At the Yale School of Management, we believe the world needs leaders who:
- Understand organizations, teams, networks and the complex nature of leadership;
- Understand markets and competition in different contexts; and
- Understand the diversity of economies throughout the world and the relationships between business and society.
What experiences have you had that demonstrate your strength in one or more of these areas? (500 words max)
As a team leader and project manager, I have had substantial experience in leading teams at work. Given the global and dynamic nature of the IT industry, my teams have involved members from different countries and cultures working under different environments to deliver a unified organizational result.
My recent project at MPhasis involves leading teams in India and Canada to handle the IT system for a Canadian healthcare provider. Working styles, approaches and perspectives are significantly different between the teams. Formality, authority and single-point decision making are ingrained in the Indian work ethos; informality, consultation and consensus-based decision making is the norm in Canada. I have been able to understand these critical differences and calibrate my leadership approach to effectively suit the local culture.
With the Indian team I provide handholding, direction and continuous supervision, while for the Canadian team I prefer delegation, independence and self-reporting. To bring about better integration and enhance mutual understanding, I promote cross-team visits and exchange opportunities. These not only help break down communication barriers but also increase the motivation levels of staff in both locations.
My experiences in project and team leadership have also helped me gain better understanding of trans-national business integration. The nature of the Indian and Canadian economies are drastically different, but onshore-offshore working and remote project management have helped me use the best of both economies to provide an integrated business result. By leveraging the abundant availability of talent in India and rigorously pursuing project expansion opportunities in Canada, I have been able to keep development costs low while building larger client engagements.
From a socio-economic perspective too India and Canada present contrasting stories. Corporate houses in India, being primarily family-owned, function to the priorities of their owners. Large companies in Canada, like most in the Western world, are primarily public-owned and are sensitive to shareholder sentiment. For my part, I proactively champion causes of Corporate Social Responsibility, which are well-established in the West, with my colleagues in India. With health camp and fund-raising drives for charity, I have been able to motivate my team towards social contribution, while simultaneously increasing team cohesion and organizational brand visibility.
My experiences have helped me develop subject-area expertise and team handling skills to execute efficiently on my responsibilities. Moreover, they have given me global perspective and leadership ability to strategize and advise my organization towards enhanced business growth. Leveraging these experiences, and the capabilities I acquire at Yale, I am confident of playing an important role in shaping the future of our interconnected business world.
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