Youth Leadership

Recently I encountered a question asking “How do you define Youth Leadership ?” on Quora and I found it a pretty good opportunity to reflect back on my experiences of youth leadership during my time in AIESEC. Here are my views on the topic. You can read the full answer on Quora.

My Moment
There are phases in life when we break down completely, devoid of all focus, goals and hopes. Some individuals help us pick ourselves up, trying their best but we can only get up when we make those first steps to our revival. When we start making those small victories count again because we want to win a bigger battle once more. That is the time we get on all fours, pick ourselves up, try and just try honestly to stand tall. Taking one step at a time, asking for help, feeling better, creating new moments for ourselves. Moments which inspire us to do more and become more. And finally after all that trying, clawing to small opportunities in life once again we become 100%. We see the light and we rise again. We reach the pinnacle of aspirations once again. That moment we feel bliss. This was one such moment. My moment =)

Leadership is a broad term which encompasses many values like:

  • Taking responsibility
  • Being Passionate
  • Driving change
  • Standing out in the crowd
  • Inspiring people around you
  • Building a team
  • Reaching goals
  • Creating more leaders
  • Being a role model
  • And many more …

Leadership is not dependent of age a prep school kid can also be a leader by taking responsibility sincerely given to them by their teacher, parents, by helping their friends become better.

A leader can also be a 100 year old individual who can share their experience with individuals and inspire them to live a better life.

A youth leader however is crucial to the ecosystem of leadership in this world as  they not only have the wisdom after a few years of knowledge and facing life but they also have the exuberance to perform, the energy which they can induce in others through their acts. A youth leader has crossed the nascent stage of learning passionately and acting swiftly and is also at the stage where they can talk and justify their acts through the wisdom they have earned in the years.

Usually we would classify a youth leader as someone between the age of 17-30. An individual who is passionate about something and is leading either a team or just themselves towards achieving that goal. They are individuals who can communicate their passion through their acts and inspire others to join it as well.

There are lot of organizations focusing on evangelizing youth leadership all over the world. [Youth leadership]

The best ones among them which have centers in Pakistan as well are:


The Leadership Problem of India

Recently I came across a question on Quora asking What does India do wrong after reading through some answers which mostly pointed to more statistical factors like poverty, education. Most of the answers were very concrete and factual as well. However, I have always felt that leadership at personal and organizational level is also very important to change anything.

This was the answer I had presented there and am just sharing with the readers of my blog.

What does India do wrong – Shubhanshu Mishra

LEADERSHIP – Self and Organizational

I have worked in other countries and never have I been encouraged and in-fact many times scolded for trying to break the rules. However in Indian system I have seen we learn from our elders that breaking rules in just the way of life. We are not encouraged to bring reforms but to just find ways to SOLVE our problems. This kind of leadership we experience in various forms:

  • Childhood – Relatives and Parents are protective of us and encourage us to break rules so that things are easy for us. I was blessed in this regards as I was heavily punished in childhood for by my parents and grand parents if I trying so illegal methods. The “mera bachha hai” [they are my beloved kid] concept spoils the kids and makes them feel that since some of them are blessed with resources so its OK for them to break the rules. Every child looks to their elders for leadership and inspiration in their early life. By encouraging wrong ethics we are not doing our duties as good leaders.
  • School – This is another important place of our life where we learn the most. A teacher and friend are the people who we look upto as leaders from front and by side. Again some friends encourage bad habits in their group saying its cool and good way to grow up. Some teachers also focus a lot on just getting marks and not on innovative ways of learning and problem solving. This kind of leadership spoils the way we look at the society around us where things have to be done so as to get good marks or to be cool not because we feel that way.
  • College – Here again friends and seniors are the people we upto for leadership. Many students are misguided during college days because of their friends choose to help them in doing something illegal for fun rather than helping them do the right thing which is beneficial for all the people. Seniors are individuals we look upto the most for inspiration and but many times they show bad conduct or reward us on doing something unethical. This leadership influences us the most as we are prepared in college for the future phase of our lives and what we learn in college we go on to become. I once fired a junior of mine from my organization leadership body for his bad conduct and unethical actions of cheating. The result was all his friends started bad mouthing about me. This kind of leadership where we are more guided by the people and emotions than by our values hinders our ability to make the right decisions for the best of our organizations and hence for the nation.
  • Job – Job is a place where we have to follow, support and lead. The difference this time is that we get paid for doing all the 3. This is where leadership values most and this is the place where leadership is abused the most. A work place is about becoming better by doing more. And if our leaders and friends support the opposite we start living like that. We see leadership becomes more about gaining badges of higher position than acts of reforms and positive changes. People who instill the most fear are looked as best leaders.
  • Old Age – This is the age when the above cycle repeats for our own kids and whatever leadership styles we have seen and learnt we display an output of the same.

