What did you learn about your strengths and weaknesses?
The simulation made me realise how much I had developed over the past 10 years. I did my MBA at Harvard Business School at 23, and on entering the workforce I realised I had a long way to go in terms of gathering the right experience to be successful.
I have had a diverse career, covering engineering, consulting, strategy and operations. Throughout the simulation, I leaned on my strengths across all these areas to build a purpose-led vision backed by a robust strategy with clear goals and team structure.
What are the most important attributes of good leaders?
There are a lot of buzzwords describing good leaders – authentic, empathetic, resilient. These are all important attributes, but the trait that creates the foundation for all of these is being honest – about what you have learnt, the mistakes you have made and in every discussion with your boss, peers and team. It creates the foundation for all your relationships.
What do you think is the difference between a team manager and a team leader?
We need to remember that being a manager is a great step towards being a leader. We need to enable managers to develop leadership skills so they can inspire instead of simply setting goals, create change instead of sticking with the status quo, take risks instead of avoiding them, and coach instead of directing.
How do you influence others?
It varies depending on the situation. As a biomedical engineer, I influenced through technical expertise. At Harvard Business School and consulting, I used clear communication and insights. At eBay, I leverage my strong relationships with people across the business. The consistent trait is that you need to be present in every interaction and give people the respect they deserve.