My Personal Experiences in Leadership

A kid without fear is what people used to call myself throughout my childhood. Doubtlessly, I was the most courageous one among my peers. My parents often described myself as their outspoken son who proactively interacts with others. Notwithstanding, from my perspective, I think it was the value of selfconfidence, honesty and respect taught by them that had shaped my personalities.

Since I entered formal education, inadvertently I had adopted those values to explore the leadership skills. Commencing at the third grade, I had always run for the prefect election in every academic year, which I usually succeeded. Consequently, I learned that leadership is not exclusively about attaining power and reputation, but also demonstrating responsibility and ability to manage any circumstances.

Citing Simon Sinek, a world-known British motivational speaker with his latest statement: “a leader is a person who inspires people to take action”, I correspondingly happened to figure leadership as an art of persuasion in 2001 after joining student choir club in Gadjah Mada University. One of my responsibilities was to lead the preparation of our batch’s first concert.

The team and I ought to initiate everything from scratch; from developing objectives, to executing work plans. Managing a group of freshmen was challenging for myself due to the diverse perspectives and personalities within. Nonetheless, through communications and sharing responsibilities proportionately, in three months I was able to unite the team. We successfully held the concert and gained appreciations from the audiences. Certainly, it was one of the most remarkable moments in my life.

Furthermore, after earning bachelor’s degree in 2006, I began experiencing leadership at professional level. While working as a journalist in KOMPAS newspaper, I became knowledgeable in drafting, communicating and executing ideas. In the meantime, I also emphasized my empathy, which is essential to an effective leadership, through applying active listening, trying to put myself in the interviewee’s shoes, and writing up their compelling stories to elucidate the emerging problems.

Markedly, those skills persisted even after I shifted jobs to becoming the communications and programmatic officer at different national and international organizations. With more opportunities to join bigger team, I have improved working ethically and delivered the expected results through a solid teamwork outstandingly.

Going forward, I challenge myself to expand the leadership skills at social level by contributing back to the community. Since 2014, I have worked collaboratively with local residents and key stakeholders of underdeveloped provinces in east Indonesia, namely Papua and Maluku, to overcome the community development and marine conservation issues.

As outlined earlier, I believe that my personal and professional competences have met the leadership requirements of Chevening program. By taking up different roles throughout my career, the experiences have convinced myself to pursue a higher education for quality improvement. Hence, pursuing the master’s degree in environment, culture and communication in the UK would assist myself in achieving my immediate and long-term goals to significantly contribute to the community development and marine conservation works in Indonesia.

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