‘It helped me develop a progressive lens for myself’
INSEAD changed me and helped me deal with the changing world. I had written a book Evolutionary Leadership: A Holistic Perspective, and in that connection got acquainted with Professor Manfred De Kets Dries of INSEAD. He encouraged me and also told me about the CCC diploma they already offered. For me to commit financially for a diploma was too much, as in Asia a degree mattered more—which I did mention to him. He did not say much, but connected me to his colleague Professor Roger Lehman, who was moving to Singapore. We kept in touch and after a year or so, Professor Lehman invited me to attend a Q&A when they decided to convert the CCC diploma into an executive masters degree programme— EMCCC (Executive Masters Degree in Consulting and Coaching for Change). It was a big decision as it involved money, time, and commitment of ‘back to school’. I simply jumped at the idea and was part of the first batch from the Singapore campus for this degree.
This programme helped me develop a progressive lens for myself and also for others. I was exposed to global cultures, diversities, and theories of psychoanalysis and psychotherapy. A safe space was created and suddenly I jumped into the international arena to know myself better. Data entry points started replacing intuition and gut in a balanced manner. My understanding of a family-owned business, ability for storytelling, and positive psychology got uncovered. Old labels were done away with and new labels emerged.
Professionally and personally, I became less reactive and more responsive and proactive in developing and changing myself. I was able to present to my clients a much more wholesome and holistic/grounded view of any situation. I found it [easy to interact] with thought leaders and operating managers. I operated from a know-it-all approach with a strong bent for intuition. This, along with my ground-level experience, was a great asset.
CCC, as a program, puts one in a safe space wherein the design ensures maximum participation and group learning. Feedback from people of fifteen different nationalities and from different industries is valuable. It helps one understand one’s own blind spots; it can also be useful to do course correction in a wholesome manner. The faculty is world-class and [they] lend a personal touch. It helped me hold and listen to two completely different points of view and then take a balanced decision. Our biases can cloud our judgements or can be used positively. Being part of a group, I felt I should be a better ‘cheer’ leader and have more ‘aha’ moments in life. I learnt to write and reflect more deeply.
I learnt about stewardship in a different form and applied it in my life. As a KRA now, I try to help an unknown person daily.
I faced a situation with an anchor client wherein a change of guard resulted in my becoming a sideline vendor from a preferred vendor. I accepted it with ease and never thought bad of the person in that chair, as it was his decision that worked well for him.
Today, I am acknowledged as a ‘family business thought leader’. INSEAD played an important role in my blossoming in this space. My reading and writing time have gone up. I have hopefully become a better listener and less judgemental. ■