International Women’s Day
They say “Learn from the past, Believe in the Future”. On the occasion of International Women’s Day, having been in the tech industry for nearly 20 years, I sat down to reflect on the underlying threads that has driven me, what is it that I know today, that I wish I could share with others. Here are five ideas that I would like to share on International Women’s Day about how to transform your leadership journey:
How many of you spend time introspecting, trying to understand yourself, your strengths, your weaknesses, your thoughts, your values, your beliefs, your motivations, your attitude? How do other people perceive you? Have you asked people around you – your friends, your family, your teachers, your siblings, your colleagues? Become Self Aware.
One of the things I have learnt about myself over the years is that I am quite fearless. The approach that I use in my head is to think – “What’s the worst that can happen?” Asking yourself this question actually helps you get comfortable with the worst possible scenario and once you think through that, it doesn’t seem so scary anymore. Be fearless, Take risks in Life.
Know what’s the latest in your industry. Read blogs, read articles, keep yourself up to date. Technology and Information is changing so fast, what you knew yesterday is already obsolete today. The only way to stay afloat is keep yourself current. And that is your responsibility. Nobody can do it for you. Be a self-starter, be a self-learner, be worthy of someone to give you the opportunity.
As you grow in life, one quickly realizes that there is just so much to learn from people around you. How do you influence people? How do you resolve conflicts? How do you negotiate for win-win scenarios? How do you build trust? How do you take chances on people? How do you collaborate? How do you sell an idea? How do you build a brand for yourself? It is very important to pick role models and mentors around you so you can be on a fast track mode of learning. Pick a role-model, pick a mentor for yourself.
Someone asked me this question once. What is more important for success – a supportive eco-system or intrinsic inspiration? I thought about it hard and realized that it is a combination of both. But, definitely one is more important than the other and that is ‘Intrinsic inspiration’. The reason is simple – even when you don’t have a supportive eco system, having that intrinsic inspiration within yourself & motivation to challenge things around you, you can still be successful. You have a responsibility to demonstrate your passion, bring something unique to the table and be a leader in everything that you do. Whatever opportunities come your way, take it up whole-heartedly, think through end-to-end, take ownership of it and do it so well that nobody else could have done it better than you. My mom always tells me “Even if you don’t do great things, do small things in a great way”. Be a leader in everything you do. Give it your best always. Make your presence felt.
One will realize that the definition of success changes as time passes. For me, the most important thing is to be in that space where you are happy with who you are as a person, with what you are doing with your life and giving it your best. Be optimistic, know that no matter what life throws at you, you are capable of coming up on top of it. Have that confidence, have that belief in yourself.