Leading Ladies: Growing into Leadership Positions
In 2019, the proportion of women in senior management roles globally grew to 29%, the highest number ever recorded.
The number of women leaders across the world are growing as more organisations recognise the need for diversity in the management role. There are many traits required in leaders - some inherent, some learnt.
How can you grow into leadership positions, and make a headstart in your careers?
Jyot Bhalla, Founder, 615 Productions and Samantha Thian, Founder and Executive Director of Seastainable, both trailblazers in the creative and social impact sectors respectively, share some productivity tips and insights on their journey.
What was one personal trait that you had to adjust to become a more effective leader and how did you do it?
Jyot: I’m still learning how to transition from a micromanager to a delegator. As a perfectionist, I tend to micromanage processes, people and products. But in the creative field where collaboration is key, I’ve learnt that it is more effective to take a step back, trust others’ judgement and release the reins.
Sam: I had to become a more active listener. Personally, I think this is very important for a leader as when we are communicating with others, we have to actively listen to get to the root of a problem, or to drive deeper and more meaningful conversations. I make a conscious effort to learn to ask deeper questions and fully focus whenever I am having a conversation with someone.
What is one daily habit that helps your productivity, and what tips do you have to maintain it?
Jyot: Daily scrums.* I joined an online productivity accelerator called The Pack during the circuit breaker period. Through this community, I learnt the power of a simple daily scrum - this involves creating a to-do list each morning, prioritising the most important tasks and assigning a score to each task. This allows me to numerically monitor my progress, and by sharing it with The Pack, I am held more accountable to my own goals.
Sam: A daily habit for me is to stretch every morning. It helps me focus by waking up my body and forcing me to not look at my phone the first thing in the morning! One tip would be to put your yoga mat on the floor by your bed, so it’s the first thing you'll touch when you wake up and serves as a good reminder!
* Meetings that are typically held in the same location and at the same time each day for fifteen minutes that answer three questions: What did you do yesterday? What will you do today? Are there any impediments in your way?
What is one book you'd recommend to budding future leaders?
Jyot: Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse. As a leader, you need to be self-aware. Context aside, this book is a brilliant starting point.
Sam: I'd recommend Factfulness by Hans Rosling. I think it's a great book to allow us to have a greater breadth of perspective, and also serves as a good reminder to not be too narrow-minded, especially in viewing problems.
“Leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence and making sure that impact lasts in your absence.”
This interview is part of the Leadership Development campaign, which aims to explore how young women develop leadership skills, within and beyond YWLC.
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Organising Subcommittee: Leadership Development, Marketing & Communications
Organising Team: Nisha Francine Rajoo, Clairie Tay, Lynette Teo, Chandini Manoharan
Artwork: Francine Loh, Tabitha Chee
Author: Nisha Francine Rajoo, Joaquim Tan
Interviewees: Jyot Bhalla, Samantha Thian