My leadership style has had a significant paradigm shift over the course of two years. From the classic white coat scientist, I am learning to be a human with varied intellectual interests that would aid humanity in creative ways. Switching multiple countries in a year and immersing myself in a variety of lab cultures has gifted me the chance to rewire myself. It has nurtured me to be more empathetic and humble. A global citizen in the making. However, being the new one has its perks and downfalls. You could be reinvented, but you could be bamboozled as well. Small fish, big pond. The classic, remastered.
I am learning to focalise the lessons and channel my energy into creating works that mean more to the betterment of society. I have been working on understanding the pains of having a variety of disabilities. I have been passionate about biophysics, biomechanics, and psychology for years now. So, I have continued to curate projects with the help of brilliant academics and professionals that would help me channel my interests for the good. And as discussed in my other blog on my summer 2 (LiA showcase), I hope we have been doing something useful.
Behind the scenes of the project, the mini hurdles of the everyday did mount and shape my understanding of being a global citizen and being ethical in my leadership. A plethora of unfamiliar environments, misunderstandings, and conflicts do open partially healed wounds of the psyche. These in turn clouded my judgement and brought out prejudices that I never realised I had. Tackling these while being nose-deep in one's work is certainly a challenge that requires immense patience, self-compassion, and room for error.
Overall, my style of leadership has come far from making equations and blindly working hard. I have learnt from the immense pool of resources the Laidlaw programme catered to during our LEAD sessions and from all the scholars they chose for my cohort. It now includes pacing myself and rediscovering my values, strengths and weaknesses. It had come to nurture my emotional intelligence and to keep reminding myself of people’s backgrounds in order to avoid miscommunications of intentions. And to improve my style of communication to stay ethical.
This certainly has had a huge positive impact on all aspects of my life. There have been countless times I have had situations that reminded me of my oversight in honouring my values. And many more when I have been a victim of perfectionism. In order to maximise the quality of my work against the pressures of time and resources during my projects, I have unknowingly almost stepped on the toes of many. Some have been very understanding of my situation (and my phase in life). But it has nonetheless alerted me how easy it is to stray away from a path that is true when we are preoccupied with our own misconceptions and restrictions.
Thus, my fellowship journey has been an invaluable lesson for me to understand the nuances and be more self-aware. After all as Mary Shelly states,
“No man chooses evil because it is evil; he only mistakes it for happiness, the good he seeks.”
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