Personal Development Mentor, Parenting Coach, Career Counselor, Ethical Guide

Agility of Mind

Agility of Mind

During first year after my commissioning I went as part of a combined team of three Para Commando Units to take part in major exercise in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. I was at 2Lt then, the junior most officer rank and had only 10 months of service. We did a lot of manoeuvre and one particular night sortie in hilly terrain I will always remember.

I was part of a big raiding party going to blow up a bridge or some such target in the exercise enemy area and were moving towards our target. When it was about 7-8 km away we heard from below us some sounds of a group of men moving up towards us on the track. They were possibly 600-700 meters away and would have taken about 10 minutes to reach us. The officer in command of the raiding party, a Major, very quickly organised the thirty odd people with him into an opportunity ambush and deployed various parties covering the path coming from the Red Land side.

Lo and behold as soon as the bulk of the enemy column was in the killing area of the ambush we all made noises to indicate they have been ambushed. Now the exercise Red Land and Blue Land (that is us) forces got into a heated arguments, each claiming they had annihilated the other.

As luck would have it the Excercise Umpire was also falling back at their heels and he asked our OC to show where and how our ambush party was deployed on ground. He started calling out all his groups one by one to stand up on their places and slow what weapons they had with them. The fire power we possessed and the tactically sound locations were enough to convince the Umpire and he ruled all Red Land soldiers killed in action!

The alertness of the Raiding Party Commander and his quick decision to set up an ambush when an opportunity presented itself was so noticeable. This was an action to inflict maximum casualties on the enemy to help achieve the overall aim.

⁠If he had failed to assess the situation so quickly and taken action to deploy, we ourselves could have landed up in the enemy ambush or had a chance encounter leading to casualties on both sides but no decisive victory for Blue Land forces.

Similar situations can appear as fleeting opportunities in Corporate World of business which, when exploited, can bring on immense benefit and profits. Similarly in diplomatic negotiations, stock market dealings and even in operation theatres such small windows open up which must be exploited with full speed and force at your command.

Thriving amidst constant change is like navigating a stormy sea, where plans are often tossed aside in favor of new directions. Whether in personal life or business, the landscape is ever-shifting. Technologies emerge, customer preferences evolve, and economic tides ebb and flow, sometimes all within a single week. In such turbulent times, agility becomes the leader’s secret weapon.

Picture agility as the ability to dance gracefully amid chaos. It’s about adaptability, embracing new insights, and adjusting strategies on the fly while keeping the team motivated and moving forward. Let’s explore why agility is indispensable in leadership and how it can be nurtured within oneself and the team.
Firstly, there’s immense power in embracing change rather than resisting it. Change is not the enemy but an avenue for growth and innovation. Leaders who embrace change foster a proactive and optimistic environment. They leverage change as a springboard to explore new markets, adapt products or services, and meet evolving needs.
Secondly, continuous learning is at the heart of agility. Leaders who are lifelong learners are naturally curious, constantly seeking new information, and honing their skills. Cultivating a culture of continuous learning within the team through professional development opportunities and knowledge-sharing sessions enhances adaptability and decision-making.
Next, agility entails calculated experimentation, not reckless gambles. Leaders should pilot new ideas, test strategies, and gather feedback, starting with manageable experiments. Even failed attempts offer valuable insights for future decisions. Fostering a culture of experimentation encourages innovation and ingrains agility into the team’s DNA.
Furthermore, agility thrives in a collaborative environment where information flows freely. Breaking down departmental silos, fostering open communication, and empowering team members to share ideas are vital. For instance, if the marketing team identifies a new social media platform, connecting them with sales and product development facilitates a responsive strategy.

Moreover, vulnerability and adaptability are essential traits of agile leaders. Admitting mistakes, learning from them, and adjusting course inspire the team to do the same. In a world of constant change, agility is not a luxury but a necessity. Cultivating an agile mindset allows leaders to seize opportunities, navigate challenges, and boost team morale.

Embracing change, fostering continuous learning, and leading by example are crucial steps in the journey towards agility. When change throws a curveball, the agile leader doesn’t stumble but embraces it, adapts, and propels the team forward. Agility isn’t just a destination; it’s a way of navigating the ever-evolving landscape of life and business.

Major General Balraj Mehta

For over 35 years I served in the esteemed Indian Army, starting with one star on the shoulder to two stars on the flag. Leading infantry forces and commanding thousands of soldiers honed my leadership skills and instilled in me a deep understanding of human nature. This experience allows me to connect with individuals on a profound level, offering practical solutions for navigating complex career and parenting challenges.

My passion extends beyond the uniform into advising clients for a happy family life, grooming teenagers & young adults and development assistance to professionals. I am a firm believer in the power of knowledge sharing and personal growth. As a paratrooper I embraced challenges head-on, defying limitations and soaring to new heights. Now, I translate that same spirit into my work as a Coach, Mentor, Writer Speaker and Influencer.

Since transitioning from the military, I have embarked on a captivating journey of engaging audiences with my insights on leadership, human relations, and the ever-evolving nature of parent child relationship. My goal is to contribute meaningfully to the discourse on empowering young adults and spreading awareness about need for compassionate parenting, offering valuable perspectives honed through first hand, personal and real-world experience.

I hold dear my commitment to knowledge sharing, teaching, guiding and mentoring the budding entrepreneurs, young professionals and parents of teenagers. By equipping future leaders with the tools they need to excel, I aim to empower them to navigate the complexities of the ever-changing world. It's incredibly rewarding to witness their growth and know that I am helping to shape the next generation of charismatic leaders.

In 1983 I embarked on a distinguished career in the Indian Army, having been commissioned as a Second Lieutenant. The unwavering loyalty and dedication I held for my Nation and my Service became the cornerstone of faith during my professional journey. Each year honed my character, sharpened my skills, and fortified my resolve in service of a greater mission which I took upon as my very own!

Olive Green blood runs in my veins!

My operational journey in infantry culminated in commanding an infantry brigade in a highly sensitive operational area. This exceptionally successful tenure earned me the coveted Sena Medal for distinguished service in 2013. Throughout my career, I endeavour to forge excellent civil-military relations and oversaw crucial operations, including the rebuilding of military establishments devastated by Cyclone Phailin in 2013.

After 35 years of dedicated service, my career peaked as the General Officer Commanding the Sub Area of Uttarakhand and later the 41 Sub Area. On 31 August 2018, I superannuated from the Indian army, receiving a dignified farewell by the then Chief of the Army Staff, General Bipin Rawat.
My experiences have equipped me to guide individuals through the journey called life, helping people overcome their uncertainties and embrace the possibilities that lie ahead.

My mission is to empower individuals to live a meaningful life and pursue fulfilling careers. I leverage my expertise in handling human resources, teaching, coaching and personal experiences in leading large organisations to provide guidance and support to parents to deal with their parenting woes, especially with respect to teenagers. I am dedicated to helping parents to overcome anxieties, discover their children’s passions and guide them to successful career choices. My goal is to see them gain clarity, build confidence, and find joy in their life and work.

I am committed to guiding entrepreneurs and young professionals to acquire necessary skills, develop their latent leadership qualities, get over anxiety for performance and forge a stronger personal and professional standing. I consider enhancing their efficiency by reorganisation, reorientation and reaffirmation as my specialty.

I envision a world where parents are empowered to let their children get aligned with their passions, values and talents and feel supported and encouraged to make wise career choices. I strive to be a catalyst for this change, providing the guidance and knowledge necessary for parents to build strong children, for teenagers to grow into strong, stable and compassionate adults and young professionals to achieve greater personal and professional fulfilment.

- Maj Gen Balraj Mehta