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Strategic Management - Individual Assignment

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               Saturday 16th September 2017

At the outset of the course I was well aware that Leading People Globally aims to give participants both theoretical and practical understanding of what is required to lead people in organizations, whether locally or globally, where cultures and practices may be similar or different. This course was crucial for me at the current stage of my corporate career as I am looking to transition into leadership roles wherein team management skills and the knowledge of leadership abilities will be crucial.

Transitioning into leadership roles requires developing self-awareness, which includes understanding the key beliefs and preferences and also knowing where they might differ from others. This factor is crucial for adapting to different work environments and also adjusting with cross-cultural teams. The LPG module started out with discussions on the concept of “Importance of learning of People in an Organization”. The focus of the discussion was to evaluate the importance of learning from our successes and our failures and also delve into the concept of the learning cycle.

The importance of the concept of “Anthropomorphism” which means that in order for organizations to learn and be resilient people must learn and adapt was highlighted. Over the course of the next few weeks we understood and deliberated about our personal profile, inherent preferences, our leadership styles and the elements of leadership & learning cycle. All these concepts and learnings were solidified by practical case studies that helped us understand the concepts in greater detail.  The course has been instrumental in helping me understand and evaluate my personal profile and understand the areas wherein I must seek to improve myself to be a true leader. The various case studies helped me relate to real life conflict situations and improved the understanding of application of the various tools and methodologies to deal with conflict situations in both personal and professional situations.

Also undertaking the MBIT personality test and the Thomas Kilman leadership test helped me identify my personality traits and developmental areas that I shall seek to work on to ensure a balanced personality and leadership style.

Understanding my Personal Profile

The first step towards understanding my personality and my inherent preferences was undertaking the Myers-Briggs personality (MBIT) type assessment, which features a series of questions to highlight how one would normally react to situations.

From the MBIT assessment I understood that my personality type is INTP that is an amalgamation of the traits of  “Introversion, Intuition, Thinking, and Perceiving”. The INTP personality type is characterized by traits such as Logical, analytical, Detached, objectively critical, and contemplative. INTP personality types also find it difficult to work on routine tasks and would instead focus on researching or analyzing a complex problem that piques their interest.

Understanding my personal profile helped me in reflecting on my social and professional interactions and helped me realize the involuntary reactions I may have to different situations. Traits of introversion were apparent to me but traits including perceiving and intuition weren’t so obvious to me. Gaining an insight into this holistic picture of my personality helped me understand and evaluate my developmental areas. While the preferences are inherent, one can strive to improve on some aspects and be better team player. Some of the developmental areas as isolated by me post the MBIT assessment and class discussions includes the following:

  • Being more sensitive to others needs and develop emotional connections.
  • Valuing people’s inputs while engaging in discussions and not just focus on the logical aspects of a problem.
  • Be more focused and not just float from one idea to another.
  • Building plans and key action items so as not to forget the crucial day-to-day tasks.
  • To not be cynical of people’s ideas
  • To engage in more social situations and not isolate from people. In both personal and professional areas, one needs to engage in discussions. This fosters idea sharing and leads to holistic development.

There have been numerous adversities both in my academic and professional life till date, one prominent experience was when I was working at Madison Street Capital’s India office as an investment-banking associate. Since Madison Street Capital was the Indian arm of a US based boutique investment bank and with a team of only 30 individuals and I was the only female employee apart from the HR head.

My responsibilities included tasks ranging from sourcing clients, following up leads, conducting managerial meetings, research and valuation, etc. The work that I performed instilled a sense of pride and achievement both in me and my family, but the attitude of my colleagues and the Managing Director made me anxious from time to time. The knowledge of MBIT personality type at this juncture would have helped me realize the key traits in this conflict situation and would have helped me deal with the situation in a more effective manner.

Initially, I was asked to do cold calling and to generate leads. However, when I passed on the generated leads to my supervisor, I wasn’t asked to join in the initial meetings. This calculated move to keep me at bay from the client interactions was seen as a hindrance to my learning process and therefore I voiced my concerns to the HR head and later on to the Managing Director.

As imagined, my complaints weren’t well received and were viewed as a selfish act by some of my colleagues and I became really disturbed due to the entire episode. One of my strongest points till this date has been my ability to deal with clients from varied backgrounds and thus I took the bold stand of only participating in meetings, which concerned leads, sourced by me. I stood my ground and didn’t give up and finally signed my first client and the entire team saw this as a major achievement.

The CEO of the company conveyed his appreciation to me for signing a client, however the company didn’t provide me with the requisite client signing bonus. Even though I regret that sometimes but in hindsight I view the entire experience to be priceless. Later I was allowed to spearhead the project and was an instrumental part of all client meetings. I made the business plan and presented it along with the financial model that our team had developed. In summation, while the working conditions were adverse and I feared that my efforts might not be recognized, I was able to conquer my fears and turn this adversity around into a memorable triumph that I shall cherish forever.



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