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Ownership makes leadership - Chevening - Leadership and Influence essay

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Oct 30, 2019   #1
Hi again, I'm applying for Chevening and this is my leadership essay. I appreciate any feedbacks!

Chevening is looking for individuals who 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: 100 words, maximum word count: 500 words)


I believe leadership is about ownership and initiatives. It was when I worked for Da Nang tui (DNT) - a non-profit organization, that I developed those leadership characteristics intensively. When we were preparing and raising fund for our first art exhibition project in 2018, the leader of our Creative Team, composed of 6 members, quitted due to the stress over enormous responsibilities, which put the team into a critical situation. I then took the initiative to lead and move the team forward.

Learning from the previous leader's failure to distribute responsibilities, I re-organized our team structure into a self-managed team in which each member was in charge of certain aspects based on their expertise, and was empowered to be the decision-maker and be responsible for their own outcomes. I also re-designed the organization's branding identity, and implemented a quality control guidelines that the team's outputs must meet before being published. This allowed them to truly develop their creative potentials while staying within the identity scope. Besides, I also built a team culture that encouraged my members to voice their opinions, to manage up, and to be authentic to their true selves.

In the end, we accomplished our 6 month marketing campaign for the art exhibition with more than 1,000 participants and 50,000 digital audience reached. But what mattered the most to me wasn't the metrics, but the fact that my team successfully sticked together through those 6 months without anyone falling off.

These leadership qualities continued to develop and served me well in my professions. When my former company was hit with a severe financial crisis in August 2019, all employees was asked to either retreat to the head quarter in HCMC or have their contracts terminated. In that light, my respective team in Da Nang decided to establish a new business venture to take over the properties that we were managing at the time.

It was a hard decision for the team and some were perplexed and uncertain. I took the courage to represent my team to hand over the finance and other accounting related work and at the same time, formed a new finance reporting scheme and trained my team members on finance and budget management. I also initiated to work closely with my team leader on negotiation with each property's respective owners in regard to new directions and strategies for their current businesses. My initiatives clearly resulted in advancing the transition and ignite the team's enthusiasm.

At the time of this writing, the new business venture was taking off and I was trusted to take on a new role of marketing executive. I also became a leadership member of DNT as we were preparing for the second exhibition. Alongside my accomplishments, I learnt that when I embraced ownership, others were empowered to do the same and the organization would be able to move on difficult circumstances. I aspire to be such leader, and would hold onto this core value in everything I do.
Maria - / 1,098 389  
Nov 1, 2019   #2
Hi there. Thanks for coming to the forum. Wish you the best of luck in your Chevening application!

First and foremost, I appreciate how straightforward that first paragraph/sentence is. You were also able to provide a summation on what they should expect on the next parts of your work. The next great thing that you can do is try to explain everything with a core value in mind. When you're trying to introduce the idea of leadership, what specific trait comes along that would make it an efficient type of leadership? If you are able to integrate something more substantive like this, it would truthfully help improve the standing of your writing.

Furthermore, the second paragraph appears to be rather messy. While I understand that you were trying to explain how the workings themselves functioned in this setting, it could have been better if you made this into a more brief explanation. Remember to explain things in the most concise way possible, then merge it with your current third paragraph to create something more comprehensive.

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