21st Century Women: Corporate CEOs not Note-Keepers
The moment Sabina came online, one could quickly resonate with her wisdom and experience by just having a glance at the background in which she was seated. She sat calmly, though firmly amongst a backdrop of an enormous bookshelf and artifacts. I was constantly trying to zoom my screen, to search for any familiar titles on her shelf, so that I could remotely try to relate to this fantastic woman on screen who reflected sheer brilliance, confidence, and empathy. A former Microsoft employee, and a techy, Sabina is now a successful CEO coach, mentoring and inspiring millions across the world.
Throughout the session, she reiterated that this is the era of emotional intelligence, an era where one must be compassionate, empathetic, and fearless to talk about one’s feelings. Communicating in this medium is the key to success.
This change in the era from the previous era of gender dominance has brought about changes even in the attitude of male leaders. She has seen a rise of men with feminine nature along with ‘male’ like females.
She mentioned the common issues she noticed in young women aspiring to be future leaders. Most of them possessed a lot of confidence, sadly lacking in strategic decision making. Women tend to indulge in a lot of ‘magical thinking’ when it comes to work done, and this has resulted in women being reduced to the stature of being a ‘good girl’, i.e. one who usually is assigned to do the ‘corporate note-keeping’.
What prevented her from being a ‘good girl’ and transforming into a global CEO coach, includes- Saying YES sincerely to projects that can be committed to, rather than indulging in the practice of ‘cookie licking’. Reserving 2 hours a week for yourself, a white space to introspect, reorganize, and improve. Lastly, 7 years of weekly practice at Toastmasters, participating in the Table Top Mix, where one is presented with a totally random topic and is demanded to speak on the same with confidence, strategy while maintaining authenticity.
Post her advice on how aspiring young women can venture on to become confident leaders, Sabina encouraged all our doubts and questions reserved for her. As expected, all her answers followed a strategy and were delivered with a touch of emotion and confidence.
Before the session began, we had received the opportunity to view her TED talk, however, to see her live, even though on a virtual platform, engaging with all of us on a real-time basis was a powerful experience for each of us. Sabina has taught us to deliver and communicate with strategy, emotional intelligence, and confidence, and by following this with rigorous practice, it's not far until we transform into beautiful, powerful, and visionary leaders. And that is exactly what she intends to do. Sadhiya Shiraj is a Masters of Business Administration student at IIM Lucknow, and a 2020 LedBy Her Fellow