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CHEVENING Leadership essay - Turning around one of the largest Geothermal development project


essaytesting 1 / 1  
Sep 8, 2018   #1

Belonging to the Leaders Or Influencers group



Hi all - much appreciate any comments on the essay below for Chevening Leadership prompt -thank you in advance!
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.

13 years in the energy services sector had taken me through diverse projects within the Oil, Gas & Geothermal industry. In 2015, I was part of Halliburton leadership team as the main contractor for Sarulla Geothermal development. It was the largest single geothermal development worldwide and Halliburton was responsible for worksite constructions and well drilling activities. The project had began several months prior and was facing significant delays. I was tasked to have the project off the ground and was responsible for all subcontractors activities, encompassing over 20 companies with more than 700 personnel. Being a 300miUSD project and a strategic renewable energy project for Indonesia, from the very beginning I had already foreseen that a challenging road lies ahead.

In overcoming challenges I always begin by listening carefully to the team on the ground. I traveled to the work site to spend time with the employees and clients discussing their concerns. The project was held back by multiple issues from work site construction delays to poor coordination. I went through a thorough review to uncover the root cause and identified a mixture of issues from poor subcontractor selection to flawed budgeting. These factors had caused endless disputes in proceeding with construction activities causing a ripple effect to the entire drilling campaign. Every day lost translated to further delay in providing electricity to power North Sumatra region, a region already deprived of power, and the pressure was mounting.

I took the initiatives to rearrange part of the organization, replacing personnel where needed, and rearranging several contracts. We had to renegotiate certain subcontractor activities to move the project forward, however on some others there were no other workaround other than to absorb some degree of financial losses. I took the lead in convincing the senior management team that the losses are required to maintain the safety standards and advancing the project. Through long deliberations the proposal was accepted.

A more subtle issues of trust between the field and the management team was also uncovered. The existing leadership and communication style had lowered the team morale, disturbing the coordination and, by extension, the progress of the project. By gradually opening up communication forums we were able to rebuild the trust and improve the coordination. Many tough decisions had to be made, but within the next 3 months the teamwork were improving significantly and we were able to get the project back on track.

Currently I am leading a team of over 350 personnel for all divisions of Halliburton in East Kalimantan area, the largest natural gas producing region for Indonesia. We are involved in various activities from well planning, constructions & interventions, to drilling waste management in environmentally-sensitive river delta area. Having been involved in strategic energy projects for Indonesia had been a real privilege and having led large and diverse organizations have sharpened my leadership capability through diverse challenges. Advancing Indonesia energy future landscape is a very critical public policy challenge and I continue to develop my capabilities in contributing toward the aim.

RU_IS 3 / 12  
Sep 9, 2018   #2
Very well written! but what I have learned from the feedback I got on my essay is that we need to be explicit about how you involved and empowered your team in the problem-solving. "By gradually opening up communication [...] get the project back on track." What was the team's input during the discussions you had regarding the bottleneck? What did you have them do to reduce handle the problem?
Holt [Contributor] - / 9,568 2977  
Sep 9, 2018   #3
Putra, I am very impressed with the leadership and influencing abilities that you showcased in this essay. This is the kind of essay that could definitely catch the attention of the Chevening reviewer. However, I feel that you have paid too much focus on the leadership skills that you have so that the influencing skills were little presented and developed in the overall presentation.

In the paragraph where you say there was problem relating to the existing leadership and communication style, you specifically mention that you opened communication forums. That is a good start for presenting your influencing style. However, it is not developed enough to show what other venues of influence your created in the workplace in order to help influence the team into a positive mindset. You mentioned low morale in particular. How did you influence the team in order to boost their morale aside from promoting open communication? How did the team improve over 3 months? What influencing skills did you have to use? How was it received? I am sure you understand what I am trying to explain here. Owing to what you have said in the paragraph, I don't doubt you have the information to clarify this part of your influencing skills.

Another good thing about your essay is that you close the presentation by showing how your leadership and influencing skills continue to grow and be an integral part of your professional development. This shows that you are a true professional whose career growth may be of note in the future in your country, which is exactly what the essay is all about.

So the essay just requires a few minor tweaks and adjustments in order to better respond to the task requirement. You do not have to change the whole essay. Just a few paragraphs and sentences here and there in order to better reflect the information that should be presented in the essay,
OP essaytesting 1 / 1  
Sep 10, 2018   #4
Thanks a lot for the feedbacks Holt, RU_IS on your feedback..
Will certainly tweak the essay accordingly.


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