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Leaders must be active and able to influence the people around them - Chevening essay


gmeigo9 6 / 20 2  
Oct 13, 2018   #1
Hello, please give me suggestions and advices to make my essay more competitive. Thanks in advance.

my influencing skills



I started my career as a geophysicist in 2015 and since 2016, due to my leadership, interpersonal, detail-oriented and management skills strengthened when I was a teacher and observing the company leaders, I was entrusted the position of team leader in 96% of the projects I am involved in. As a team leader I have to make myself available to talk about office issues, plan geophysical surveys and borehole construction and coordinate with institutions.

In Zambézia District, I worked in a remote community called Mpariwa, where the inhabitants had to walk 9 km to a river to find water. As the last 8 km to the community were not accessible by car, we could not get there. To solve this problem, I began by identifying the actors involved (the community, my team, the drilling team, the community leader and the locality chief). The general problem statement was "How to arrive to Mpariwa, without damaging the vehicles". To show my commitment to the cause and get their allegiance, I drove to a safe spot and walked the remaining 8 km. I delegated to the locality chief the task of seeking funds to buy machetes, rakes and axes to ameliorate the road. With the community leader, we set up groups for cut the trees, collect the trees, remove the roots, level the road, transport stones to close holes and for cook. After all, the road was good enough for cars transit and we could get to the community, survey the area for potential aquifers, drill the borehole and give water to the community.

Leaders in an organization are often responsible for influence co-workers to adopt new behaviours, methodologies and strategies through example, training, workshops in order to enhance the quality and maintain competitiveness. In 2017 I felt the need to change the way we present boreholes' data and I decided to research for tools that could do that. When I shared the software with my workmates in February 2018, they were apathy with the suggestions and to inspire them to embrace my vision, I decided to make a workshop entitled "Tools used for 3D visualization of boreholes' data". In the workshop, with enthusiasm, I showed a draft of a report and explained how this new form to present data would elevate the professionalism of our reports. Then I explained the steps to use these tools to visualize the data contained in the report. At the end of the workshop, they were excited to create new models and they even suggested how we could improve the new report. With ebullience we produced the final report and the client approved it without reservation.

As integrant of the huge Chevening community, I will experience perspectives from different corners of the world, gain the ability to deal with different people, learn different leadership styles and consolidate my influencer skills to help me in the decision making process and get the best from my team and partners. Thus, I will contribute for Geophysics development in Mozambique.
lany83 6 / 15 4  
Oct 13, 2018   #2
You have good examples, but do not go deep into any of them. Provides incomplete information. Deepen your leadership, discuss the results, how they recognized you as a leader, what you did to earn their trust. Take your best example and work on it. Good luck to us and play hard. You can
Holt  Educational Consultant - / 14,956 4811  
Oct 29, 2018   #3
Walter, the leadership aspect of this essay is not team centered. A leader would involve the team in the resolution of the problem instead of just developing the solution and telling the team or community members to do as he says. A proper leadership essay shows how you, as a leader, are capable of coaxing the best out of your team mates during a difficult situation. You have to present the two skills in a connected manner by showcasing:

1. The problem
2.The group point of view
3. Suggested solutions
4. Leadership assessment of the situation and possible solutions
5. Determination of the proper solution
6. Resistance to the proposal
7. Influence of the leader that led to the removal of the resistance
8. Final outcome

Your presentations are too short to depict the situation above in the manner indicated. An effective leadership and influencing essay shows how a leader can combine the two traits when dealing with one situation. It does not require separate presentations. If you can better develop your presentations to show the above information, then the essay may be considered an acceptable leadership and influencing essay.
OP gmeigo9 6 / 20 2  
Oct 30, 2018   #4
Thanks Mary and Elaine for your invaluable help. I will use one example (Zambezia project as it is related with one of DFID priorities) and develop it to cover both skills.
pipitgo 2 / 3  
Oct 31, 2018   #5
Hi Walter, you have clear example on your essay, it is good. However, it is better to avoid bias like due to my leadership, and also more you show your influencing skills instead of tell about influence.

best always for you.
OP gmeigo9 6 / 20 2  
Oct 31, 2018   #6
This is the new essay taking into consideration your suggestions.

Chevening Leadership & Influence essay

I started my career as ...

In September 2018, I was working in Gilé district, Zambezia Province in the Centre of Mozambique to carry out geophysical surveys for construction of 10 boreholes for water supply. There was a remote community called Mpariwa where the inhabitants had to walk 9km to fetch water on a river. The community was located 9 km from a precarious road and I could not get there to survey not even the drilling machine and the district government did not had funds to pay a contractor to open the road.

Imagining their difficulties and seeing it being eliminated from the beneficiary list, I proposed that we should find a way to open a road to get there. Many solutions were suggested by the actors involved (the community, my team and the locality chief) such as ask the district government to divert part of its budget to pay a contractor, force the small X Company that is exploring woods to open the road, mobilize the community to open the roads and others.

After assessing the situation, I combined some of the suggested solutions to form a cooperation in which we divided tasks. The locality chief said that he would provide machetes, rakes and axes, my team has vouched to analyse the geological environment to plan the road route and the community had to endeavour to open the road. We contacted the X Company and they undertook to cut down the big trees.

Some of the community inhabitants were saying that they would not open the road because they were afraid of doing the job and don't see the borehole. To show my commitment to the cause and get their allegiance, I drove to a safe spot and walked the remaining 8 km. Then I explained that besides the drilling machine that would use the road, the road would allow more visitors, more money circulation and the ambulance would arrive there instead of taking the patient to the ambulance. They agreed and with the community leader, we set up groups for cut small trunks, level the road, transport stones to close holes and for cook. After all, the road was good enough for cars transit and we could get to the community, survey the area for potential aquifers, drill the borehole and give water to the community

As integrant of the huge Chevening community, I will experience perspectives from different corners of the world, learn different leadership styles and consolidate my influencer skills to help me in the decision making process and get the best from my team and partners.


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