Hello, I have just finished writing this essay and would appreciate any comments/ feedbacks that you may have.
Thank you very much!
A leader, by definition, is the person that holds a dominant position within his field and is able to exercise a high degree of control over others. Great leaders, however, encompass more aspects. They also set the challenging goals and influence the thoughts, attitudes and actions of others in order to succeed. Observing the characters of effective leaders, I have continuously learned, developed and applied the concept throughout my experiences.
I first understood 'inspiring and influencing leaders' upon leading a three-month XXX project assigned as part of the University of YYY coursework in 2014. The aim was to assess the performance of a small café in HHH schools and provide recommendations based on the framework taught in class. Volunteered to be the leader of the group of five, I set certain expectations that there would be a weekly meeting to update work progress. There were resistances at first as this was deemed unnecessary. However, with my logical reasons and shared experiences in the past, all members concurred with this. The team finalized the findings, recommendations and implementation plans. We proposed the model of advance order placement to reduce the traffic during lunch time. The manager was reluctant at first; therefore, we challenged the café to use the system for a week to see if there were any improvements. Together with the online platform we established, the turnover of the café increased by 70% partly due to lower traffic and waiting time. Not so long after, I led the team to propose the same concept to nearby cafés in the area which found this model very useful as well.
In the same year, upon returning to country z, I was chosen to be the Finance Director of faculty's charitable stage performance, leading 15 student members from the same program. Our challenge was to raise $2000 for equipment costs, costumes and renting fee. I conducted a brainstorming session and all members agreed to contact as many sponsors as we could by phones and emails. All the attempts failed as no one was interested. Therefore, I proposed the change to be a pitch with simple package illustrations for sponsors. To ensure that team members understood the reason for the change which might need more time and efforts, I reminded them about the end goal for this fundraising; to finance the play that would later subsidize the renovation of schools in the rural area. The speech had motivated all members to continue to work hard and it actually paid off when we finally raised as much as $4000 in the end.
To sum up, my inspiring and influencing persona were demonstrated as the team leader who guided and impacted members to strive for success. I also believe that the opportunity provided by Chevening will assist me to become the leader for a wider circle of people and create higher positive impacts for the country.
Oranat, the two leadership opportunities that you present shows a logical development in your skill both as a leader and influential person. With regards to the first experience, I have a question related to information in the paragraph that needs to be clarified. What do you mean by "shared experiences in the past"? How does that relate to your act of logical reasoning with the group? How did you use your influencing skills to get the other cafe's in the area to try your program? You need to add at least another paragraph in order to better portray your leadership skills in relation to the story you related. When you told the story about convincing the other businesses, you opened another example of your leadership and influencing skills that you should follow through on.
Now, with regards to the fund raiser, you need to present a clear example of your failure as a leader. Probably by telling us about how you, not just the team failed to influence people to participate in your project. Now remember, being an influential leader is not limited to just giving motivational speeches. You need to show that you can lead through action as well. That is the part that you need to develop further in your essay. Otherwise, there is an imbalance in the information you are presenting because it concentrates only on the verbal side of your leadership and influencing skills. Remember that leaders lead through action as well. So you should also show that side of your leadership ability.