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Fulfilling journey

Esala Nasaroa
Sunday, December 03, 2017

The Leadership Fiji 2017 program was probably one of the best experiences of my life. Being a part of a family of 33 who had different takes or different perspectives on any and/or all issues was something I felt really happy and excited about, and I always looked forward to the fortnightly sessions as well as the tours and retreats.

Two days to the graduation and it finally sunk in that this wonderful and fulfilling journey that had grown and enriched me in so many ways was coming to an end. So I decided that since I have never been a part or been through any experience like the Leadership Fiji 2017 journey, I thought that it was only fitting that I pay tribute to the program and its wonderful participants in a way that I have never done before.

I started off trying to write a song, but I quickly realised that it was moving more towards a poem than a song. But either of which was going to be good enough seeing as though I have never done either of them, that is, write a song or a poem.

I wrote with the intention of combining my experiences throughout the year, along with the emotions that have encompassed my journey throughout the 2017 Leadership Fiji program. I also wanted to express my sheer satisfaction and sense of accomplishment in all the community projects and work that we had accomplished in the year while at the same time trying to be the voice of encouragement to those who would read or listen to this poem, to take up community work and strive to be a helping hand to those who need it the most.

All in all, to simply put it, the poem expresses my gratitude and satisfaction for a year that has nothing but been a challenge, a lesson, an opportunity and not forgetting a personal and professional development platform for not only me but also for the 32 other participants who went through the course.

This poem is my way of thanking everyone involved in the program for what has been a thoroughly enjoyable and enriching experience.

Leadership, for me, is about influencing people to be the best that they can be. It is about being able to view situations from different vantage points and making the best possible decisions which will derive the best possible outcomes.

Through the Leadership Fiji training, I was introduced to the notion that leadership is not a post but an activity. I have come to realise that leadership is an everyday function and one that everyone plays a role in.

To lead is to be trusted with certain responsibilities that requires a leader to not only be intelligent, but also to be disciplined and considerate of how well the team can come together to achieve the required objective.

It is about a leader who knows how to reach the destination, who follows the path towards the destination and one who leads the team towards that destination. A leader must never restrict himself or herself to a balcony view, but rather come down every now and then to have a feel and experience the environment which he or she is responsible for leading.

Only then can a leader realise the implications of his or her leadership and this in turn supplements a leader with the necessary perspective and experience to better lead from the balcony.

The Leadership Fiji program has been one that has enriched and enhanced my leadership skills as I pave the pathway for everyone under my leadership, and this is not restricted to my professional arena alone, but is also something that has assisted me in how I lead my family as well.

Leadership for me personally has been drastically improved after going through this course and this is something that I feel I have been blessed in, and is a responsibility which requires me to ensure that I pass on these learnings to other leaders.

Leadership Fiji 2017

May we take a few moments

To try and explicate

When we started off this journey

From Feb until to date

Leadership Fiji board

Could never have known

That they have just accepted

All of these champion souls

Who would forge lifelong friendship

And bond so tight and strong

Who would stand for each other

No matter what the odds

What a year it has been

With all the sessions and its biffs

Celebrating the year's highest

But also its bottom most pit

We discussed important issues

And debated amongst ourselves

To try and just make sense

Or just push our points across

Different topics every sessions

Always had our brains pumping

We had to try and keep calm

To prevent our adrenaline from rushing

As the topics were always mind-boggling

But sometimes also confusing

And then we're always reminded

By what Arif used to say

Fellas let's stay cohesive

And not lose our way

Projects we did throughout the year

Providing relief and a bit of a breather

To those in need and struggling to live

Those who are capable but don't have the means

Oh it warms our hearts to see people smile

The appreciation is just too divine

The laughter and joy that we see them express

Is just so enriching and simply the best

All of the learnings which have been provided

Have been cascaded and definitely on-boarded

Learnings that shake our very foundation

To test us through time and also the ages

Leaders we are in our own different respects

Have to be firm but not forget to flex

So we can influence our people

To be at their best

The fancy hotels, dishes and sites

Have been to us quite the highlight

Of a year that has nothing but been

A true test of character and of our zeal

Oh the excitement of going to the North

Was so overwhelming and so strong

With all the expectations and of course the grog

Ending in a friendly game of football

Now as I stand and I reflect back

To when I decided to finally take a chance

To apply to become a part of this pack

To meet and mingle with all these beautiful champs

To learn to open doors and push for the best

And to firmly be founded and believe in ourselves

Tamara, Sufi, William and Sharyne

We would like to applaud you, you wonderful beings

For having the patience to deal with us all

With the biggest group ever that has graced your shores

With different characters and different traits

And all the different things that we have to say

We know how hard the things you have to take

To deal with us all but have a smile on your face

As we endeavour towards the future

Our message to you cannot be any simpler

Give a helping hand to your brothers and sisters

Show them the love you give as a leader

For the seeds you plant today are for the future

Which will bear fruit and will always endure

We leave you today with this famous saying

"The only constant in life……is change"

Live with love, and during your reign

You will never go wrong nor lose your way.

? Esala Nasaroa is a 2017 Leadership Fiji participant. Views expressed are his and not of this newspaper.

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