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Monthly Archives: April 2015

Learning While Leading

by Avtar Jagpal

Throughout my career I’ve been fortunate enough to have various leadership opportunities presented to me.  I’ve held both formal and informal leadership positions and have taken advantage of rigorous leadership development programs to hone my skills.  Part of what facilitated these opportunities and put me in these positions was a patience to observe, absorb, and experience the core (and non-core) functions of the organization from the ground up.  I believe that one form of leadership is to immerse yourself into the day to day operations, the processes, the culture, and the environment of an organization to gain a clear understanding of it… before really being able to give yourself a chance at making a larger impact.  This style of leadership can be referred to as ‘Bottom Line Leadership.’ By immersing yourself, not only are you learning but in a way you’re also immediately leading by example.  There could be a tendency to come into an organization in a new leadership position and have a need for control or immediate impact, which may not always be the right route. Especially when that opportunity is one that you are passionate about.  It requires patience.

Before joining e-roleplay, I dove into the company’s online presence to get an idea what to expect.  I visited the website and the first thing that caught my attention was the motto “Practice with us, not your clients.”  It was simple, unique, and powerful.  It all made sense.  Why would you risk making a mistake with your clients, when you can safely practice and be coached in a learning environment?  I was already intrigued to have an opportunity to lead and contribute to the growth of this practice.        

I’ve had the liberty of working at a fortune 500 company, arguably one of the top 10 tech companies in the world, IBM. I came with Leadership experience, a little bit of Talent Management, and of course a Learning and Development background.  With varied experiences and skill sets, I was still lacking a very important factor… and that factor was familiarity.  I hadn’t worked my way up the ranks here at e-roleplay and therefore I wasn’t familiar with the ins and outs of the company. 

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