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Chevening Leadership and Influence Essay - Lead the older generation


milomontang 1 / 6 2  
Oct 10, 2018   #1
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.

KROBERT 3 / 7 1  
Oct 10, 2018   #2
Hi Marmina,
Your essay is lacking in emphasizing your leadership abilities. It's limited only to your workplace thus does not portray how you influence others outside the scope of your work. Again when you say a small talk with employees turned things around, it kind of minimizes your role making things done.

I advise you to narrow down your work experience into one paragraph and include some other vivid examples that portray your leadership potential.

Wish you all the best
OP milomontang 1 / 6 2  
Oct 10, 2018   #3
well noted, @KROBERT

thank you for your feedback. I have read similar thread which portrayed the same problem as what you described here.

I will revise this draft.

Thank you very much :)
Holt [Contributor] - / 6,919 1721  
Oct 11, 2018   #4
Harmina, do not write about the development of your leadership skills. The reviewer is not interested in that. He doesn't care about what seminars you attended to improve your job performance. Nor does he care about the results of your consultation with other people. The weakness of this essay lies in the fact that you are not really explaining how you won over the team through influence.

Your influencing skills must be the highlight of this essay because that is the only way that you could have won over a team of older people. By properly influencing their concept of accepting as their leader, you will have properly led the team towards success. The reviewer wants to know about that, not all of the fluff that you present in this essay.

Focus on depicting the steps that it took to finally be accepted as the team leader. Enhance the influencing presentation by presenting instances of insubordination within the ranks that led you to step up and show them that young as you are, you are still their leader. That is what will highlight this essay and hopefully, convince the reviewer that you do have the leadership and influencing abilities to make a change in your line of work and in effect, in your country, after you complete your studies.
OP milomontang 1 / 6 2  
Oct 13, 2018   #5
@Holt ,thank you for your feedback :) It helped me a lot to improve.
Here is my revision. If you do not mind, I am looking forward for another feedback.
Thank you very much.

-----

It never crossed my mind that at the age of 25 I could reach the managerial position in my career for two positions at the same time, XXX and YYY. This was my opportunity to make a change in our company.

Unfortunately, being the youngest department head surprised some members in my team who were annoyed with the fact that they would be led by a younger woman. They disregarded my requests by telling me that they never did or being told to did it before. For instances, I asked the AAA officer to create our social media accounts, she rejected my request by telling me that this would be useless. The same thing happened with the BBB officer when I asked her to establish monitoring and analysis tools, she declined by telling me that she did not understand how to make it because the previous leader never asked her.

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 still demanded for a better performance, but I realized that being stiff would worsen the situation. The real challenge I must addressed was fostering their trust on me as the leader and building our teamwork.

I understood that giving the detail instructions would threatened their pride, hence I took them into a discussion to set the rule of game that would be a win-win solution for everyone. First, I presented our goals, our target as a team and individual, and created the tools to support their works. Second, I emphasized their contributions would have a great impact to us as a team, to me as leader, and of course to their salary and annual bonus. Third, I gave them a freedom to do their work without ignoring the right procedure and convinced them that they could come to me at anytime for regular and specific feedback. I brought them to calculate the advantages of being cooperative without begging them to do so.

Since then, there was a change in their attitude. They used the tools that I made, they came to me to discuss about their work, and even better they proposed some new ideas. They could manage their work to achieve targets. To make them felt appreciated, once in a month, we went for lunch or karaoke to celebrate our achievements. I finally succeeded in encouraging them to perform better without being haunted by targets or being annoyed by my commands.

To be a great leader requires us to identify what drive people to accomplish something, so we can use it to strengthen our bargaining position in achieving our goals. Not to mention 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.
annisa2695 1 / 9  
Oct 14, 2018   #6
@milomontang how you depict the problems and solution is quite good but i think you should develop some explanation about the solution instead of just write those information. so the reviewer will know how you lead and influence your members in your team. :)
OP milomontang 1 / 6 2  
Oct 14, 2018   #7
hi Annisa,
well noted, thank you for your advice :)

i will try to figure it out how to put these information into my essay.


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