My leadership experience (Chevening Essay)
Leadership is an integral part of work and social life. In any situation when people want to achieve a goal, a leader is required. Leadership requires influencing and motivating a group of people to achieve their goal(s).
One of my many leadership experiences dates back to October, 2017. I was heading a 17-man research team made up of final year students on a project aimed at determining the prevalence of Hepatitis B virus among two thousand (2,000) blood donors at the University Teaching Hospitals in the South Western states of Nigeria. Prior to the commencement of this project, each teammate remitted roughly forty-five thousand naira used to purchase kits needed for the project.
After collating data from our test on the blood samples, we needed to analyze the data with a software (SPSS) for this analysis. No member of the team had the software neither could we handle it. With the help of my assistant, we found out we could pay for the analysis. But due to the size of our data to be analyzed, the price was fairly high. I gave the team a feedback, suggesting we would have to pay extra money for the analysis. In that moment, I could feel the energy change. Some were not willing to pay extra for the analysis.
I had anticipated their reaction and had come up with a second plan. I suggested we look for someone to teach us how to use the software, even if it is basically what we needed for the analysis. I was lucky to find someone he agreed to teach just one person, which happened to be me. I also got tutorial videos from YouTube to buttress the knowledge. I set up a meeting with the team to share the software, teach them what was needed for the analysis and delegate tasks to them.
Unfortunately, the school was closed down prior to our meeting due to a strike action by one of the school management bodies. Students were forced to travel home as living conditions deteriorated and academic activities were halted. Things began to fall further apart when I sought for extra time from our supervisor who would not take the strike issue as an excuse. She gave us a deadline not longer than two weeks and defaulting would incur severe penalties.
I reached out to the few teammates who were still around, found a venue with electricity outside campus and organized a crash class that lasted for about seven hours. I scanned the questionnaires and saved them on my hard drive before I traveled home. I delegated tasks to the team members who I had taught and tasked the others with proofreading. It took us about eleven days to complete the task. I compiled the results and mailed it to our supervisor on the twelfth day, two days before the deadline, thereby escaping the punishment of submitting later.
Leadership from my point of view is about motivating and influencing people to meet set goals.