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I hinge my leadership philosophy upon my Hindu belief system. I believe that what is inside me (some call it soul or atma) is same on every single living being. I see me on everybody. With this perspective, I will not experience any kind of conflict with other person whether that person is my team member or my follower. There is no competition and there is no reason to be afraid of others. Being same, I do not need external thing such as employee manual to tell me to respect other human. From this perspective, I see a success of my team member as my success. I can easily see what my follower is going through.
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My belief has changed over the years. I was always interested on human performance and psychology. I have been cheated by many people who came from a certain part of the world. Coming from a place where people trust each other easily, I was genuinely interested in the role of culture and value on these behaviors. I have gradually realized that understanding oneself is crucially important on doing anything in life successfully and easily. When I did Keirsey Personality assessment, it shows I am INFP which it calls as an idealist. This in some way has validates a lot of my beliefs.
This assessment says, INFP is “idealists” (Portrait of an INFP, n.d.) and perfectionists and is “focused on making the world a better place for people” (Portrait of an INFP, n.d.). Their primary goal is to “find out their meaning in life” (Portrait of an INFP, n.d.) and they are on “continuous mission to find the truth and meaning underlying things” (Portrait of an INFP, n.d.). This is a spot on of what I believe on. Even when I was little, I used to give my lunch to homeless or those who does not have lunch money and stay hungry for that day. Giving others makes me feel good. I always give people expecting nothing in return. I always like to understand why and how things work. I am more interested on understanding the relationship between things that does not even remotely have any connections and stare at it for hours even when I was little. As I grew older some incidents make me even more interested on learning people, how our brain and behavior works, why some people are wired differently, why people from a different background and different part of the world differ from others, why and how people respond to same things differently, how kids are different and how they learn much faster and differently.
When I started my career, I did not micromanage staff, but was very detailed oriented and wants perfection from the staff. And I also spent a lot of time on coaching my staff. I would explain to them why I was looking for perfection on everything we do, but looking back I could not communicate my vision. I was definitely not thinking from the staff’s foot, perhaps they did not understand why I pushed so much. I have changed and do not push my team too much. I no longer push for perfection as I understand the value of people. And I am working on my communication skills to address this.
Another point Keirsey Personality assessment show is “INFP do not like conflict, and go to great lengths to avoid it” (Portrait of an INFP, n.d.). This is true, and I am always terrified to face conflicts and I try everything to avoid conflict. I could not say no. I am working on this weakness, because I felt this is holding me back.
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I was born and raised in Hindu culture, but went to a western school. I learned two core Hindu concepts I consider as my core value. One is that all living beings including animals and plants have a soul which is common in all. I was schooled from a kindergarten in the school modeled in the western value system where individuality is given priority over group dynamics. As I grew up, I was confused for a long time until I noticed the importance of ethics or rather lack of ethics especially in the western company such as Enron and Worldcom. My eastern upbringing gave my very strong value which defines my view and my response. The value I internalized that all living beings including plants and animals have atma differs completely from Abrahamic religion which does not believe that other animal and plant have a soul. Since even tree and other animal have a soul and we all share same soul, I do not see them as different from me. Therefore, I protect all animals, plants and the environments. On the same line, since I share same atma, I see me on other human. Therefore, there is no conflict with other human. Respect comes because we all are same, so I will always respect and protect my follower.
Other Hindu concepts I consider as my core value is “perform all actions forsaking attachment (to their fruits), being indifferent to success and failure” (Bhagavad Gita Quotes, n.d.). I believe you can do extraordinary work only when you are not looking for recognition. I believe that we should give the best effort but should not dwell on the result. The people who are looking to impress other whether to get a promotion or for other reason cannot focus on their work. I believe ground breaking work can only happen when people make connection and get an idea from an unrelated field. This happen when a person opens up their awareness which I believe happen when his mind is free- not dwell on how to impress other.
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