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Chevening Essay - Empathy and Vision as the core abilities for future leaders or influencers

adrnknnths 1 / 1  
Sep 11, 2018   #1
Hi all & ms Mary Rose @holt I would be very happy to see your positive feedback on my essay. I am so concerned about the length of my essay, I believe it exceeds the maximum limit of the words. Any input in which part I should cut?Thankyou very much

a leader seeking success in Indonesia

The fact that Indonesia is one of the most diversified cultural countries makes me believe that the true basic qualities of any leader seeking success in Indonesia is precisely empathy. With more than 20 ethnics and 5 religions in Indonesia, empathy/ emotional intelligence is the core ability for leaders to put themselves in the place of others, understand their concerns and solve problems. Leadership also means having a vision and sharing it with others, with consistency. Only when I get to inspire others, it is possible to influence a common goal towards which to direct the efforts and dedication of the entire team.

I genuinely comprehend the concept of Empathy and Vision when I involved directly through the architectural community service called Bhakti Ganva. In the beginning of the project we came to the poorly developed village in Pangalengan District located in Bandung and blend with local people to listen to their concern & problems they had in the village. Sharing thoughts and ideas with the locals gave me a whole new perspective about what can we; as a more educated people, contribute explicitly for the infrastructure development.

After weeks of discussion we came up to an agreement with the village representatives to build a small mosque and a library for the local children to study. At this stage I learn a lot about influencing people with the knowledge we have to make a better and significant impact for the village itself, as it all began with lots of hesitation from the locals. Despite the fact of my introvert personality, I overcome the unpleasant thoughts and nervous feelings that occur at first by a starting a small talk with elderly locals that leads to a deep conversation. Our team and the locals worked together through the project and I really felt satisfy with the result. Within 8 months period of time, we manage to build something that not only have a better impact for the village, but also a trust-based relationship by leading them along the process.

As a member of traditional architecture community called Arsitektur Hijau, I actively did an expeditions to remote areas in East Indonesia such as Maluku, Timor, and Sulawesi to help preserve Indonesian vernacular Architecture. For me, this is one of the toughest moment in the learning process of leading and influencing because almost every locals in the remote area have their own local language, resulting a communication problems. We discover one thing that unites us, which is a cultural ceremony. Thereafter we communicate with them easier, combined with gesture language we are able to lead them in the process.

Helping local people with the architectural knowledge I have to preserve their culture and tradition has been my long term goals. Moreover, leads and teach them how to build an architectural prototype building that can help people in the natural disaster area, hence Indonesia is located in the pacific ring of fire and have a poorly developed infrastructure. I believe if I'm chosen to received Chevening award and continue my education in UK I will be able to lead and influence people in my country better and make a positive changes for Indonesia.

Holt - / 7,529 2001  
Sep 12, 2018   #2
Hi Adrian, I hope you will be appreciative of my observations and advice even though it isn't very positive. My job is to look for the flaws in your writing so that you can deliver the proper and most perfect essay to the reviewer. I hope you won't takes my statements against me, I'm just trying to help :-)

I see that you wrote 529 words for an essay that is only supposed to be 250-500 words at the most. You definitely need to edit this essay for content in order to meet the word requirement. Actually, if I were the person revising this essay, I would not try to edit this written piece but rather, I would write a totally new one since it is always easier to write a new essay based on valid advice than it is to edit and revise an existing essay for content. Editing it for connectivity and relevance can be extremely trying for anyone trying to meet a deadline.

The main factor in this essay that you have to correct is the constant reference to "we" in all the projects you were involved in. Not once did you ever appear to take the lead in a team situation wherein you actually had to lead and influence the members to get the job done. Your reference is always a collective effort, which indicates that the leadership was on a collective basis as well with you ranking as a follower rather than a leader in all instances you have mentioned in the essay.

You need to present just one solid instance of "I" as a leader in your presentation. A situation where you had command responsibility for the success or failure of an undertaking which led to your leadership and influencing requirements. Situations that actually had you at the helm of a team that you were able to whip into shape when it felt like you were not going to be able to do it. Perhaps a situation where your team could not cooperate with the community and you had to influence both sides in order to get the task done. Yes, I believe that would work very well. The problem is, you cannot refer to a "we" scenario.

You need to be more on the "In order to accomplish this task, I had to instruct and explain (a reference to lead and influence)" or something like that within 250-500 words. Yes, something that implies the previous statement would work best for your presentation. I hope you have some sort of experience that represents that which could be used as the example in this leadership and influencing essay.

Before I go, I need to ask you to do something very important. Do not define leadership and influencing using an explanation of Indonesian culture, race, and ethnicity. You are just wasting valuable word count and the reviewer is not interested in that information. He is also most definitely not interests in your concept of empathy and vision in relation to leadership and influencing. These theoretical presentations are unnecessary and wasteful of the reviewer's time. He may opt not to read your essay after the first unrelated paragraph since he has hundreds more to read and assess within the day. Just get to the point at once. Open with the narration of your leadership and influencing scenario. Don't waste the reviewer's time. The prompt asks you to explain how you embody being a future leader and influencer in your country anyway, it does not ask you define the terms. Don't do anything the prompt isn't asking for in order to save yourself from going over the word count.
OP adrnknnths 1 / 1  
Sep 12, 2018   #3
Hi Mary Rose @holt Thank you so much for your kind words and valuable feedback - all of which are very much appreciated!
I will definitely work on your advice for the essay :)

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