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The secrets behind brave leadership

By Push Banerji

The Marketing Society's India hub launched the first event of their Brave Series on 8 March, also International Women’s Day. A gathering of 17 marketers huddled together to hear the secrets behind brave leadership and what could have been better than hearing the voices of brave women? 

While bravery means different things to different people, we believe that bravery makes us better as individuals, as leaders and as an industry. It pushes us to challenge our thinking, to seek out creative solutions and recognise the humanity in our industry. 

Virginia Sharma of LinkedIn, Kanika Mittal of Twitter and Sunita GR of Facebook were our panel for the evening and hosting the conservation was Eika Chaturvedi Banerjee, CEO Future Learning. Each of the stories were reflective of a tough challenge and the journey they had both as a marketer and as an individual.

Here are my key takeaways from the evening:

Kanika

Sharing an anecdote from her previous experience at Reebok, a new brand positioning imposed from the global team broke down many who couldn’t see ahead of the curve. This was a difficult but important change. It was about getting out of the comfort zone.

  • Embrace change - everything is transient
  • Think positive as it’s what will help you get through emotionally difficult situations
  • Look beyond the present and into the future

Virginia

Talking about her experience of working in many parts of the world, Virgina reflected upon the time she shifted from being a country manager to an expat working in the APAC region. She talked about the intricate culture dynamics that can make or break careers.

  • Opt in to an inner circle and agree to be a mentee in a new market
  • Cultural dynamics are important
  • Cultivate sponsors and mentors to guide you
  • Market yourself so people want to invest in you

Sunita

Sunita spoke of her dreams and attempts at entrepreneurship and how she figured the right path for herself. She grew to realise her strengths and accepted that the path to happiness might be a different one that anticipated.

  • It's good to have dreams but keep a reality check
  • Recognise your strengths and weaknesses to be more self-aware.

Eika summarised all these leanings beautifully - one story expresses vulnerability and then a firm resolve, another demonstrates a plan to succeed when all the odds are against you and the last proves that being clearer about your goals and what makes you happy can sharpen your perspective on life. It’s these stories that make us who we are and this is the conversation we need to be having rather than snapshots of success that glimmer but say nothing about the hard work and challenges along the way. Here’s to more brave voices!

By Pushpanjali Banerji, Brand Director at Kyndal Group

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