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LEADERSHIP & INFLUENCE QUESTION
Chevening is looking for individuals that 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.
(minimum word count: 50 words, maximum word count: 500 words)
One of my greatest accomplishments was to organise an international maritime defence show. Joining the events company two months prior to the event, I worked with 3 other interns whom took on different roles. Being the eldest, I took the lead by coordinating the interns to work with other teams to ensure smooth communication and work efficiency. I contacted the embassies and delegates to arrange the bilateral meetings between Navy representatives of different countries. I persuaded the French delegations to alter their bilateral meeting room booking when it clashed with the Indonesia's appointment.
At the age of seven, I was appointed to be my first leadership role - class monitor. From then on, my six years of primary school education had been filled with all kinds of leadership position like prefect, class monitor and subject representative. At the end of my primary school education, I hated being a leader. Leadership became a burden when classmates started to call me names and expectations from others became too pressurising. Moving on to secondary school, I rejected all leadership post and became a follower. Taking a step back allowed me to observe other leaders. An incident that totally changed my perception and redefine the meaning of leadership.
Nearing the end of my first year in military band, majority of the new recruits quit. The drum major and I managed to persuade a few out of many to stay. From then, I learnt that leadership is more than being strict or in control of a situation. Leadership is about managing setbacks and leading the team to overcome them. It is also the ability to foster effective relationship through trust and acknowledging the efforts of others. From then on, I took on the job of section leader and head secretary.
Proceeding to the polytechnic (high school), I was active in seeking leadership position. Being the team leader of my final year project group, I planned the milestones of the project and assigned tasks to each member. We would meet each week to discuss and combine viewpoints into one encompassing idea ensuring we have meet the goal. During the start of the project, we had to change our hypothesis due to insufficient data to support it. Having done our research, I suggested to be more specific with the hypothesis. We were able to start our data collection much earlier than other groups and had ample time to write our report. I often lead by example, most find me personable and became loyal to me.
I learnt throughout the years that leadership is not simply just being strict and in control. It is about being yourself and never let anyone or anything change you. I did not change but my perception of leadership changed, from the young immature viewpoint to the realisation of what it really is.