Describe with examples the most important personal quality that you possess, which significantly enhances your prospects of being successful as a leader?

As the old Chinese proverb goes, “The wise adapt themselves to circumstances, as water molds itself to the pitcher,” I believe in acclimatizing myself to all situations. From studying English Literature at India’s biggest, cosmopolitan university, to completing my post-graduation in journalism from an institute in a hamlet of Kerala, to working in corporates, startups and as a freelancer, at different junctures of my life, adaptability has been my foremost strength, helping me succeed in all my endeavors! 

During my undergrad days, being a western-music enthusiast, I was determined to launch my college’s first western-music society, to the utmost reluctance of the administration! I rallied a group of equally passionate people, pooled in our meagre allowances, and rented music studios to hone our skills. The initial setbacks were humongous! However, we adapted ourselves to the circumstances and eventually won an opportunity to audition. Thereafter, there was no looking back! The administration loved our performance, and we went on to participate at inter-college competitions across India! 

Even during my Kerala days, my adaptability became an asset. Though linguistic and cultural barriers alienated me from the native students, I adapted myself to the situation and channelized my energies towards constructive work, learning the local language to interact with people. My suggestion to create an open and inclusive culture, in my valedictorian speech, was highly applauded, and various measures were taken to make future non-native students feel more at home. 

Reuters, my first workplace, gave me the greenfield opportunity to set up an Asia Headlines News Team from scratch. Unpredictable work-hours, and a host of new terminologies and software tools, posed quite a few challenges. However, through sheer perseverance, I helped create one of the more successful teams in the bureau. Later, while working with a variety of startups, I undertook roles that were out of my league, handling managerial responsibilities, coming up with solutions to unstructured problems, and adapting myself all along! At my most recent job with The Pivotals too, I took up business development, adapting to new responsibilities and eventually winning a business contract.

Throughout my life, flexibility has helped me overcome uncertain and difficult situations, forge stronger personal and professional bonds, and inspire people around me to strive and thrive. In a world with extremely unpredictable business environments, adaptability is crucial, and I believe that my natural disposition to acclimatize, empowers me to become a formidable and successful leader.

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