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One instance (out of many) where I've displayed what it takes to be a good leader and influencer


evaa 3 / 11  
Oct 20, 2017   #1
Appreciate your comments . Word count is more than the max limit will strike off few after inputs

leadership essay - chevening



I have been working for 13 years and 10 years have been in leadership role. Almost a decade of being a leader , I have led team and worked on projects but I would like to outline one such instance out of many where I believe I have displayed invaluably what it takes to be a good leader and influencer.

In my current roles as Sr. Manager-XXX India my responsibility is to oversee the COCO stores and XXX mini stores spread across 7 state capitals. When I first took over the charge from my previous role at XXX, I was assigned the task of expansion. There were 3 COCO store and 216 XXX mini stores and I had to take the count from 3 to 10 COCO stores in a span of 8 months. This was a herculean task as this not only requires huge investment but also cross functional coordination-right from the commercial team for identification of the property to negotiating, Brand team, IT team to HR. Ideally one store had a TAT of 3-5 months which means I was asked to do the job at 3X speed. The first approach I took was to draw a roadmap- first to the last task. Then assigned task with deadline to respective stakeholders. I took the approach of demand rather than request. I set up calendar each day of the week- Monday -commercial, Thursday -Brand, Wednesday-HR, Tuesday-IT. I send out email at the beginning to all stakeholders with the business case and timeline. Since I was responsible to extract revenue from these stores I had to keep the budget & ROI for myself. I figured out the person from finance team to assist me. Every 15 days I had a presentation with the functional heads. Each store costed roughly 80 lacs and to set up 7 stores costed 5.6 crore (56 million) .The one thing I did was to stick to deadline and lead from the front. I travelled to each location to finalize with commercial. They saw me as someone who was leading and not delegating. I sat on interview with HR to finalize candidates so that they see my involvement. I connected circle marketing team with corporate marketing team through several VC and they were delighted to get the exposure. I sat down with commercial team to negotiate with vendors which was never expected. I worked every day for more than 12 hours to get this entire piece together. I went to the extent of reading the agreement with legal. Every day was a step ahead and I had my own calendar for every single day. I used to tick mark everyday on a task completed. We launched the first two stores in a record 2 months. I took a stand of appreciating each one. 5 stores were opened within the deadline but had to take one month extension for two .When I look back I realize that I build faith in people who worked together .I demanded but the demand never looked like conceit but realistic. Most important was the team work and making each one believe that it's going to happen. During this entire project I worked with senior people as well but they have seen me as leader. I could put forward my demand and I never hesitated to approach. I see people responding to my idea.

I have worked for more than a decade and I have confidence that I have lot more in me to be future leader and influencer. It is just the right knowledge and exposure that will take me a long way and chevening definitely can give me the opportunity to develop and expand my reach. I can be the leader of tomorrow and I am very poised of same.

Arcmichael042 3 / 5  
Oct 20, 2017   #2
@evaa
I compliment you for writing well but you explained more on your work experience. I believe as Sr. Manager to xxx you never work alone you still have workers under you. In what way have you use leadership skills to influence your follow workers in achieving effective result and goals of the company
Holt  Educational Consultant - / 10,091 3251  
Oct 21, 2017   #3
Hi Ellora, I hope that I can see more active participation from you over the coming days. We've missed you and your comments here. You're a member of the community so don't be a stranger. Stay in touch. Now, with regards to your 2nd version. I read it as more of a highlight in relation to your planning and development skills. Not your leadership and influencing abilities. What we are looking for here is not an example of your ability to mount a successful store launch. Rather, we are looking for examples of how you handle stressful situations in a professional setting. How do you lead the team when the schedule is not followed or plans fall apart? Where is the solid evidence of your subordinates acknowledging your leadership through the influence you exerted upon them? What you did here was just tell us that you led the team and they saw you are such. We need factual evidence to back it up. So tell us of a situation that proves that claim. Your essay doesn't need to include the planning and development strategy that you were asked to implement for the store branch development. That covers more than half the essay and doesn't really direct indicate any leadership and influencing ability. It does however, show that you are a keen planner and a responsible project developer, on paper and in theory. That is not what the essay is about.

There is no need for you to give the estimated cost of each store that was setup. The reviewer is not interested in that. He only wants to hear about your leadership and influencing skills in relation to that task. This, so far, is your most appropriate essay response. However, the second paragraph is running too long as it combines both the leadership and influencing discussion in one paragraph. Separate the discussions to make it easier for the reviewer to keep track of the information and also, to make it easier for him to refer back to the essay when he needs or wants to double check some information. Try to provide a solid example of a leadership skills when it came to resolving conflict or responding to a request. That is a necessary part of the essay since you mentioned 2 separate instances. If you find yourself going over the word count, then edit your last 2 paragraphs instead. Your stand alone 2 sentence paragraph prior to the last paragraph is the most disposable part of the essay. That is, if you want to know where I would cut the essay to give you more word count so you can adjust the content based on my suggested revisions.


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