Message from the Director

We are in week #7 of Nepal’s lockdown in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic. We have been working from home, isolated within the walls of our rooms but very well connected through the devices that have increasingly become essential in our lives. 

Despite the difficulties, we approached the lockdown with positive energy – recognizing that it is the most sensible approach to curb the complications associated with COVID -19. We were proactive and planned as a team to invest the time in finishing pending projects, and brainstormed ideas to stay engaged, active, and motivated. We designed an online course, planned Instagram take-overs and discussions with other similar organizations and shared our perspectives on working from home. We have adapted, tested, simplified, redesigned, discussed, and innovated the way we approach the teaching of our courses through online platforms. 

In that process, we piloted and taught 6 online courses on adaptive leadership and administered the course to the Daayitwa Public Administration Fellows in Province 2 and Province 5. We have trained participants not only on concepts of leadership but also on accessing and using technology effectively for learning. This included individuals such as the mom who aspires to contribute to her rural municipality in Palpa and the young student who ventures away from home to pursue her education at a very young age and carries her parents dreams about her finding a secure job in the government. 

We certainly kept busy and productive. 

But we also know that our energies are depleting because the screens have a way of enervating energy out of us in ways that we did not think of before. Zoom hangouts and one way discussions on social media are no longer enticing. For the generation that is so connected via our phones and laptops, the last thing we want now is to look at their screens. 

Administering courses online, while effective to a certain degree is losing its appeal. What this tells us is that no amount of innovation and technology will ever replace the face to face human connection that we form during our courses, conversations and interactions – where every tick in the body, every nervous glance, every head nod and movement communicates how individuals process the information taught in the classroom. It is through these body language we are able to gauge better how to create effective interventions to stimulate real life situations and effectively understand leadership challenges and begin to discover the agency within to shift perspectives. And, most importantly, we are realizing that what we need as humans – inherently social beings – is the personal connection that we experience when we spend time in the company of another human. 

These are uncertain times. Certainly there are matters related to the economy that are essential for governments, businesses, and employers to prioritize but what becomes even more crucial is to focus on the social and emotional well being of the teams and people around. Because at the end of the day what sets one apart as a leader is how well you treat your people irrespective of the position and the title that you hold. We will revisit the pandemic as a time that changed the discourse on what normal means, but I hope that we also look back to this as the time when we began to reprioritize what is most essential to living a good life – being a good person. 

For now, we do what we can to stay connected, motivated, and most importantly grateful. Enjoy the video below to look at how the team members at NLA are using this time and staying connected with the team, their families, and most importantly themselves. 

Stay safe!

Diva 

 

 

What have we been up to in 2020?

Launched the Impact Stories: Alumni Feature Series

We started the new year by launching our Impact Stories series to showcase the inspiring leadership journeys of our course alumni and the different ways they are creating impact in their communities. In the last four months, we have published nine impact stories of our alumni leading in diverse sectors- education, rural entrepreneurship, policymaking, hospitality, and social service. We plan to continue reaching out to our alumni and capture their leadership stories through this series in the coming months. 

Continued the Narrative Impact Saturday Courses

Addressing the need of students transitioning to undergraduate or graduate studies, we continued to offer our monthly Narrative Impact: Storytell Your Way Into College courses. This is our only open course where we teach the powerful leadership communication framework of Public Narrative to write an impactful college application essay. 

 

Launched our Leadership perception survey

Being an academy, we are very interested in capturing the evolving perspective of leadership among the general public and designing our interventions to meet current needs; hence the leadership perception survey. We would love it if you could fill this survey and help us grow.

 

 

Conducted a leadership workshop for ex-child combatants

In January, we got an amazing opportunity to collaborate with the Nepal Peacebuilding Initiative to engage with ex-child combatants and help them strengthen their advocacy through the art of public narrative. With this, we ventured into offering our courses to diverse demographics and groups. 

Built our internal capacity through a five day internal leadership course

With many new members in our team and the overall Daayitwa movement, we dedicated the last week of January to building our leadership through an internal course. We have found that giving time to our internal capacity building helps us become more committed, energized, and empowered to move towards our shared journey for progress.

 

Offered our course to top rural entrepreneurs

In February, our team journeyed to Palpa to offer the “Leading Enterprise Innovation” course to the top 5 rural entrepreneurs in Tansen and Tilottama municipalities. This marks our continued collaboration with Daayitwa’s Rural Enterprise Acceleration Program (REAP) to empower rural entrepreneurs to grow their enterprise and move towards creating a prosperous Nepal.

 

Offered our course to Daayitwa Public Administration Fellows

In early March, amidst the evolving uncertainties of the COVID-19 outbreak, our team travelled to Province 2 and 5 to offer a leadership course to the 15 Daayitwa Public Administration Fellows 2020. This marks the beginning of our longer term commitment to empowering Nepali youth’s leadership in enhancing the effectiveness of public administration.

Piloted online sessions on Adaptive Leadership

When the lockdown prevented us from leaving home, we conducted sessions online. In the seven online sessions we conducted since the lockdown, we received 150 applications and selected 61 participants to join us for an hour long session on “Introduction to Adaptive Leadership”. The session introduced participants to the concept of Adaptive Leadership and illuminated ways they can practice it in challenging times like these. 

 

Join us for our future sessions!

Click here for more information and registration.

 

Adaptive Leadership for Resilient Teams

Whether you are a manager or an associate, working in a multinational firm or a start up, the unprecedented crisis and lockdown demands you adapt and build yourself up to meet the new challenges. In the “Leading in Corona Times” sessions, we will learn what exercising leadership to enable your team and ensure the sustainability of your organization in times like these mean.

Concept note

Click here for more information and registration

 

If you have any comments/queries, please email us at nepalleadershipacademy@gmail.com.