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Leaders are made by hard effort, which is the price which all of us must pay to achieve any goal

Olesea_Bucos 1 / -  
Oct 2, 2018   #1
Hello, everyone! I will be applying for Chevening scholarship this year. Would you be kind enough to have a review of the draft essay on leadership and influencing skills? Thanks a lot in advance.

Chevening essay on leadership and influencing skills

I strongly agree with the Vince Lombardi's quote "Leaders are made, they are not born. They are made by hard effort, which is the price which all of us must pay to achieve any goal that is worthwhile". From my point of view, to become an outstanding leader, one shall possess particular skills, as proved by my experience, can be achieved through continuous learning and training.

My initial leadership skills have been required and gradually emerged being employed as a public servant at the General Inspectorate of Border Police to the International Cooperation Unit (ICU) of Moldova. Being a young professional woman in a law enforcement agency, at the beginning was difficult to cope with the stereotypes and overcome the idea that policing is a "male-oriented profession" and this motivated and pushed me to train my leadership abilities in order to succeed in duties.

A particular situation happened when I was appointed as National Focal Point for the Eastern Partnership Integrated Border Management Project. The project was close to the end, and as the beneficiary institution, we had to prepare the final progress report, defining the outputs, lessons learned and recommendations / further proposals for the improvement of border management, and promote them within a conference organized by the European Border and Coast Guard Agency in Poland. For certain service reasons, the Senior Officer in Charge was not able to participate at this high-level meeting, and I was delegated to represent the Border Police and deliver the presentation of the report and its findings to this forum.

Being under work pressure, time constraints and stress, but feeling high responsibility for the Border Inspectorate image in terms of Moldova-EU border cooperation, I've succeeded to mobilize myself and the involved team to face the challenge. This helped me to feel confident and convincing during the presentation, to negotiate effectively with our main EU border partners and subsequently to achieve the agreement on project extension. As a result of that, the EU Border and Coast Guard Agency and the Moldovan Border Police agreed upon a new Action Plan for a 2-year period. After this event, the senior management of Moldovan Border Police awarded me the Diploma for "Successful Promotion of Integrated Border Management".

Another situation happened during a two-month professional course at the Geneva Center for Security Policy (GCSP) where I had the unique opportunity to enhance my knowledge and professional skills on European security issues.

The course entailed matters on applied leadership techniques and roles and at the end of it, I was assigned to draft a presentation module on "Security challenges in Wider Europe". In the course of the workshop, I created a working group and led it through the topics, engaged them in the thematic discussions, effectively solved the critical moments appearing due to multicultural environment and multitude of opinions and backgrounds, and successfully ended up with a joint module/presentation, highly appreciated by the trainers.

Currently, the work at the German Development Cooperation through GIZ gives me plenty of opportunities to apply my leadership abilities. Aside from my daily responsibilities, I gladly took up the role of Gender Focal Point within our project. We are organizing regular meetings with other project focal points where we share experiences and knowledge and strive to mainstream gender balance in our projects activities.

Moreover, having strong administrative skills is a big part of being an effective leader, and these skills I constantly experienced at the GIZ. This spring we had to organize a three-day capacity-building workshop for local representatives from the project area. Managing 40 persons was a challenge that I enjoyed: contacting the local authorities, coordinating with trainers, effectively manage resources (people, money, supplies etc.). The excellent feedback from senior management, trainers and trainees showing that the task was done in the most effective way, was the best reward for me.

In this context, I am eager to further develop my leadership skills during this Master Programme, and return more confident and better prepared for challenges of my future career in public service.
dfwm 3 / 5 1  
Oct 2, 2018   #2
This is a good leadership essay. However, you have surpassed the word limit my 170 words. Focus on two key situations and show your leadership skills using the STAR approach.
Holt  Educational Consultant - / 10,939 3570  
Oct 3, 2018   #3
Olesea, you are over informing the reviewer in a negative manner. While you may think that offering a description of your leadership roles is sufficient to imply both a leadership and influencing skill, the truth is, you are not doing that. All that you have done is explain your role in each project that you undertook, without any solid reference to leadership nor influencing skills.

Focus your essay in your participation in the Eastern Partnership Integrated Border Management instead. Skip the fluff in the first and second paragraph and immediately highlight the next paragraph where you said that you were bumped up to represent the border police instead. Specifically discuss the work pressure, time constraints, and stress that you faced as a woman leading a male group. Detail how you had to influence the team into believing that you had what it took the negotiate this deal and how you used influencing skills to pressure your EU border partners to agree to the project extension.

There is a simple reason that I want you to focus on developing only that part in the essay. Since you were awarded the a recognition for your participation in this event, your superiors acknowledged you as an up and coming leader and influencer in the profession. Hence its relevance to the prompt requirements and its usefulness as a targeted response to the prompt. All the other experiences that you present in the essay pale in comparison to that achievement so you must make sure to highlight that and develop it as the most believable and admirable example of your leadership and influencing essay.

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