have inspired you?
Maurice Herzog‘s Annapurna has inspired me very much. It is an adventure book and has been translated into 52 different languages. It is highest selling adventure book. By 2010, it had sold more than 22 million copies.