Published on March 31, 2014
Describe the most outstanding leader you have worked with. Indicate some aspects of the way you work that are similar to the way this leader works and others that are different. Jessica Camus Dyllick, April 2014 Applicant for the IE Global MBA + (intake 2014) Chemin de la Gradelle 16, 1224 Geneva Switzerland Tel: +41 79 9313568, firstname.lastname@example.org 1
2 A few years ago, I had the enormous pleasure to work closely with the first and youngest female Director and Head of Africa for the World Economic Forum. Prior to WEF she spend 10 years in Private Equity in North America and Africa. Her achievements included coming in top 10 at the World Ironman Triathlong Championship in Hawaii, working with young women in violence-torn Kibera after the elections in Kenya and sailing in a tiny boat across the Pacific Ocean. I come from a very different walk of life. Adopted from Haiti, I have supported for many years youth in my country of origin. My travels to Haiti and other parts of the world have changed my world view, inspired my career choices and influenced my vision for the future. I have been passionate working at the public-private sector intersection, lately focusing on supporting female executives & women entrepreneurs in various countries. Similar to the Forum Director, I believe in luck, hard work and a sense of responsibility for making a difference in the world. Three of the leadership aspects that we share include:
3 Be inquisitive “Never stop your quest for learning and exploring. Travel as much as you can and try off a beaten track once in a while. Sometimes the most unlikely encounters transform your life.” Just as the Forum Director, I come from a diverse background and travelled across the globe. Enriched through these experiences, I strive to contribute through unique perspectives for the success of a team. I am a strong believer that diversity in cultures, gender, sectors and schools are the most important asset organizations need to leverage. While the Forum Director uses her formal leadership role to facilitate multi-stakeholder interactions internationally, I rely on informal influence & power.
4 Be open to the unknown “Walking into the unknown is one of the most powerful things you can do.” During my studies, I chose to work in a young start up company focused on consumer goods, despite a part-time offer from an established Law Company. After University, I started my career in the most unlikely place I ever thought of - the financial world. Thanks to these experiences, I discovered the passion for entrepreneurship, the relevance of financial markets for the global economy and importance of women leaders to build two-way support networks to succeed in male dominant environments. I had lots of exchanges with the Forum Director as we share many our experiences. What differs is that the Forum Director planned her career steps strategically, while my early career choices were mainly guided by intuition and curiosity.
5 Stretch yourself beyond “We are often constraint by what is normal, but sometimes you have to ask yourself the question: What if I make the impossible part of my everyday?” Training and racing a triathlon is the perfect example of this. As opposed to the Directors ambition of acquiring «specialist knowledge» in specific fields, I have focused on shaping my environments in a way that offer me new challenges every day. From performing ballet on stage to promoting design centered thinking to the business community, as a global leadership fellow I have learned how to be comfortable with the uncomfortable. The Global MBA+ programme would offer me a new and exciting opportunity to once more, stretch my potential.