In this final segment of my Tibet story I’ll share one of the most interesting things I observed about the Tibetan people. It was the holistic, integrated way they approach life. Spirituality is not separate from their daily lives. The village isn’t built around a temple, the village IS a temple.
I found it intriguing that by blending all aspects of life: spirituality, business interests, family life and daily activity, the Tibetan’s lives were much simpler. They didn’t have to think about when to be the business person, the parent, the religious follower. They could be all those things, all at once. How freeing! No roles to play, just be your whole, authentic self in every situation. I found the Tibetans to be open minded, welcoming and engaging no matter what the situation. I was instinctively drawn to their genuine enthusiasm for life.
The leadership lesson here is that being authentically yourself—your whole self—enables others to connect with you and trust you more readily. There is no wondering about whether you are who you appear to be. And when you share more of who you are with those you lead, you will find it easier to build relationships, inspire others and model a more inclusive way of working.
Now back from this once-in-a-lifetime journey, I find myself frequently thinking back to the experiences I had there. I find myself holding on less tightly to what I think should happen, letting things emerge naturally. I listen more deeply and engage with people—even those I don’t know—more intensely and authentically.
I was changed by my experience in Kham in ways that are still becoming apparent. I know this experience has helped me to be a better leader and a better coach to others. I hope someday you will have the chance to visit this special region of the world. Whether or not that’s in your future, let me wish you “good fortune” in the Tibetan way: Tashi delek!