BTW, the above reasons are not just aimed at others who come into our lives but also at us based on the role we play in others life. Its not about pointing a finger at people but helping in finding a solution to the problems.

I feel the problems of India are many but the underlying basis of all of them is unethical and wrong leadership which we experience and incorporate in ourselves. Even though it looks tough to change the system from grass-root level. Its easier to target on good leadership building across all sectors of the society.

A leader’s job is not to gain more followers but to create more leaders who can continue the chain.

Get My Feet on the Ground

I held the prize,
But i never knew how,
To get my feet on the ground,
My feet on the ground

The above lines just tell us how at times we feel about achievement. Speaking of Achievement its something very subjective. What might be achievement for someone can just be a plain easy prize for another. But coming back to the point.  Many times we forget what next after that achievement, what responsibilities did it bring along ? How can this achievement change our lives – take us beyond the Horizon or even deep into the shallow pits. The way we behave after victory. The way we take it forward and make it a part of our lives plays a huge role in what we become out of it and how the world attaches that victory to us.


Shawn Michaels – Get My Feet on the Ground

I have seen many who launch off to a completely new self after getting small prizes of success and loose their focus of the main goal. I have been there myself as well and have felt how hard it is to come back on the track. I have also seen many who just kept “Their Feet on the Ground” and made that victory count like a stepping stone to the many more that came along their way. I have seen the joy that embraces the smartest of faces when they hold their prize. I have also seen the tears of those passionate ones who knew it was coming their way and they finally got it. And I have also seen the unfortunate ones who were this close to achieving it but lost it in the last moment. Some had that devastated look after they lost. Some were sportive enough to wipe the tears off and start off afresh with a completely heightened level of enthusiasm.

Life teaches everything. It gives us everything. Opportunities to succeed. Opportunities to learn. Opportunities to compete. And also opportunities to fail. Its up-to us what we make out of each of those opportunities which are presented to us. Its up-to us to decide when to turn our back to an opportunity. And its also up-to us to never let go of that GOLDEN opportunity. To ensure that we keep ourself focussed. Keep our feet on the Ground.

The real golds in life are never achieved on the first few steps. Those who get them never realize that there is a whole gold mine ahead of them. And that gold mine is limited only by our imagination. Contentment, they say is good for a happy life but its never good for the lives of Winners.

Now coming to myself. I haven’t achieved much but then this saying has always kept me hunger the same way for achieving more, more and more. The saying “Always keep your feet on the Ground”.

To end this post. I would like to mention the inspiration behind the whole post. The song which brought this whole thing back to me. A song about someone I respect so much. A man who stands for passion and commitment and more than anything else, for achievement. Shawn Michaels.

I leave you all with this song from the documentary about Shawn called “My Journey”.

The 5 Minute MBA Course

I was reading the blog of my friend today when I came across this really interesting post about some basic life facts. I loved it so much that I am copying it as it is here on my own blog as well hope you all with get the morals of all the fables.

