Final Reflections...

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Laidlaw has been an excitement and source of inspiration for the first two years of my undergraduate and will continue to be so for the rest of my life, wherever life will take me. 

Reflecting on what leadership means for me

Through the programme, I have learned that leadership does not always require accomplishing complex tasks like tackling global causes or summiting formidable peaks. It is about bringing the best out of people and making sure that people work towards a goal. A team of stars is not necessarily a star team, once said a wise voice. What is missing? A leader that sets the pace and anchors everyone behind a common aim. A leader who simply gets people to talk their minds and understand each other. As much as it is about questioning, envisioning an alternative future, and uniting everyone to take steps towards it, leadership is also the secret sauce of making sure different voices, colourful tones are heard at the end. True leadership must be inclusive and should not persevere by choking weaker voices, deaf people.

My initial application was in the form of poems. In keeping with that format, I wanted to share some thoughts through my poor poetry:)

 Leadership shows itself in the fiercest of times

When the group is about to fall apart

The people full of rage and dismay

Everyone wants to sign off and walk away

 

Leadership shows itself in a cruel dictatorship

When people fear to contest the status quo

When there is no hope, no cure

The leader says I’m here and I’ll be your voice

And I stand for your freedom even till death

 

It can be about selflessness

For the whole to work in harmony

The leader wraps people with a bond of camaraderie

The leader reminds them why they are in the same room

Lingering in the same universe

The leader conveys the light to cavemen who have

Turned blind in eternal darkness

How I developed as a leader through the programme 

I learned how to confront complex questions, envision alternative and more exciting realities, and work alongside other leaders. My Leadership-in-Action project showed that transformative change could happen through large for-profit organisations. In fact, real change depended on their support and partnership with charitable initiatives and governments. Thus, the programme really challenged my assumptions behind leadership and opened my mind to a more collaborative and unbridled vision.

 The research project was challenging and a real test of inclusive leadership. Incorporating five different voices into one coherent essay piece depended on understanding the voices in their uniqueness, unravelling their conflicting aspects, building common ground, and conjoining the different strands into one narrative. It made me learn how leaders with slightly differing visions could work together. How G7 leaders would sit on a table and really try to get an agreement on a matter of high priority.

Thoughts for future 

The programme has grown my passion for understanding and solving complex problems and introduced me to the fantastic Laidlaw network. Launching into my interdisciplinary Philosophy, Politics, and Economics degree, my ambition was to unearth complex issues, look at issues from different angles, and one day contribute to transformative change. Regardless of my future pathway, I will strive to retain this aspiration and use my energy, more confident self, and leadership skills to make things better, inspire younger and older minds.

I want to end this post with gratitude for having the chance to participate in this programme, meet fantastic people, and come out of it as a stronger and more self-aware individual. A big thank you to all the Laidlaw team for supporting us throughout two years of the programme! 

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