Since I was 5, I remember changing school in every 2 year or sometimes twice in a year. Even today If someone asks which city have you done your schooling from? I answer there are 10. So ,10 is the number of schools I have studied from. Since my father was a Government official, he was transferred from one place to another within the country. Together with the stress of adhering to curriculum I also had to adapt the new school environment and new friends, every time from a completely different state.
With time, I learnt the art of adaptability growing in a multicultural environment. When I grew up, the story continued. While working in more than 3 cities across India and Germany in the last 4 years, I have interacted with co-workers and customers across continents – in UK, Germany, Australia, and Singapore.
People were diverse in terms of ethnic groups, their backgrounds, style of thinking and ways to solve problems. These experiences have taught me to move beyond diversity and embrace inclusion.
So back to the question. What does a 21st century leadership require? It requires inclusive leaders. Stedman once quoted that Diversity is having employees and leaders from different background, but inclusion is about whether those differences are leveraged to focus on the common goals. These lines have made a great influence on my life. This leadership quality has enabled me to resolve conflicting situations more effectively and engage people around me. In my last job, I was part of a small team which was given a complicated task to complete.
Our team leader was short tempered and would often take that frustration out on other members of the group. At one point, we were doing more arguing than working, and I realized it was because our team leader was more interested in the hands-on aspect of the project than the management aspect. I sat down with him, and in a non-threatening way, explained what I’d noticed. Together we went over each of the members of the team and determined what tasks they would excel at.
The next day we reassigned everyone tasks, created an open discussion format for raising questions and concerns, and set up a timeline for completing the project. Not only did we get the project done on time, but the next time we were assigned a project, I was put in charge. Being an inclusive leader has helped me to assemble team for my startup also. As a student in ASU, I would like to continue making impact as an inclusive leader. I would break barriers and make sure that even unpopular voices have a seat at the table. I will be courageous enough to act upon the uncommon feedback. Out of the class ,I could be helpful for international students who are new to the city. As friendly, outgoing and sensitive person ,together with quality of inclusion and not dominance ,I would be able to develop good and stable relationship with the peers. This way each fellow student will feel respected and the class will be more integrated.