Name: Jazmin Gedikian
Organisation: Maiti LLC
Hi, I'm Jazmin - Passionate Entrepreneur and Neurological Solutions Advocate
I've always dreamed of being an entrepreneur, but my biggest desire is to make a real impact in the lives of people with neurological disorders. To turn my dream into reality, I've teamed up with visionary entrepreneurs to develop innovative solutions for this community.
But my journey doesn't end there. I also love helping aspiring entrepreneurs kickstart their own paths. I share my knowledge, expertise, and valuable connections to assist them in realizing their entrepreneurial dreams.
Let's work together to make dreams a reality.
Thank you to the 2,000 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 Questions on Leadership!
I hope Jazmin's answers will encourage you in your leadership journey. Enjoy!
1. What have you found most challenging as a leader?
As a leader, one of the most challenging aspects I've encountered is the delicate balance between assembling a high-performing team and ensuring they work well together. While it's essential to have the best talent, their ability to collaborate and function as a cohesive unit is equally important.
The difficulty arises when conflicts within the team disrupt productivity and the quality of our work. Deciding to remove someone from the team, especially when they've been loyal for years, is one of the most daunting choices I've had to make. Loyalty is a precious quality, but sometimes it becomes necessary to make these tough decisions to foster growth and maintain the team's effectiveness.
It's a balancing act, where my responsibility as a leader is not only to the individual but also to the team and the organization's objectives. While it's never easy, I've learned that addressing such issues with empathy, open communication, and a clear understanding of the bigger picture is crucial. The ultimate goal is to cultivate a harmonious, high-performing team that can consistently deliver outstanding results while supporting each member's growth and development.
2. How did you become a leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?
Becoming a leader was a natural progression for me, rooted in a lifetime of people seeking my advice and guidance. Even from a young age, I found that others would turn to me when they needed direction or solutions. However, my journey as a leader truly began when I embarked on my entrepreneurial path.
Launching my entrepreneurial venture presented me with the challenge of leading a team of four individuals. This experience forced me to step into a leadership role more consciously. I realized that effective leadership required not only organizing and motivating the team but also being a problem solver. I understood that transparency and a clear understanding of the work process were paramount to avoid errors and conflicts down the road.
Communication and honesty emerged as the cornerstones of my leadership style. I knew that for the team to succeed, I needed to be forthcoming and open in sharing information. This approach fostered trust and ensured that everyone was on the same page.
My journey as a leader has been a continuous evolution, but it was those early experiences that set the foundation for my leadership style today. It's about being approachable, offering guidance, and, above all, fostering a sense of trust and collaboration within the team.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
I typically start my day at 6 AM. One of the first things I do is check my calendar and emails to understand the day's priorities. This helps me plan and allocate time for various tasks, ensuring I'm well-prepared for the day ahead.
Late Morning to Early Afternoon (Creative Brainstorming):
During this part of the day, I'm at my most creative and productive. I like to focus on brainstorming new product and service ideas. This is the time when I can explore innovative concepts and think outside the box.
Around midday, I take a break for lunch. It's a brief pause that allows me to recharge, step away from work, and enjoy some personal time.
Afternoon (Funding and Networking):
In the early afternoon, I dedicate a couple of hours to seeking funds for my projects. This might involve meetings with potential investors, researching funding opportunities, or working on grant applications. Additionally, I use this time to network with potential partners who share my entrepreneurial vision.
Late Afternoon (Team Collaboration):
Later in the afternoon, I schedule daily calls with my team. These meetings are crucial for aligning our efforts, discussing progress, and addressing any challenges that may arise. It's a collaborative session that ensures we're all on the same page.
Evening (Wrap-Up and Personal Time):
As the day winds down, I use this time to wrap up any outstanding tasks and prepare for the next day. It's also the beginning of my personal time, which I find essential for relaxation and engagement in social or family activities.
By around 8 PM, I aim to wind down for a restful night's sleep. This allows me to prepare both mentally and physically for the following day and maintain a healthy work-life balance.
4. What's a recent leadership lesson you've learned for the first time or been reminded of?
The Importance of Adaptability: The COVID-19 pandemic has reminded leaders worldwide of the critical importance of adaptability. Leaders have had to swiftly adjust to new working conditions, remote teams, and rapidly changing business landscapes. This experience underscored the significance of being flexible, open to change, and responsive to unforeseen challenges. Leaders who embraced adaptability and encouraged it in their teams were often better equipped to navigate the uncertainties and continue driving their organizations forward. This lesson serves as a reminder that adaptability is a core leadership skill, particularly in today's dynamic and unpredictable world.
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?
One book that has profoundly impacted my leadership journey is "Leaders Eat Last" by Simon Sinek. This book has had a significant influence on my approach to leadership.
The story of this impact began when I was facing some challenges in leading my team. I realized that simply being in a leadership position wasn't enough to inspire and motivate my team effectively. I was struggling to create a cohesive and driven group of individuals who were committed to a shared purpose. That's when I came across Sinek's book.
"Leaders Eat Last" provided me with a powerful perspective on leadership. It highlighted the critical importance of creating a workplace culture where people feel safe, valued, and connected to a higher purpose. It emphasized the idea that great leaders prioritize the well-being and development of their team members above all else. This concept resonated deeply with me and profoundly influenced the way I approached leadership.
I learned that by focusing on trust, empathy, and servant leadership, I could foster an environment where individuals could thrive. This book transformed the way I interacted with my team, emphasizing the human-centric aspects of leadership. It reminded me that leadership isn't about being in charge; it's about taking care of those in your charge. As a result, my leadership style became more people-centric, and my team's performance and overall satisfaction improved significantly.
"Leaders Eat Last" has, without a doubt, left an enduring impact on my leadership philosophy and how I lead my entrepreneurial ventures. It's a reminder that successful leadership is about serving and empowering others, ultimately leading to better outcomes for both the team and the organization.
6. If you could only give one piece of advice to a young leader, what would you say to them?
Leadership is an ongoing journey of growth and development. To be effective, you must constantly adapt to changing circumstances, new challenges, and evolving technologies. Keep an open mind, seek knowledge, learn from both successes and failures, and never stop improving your skills.
By embracing a mindset of continuous learning, you'll not only become a more resilient and adaptable leader but also set an example for your team, fostering a culture of growth and innovation.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader, so far?
During my time as a leader, there was a situation where our team was facing a seemingly insurmountable challenge. We were working on a critical project with a tight deadline, and unexpected complications arose, creating a sense of anxiety and frustration among team members.
I decided to address the issue head-on. Instead of getting caught up in the stress, I called for an emergency team meeting. In the meeting, I openly acknowledged the difficulties we were facing and the pressure we were under. I encouraged team members to share their thoughts and concerns.
One team member, who had been particularly quiet during the project, spoke up. They shared an innovative idea that had the potential to address the core problem we were facing. The team embraced the idea, and we immediately began implementing it.
The project took an unexpected turn from that moment. The team's motivation and sense of ownership in finding a solution were palpable. Through collective effort and the newfound sense of collaboration, we not only met the tight deadline but also produced a result that exceeded our expectations.
This story illustrates the power of open communication, collaboration, and shared problem-solving. It was a reminder that, as a leader, creating an environment where team members feel comfortable expressing their thoughts and ideas can lead to innovative solutions and strengthened teamwork, even in the face of significant challenges. It reinforced my belief in the value of fostering a culture of open communication and empowering team members to be active problem solvers.