Name: Akash J J
Title: Chief Executive Officer
Organisation: Legacy IEDC UCEK
CEO - Legacy IEDC UCEK | Engagement Specialist - EntreCon Global | Deputy Chief of Staff - FRIWMUN | Operations Lead - IEEE SB UCEK | Volunteer - YUCI | Model United Nations | State Level Badminton Player
Thank you to the 2,000 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 Questions on Leadership!
I hope Akash's answers will encourage you in your leadership journey. Enjoy!
1. What have you found most challenging as a leader?
The most challenging aspect of leading a team from what I have experienced so far is handling miscommunications and my team members losing their initial enthusiasm due to external influences.
2. How did you become a leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?
The moment you start empathizing and putting other's needs as your priority, you become a leader. Supporting this trait are some skills and behaviours such as being able to make efficient decisions, having knowledge of your field, being accountable, taking initiative, respecting and listening to everyone who wishes to have a decent conversation with you, the list goes on.
My journey began by participating in competitions at school including public speaking, writing etc. I worked my way up in the School Council and became the Junior School Captain and moving on I passed High School as the Co-Curricular Activities Captain.
After joining college, I volunteered for Legacy IEDC UCEK and became a part of it. I also participated in Model United Nations starting from high school which helped me develop my reasoning, content creation and public speaking skills. I have also been a professional badminton player since middle school, sports played an important role in leadership too because it is more than just moving your body around, it requires serious decision-making skills, team play, analysing opponents etc. which I inculcated in my life.
Things I did and am still doing: Ready to do any work where I can use my skills or develop them without thinking of the personal benefits or my status. Staying humble to everyone. Always have gratitude to everyone who helped, guided and was nice to me.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
Since I am working on multiple fronts, I stick to my rule of prioritizing urgent work. To be honest, I have varied sleep hours based on completing the most urgent task, there are days when I do not sleep. So I do not have a routine, but the following are the things I try to include every day.
1. Meeting immediate deadlines (will skip all other things written below if necessary).
2. Alone time
3. Playing badminton
4. Spending a good time with my friends and family
5. Playing video games
4. What's a recent leadership lesson you've learned for the first time or been reminded of?
Do not completely entrust a job to someone. Keep track of the updates regularly and if you think the person will not meet the deadline, keep a backup or a Plan B in case the person fails to deliver.
5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?
The Art of Thinking Clearly by Rolf Dobelli
This book describes in short chapters, the most common thinking errors – ranging from cognitive biases to envy and social distortions.
I was fascinated to learn about the sunk cost fallacy and was able to relate to it and use this concept to abandon wasting resources - both personal and organizational.
6. If you could only give one piece of advice to a young leader, what would you say to them?
I would quote Steve Jobs - "Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish" because I practise it.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader, so far?
Our team got an opportunity to conduct a workshop in a school, but we had only one day to prepare, my team said to take it head on and we worked together the whole day and night (You can feel the happiness and pride only if you experience it). We delivered an amazing session and received great appreciation.