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The Adversity Advantage

by Vivek Slaria Share via -

The temperature plummeted at night. It wasn’t high in the morning either. Welcome to the cold desert. Encouraged by the dipping temperature, the wind rushes in. An errant child let loose. Full of energy and power, it unleashes itself on the valley and a small mud hut on the shore of Pangong Tso.

The enchanted lake, Pangong Tso is at a height of 14250 ft. A hundred and thirty four km long, it is amongst the longest lakes in the world. Sixty percent of it lies in Tibet (now China) and forty percent lies in India. The shades of colour, its raw beauty and the surrounding mountains indeed make this lake enchanting.  

Inside the mud hut were five sunburnt faces. In awe of this manifestation of nature. No words were needed. The thoughts exactly the same of happiness, peace and strength. Together.

Chang La is the world’s third highest motor-able pass. It has to be crossed on the way to Pangong Tso Dirt road. The snow covering the pass and the sharp turns make this an incredible journey.

None of the five in the hut had experienced anything like this before. They were in Leh, the land of Buddha. The cold desert. The deep blue Indus, the desert, the purple mountains and the snow covered peaks. Incredible. The forgotten land.  

In an environment like this the ancient mind springs back in action. Natural instincts long buried, un-earthed. The focus shifts to survival and to winning against the elements. Artificial differences created by ego dissolve giving way to natural instincts of care, support and community.  

This is not new. This is how societies are formed. Seventy thousand years ago homo- sapiens was a tiny species. They came together and started hunting and living in packs, realizing their power. The packs became villages which became clans, giving rise to the modern society. This is the adversary advantage or the power of adversary.

We see examples of this around us. As a common threat emerges, we come together. Hunters, pack movers. Past differences forgotten, guided by our instinct to survive. This is how great movements take shape.

How do we leverage this power for our organization? How do we come together, as leaders, in mind and spirit? Dissolve our transactional differences to take our organizations to the next level?  

I submit, the same leverage of adversity to unite us. In mind and spirit. Let us create a common adversary. An adversary that is personal and felt within. It cannot be dictated or artificially created because then it becomes false, like rallying the troops for a mock battle. Who is excited about that even though we may go through the motions?

Nature offers this opportunity. It is simple, felt within and shared. Let us use its advantage to unite our teams. Leh is one such place that may offer this unifying element of nature.  

Watch as the teams unite against the elements and translate this to the work environment. The returns are worth the investment.

The world is limitless. Shall we take the first step?

Vivek writes and coaches individuals and companies on Self Worth, Purpose and Willpower. Reach him at +91 98190 48886 or eMail  at

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