Chevening is looking for individuals who will be future leaders or influencers in their home countries. Explain how you meet this requirement, of your own leadership and influencing skills to support your answer.
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creative thinking and my leadership skills
A leadership role requires creative thinking which gets people dynamic and leads to new ways to solve problems and embrace challenges in this ever-changing world. All my career, I have lived by this intrinsic standard.
In 2015, the first year of my career at the China National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA) as the production manager, I found there was still a distance between the theatre and the audiences after months of observation. To figure out the reason, I examined NCPA's official account on WeChat, one of China's most widely-used social media app, and discovered its content had a distanced traditional-media style despite the new media platform. By communicating with a large number of audiences as well, I realised that backstage stories were more appealing than introductions of performances or stars as usually provided.
By the chance of a landmark production, Aida, I decided to open a new account presenting facts and stories behind the scene in a tone likeable and friendly. Although without any official support, my team comprising three interns and I were committed to this project with high moral that were established by identifying the mutual objective. I led the team to hold brainstorming sessions, to collect sufficient data and conduct deep analyses in order to formulate an optimum scheme. Additionally, I delegated responsibilities based on our unique strengths, which created an environment where individual initiative and personal value could have the largest room to play.
With "100 days countdown to Aida" as the theme, focusing on five topics involving Creative and Production Process, Diary of Artists, People Behind the Scene, etc via vivid pictures, lively texts and personified interactions, this account received over 8,000 followers within three months. Moreover, follow-up statistics showed it did help boost ticket sales to a large extent. This creative endeavor left me a positive impression on my leader and colleagues, earning me the "New employee of the year" award.
I was entrusted with the project manager of the original dance drama named the Railway to Tibet, in 2017, despite my youngest age and working experience in the department. Significant but stressful, this project was the first independent dance production of NCPA. However, scarcely had optimistic expectation been held towards this project due to two years' fruitless efforts on playwriting before I took charge of it. With a firm belief that there must be a path leading to the right track, I talked with the creative team in-depth and realised the crux was the lack of intuitive perception of the railway project, which resulted in the plight of artistic inspiration. Thus, I proposed and led a trip along the railway from Beijing to Tibet for attaining inspirations. Admittedly, it was a tough journey regarding the oxygen-deficient environment of plateau and condition in impoverished regions, but it paid off. The experience of harsh environment combined with the history of this miraculous railway construction learnt from builders, communications with local troupes and folk artists, made our creative team moved and inspired. Three months later, the script was completed and approved. This breakthrough raised the spirit of my teammates who gathered courage to overcome difficulties under high pressure with limited time. Ultimately, the production achieved 100% sales rate for the first round and was awarded the highest distinction for stage art by the Chinese government. Owing to my performance in leading the project, I received "Employee of the Year" award.
Chevening community congregates excellent influencers and leaders, which will be a wonderful opportunity to be more motivated and enriched so as to prepare me for a mover and shaker in the field of art dissemination both in my country China and between China and UK.