As a part of the She Leads initiative, a joint campaign by the Madras Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Women of Worth and the British Deputy High Commission of India, a leadership workshop was organised at the Great Lakes Institute of Management. The She Leads campaign recognised aspiring young women from across India and inspired them to take up roles as leaders in their respective fields. Ten winners from various colleges were selected and an award ceremony was organised earlier in the year. At the event, they were able to interact with people such as Shruti Hassan, Kiran Bedi and the British Deputy High Commissioner in Chennai. As a continuation of this campaign, a three day leadership workshop starting on the 31st of June, was conducted by the Great Lakes Institute of Management Chennai.

The workshop began with Prof. G. N Radhakrishnan who conducted a session on personal effectiveness and developing self. He explored the concept of emotional intelligence and its relevance to leadership, which is a topic that has gained importance recently. Emotional intelligence essentially refers to the capacity to monitor one’s own and others emotions and being able to respond appropriately. Prof. Radhakrishnan elaborated on how this was essential in maintaining good relationships with coworkers and also for maintaining peak performance, in oneself and in those around.

The next day was centred around economic development and was led by Dr. V.P Singh who outlined certain basic economic concepts and connected them to current policy and events. He explained how controlling monetray supply can affect growth and inflation. The She Leads finalists spent a productive afternoon with the press after which Prof. Sridhar concluded the day with an enlightening session on financial planning. The session was extremely useful for a group of young women on the verge of starting their careers, as it pointed out the benefits of starting to save at an early age and of investing these savings in various places.

The last day started off early with Prof. Sridhar’s discussion on the importance of Corporate Social Responsibility. Later, Prof. Stephen Chinnaswamy conducted a session on team building wherein he spoke of the various facets of what it entails to be a leader. He strayed away from defining a leader as the stereotypical aggressive boss, and advocated a definition in which a leader was meant to be flexible, emotionally intelligent, and willing to make mistakes as long as they learned from those mistakes. He conducted activities that were designed to facilitate better understanding and was also able to use what he taught in order to answer the questions that the participants had prior to the session.

The workshop on the whole was a resounding success as the participants enjoyed interacting with the highly competent, experienced and skilled faculty all the while being exposed to new areas of skill and learning.