I was born in the sixties. No surprise perhaps I enjoyed reading Kerouc’s ‘On the Road’, Steinbeck’s ‘Travels with Charlie’, Michener’s ‘The Drifters’, and for that matter most of Hemingway’s books. The members of the Beat Generation developed a reputation as new bohemian hedonists, who celebrated non-conformity and spontaneous creativity. I relate to that quite a bit though instead of a Dharma Bum, I am much more a Happy Warrior.
As a teenager hitch-hiking around Europe and staying on a kibbutz taught me that along the journey one will face the test of wisdom. My LinkedIn profile shows my professional journey. Looking back I really enjoyed the various experiences. Whether it was co-founding a succeful travel company during my student days in Australia, running a global high profile project from Shell headquarters, or sitting on the Board restructuring a 1200+ staff listed engineering company in India.
The beats are generally anti-academic. Yet I wholeheartedly embrace academics. Not only did I complete my B.Sc., studying Finance and attending INSEAD and Harvard was exciting. Setting up an e-learning portal last year, it was a no brainer for me to use one jointly develped by Harvard and MIT. I also attended an academic conference on customer services in Singapore and made some good friends.
What is it that really drives me? Lifelong learning! How well you perform in the workplace is governed by four factors: competencies, experiences, traits, and drivers. Research shows these four areas to be highly predictive of performance differences and correlated with all key talent variables: engagement, retention, productivity, leadership effectiveness, and leadership potential.
Navigates networks - Effectively building formal and informal relationships inside and outside the organization.
Aligns execution - Planning and prioritizing work to meet commitments aligned with organizational goals.
Balances stakeholders - Anticipating and appreciating the varying needs of all parties invested in outcomes.
Manages conflict - Handling conflict situations effectively, with a minimum of noise.
Cultivates innovation - Creating new and better ways for the organization to be successful.
Balance - Motivated to integrate work and life in a sustainable, enjoyable, and meaningful way.
Collaboration - A preference for work-related interdependence, group decision making, and pursuing shared goals.
Power - Motivated to seek influence, recognition, and increasing levels of responsibility.
Challange - Motivated by achievement in the face of tough obstacles.
Structure - A preference for process-oriented, structured, and stable work environments.
Independence - Prefers an entrepreneurial approach and limited organizational constraints.
Social Leadership - Influence, collaboration, and interpersonal awareness that advances collective goals.
Agility - Adaptability, curiosity, and innovative thinking in conditions of ambiguity and risk.
Energy - Vitality, resilience, and drive for achievement in spite of obstacles.
Developmental experiences meet most of the following criteria:
- Success is not guaranteed
- Responsibility rests with you
- Working with new people or a lot of people is required
- Stakes and pressure are high
- Influencing without authority is required
- Differs from what you’ve done before
- Your work will be under scrutiny
- The work represents new territory for the organization
- The work requires you to be resourceful
- Tests your ability to deal with complexity and ambiguity
- Involves some hurdlesummary