Cultural Intelligence, leadership and travel

I’ve started a senior leader’s course with Common Purpose, as part of this we listen to a Ted X talk on Cultural Intelligence with Julia Middleton, its founder.

This talk Ended with, ‘I want to be a leader because I want to change things.’ Which immediately resonated with me as it relates so much to how I feel about the travel industry to India in particular and the reasons for setting up Indian Experiences where we promote India beyond the norm and people who provide true and authentic experiences in their own destinations.

I want India to be a destination that people want to visit in order to meet it’s people, appreciate it’s people their diversity, they humility, their struggles and their resilience, but their colour and joy and expression and ability to survive despite unimaginable hardships and still grace you with brilliant heartfelt smiles and warmth in their hospitality. The humblest villager who is as fascinated by us as we are about them. STOP and re read that sentence, because when we are marauding through their homes and villages and sticking camera’s in front of their faces, how much do we really consider them, these hospitable people who are inviting you into their lives for a few moments, hours or days?

Beyond the people I want travellers to appreciate the arts and crafts and interact with extraordinary artisans who may not be educated in the formal western sense, but have skills that we could never hope to match.

I want travellers to appreciate the extraordinary views, from the majesty of the mighty Himalaya to the dust motes dancing in the shafts of sunlight and the day breaks on an early morning safari to the palm fringed beaches of Kerala, but not from behind a camera lens, or in a selfie induced excitement, but by sitting back and watching and simply being and allowing thoughts to come and realisations to happen and being aware of feelings. Because that is one thing that India does, it makes you feel. These may all not be positive emotions, some are hard to swallow, but what causes these feelings are all part of what makes India extraordinary. This is the country I want to visit, not just monuments and history lessons. Our tag line at Indian Experiences has always been, Monuments Create the backdrop but people create the experiences, and it is a willingness to slow it down, get off the main drag and take time for her people that makes a journey to India, Incredible!

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#commonpurpose #seniorleaders #travel #india #Indianexperiences

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