What happens when you realise your path is entrepreneurship rather than employment? Lindsay takes up the challenge and shares an account of her journey as it unfolds…
Even thought my feet are killing me and I’d love to sleep for a whole day, my mind is whirring. It’s full of excitement, new inputs, ideas and directions. I’m at Heathrow airport waiting for my flight back to Amsterdam after yesterday’s business breakfast in London and several meetings subsequently.
Jahrat Adib Chowdhuryis Chief Legal Officer at Banglalink, a Vimpelcom Group company. She is a Barrister-at-Law of Lincoln’s Inn, UK and an Advocate of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh. Jahrat speaks with us today about her formative experiences, what it means to be a senior leader in one of the country’s leading telecommunications and digital companies, and how she fulfills her personal and professional duties.
What made you decide to become a barrister and corporate lawyer?
I grew up in a small town called Moulvibazar where my father used to run his law chamber in the front room of our house. He had several junior lawyers in his chamber, including two of my male cousins. My father inspired all of his four daughters to follow his legal career and eventually take over the chamber. However, we grew up listening to jokes from my cousins that we would never be practicing law as we were girls, so they expected to inherit the chamber along with my father’s huge collection of law books. Without really understanding of the depth of their jokes, I became angry.
If you are anything like me, you probably believe your work should speak for itself.
Women, more often than men, believe that hard work will be recognized and pay off and do not do enough to network with their organization and self-publicize their achievements. When a more senior position opens up, they assume they will be considered based on their accomplishments and credentials, despite having been reluctant to voice them.
During the weekly team meeting, work progress of a special project is being discussed. Billy is unable to complete his part of the project due to vacation. Femsy – not happy – replies “Well let me handle it”. Boss is making clear that Femsyis not managing her team; she is “mothering” the team.
(Click on the pictures to see them in full size)
A great leader:
Sets clear expectations of what she wants from her team members both in their behaviours and required outcomes;
Understands the unique capabilities of her team and works with them to set goals and targets that make the best use of their talents;
Keeps on top of project deliveries and ensures that key milestones are met. She asks questions to uncover potential (or actual) difficulties and works to remove obstacles.
How to best handle the situation:
Sit down with your team member to understand the specific problem. Break down the tasks into its components and determine what can be achieved within the required timescale. Agree how the outstanding work will be completed and make sure that your team member is still held accountable for full delivery even if he/she cannot perform the work him/herself.
Reflect on how you lead your team. If you have a tendency to take care of your team and put their personal situation ahead of the tasks that they need to perform, you will not get the desired performance and achieve results. Change your style to be more authoritative. Set out clear goals with your rationale for why these are important. Give individuals personal accountability for delivery and give them balanced feedback on how they are doing.
Craft a clear and compelling strategy for what you need to achieve for each project. Share this with your team and solicit their feedback so that you can answer any questions and concerns they might have. Test their level of understanding and commitment;
Make notes about each of your team members. What are their strengths and limitations? What activities do they excel at? What are they passionate about? Try to establish goals and tasks that make the most of their unique talents;
Create a project plan that outlines the key tasks and milestones, the person responsible for delivery and the deadline for completion. Share this with your project team. Hold regular project meetings where you discuss progress and identify potential problems. Take actions early to ensure that your project stays on track;
Take a visible role, such as Chair in an important meeting, or project leader of a task, where you have to shape and lead a discussion and draw out conclusions and decisions.
We welcome your thoughts, experiences and comments on how you would deal with such a situation.
The Mirror Mirror concept had started out in July out as 3 slides before growing into a bigger slide pack, and then into an actual Descriptive Pack, the one we circulated to our Alpha expert test group for comment some time ago (much like a new born being passed around to some doctors for examination). It had survived their tests.
To recap from the last blog: Mirror Mirror is a structured way of capturing how people in teams perceive the internal and external context in which their team operates, including how each team member’s values and preferences tend to shape their perceptions and the way they respond. The combined data is reflected to the team in one whole picture, providing powerful insights that lead to improved engagement, teamwork and business unit performance.
Two years I was offered an interesting job opportunity abroad. I decided to go for it, thus I relocated from Moscow to Amsterdam.
It turned my world upside down!
Changing the place of living (even if you move from one apartment to another in the same town) and changing jobs are on top of the scale among the most stressful events in one’s life. Even when all these changes are positive and are for the best, you go through a lot of stress. I know this is normal but nevertheless it is a good reminder during difficult times.
In part one of my article I focused on the practical sides of moving to a new country. Now I will take you through the emotional challenges you might face on your exciting journey: Continue reading →
From the moment we are born we develop both our motives and values. Motives are deep-seated non-conscious desires and are the things that we enjoy doing. Values develop through social conditioning – home, school, religion, work, friends etc. Values are what we feel are important; the things we should do.
Achievement is a concern for achieving a standard of excellence that the individual sets for him/herself. Often people with a dominant achievement motive strive for mastery and expertise in their chosen field.
Affiliation is concerned with having positive relationships for the sake of the relationship (and not in service of something else). Individuals with a dominant affiliation motive invest in a few, deep relationships and often have strong reactions towards others – they are clear whom they like and dislike. They prefer environments that are convivial and foster friendship.
The power motive is a concern to have influence and impact on others. People with a dominant power motive like to have an audience and visibility. They are often good networkers.
There is no ‘right’ motive profile that determines success; we are all different.
The key to our success lies in understanding what drives our behavior in various situations; this is a combination of our motives and our values (what we believe is important at the time) and the conditions that we find ourselves in.
Defining personal success is a journey of self-discovery; you need to figure out what is your true purpose, what you are passionate about, what you enjoy and find ways at work to satisfy that need. You must to listen to your inner voice rather than be influenced by others so that you can lead a fulfilling life and not feel regret when you retire because you did not follow your heart.
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life and don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. Most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become.” – Steve Jobs
There are over seven billion people on this earth. No two people are truly alike. No two people can ever have the same experience of life, the same perspective, the same mind. Even identical twins are different. Continue reading →
I’d have to start earning again in about 4 months and was desperate to get something moving. I’d put my CV out with some interim agencies – just in case (all my own work fell apart – I had to simply ignore that possibility) but I just couldn’t envisage getting enthusiastic about ANOTHER project with the same old challenges, the same old inefficiencies, and the same old difficult leaders. This had to work. Plus now I’m even blogging about it (is that wise?) so it HAS to be a success story! Continue reading →