Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Surprising myself

I have just came back yesterday from the AIESEC international conference in Romania, which was quite an interesting experience for me due to various reasons, as the role which I have taken there and objectives have been quite diverse than they used to be at some other internationla conferences. Yeah, it was really great to meet my friends from AIESEC Almaty and spend most of the social time at the conference with them chatting, discussing, suggesting and just to be near to one of the dearest person in my life currently. But I would say that this conference I have surprised myself personally a lot too...

Let me explain you, that couple of days ago before leaving to Romania I have decided to make an ambitious step and apply for one of the highest leadership positions in AIESEC - for AIESEC International team, the one who is supporting the global network we have in the organisation to develop and grow. This decision, as any kind of important step I decide to take in my life, has been the outcome of many thoughts on whether it's worth it for me to take this step, will I be able to manage, do I have enough competencies and many-many more. It has been a huge process of self-discovery. But one of the most important things which made me to start filling the application in, the strong support and belief in my abilities from people who are dare to me - thank you, Kristina, Nailya, Deniss... These are the ones, who always make you feel self-confident and not making the fear and doubts to come over you, becaue they know you quite well. Yes, you know that you did a good job in any role you are taking and work hard for the results too, but still all the time the process of taking the important decisions should be natural evaluating your self-motivation especially...

As I was posting some time ago, at our national conference here in Estonia I have been delivering the work-shop to our members about self-motivation and one of the key messages there was about controlling your negative thoughts and keep up the positive attitude - yes you can do that! :) And this is exactly where I have put this process in practise fighting with doubts. Here are the things which made me to decide to take this step - my past and current performance at the AIESEC Roles, my big love for the organization and it's essence, my personal competencies like determination, professionalism and entrepreneural approach, then belief in me from my friends and excitement, which they are aleady creating in case the answer is positive, and I think still sort of my uniqueness as many AIESECers in my country look on me as a role-model - the only kazakh girl from whom the AIESEC country started to be more and more visible, the one who brought AIESEC Almaty to the high leap of its development and start many new things, the first one who went to work for AIESEC abroad and many other things... And the last thing is curiousity about the process of application itself and also the way, how the team has being selected, as the elected AIESEC International President is looking very precisly for people in his team and as I see, he wants that to be a team of "high-flyers"! I'd say, that smth which hitched me up a lot too - I want to be in this team, as at least for the past 2 years I have been working with people who are professional in their own area and you never can lower the bar and level of ambitioun. I'm lovin it...

I have been thinking also about the fears I have and I think the main one is the fear of being not selected. I didn't actually think of that before, but I think that's true. In my roles in AIESEC and generally in life I have been always reaching the goals I set up for myself and any position I have been applying, I was getting it - being selected for executive board and finance responsible and later president of Almaty chapter, taking the roles of project manager during all the active years in the local committee, applying for the job as project assistant in international advertising company and recently finance internship in the global industrial company in risk-management department and getting the role of exchange responsible nationally in AIESEC Estonia - my current international experience. These experiences of applying and getting what you want, making you being used to the feeling of success. But right now, seeing the level of my ambition and people who are applying for the same role, make me being ready for another experience too. Anyways, many people told me that I have to enjoy the whole process itself and I'm already doing that. And in the end I want to create the "win-win" situation for everyone who is involved in that and no matter what, its a great process of learning... And I also know my uniqueness.

Another thing that have surprised me, is my ability of working under time pressure - wow, that's something what I discovered even more than ever! At the beginning you are sorting out everything calmly, leaving some things to be done later and think too much for every question to make it sound better, nicer, smarter etc. And then in the end when less than 24 hours left you centralize all your energy and notice how effective your brains are working generating ideas and sometimes you can't follow writing them, as the ideas are running ahead. I have been at the conference while filling my application where spent around 43 hours for that using all the possible breaks and especally nights after the sessions to finish with that and till the last hour before the deadline. Then 5 minutes before - sent... You should see my condition after that - like in the fog and hands are shaking. When was the last time you were feeling the same? 

Anyways in a bit more than a week I will share with you the other thoughts here and result itself.

Feeling nervous...

4 Skills of Disciplined Leaders by Robin Sharma

Hi Aigerim,
You know so well that you need no title to be a leader. You get so brilliantly that leading without a title is the real way to lead. You deeply understand that leadership isn't just a skill for business - it's a way of life. So equipped with this knowledge of who you can be and all you can do during these difficult times as a force of one, I offer 4 practical action steps:

#1. Protect Your Thinking. Fear-mongerers have come out to play amidst the meltdown of the global economic markets. The news is mostly negative. The water-cooler chat is mostly bad. The word on the street focuses on the worst that is. But what's the truth? Yes, I'll agree that these are challenging times. But I'll also say there's never been a better opportunity for you to be an excellent leader. Stay focused on the opportunities that have presented themselves to add more value to even more customers. Train your brain to block out the negative and work amidst the positive. Turn off the TV. Put away the paper. And get to work on presenting the genius that you are meant to be to the world around you.

#2. Take the long view. You will never go wrong in doing what's right. With the turmoil out there, it's easy to let go of your closely-held values and cut corners when it comes to ethics. The fast buck might look like an easy way out. A quick deal with the wrong person might look like a solution. Cutting corners on a product or service might look a little attractive. And yet, you will never regret sticking to your business and personal values - being the most ethical person you know. This tough cycle will pass. And your customers will love you for staying true to you.

#3. Outwork your competition. Hard work and constant forward movement is the formula for leveraging the difficult conditions into opportunities for greatness. I know that sounds a little "motivationalspeakerish" but I do believe it's true. Few things get you to BIW (Best in World) in the work you do as working really hard and standing for brilliance in your chosen career. Leadership is all about doing what's right rather than what's easy. And what's right is an honest day's work for an honest day's pay.

#4. Stay Strong. No point in letting the stress and challenge of these interesting days ruin your health-or break your spirit. Tough times make great leaders. Maintain the champion's mindset by reading uplifting books, associating with excellent people and making time each day to renew your self. Oh, and take good care of your health. Please. Now isn't the time to neglect daily exercise. And those who don't make time for fitness must eventually make time for illness.

Keep Leading at Wow,


Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Ultimate Knowing

"Confidence is a resolute state of mind by which you believe nothing is impossible." ~ Dr. John Eliot from Overachievement

You have that kind of confidence?

Good. Deep breath in. Hold the vision of what you want.

Exhale. Know you can get it.




"Confidence is not a guarantee of success, but a pattern of thinking that will improve your likelihood of success, a tenacious search for ways to make things work." ~ Dr. John Eliot from Overachievement

Sunday, March 01, 2009

The Call of Spring

Today is 1 March - first day of spring! Congratulations for surviving the winter! :) Almaty in spring is the best ever season for it when the trees are becoming fresh-green, all the city is full of bright-coloured tulips and spring dandelions, you hear the birds singing more and more and of course cats start bawling at nights, sunny warm days make people to go out more for just simple waling outside! Ohh, I love my city in spring time - you can even "smell" it! :) Looking forward to experience a real spring in Tallinn too with at least sunny warm days - it's definitely beautiful this time here! :)

The Call of Spring 
by Norman Schlichter 
When spring begins 
Again to light 
Our happy world 
With colors bright,

The robins all come 
Back to see 
How beautiful 
The earth will be,

With crocus gold,
And daffodils 
Lighting meadows,
Fields, and hills;

With leaves of green 
And tulips gay,
And birds arriving 
Every day.