Name: Labby Ahsan
Organisation: NEWSPAPER OLYMPIAD
"Monsta Asia's Top 100 Youth 2022 | Bestselling Author with 3 Books | OSUN Global Commons Editorial Board Member | PR & Outreach Manager | President of Newspaper Olympiad |
Thank you to the 2,000 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 Questions on Leadership!
I hope Labby's answers will encourage you in your leadership journey. Enjoy!
1. What have you found most challenging as a leader?
"The most challenging aspect is ensuring the satisfaction and equitable treatment of all individuals. Within our organization, I oversee a team of over 3000 members. A significant number of team members hold senior positions, which adds complexity to the task of persuading them and garnering their agreement with my decisions. Additionally, being a young leader, navigating critical decision-making poses its own set of challenges."
2. How did you become a leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?
"I consistently demonstrated a proactive approach by being an early responder in various situations. Allow me to provide an illustrative instance. When there was a request for a volunteer to promptly retrieve essential items from the office, I consistently positioned myself at the forefront. Prior to taking action, I ensured that I was well-engaged in multiple responsibilities, enabling me to step forward efficiently.
My journey in leadership began during my schooling, where I held the esteemed position of President in the Student Council. This role provided me with the opportunity to address and resolve student concerns effectively. It was through assuming these responsibilities that I realized the transformative power of holding a leadership position.
In our school, a Science Club had not yet been established. Recognizing the need for such a platform, I took the initiative to found and lead the Science Club, eventually serving as its President. Similar initiatives were undertaken in various domains, reinforcing the notion that taking initiative is a fundamental catalyst for assuming a leadership role. As I continued to found and lead clubs and organizations, my leadership capabilities further matured and solidified."
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
"I meticulously organize my tasks by creating a comprehensive checklist each night. Subsequently, I allocate specific time slots for each item on the list, adhering to a structured schedule. Maintaining punctuality within this schedule is challenging, but imperative given the circumstances.
I prioritize commencing meetings during the morning when my mind is at its freshest, allowing for optimal engagement and productivity. Post lunch, my focus shifts towards academic pursuits, though this agenda is occasionally interrupted by impromptu meetings. During the afternoon, I reserve time for physical meetings and other commitments, effectively managing and fulfilling these obligations.
In the evening, apart from dedicating time to academic endeavors, I diligently seek updates from the clubs and organizations under my purview. This systematic approach ensures the efficient distribution of work, enabling a well-rounded engagement with all responsibilities."
4. What's a recent leadership lesson you've learned for the first time or been reminded of?
"Recently, I acquired a valuable insight into effective leadership—an ability to maintain composure during critical junctures. I realized that as a leader, preserving a calm mindset during pivotal moments is paramount. This composure allows for keen observation and attentive listening, prerequisites for making informed and prudent decisions."
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 Almanac of Naval Ravikant," authored by Eric Jorgenson and presenting the philosophies of entrepreneur and thinker Naval Ravikant, has not only gained significant popularity but has also been translated into various languages, becoming a bestseller. The book delves into a broad spectrum of life's aspects, encompassing career, wealth, happiness, and success.
While the book doesn't primarily focus on leadership, its wisdom and teachings can profoundly impact a leader's approach. Naval Ravikant's philosophy places great emphasis on self-awareness, mindfulness, and a deep understanding of personal values and desires. These principles can significantly influence a leader's style and decision-making process.
Encouraging introspection and a holistic view of life, "The Almanac of Naval Ravikant" can prompt a leader to align actions with core values, fostering a purpose-driven leadership approach. In a leadership context, this means not only guiding and managing teams effectively but also prioritizing personal fulfillment and well-being.
The insights from this book may enhance a leader's perspective, encouraging them to understand themselves better, make informed decisions, and lead with authenticity. Thus, the book's impact transcends individual growth, potentially enriching and transforming the very fabric of leadership in various cultural and linguistic contexts."
6. If you could only give one piece of advice to a young leader, what would you say to them?
"I firmly advocate for a deliberate and unhurried approach in leadership. Steadiness is a fundamental attribute that a leader must embody. Additionally, a critical principle to uphold is the acknowledgment of one's limitations in knowledge. Embracing the admission of not knowing everything is not a sign of weakness; rather, it signifies humility and a thirst for growth.
Leadership, in essence, represents an ongoing and perpetual learning journey. It demands a commitment to observe, comprehend, and continuously accumulate knowledge from various experiences. This steadfast dedication to learning and adaptability forms the bedrock of effective leadership."
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader, so far?
There was a man who was my colleague. On the day when our boss began an old session, he left the job. He believed that his learning would come to an end here, so he needed to find a better place. The story tells us about the hunger for growth. As a leader, we should always have a mindset of growing. Else, we will be stopped.