Diary of a Global Fellow

Letter from Addis -

I started my journey as a global fellow in New York on Sep 14, 2015 with 10 other fellows from 7 different countries. I came to this fellowship with a mindset that I’ve seen it all and done it all, and now I AM GOING TO CHANGE THE WAY THE WORLD TACKLES POVERTY. And, little I knew about what it really takes to create change; change in the mindset, change in the system, and change in people’s behavior. Very early on in the fellowship, I realized that it was not going to be easy to practice adaptive leadership, as it takes more than just changing one’s mindset. It requires one to be authentic. At the end of the 8 weeks leadership training, I thought I had answers to all my questions, and now it was the time to practice what I had learnt in New York.

Today, I am 10 weeks into the fellowship, and I realize that I have more questions than I had ever before. I’m extremely uncomfortable with the fact that I don’t have answers to my questions. I’m in a third world country, and I have no friends and family here to talk to and to share things with. I don’t know their language and they don’t know my language either. I am definitely not alone but I feel LONELY. I don’t know how remaining 10 months are going to look like, but I know for sure that I’ am on a mission; a mission to test my real strengths, and to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. I AM AN ACUMEN GLOBAL FELLOW.

What does it take to be an acumen global fellow, and why would someone want to be a global fellow? I remember Seth Godin saying that the only people who should apply for this fellowship who view the opportunity of a life time to be with strangers and to put themselves at personal emotional risk. I am glad that I chose to do this fellowship, as I learnt a lot about myself and my own defaults. I also learnt that it’s perfectly OK to fail, and if you fail you should fail again and fail better. I am learning to embrace failures and not fear them anymore.

Today, I don’t know how quantifiable would the outcome of this fellowship be, but I already see myself challenging my own defaults every day and learning to live with questions that won’t necessarily have answers. I’m learning to live in the GRAY.

If you think you have what it takes to be an ACUMEN GLOBAL FELLOW, you should apply as soon as possible as our application process for the class of 2017 is going to close on Dec 8, 2016.