“Successful leaders see the opportunities in every difficulty rather than the difficulty in every opportunity.” – Reed Markham
Vedica Scholar Srishti Sood reminds us of the quote, as she talks about her Shadow a Woman Leader module experience, in a virtual environment necessitated by the pandemic. In only four weeks of working with mentor Heidi Robertson, Group Head of Diversity & Inclusion and Employer Branding, and co-mentor, Susan-Chang Liu, Corporate People Development Manager at ASEA Brown Boveri (ABB), she has picked up several leadership traits, especially, being adaptable to different situations.. “The virtual setting turned out to be a benefit in disguise since it gave me the opportunity to network and work with people from different geographical locations. I could present my views, reflections and projects through presentation decks with everyone with ease,” she says confidently.
In fact, at the end of the module Srishti presented her project proposal to the global team at ABB, which was very well-received. Let’s rewind to how the module began and led to her growth, and how the cumulative experience helped her narrow down her interests to human resources and strategy. “My specific shadow module preparations had given me the confidence to ace any challenge; even in the virtual setting. I was thrilled by the opportunity to be a part of ABB, a leading global automation and technology company operating in 100+ countries for more than 130 years. The module provided me global exposure in the field of my interest and allowed me to explore the organizational structure, culture, values and upcoming strategies,” she says, surmising her overall experience.
During her four week module Srishti worked on three projects – project proposal to achieve the gender ambitions as part of the new 2030 Diversity & Inclusion Strategy, research project on industry best practices in Diversity and Inclusion, and a proposal on best practices on cultivating leadership behaviour based on company values. She had the opportunity to shadow women leaders, whose constant support helped her ace the projects. Speaking of their contribution to her experience she says, “Heidi Robertson is visionary and democratic in her style. She is practical in thought and action, planned in her approach, receptive of new ideas and leads by example. Her qualities make her a strong woman, who is willing to make a change in the world around her through the strategies and bold steps she takes.”
Srishti reveals that working with a mentor at the top strategic level, heading 100+ countries exposed her to the strategy formulation and implementation process. Her co-mentor Susan-Chang Liu brought valuable insights in areas of people development, organizational behaviour and culture. She got a real life understanding of varied management functions. Srishti spells out global meetings with members around the world, one-on-one sessions with mentors for guidance and feedback and weekly check-ins for planning the week ahead, as module highlights. “My three takeaways – Proactivity is the key to show your willingness. Planning is a step towards achieving what you want. Prioritization lets you focus and bring better results,” she concludes brimming with confidence after the defining experience she has had.