I am excited (and a little nervous because of the personal nature of this) to share with you my latest White Paper: Guerrilla Leadership: 3 valuable lessons from leading on the frontline.
Have you ever been so afraid that you lost all sense of time passing? My first night in the jungle was like that….
I am sitting cross-legged on the floor of a small bamboo house in a jungle refugee camp on the edge of a war zone on the Thai-Burmese border. My body is paralysed with fear. How did I get here? I’m just a regular 26-year-old Australian woman; I grew up in the country; I have no experience of war; and I can’t speak the local language. What do I do now?
In walks a 4-year-old girl. She is small, dirty, and dressed in tatters—not at all how I would expect a leader to show up. She steps forward, smiles and takes my hand—the hand of a white, first-world woman—and guides me out of my fear. She doesn’t speak my language. She speaks the language of courage and compassion, and in this moment, she teaches me everything I need to know about leadership.
She leads me away from my fear to what would become my new community, a place in which I learned unlearnable lessons… Lessons about Guerrilla Leadership. And lessons about myself.
So began the phase of my life I think of as ‘in the jungle’. I settled in as the English teacher and the only ‘foreigner’ in a refugee camp of 4000 people; I made friends, learned the language, and (almost) got used to having a bunker dug under my house.
In the two years that I lived in the jungle, I never felt such fear again, despite threats of kidnapping and cross border shelling—such was the power of the lessons I learnt from my 4-year-old leader.
The other leader I learned from was the guerrilla fighter I met on my first weekend in the jungle. This White Paper outlines three of these key lessons, and how they apply to leading yourself and leading teams.
What could you learn from Guerrilla Leadership?