Saturday, July 25, 2009

Adaptability -- How important it is

Finally after a long time I am updating my blog. To be honest I could have done it before but there are a plethora of reasons. One of the things I understood in my 3 yrs of blogging is that you need to just put in whatever comes to your mind. Serious research and then articles are not for me. I dont find the time to go through that hard work. So what brings me to this post ?

I woke up at 6:30 in the morning and decided to put in some more effort on my bschool essays. I honestly don't know where these are going. I have been writing versions on versions (some of them have had 10 different versions already) that sometimes I feel the essence is getting lost. However , my mentors give me the confidence that I am doing well . Here is a recent comment that I got " You're well and truly on the track my friend." . So yeah there is still hope. Let us see how it goes.

Coming back to the topic , I was writing an optional essay for ISB and wanted to portray adaptability as one of my key traits. I was banking on my CEL and IS experiences at BITS. Yes they have been fantastic and after writing the essay I feel it can impress the adcom , but you never know, there can be hundred others writing something similar. Anyway , I was going through an interview of Chandra Kochhar , CEO ICICI. She is truly a great lady. To have accomplished all she had within in India is remarkable and just goes on to show the potential and opportunity this country has. Well , in the interview she says "as a leader, I think you need to be, first of all, adaptable, so you can quickly understand and move forward in new business situations." . That is what they call nailing on the head. In a simple statement she said what I wanted to write in the essay.

I havent had a truly big leadership experience (haven't executed / led / designed / planned what ever the term is) projects that are multi million $ worth. But in a small way I have had bits and pieces of leadership stints. As secretary of information systems association and while marketing Center For Entrepreneurial leadership I had adjusted successfully to the two different roles. I played a key role in marketing CEL through wall magazines , articles , inter college gatherings and BitsBigBout the one that used to fill 5106 :) . IS assoc was an entirely different experience. How can I forget the autograph books. I wonder if any other merchandise generated so much of hype. 75k in revenue !!! wow , I think that is the best among all the batches of IS graduates. Truly wonderful idea. I didn't realize it back then but today as I was writing the essay I was happy that I backed the idea over the normal t-shirt selling mode. We made a profit of close 30k. Hmmmm , wonderful times.

And yes adaptability. As Ms.Kocchar said I see that these two roles taught me the need to adaptability. I still remember running from the CEL meeting in SKY to IS assoc meeting in back IC and then going to Shanb to discuss the idea of C classes for juniors. My personal take on adaptability is like that of Nike's "Just do it" . Yeah instead of worrying about how am I going to fit into different roles , Am I going to justify all of them , you have just take the plunge. You climb the first step and the rest of the staircase opens up for you (thanks Martin Luther King). Follow Guy Kawasaki , dont complicate things , dont think so much that you kill the idea ... "just do it".

This experience helped me in my career. Finland and South Africa presented two diametrically opposite cultures and I worked well in both of them. The best part has been when my SA project Manager said "You were very good with the client. you jelled well" .... hmmmm Thanks a lot BITS - Pilani.

Au revoir