Lesson 1
An eagle was sitting on a tree resting, doing nothing. A small rabbit saw the eagle and asked him,
“Can I also sit like you and do nothing?”
The eagle answered: “Sure , why not.”
So, the rabbit sat on the ground below the eagle and rested. All of a
sudden, a fox appeared, jumped on the rabbit and ate it.
Moral of the story:
To be sitting and doing nothing, you must be sitting very, very high up.
Lesson 2
A turkey was chatting with a bull.
“I would love to be able to get to the top of that tree’ sighed the turkey, ‘but I haven’t got the energy.”
“Well, why don’t you nibble on some of my droppings?’ replied the bull. They’re packed with nutrients.”
The turkey pecked at a lump of dung, and found it actually gave him enough strength to reach the lowest branch of the tree.
The next day, after eating some more dung, he reached the second branch.
Finally after a fourth night, the turkey was proudly perched at the top of the tree.
He was promptly spotted by a farmer, who shot him out of the tree.
Moral of the story:
Bullshit might get you to the top, but it won’t keep you there.
Lesson 3
A sales rep, an administration clerk, and the manager are walking to lunch when they find an antique oil lamp.
They rub it and a Genie comes out.
The Genie says, ‘I’ll give each of you just one wish.’
‘Me first! Me first!’ says the admin clerk. ‘I want to be in the Bahamas , driving a speedboat, without a care in the world.’
Puff! She’s gone.
‘Me next! Me next!’ says the sales rep.. ‘I want to be in Hawaii , relaxing on the beach with my personal masseuse, an endless supply of Pina Coladas and the love of my life.’
Puff! He’s gone.
‘OK, you’re up,’ the Genie says to the manager…
The manager says, ‘I want those two back in the office after
Moral of the story:
Always let your boss have the first say.
Lesson 4
A man is getting into the shower just as his wife is finishing up her shower, when the doorbell rings.
The wife quickly wraps herself in a towel and runs downstairs.
When she opens the door, there stands Bob, the next-door neighbour.
Before she says a word, Bob says, ‘I’ll give you $800 to drop that towel.’
After thinking for a moment, the woman drops her towel and stands naked in front of Bob, after a few seconds, Bob hands her $800 and leaves.
The woman wraps back up in the towel and goes back upstairs.
When she gets to the bathroom, her husband asks, ‘Who was that?’
‘It was Bob the next door neighbour,’ she replies.
‘Great,’ the husband says, ‘did he say anything about the $800 he owes me?’
Moral of the story:
If you share critical information pertaining to credit and risk with your shareholders in time, you may be in a position to prevent avoidable exposure.
Lesson 5
A little bird was flying south for the winter. It was so cold the bird froze and fell to the ground into a large field. While he was lying there, a cow came by and dropped some dung on him..
As the frozen bird lay there in the pile of cow dung, he began to realize how warm he was.
The dung was actually thawing him out!
He lay there all warm and happy, and soon began to sing for joy.
A passing cat heard the bird singing and came to investigate.
Following the sound, the cat discovered the bird under the pile of cow dung, and promptly dug him out and ate him…
Morals of the story:
(1) Not everyone who shits on you is your enemy.
(2) Not everyone who gets you out of shit is your friend.
(3) And when you’re in deep shit, it’s best to keep your mouth shut!
End of 5 minute course! And excuse the language used. Had they been toned down, they would have lost their tang and humour.
Courtesy:Iuliana Gelijk.

AIESEC in Streams: Global Youth Leadership- not an option but our responsibility

If you liked this video please help me win this competition by following these simple steps:
  1. Become a fan of AIESEC here at :
  2. Go to the screenshot of my video and click on the like button:
Its been a long time since I wrote a blog post. Well I was busy with far too many exciting things in life which required me to cherish them more rather to document them at that time. I have a good memory so I preferred the first option. I wrote my last blog on my CEEDership in NUS, an AIESEC Experience that was my first major involvement with AIESEC before that I was recruited in October 2008 in this amazing organization’s local chapter at IIT Kharagpur to just some global experience in my otherwise nerdy life but again I continued to wok here as well as a technical support staff.

As I progressed through the different stages of AIESEC namely: Introduction to AIESEC –> Taking Responsibility –> Exchange –> Leadership Role I learned more and more about the amazing structure of this organization. The multitude of leadership opportunities available for each and every individual that a part of it as well as the unconventional but really efficient work culture with a perfect blend of fun and impactful hardwork. Now I am a 2.5 years old AIESECer and as I learn more and more about it I start to love it more and more.

One such thing which really caught my mind recently was the International Conference 2010 which will be held in India this time. This is the biggest conglomeration of youth from all over the world coming under one platform and its one the the biggest extravaganza AIESEC offers annually. After going through the delegate lists, participation as well as the activities of the previous International Conferences of AIESEC I developed this strong urge to represent IIT Kharagpur at this amazing platform and just like a God’s gift I came across this really innovative and intriguing social media competition of AIESEC International where the participants are supposed to show their Video Production Skills by coming up with something innovative as well as depicting the true values of AIESEC through a 2 minutes video on the topic of “Global Youth Leadership- not an option but our responsibility”.

As the topic aptly depicts the core values of AIESEC which believes in creating Leadership opportunities for young people  across the globe through a positive impact on the society. I brainstormed a little and studied how young people have changed this world from areas ranging from sports, technology, music as well as politics. Clubbing all my ideas together I came up with this video of mine which was aptly complemented by the Background Score “Up Is Down” by Hans Zimmer from the movie Pirates of the Caribbean – At World’s End.  The felling which I got after rendering the video was amazing and I personally believed in each and every byte of information I have fed into this beautiful stream of pixels. 

If you liked this video please help me win this competition by following these simple steps:
  1. Become a fan of AIESEC here at :
  2. Go to the screenshot of my video and click on the like button: