Monday, March 29, 2010

Emerging Leaders - People Leadership


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The most recent leg of the Emerging leaders program was titled "People Leadership". Over 4 days spread across two weekends, we touched upon "Negotiation skills", "Doing business in intercultural settings", "Organizational Politics" and so on. Note-worthy moments from this module
* Watching "Twelve Angry Men" as a study of negotiation. I can never have enough of that movie, although I wish Prof L.Prasad had given us more time to discuss the movie.
* We played a game called "Lost at sea", in which the participants are required to arrive at a consensus on the things to carry on a hypothetical raft soon after their hypothetical ship starts to sink. Among other things, I learnt that a mirror is a very useful attention-drawing prop. Since the whole discussion was video-taped I also learnt a lot about myself. That my diction isn't as clear as it sounds in my head. And that I touch my nose a lot. Body language experts interpret that as a sign of lying. I still insist it's hay-fever!
* Prof. Alexandra Benz's lectures on intercultural settings was fascinating. She was like Russell Peters without the irreverence. I can't think of any other person who can say things like "Indians have poor thought-word-action consistency. They don't say what they think, and seldom do what they say" and still make it sound non-threatening.
* The most intriguing part was a session by a famous male Kathak dancer who brought us his insights on how to connect to an audience. I spent the first 15 minutes fixated on observing how effeminate the guy was. And then he performed! All his failure to make us see the virtue of connecting to the transcendental in our own chosen vocations was forgotten when he started to make the floor thunder with the foot-tapping. He even coaxed us into dancing a bit towards the end. In a matter of minutes he had roused a bunch of self-important wannabe leaders and set them shaking their legs silly. He needn't have said a word.
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