Hi everyone, i need your help to review my leadership and influence essay for Chevening scholarship. Thank you :-)
Leadership and influence
Chevening is looking for individuals who will be future leaders or influencers in their home countries. Explain how you meet this requirement, using clear examples of your own leadership and influencing skills to support your answer.
It never crossed my mind that at the age of 25 I could reach the managerial position in my career. It was started with an email from Human Resources Department (HRD) which invited me to go through some assessment tests for two positions at the same time: Chairman of Yayasan XXX (a foundation which focuses on education, health, and environment issues) and Group Head of XXX that handle two departments, Corporate Communication and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). I passed the tests and received a promotion letter signed by Group CEO. This was my opportunity to make a change in our company.
Being the youngest department head surprised some people, especially my team members who were annoyed to accept the fact that they would be led by a younger woman. In total, I had 15 people in my team but most of them were not cooperative. The plan and strategy that I initiated did not run well. It was not easy to manage these older people as they used to be in a slow work pace pattern and had no willingness to improve themselves. I consulted this matter to some people, but they said nothing I could do about it and suggested me to adapt and follow their pattern. This was the most possible option, but it was not a win-win solution for me since I still demanded for a better performance from this departments. Therefore, I decided to attend The Effective Leadership Program which helped me to came out with the best solution, Situational Leadership. I tried to figure out every single person in my team by asking the previous head about their performance, their behaviors, as well as their strengths and weaknesses. Besides, I discussed their pre-employment testing with HRD. Therefore, I collected those information and started to identify each person.
Since I realized that change takes time, I applied different approaches to everyone in a peaceful way, slow but sure. I built my relations, had some small talks not only about their jobs, but also about their interests and their families. Rather than obligated them to rocketing their performance, I learnt to enjoying every small improvement they made. I emphasised their contributions are important to our company. It took me 4 months until I finally succeeded in encouraging them to perform better without being haunted by targets or being annoyed by my commands. We made a great team and achieved all targets in 2016.
I strongly believe that everyone can be a great leader. We just need to keep learning, to be adaptive and open up to any suggestions, to understand our team, and finally to build the good relations with them. Since then, this kind of leadership has became my basic skill. However, in order to advance my future career as entrepreneur consultant, pursuing my master degree will help me a lot in developing my leadership competency to suit any requirements.