Thursday, December 23, 2010

Leadership Story

Why Should Anyone Be Led by You?: What It Takes To Be An Authentic LeaderGoing for an interview, the most difficult question might turn out to be, "How did you get here?" - and it will not be about the mode of tranport you favored that day to get to the venue. It will be about you life map, or what have you done to be at this particular stage of your career. Another difficult question (as well as a famous namesake book) is "Why should anyone be led by you?" Think for yourself, how would you answer those?

We were asked to do someting similar in the Strategic Communication class a few weeks ago. I should say that we were lucky to have a highly entertaining and deeply knowledgeable professors Des Dearlove and Stuart Crainer, authors of Thinkers 50, which is a research on business thought gurus, most likely to influence the development of the business reality as we know it.

The task was to write a personal leadership story in less 250 words, which should be a distilled message to the world of your own persona. I should say it is so much easier talking at length about yourself, but when you are confined to mere 250 words, it is a mission impossible. Next, it brings you back to the same old questions: Why should anyone be led by you?

I am posting here what I wrote and submitted as my final project to the professors. Really keen on feedback!


Sergey Gorbatov

Personal Story
Strategic Communication
December 7, 2010

My most respected high school teacher told me shortly before I graduated, “Sergey, if you want to achieve something in this life, you need to be the first, the best, or different”. I did not grasp the full value of that advice at the time, but I heeded it nonetheless. Looking back (and most importantly – looking forward), I see with clarity why I am where I am and how I got here: by being the first, the best or different.

There are few things I have been the best at. Well, in relative terms, I did gain a considerable number of awards and on a number of occasions I had to blush in front of an audience receiving an accolade or praise. Being the first gained me the reputation of an innovative first-moving go-getter. However, what truly advanced me in life is being different.

A distinct way of clothing, an atypical career path, a very special circle of friends, and many other uncommon aspects, granted me that edge I could use to stand out. Yet, it has always been a unique way to look at the world, a peculiar manner of thinking and seeing the connections that elude others that have prevented me from blending with the background or getting lost in the crowd.

I bow with utmost respect to that teacher for her invaluable lesson. It is ambitiously pleasing to be the first. It is painstakingly rewarding to be the best. It is ostentatiously crucial to be different.

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