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I was always up to take leadership.... LEADERSHIP & INFLUENCE QUESTION. Chevening Scholarship.

figu 1 / 1  
Oct 25, 2016   #1
Applying for the Chevening Schoolarship and would really appreciate you help with my answer to the question.

Being greatly influenced by my grandmother, who was head of city and few other districts at different time, I was always up to take leadership, be it a situation where couple of my friends needed to be motivated to join me on starting our own business or a project where tasks had to be delegated to peer volunteers according to their skills during the digital upgrade of several districts libraries.

But it was during my job at a bank were I stepped up to take leadership of a group of IT professionals to deal with the major system problem. In December 2004, after recently joining the bank as an IT specialist several of the servers and other office equipment got damaged due to power surge that limited the company's operations for almost couple of days.

On the first emergency meeting with the CEO and department managers, several groups were created to deal with the issue. Taking initiative I volunteered to lead the group six IT professional as the IT manager was on a business trip, explaining that I have experience developing business continuity and disaster recovery plan and applying them during test emergency drills. Also as an IT professional, being expert in several areas of the ICT will allow me to analyze and recommend action plan after the team assess the situation. The CEO was happy to approve it after short phone discussion with the IT manager.

At the first group meeting, after discussing the situation with the team, I divided the team in to 2 groups assigning each group specific tasks: first team of system administrator, network specialist and a programmer to assess the level of damage done and list of equipment required to restore the operations to the normal lever. The task of the second team: system administrator, network specialist and IT technician was to set up a temporary office, set up a local area network, restore vital servers from backups to meet immediate business needs, joining the team myself. I immediately communicated the plan to the CEO and managers that were holding a meeting, to make sure everyone are up to date with the progress.

As well as assisting the second group with setting up the temporary office, I was regularly checking up with the first group on their progress and was determining the reasons that lead to such an issue. Trying to find out the reason for power surge, I found out that energy company that the electricity transformer substation had some issue and it did effect only our area, causing some issues to other businesses around.

Although it was very stressful situation for the team to work in due to the constant pressure, the team worked really hard. Understanding that the team need some motivation, I checked with everyone what drink or snack they would like. Taking the order I personally went out to get all the staff and delivered it back to the team.

After both teams completing their initial tasks we met again to discuss further actions. Listening to all the findings and proposal from the team members, I created a brief analysis of the situation: explaining what lead to the issue, and initial recommendation to restore the functionality of the business. Requesting a management meeting I presented the material and recommendation which were accepted and the list of required equipment was passed to procurement department to be supplied as meter of urgency. I also offered to create detailed recommendation for further prevention of such situation that the management really appreciated.

Shortly after the situation was fully resolved, praising my initiative and leadership I was offered the senior IT officer role to continue to contribute to the department's development, which I happily took.
Holt  Educational Consultant - / 14,648 4752  
Oct 25, 2016   #2
Firuz, there is no sense in mentioning your grandmother in this essay. Her influence upon you and the succeeding discussion about your friends does not have as relationship to your professional abilities to lead. Social leadership is different from professional leadership. In this case, you should present your professional leadership immediately.

There is a lack of inclusive information regarding your college training and how it helped you deal with the crisis at your office. What, in your IT background created an idea in your head that you would be able to lead this team if your volunteered to lead the task? Mention your areas of expertise in relation to work crisis management.

Okay, don't tell the reviewer that you acted as a delivery man for the team while they worked. That is not exactly the kind of motivational and leadership skill that would impress the reviewer. Instead, present some sort of situation where the team wished to give up on seeking a solution to the problem. How did you motivate them to work under stress and how did you lead them to the correct solution when everything seemed hopeless?

The rest of the essay seems to be on track with the rest of the prompt requirements as far as i can tell. So those parts can be edited later on.

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