Visualizing the 21st Century Leader When Ankit returned to his home country, India, after getting his degree in Chemical Engineering at the Technical University of Denmark, he was not the same person anymore. At that point, he had the confidence, knowledge and experience that made him realize the hidden potential he had discovered to become a leader, a “doer” and a change maker. Ankit visited the 9th European Regions & Cities Event by the European Commission, and also the Young Environmentalist Camp in Azerbaijan; for the first time, he felt the excitement of being involved with people talking about complex issues, and realized that this was only the beginning for him. It’s has been a long way through conferences, networking, reports and related responsibilities, but now, he has designed a program about how the future will be like for a 21st Century Manager when facing complex business & managerial ssues. How can this be possible?
Whether it was managing events, managing family businesses, organizing events at his university, preparing cases for the biggest engineering competition in Europe, leading multicultural teams, just to name a few. Whether it was a big or small team, he got prepared to work under pressure, with certain level of uncertainty and making quick decisions. How could he take all of these skills he learned into a whole new level?
Arriving on Decision to Explore a New Path After giving lots of thoughts and hard work, he has come up with what it’s consider the skill set of the 21st Century Global Manager. Even though he has had good exposure on some areas of Management & Business, some skills needed to be upgraded. Later he realized that it was easier to be said than done, and the challenge he was aiming for was not going to be possible with a University Education. Even if it was possible (like doing a MBA), he would have to wait for 17-18 months before next session starts. And even if he waits, there is no clear answer on what the financial situation will be at that time. To remain debt-free is always the major priority and since he has already obtained good university education, he asked himself, ‘May be this time I can designed this study in my own style, taking slightly different route than currently existing ones.’His education in Denmark, where he was given option of choosing own courses helped him to design his curriculum in achieving his goals.Gaining knowledge Newspapers/Magazine Reading/ Books I took a look at the trending news on developing places like India, Russian, China and Latin America, and also on developed places (Germany, USA). This action on weekly basis will help you improve your knowledge about international business and cultures, so you are more prepared for these kind of situations. Online Education Whether you do it through Eliademy or any other platform of your choice, online education has prove to be a disruptive factor that enables you to have access to the countless amounts of knowledge around the world, where among of them all, it is crucial to pick the right ones that will suit your professional profile the best. Courses on General Management Operations, Human Resources and Business Strategies and Economics. These topics are key factors to get educated in order to upgrade my already existing skills. Also I took courses about future trends and interdisciplinary aspects. Becoming More Globalized I used my own thoughts and tried to expand my knowledge base to be in a position to conversation anywhere, work anywhere and live anywhere. These ideas came from my positive experiences of living in Denmark.
Studying Culture and Learning Language “Although, there is no single definition on what is termed as culture but in my view combine study of (history, geography, festivals, economic conditions, likes & dislikes, local customs, social structure etc) can make one slightly more culturally sensitive even without living in that place. I have tested this methodology while staying in Denmark. Following similar methods, I have spent past 2 years studying about China, Russia, Latin America, Middle East and Japan. I have also communicated with native people to know more about their countries. For a future global manager, knowing few foreign language can be very helpful. Be it watching movies, listening to you-tube serials or undergoing language exchange with native speakers, it was not an easy task. It failed many times, lost patience too sometime. But gradually, I developed some ways to learn any foreign language easily. Google Map & Wikipedia Scan the entire world with Google Maps, find random corners on it and reading about it on Wikipedia. “Now, I understand time zone difference easily and can set meeting timings easily with people from any parts of the world”.
Practicing Knowledge in Real Life “Any gained knowledge can not become skill, until it has been tested in real situations. As, I did not have luxury to do internships, buying cases to read, my best bet was to turn to surrounding environment and making the best use of available online/offline situations”. Side Studies / Helping Others / Volunteering Projects ‘Economics analysis of coffee production in Peru’, ‘Investment potential in green technologies in India’, ‘How to maintain discipline in lines in crowded temples of India’, ‘Marketing in mega-cities in 2020’ etc. I have observed an under construction bridge in my vicinity continuously for 2 months and made notes to test different project management tools. Also helped a street vendor to solve his debt worries and another street vendor to increase his revenues. I have also helped an NGO in Sierra Leone in improving their agricultural activities and from past few months working with a Mexican firm to improve their packaging efficiency.
Social Media / Other Readings You can accomplish so much and yet spend so little. The downside, it offered very little possibility for me to have face to face interactions on topics of my interest. So, I turned to virtual world and became more active on social media. Especially at different groups of LinkedIn/Facebook for exchanging information, putting my thoughts on issues of public policy, project management, leadership, international trade etc. “Today, I feel glad that lack of resources and financial constraints forced me to develop my own methods, to try things in a different ways”. A 21st Interdisciplinary Professional After such a hard working process to become a professional and gain diversity when it comes to the expansion of his professional fields, Ankit has become, after 7-8 years of learning, a 21st Century interdisciplinary professional. “I am an engineer,who also knows about market trends, can plan business strategies, take part in trade negotiations, understand government policies and can easily guess the impact of monetary policy changes. I am also the person who can innovate, can do programming and can talk with different sets of people. Someone who has intercultural work experience, team working ability and already appreciated for his leadership and managerial skills. With different projects done around the world, I hope to become 21st century global manager in future and work towards solving complex problems.”