‘Hot & Sour’ Creates A Good Leader

‘Hot & Sour’ Creates A Good Leader

Have you ever thought about what defines you?

These days, all I can think of is ‘‘What defines Apeksha?’

Recently, someone asked me to define myself. Such a simple question, right?  But yet, I struggled to answer. I was blank. Then I was asked what are some of the good qualities I have inherited from my parents. So I just started thinking of all the good qualities my parents have. After a lot of thinking, I found some which I possess, too.

I would say Apeksha is caring, Apeksha is content, Apeksha is honest. Well at least, most of the time. 

I love caring for people. But not just anyone. I am a picky carer. Even the thought of caring for the people I love makes me happy. It makes me feel good about myself. 

Recently, on a Sunday evening, I got a call from my friend and mentor – Adi. 

Adi: “Apeksha, do you know what happened to Dhruv and all?”

Apeksha: “No. What’s up?”

Adi: “I just got to know that they have met with a brutal accident.”


Immediately, I called Dhruv multiple times but he wasn’t answering. My hands started shaking. I was panicking. I just wanted to talk to him once and hear from him that he is okay. 
When he finally called me, I was already in a pool of tears. I was relieved to hear his voice.

Every day, after the accident, I went to his house to make sure he’s okay. Even though he had more than enough people to help him, I had to help in some way. This was my way of caring. Just being there with him, made me feel better. Knowing that I could do the smallest of things, gave me satisfaction.

I care that’s why I went to meet him.

I care that’s why I want to raise awareness about transgenders.

I care that’s why I want to do something for children. 

Caring for my loved ones or a cause makes me feel better. It makes me who I am. But, I have a controlling nature which conflicts with my caring nature. Every time, I am working I have this need of gaining control over the situation. I feel very uncomfortable if I don’t. It makes me feel so helpless if I don’t have the upper hand. I feel jittery.

For example, when I work with my brothers in the kitchen, I want things to be done my way. I decide who is in charge of chopping and who is in charge of frying. I don’t allow any room for changes or creativity. If they don’t do anything according to me, I pop it. I unconsciously try to boss them around which only makes the situation worse. It ends with one of us yelling and walking out of the kitchen. And it leaves the other one with anger and lots of chopping to do. But I can yell at them only because they are my brothers. We moment we fight, the next, we unite. 

It is my way or the highway.

Even when I am working on projects with my peers, I feel conflicted. Because I want everything to be done my way. At the same time, I want to be considerate of what they think. If I do everything my way, no one would want to work with me. If I care too much & let things go, I will be unhappy. 

Two of my qualities were in conflict. Care or Control? Love or Power? What should I choose?

Care and control are opposites. If I care, I give up on my control. If I control, I am rude. 

All leaders struggle with these 2 qualities. It is a burden that they have to carry.  How to care and build something without being too controlling but still providing direction?

Through recent projects and mentors, I have been hearing that I have a leadership attitude. I have never acknowledged the ‘leader’ in me openly. I am struggling to accept the leader in me because I am are still trying to find a balance of care vs. control. 

To make Hot and Sour soup, the 2 flavours – hot and sour have to be balanced. Similarly, to create a good leader, the 2 qualities – care and control have to be balanced. For me, to unlock the best leader within me, the proportion of flavours needs to be right.

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