Change Leader

Trek Leading Journey in the Himalayas

What did I learn from Trek Leading in the Himalayas?

Magic and mystery lies on the edge, just outside the comfort zone.

Amit Ray
At Chandranahan Lake, Buran Ghati

Having a transformative experience in the years between 2019-2020 followed by the uncertainty of Life during Covid-19 Pandemic, then embracing the joy of exploring various fields, arts from the comfort of a home, facing the closure of a relationship and wondering how to be closer to nature especially the mountains and also having a thought of making people aware and alive of the beauty that life exudes and to be a part of something out of my comfort zone led me to apply for a role of a Trek Leader with Indiahikes.

That’s when more than two years ago, I embarked on this journey of Trek Leading in the Himalayas. It seemed overwhelming, daunting and out of sorts for me at the start but let me tell you, it was the best decision that I took which shook my comfort walls and I have come out stronger.

Life Lessons from my Trek Leading Journey –

  1. 1. Resilience – Traveling between slopes/places/regions/states, interacting people from different walks of life, facing challenges of weather, of operations and people management have made me more resilient.
  2. 2. Empathy – Listening to people and understanding their point of view has been something which I have deepened. My perspectives have changed and yes being conscious of Frame of Reference has been a tool which has helped me be more empathetic.
  3. 3. Minimalism – Living out of a Backpack and probably a duffle bag has been the norm for the past couple of years. And also consciously choosing what to buy and not has been something that I have taken back to the cities too. I have realised that I don’t need much to maintain myself.
  4. 4. Patience – I have realised that I am more patient with people, situations and challenges. This for me has been a revelation.
  5. 5. Connecting with Nature – I got the opportunity to Connect with nature, trekking for me has become truly meditative. Be the vales or valleys, hills or mountains, lakes or rivers, meadows or the forests, peaks and summits I have had an opportunity to soak in their grace and beauty.
  6. 6. Being in the present moment – This has become my way of being and has helped me to do what is needed to be done at that point in time.
  7. 7. Gratitude – It has helped me to be thoroughly grateful for each and every person in my Life and also to be Grateful for the Life that I have.
Briefing the team at Gangaad Village, Har ki Dun

Management Lessons from my Trek Leading Journey-

  1. 1. Leadership – Leading groups of people and also being a team player with fellow staff members, guides has been quite a revelation on my leadership capabilities.
  2. 2. Teamwork – Being a team player and working with the teams has really helped me gain so many new insights, aspects, thoughts and knowledge.
  3. 3. Stakeholder management – Managing the teams – trekkers, staff, guides and also the entire operations on the run pertaining to equipment, food, weather, health of trekkers and staff has given me quite the confidence of looking into many aspects that go in making a trek successful.
  4. 4. Communication and Listening skills – Without these there wouldn’t be any management of anything. Communication and Listening skills have gone hand in hand and it has always helped me to provide details, information, insights, seek information and be transparent in what we do and how we do it.
  5. 5. Trust – When working with people from different teams , what has helped me is to trust my team members and I have also learnt from them as well on how they place trust in me.
  6. 6. Decision Making – Facing multiple situations, challenges, people, medical situations, weather conditions has helped me to take a decision along with consulting my team members. It has helped me to take a decision with all information at my disposal in a sane way.
  7. 7. Problem Solving – Again, something which has helped me is to be present in the moment and work on what is needed to be done to the problem or issue at hand rather than brooding about what could have been done before.
  8. 8. Adaptability – Being in this role has helped me to adapt to the situation, place, weather conditions with the thought that what is needed to be done and what is necessary to address at that time.
  9. 9. Immense Learnings – Having met Staff members in different Slopes / Treks- I learnt a lot about Managing people, to be upfront and firm in certain situations and also to show care and empathy despite situations being challenging.
  10. 10. Humility – I have met a lot of people who portray Humility with ease and for me it has been quite a revelation and ofcourse has helped me to be aware about my strengths and weaknesses.
  11. 11. Care – Being in this role has helped me to learn from Senior, experienced Staff members on how they take care of the team, not just the trekkers but their own Staff members. This has provided me insights and thoughts on how I am as a Caring Leader and Individual.

What’s amazed me is the fact that I could connect with people across different age groups and different walks of Life; be it School students, Children coming for Summer Camps, Family groups, Seniors, IIM students, Corporate professionals and ofcourse trekkers from different walks of Life.

It has been quite a journey living in the Mountains, taking groups on many a different treks in different States. The rewards that I truly appreciate are the fact that I could sow the seed of Transformation in many a people of different age groups and the fact that it will sprout in time to come!

Marsar Lake, Tarsar Marsar

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