Leadership in an Espresso Cup

Written by Nithya Ramaswamy, Executive/Design Consultant for AcheiveForum.

In October 2017, I was privileged to be selected as a participant in the leadership programme for the Women of Whittlesea, organised by Leadership Victoria. I attended a series of workshops over 3 weeks, and left the sessions energised and refreshed. Thoughtful conversations, rich insights and gathering fresh perspectives is how I would sum it up.

In an “espresso-shot” style, I would like to highlight the key insights from the workshops:

  1. Know that there is no perfect leader: Every leader has his/her own vulnerabilities, what is important is to be aware of these and
  2. Recognise the adaptive challenges in one’s context and have a delicate balance between technical and adaptive situations: Keep the metaphor of toggling between the dance floor and balcony front of mind. This is key to adequately manage technical and adaptive situations.
  3. Proactively ask your peers for feedback: Throughout the sessions, we challenged each other’s assumptions of what we know, served as sounding boards and thinking partners, and uncovered blind spots (through the powerful Johari Window framework).
  4. Deepen your understanding of cultural intelligence and women leadership : I gained an awareness of my own core and flexible zones, reflected on my beliefs and values as well as those of my peers in order to adapt and work effectively as a team. Authentic conversations about stereotypes against women leaders were exchanged and a rich dialogue around each other’s journeys led to re-framed perspectives.
  5. Your leadership journey is yours to create and discover: There is no perfect leadership journey or formula. It is an ongoing, progressive journey shaped by our experiences, challenges, lessons learnt and successes celebrated that determines our own leadership pathways. I left the sessions wanting to take action and make a meaningful contribution as a woman leader in my community.

There we have it, 5 insights in an espresso shot!

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