Leadership Lessons you will learn at any Indian Wedding

Leadership Lessons you will learn at any Indian Wedding

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Picture it! Streams of colour, delicious smells, a flurry of different cultural and religious based activities, song, dance, partying, eating, drinking, praying, tears, fears and emotions.

These are the hallmarks of an exciting Indian wedding which, if you have ever had the pleasure of attending, you would know takes months of planning, sometimes on a shoestring budget. These weddings, in particular, can teach you a lot about leadership and in this article, we explore exactly how that happens and what lessons you can take away from it.

The first thing you want to remember is that announcing the wedding of your child is much like announcing a new project that your company is going to launch. The project finish date is an average of 3 months or less from the date of the announcement. The CEO and his Managing Partner, the parents, will make the announcement but will not have a single clue about how things are going to happen. They operate on pure faith that family and friends who are now in their employ will ensure that the project will be a resounding success.

Sure enough, family and friends do start making phone calls to the parents of the bride, each one lifting their lids, trying to influence decisions at the outset about the venue, food, trousseau, décor, etc. for the wedding. Others will try to influence the process that each event should take and convince the parents that they will navigate the event for them seamlessly. Each is a well-meaning friend or family member who tries to ensure that their ideas are heard and will be considered for implementation.

Like in every company, there is also in every family, the real leader who emerges and proves the law of EF Hutton to be true because when he speaks, others listen. He is usually the uncle who holds an unbeaten record in the planning and implementation of successful, precision engineered weddings in the past. You simply can’t challenge his opinion or his skill because he’s the one that’s trusted, respected, carries an air of importance that is magnetic and has the gift of connecting with everyone, outside and inside the family. When he negotiates, suppliers comply and so he is the best one to make the deals for venue hire, caterers, stage and décor, accommodation for guests, transport and the priest. He’s the pulse of the event and can get every member of the family to buy-in to his suggestions and ideas and then get them to implement it without complaint also.

He knows who has what talents in the family and starts to gather his inner circle of brothers, sisters, cousins, friends and even neighbours. He massages their egos and expresses genuine belief in their talents based on their last known wedding assignments. He confirms that everyone shares his vision and invites better, more innovative ideas that will eliminate any chances for Wedding of the Year trophy going to anyone else getting married at around the same time. He gathers information about what is needed and empowers the circle, where needed, by referring them to the correct suppliers for chocolate fountains, horse and cart arrival for the bridal couple or DJ's that are rocking the current Bhangra scene.

He knows that his teams are weak without manpower, so he deploys younger team members in the form of nieces and nephews to assist with the execution of duties on the dates of each event. By using this strategy he is empowering and nurturing young talent and reproducing a team for the next wedding in advance.

Fast forward to the wedding events, it is clear that the project is in momentum when everything starts coming together. Team Bride, Team Food, Team Décor, Team Guests, Team Accommodation and Team Transport and Parking are all working in full force. The entire wedding teams are executing a synchronized project plan. Some are even sacrificing trips to the hairdresser or beautician, sleep and ironed clothes just to ensure that the wedding events are taking place without a hitch. Each team member is doing their bit to ensure a good experience for their guests because this is a priority. Everything is done according to the time specified and culminates into a colourful, glitzy, fun, emotional, thoughtful, well co-ordinated, well planned, well executed, spectacular wedding. Everyone has not only enjoyed the event but those that have helped to execute it have grown exponentially in skills and talents they never knew they had.

The legacy is in the hundreds of pictures and videos taken of each event in which it is clear that everyone has led themselves individually and within teams to ensure that the wedding was successful. Whether or not the wedding ever achieves the status of Wedding of the Year is never even in question after the event. Family and friends simply came together to ensure that the wedding, which is their pride and joy, was well done and well executed.

So, the next time you are invited to an Indian wedding, you can rest assured that leadership specialists are the primary reason you enjoyed a grand Indian affair.

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  • Mariam Rahiman

    Hmmmm...I would never have compared a grand Indian wedding with the corporate world until you just got me thinking...and, you know what, you are absolutely right :D
    Having retired from a corporate environment myself, I fully understand and can relate to all sharp SKILLS and TEAMWORK required to make a project work....be it a wedding, sales or any other that needs to end with a bang! Hence, leadership and support are key. One weak link and, sadly, it becomes a glaring fact that it could've been better.
    Very well written piece, Nasreen, and what a jovial way to drive the point home. Well done :)

  • Christopher Ericsson

    The best wedding food I ever had was at an Indian wedding. I still think about it today, it was so good!

  • Alicia Miller

    This is so beautiful, it's nice to see other cultures explained, that's how we live and learn.

  • Rob Stephens

    This is so deep. Thanks for sharing !

  • Hannah Jeffries

    I love the Indian culture. Great read.

  • Daniela Butler

    I love this post!!! It truly symbolizes what an indian wedding is like.

  • Lauren Moran

    I wish my country had something so meaningful and traditional.

  • Sabine Matharu

    Thanks Nasreen, I totally love this. It truly encapsulates the essence of an Indian wedding and really shows how Leadership is so important even in every day life! Most importantly it's about realizing the strength of different team members so that they all do what they are best at and that they are engaged and motivated. That also goes with Leadership in an organisation. If expectations aren't matched with people's skillset - if expectations in a job are higher than skillset, it leads to stress or failure, whilst if the skillset is too high and expectations or task complexity is low, it leads to frustration and boredom, not feeling fulfilled or not being challenged enough which may lead to mental or even physical resignation. Well done and thanks for sharing this fabulous insight!

  • Jitendra

    Well felt and narrated also. I love this article.

  • Deepa

    This is awesome - what a good article. Good one Nasreen. My mind is open to another level.

  • M I Rawat

    Unique lessons from a cultural tradition
    immersed in family skills, talents,
    natural positions of authority that are
    highly prized and respected.

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Nasreen Variyawa 

Motivational Guru

Nasreen Variyawa was born and raised in South Africa where she completed her Post-Graduate Diploma in Education Leadership and Management from Regent Business School. Most followers would know her as a trainer, coach and mentor. Having worked at some of South Africa’s biggest education and training brands, Nasreen has touched thousands of lives through her work and learning material. After spending 10 years in the trenches, she swapped life in suits and stilettos for the classroom and chalkboard, wander-lusting through Turkey where she now resides and teaches English as a Second Language. Nasreen is also a graduate from Ledge International where she pursued a Mastermind Programme in the 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by John C Maxwell. She is the author of 2 books and hit the # best sellers list on Amazon recently for Ignite the Champion Within and Inspire Others to Begin. 

   

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