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Question 1: Why do you think you are a good potential participant in the Reinventing Management programme?
My name is Thiery Fontaine. I am a highly trained, qualified and dedicated individual who brings a unique perspective, that of being an experienced team leader with global experience, which I feel makes me the perfect potential participant in the Reinventing Management Programme. I am well aware of the fact that this program builds upon learning experiences with peers, through research and the study program.
As such, I believe that I am the perfect candidate not only because of my personal characteristics but also because of my experience. Thus I believe that I can not only learn much from this programme but I can also share much.
My years of experience in the field and in a corporate setting have provided me with the opportunity to develop my interpersonal skills as well as managerial skills. In my past assignments and positions, I have had to deal with diverse work groups and demanding clients, an experience which I feel has greatly improved my abilities.
Throughout all these instances, I have often come across as witty and amiable. Yet, I am no push over when it comes to working in a corporate or business environment. I firmly believe that I can succeed in anything that I want to as long as I work hard at it. I get things done. The job gets done faster and more efficiently as and when the objectives are clear, the strategies acceptable, and the resources are available.
Of course, in the real world, these do not always happen. To the extent that they happen and to the extent that I can make them happen, I go after them and manage to get the job done.
Having this type of experience, I am confident that through my experiences at this programme I will not only develop the instinct and skills to become a world class manager with the outlook and training to dare to make a change in any company that I work with.
Question 2: Describe two or three events or encounters that had a significant influence on your professional life.
I have had several encounters that have had a significant influence in my professional life and I am glad to say that these influences were more positive than negative because they have given me the outlook to improve myself. One such instance was when I had the chance to encounter a manager who had been dismissed from his company after having had served for more than twenty (20) years for something that happened in the space of one hour. Not getting into specifics for privacy reasons, I saw there that managers can never be complacent and should always be on top of their game. It is not good to assume that because of one’s years of service that there is security of tenure. It always pays to be constantly evolving and making sure that one’s skills and reputation is well protected.
In another incident, I had the opportunity to closely study a company that had very poor HR relations. The workers were poorly deployed. One employee was assigned to a job that was beneath his skill level while another employee was tasked to do something well beyond her expertise. It was a classic case of musical chairs where the employees were placed in different positions depending on the whims of management. The total chaos that ensued taught me that it is important to get the most out of your people by knowing their strengths and weaknesses.
Finally, I had the chance to work with a company that had no work-life balance. This was very difficult because the company expected so much from the workers without allowing them a chance to rest. In the end, it resulted in creating poor results for the company aside from increasing the turn-over rate. The employees were just too stressed out to give quality work and they reached a point where they would rather quit, to the detriment of the company, then work another day under those conditions. From this I learned that good and productive workers are happy workers. It pays to invest in programmes that keep employees motivated and happy.
Question 3: What have you already done to give a satisfactory meaning to your own work life?
The satisfaction that I derive from my own work life stems from the fact that I have worked my way to where I am and in the process not only have I built the skill set necessary to be competitive in the global business world but I have also succeeded in the previous tasks. My current position as the Infrastructure Project Manager at 3M France has enabled me to cultivate the leadership, character and experience that will make an immediate impact. More importantly, I have gained invaluable leadership skills that are integral to the success of any organization. I strongly believe that ethics is much more than “important,” it is a “critical, essential and non-negotiable” characteristic of an effective leader. Strong business ethics is a pillar of my strategic planning and strategic thinking when I negotiate with other people. The core value and guiding principle for me is honesty. I always let my team members and superiors know the schedule of the project, the advantages and drawbacks of our work. I set the standard and I “walk the walk and talk the talk” all the time. Knowing what is right is very important to personal and business ethics. A strong unwavering commitment to my core values and guiding principles of my team work leaded to the right ethical decisions and actions. In the absence of these actions, all one has is good intentions and that simply is not enough for effective leadership.
Having established these things in my work, I feel that I have given a satisfactory meaning to my work life because I have not only managed to change myself but also the organization in which I have worked in. By building interpersonal relationships, I have also succeeded in inspiring my colleagues to improve their ways. The leadership skills that I have acquired have made it possible for me to influence those around me to work harder not only for the company but also for themselves and this is where my satisfaction comes from.
Question 4: How do you see your future?
I have always believed that effective leaders carry certain characteristics. Accordingly, leadership is the art and process of influencing the people or organized groups so that they strive willingly do what the leader wants them to do. It does not only mean the passion to work but also includes the passion to work with confidence. Effective leaders, therefore, need to possess the basic characteristics of a leader in order to carry out their tasks. It is not so much that they are capable of leading but that they are able to get results. For this reason, I see in my future being able to change process management by focusing on helping people to allow them to be more productive in their lives and consequently for the company.
I think that this can be achieved by understanding that leadership and motivation are closely interconnected. An excellent leader can understand better what the members of the group want if the leader understands how to motivate them. Since leaders are natural born and not created. A leadership skill is developed and not taught. Leaders always stand out in working environments that require teamwork and coordination, particularly when it involves a difficult task and there are no other competent people to do the job. Having this type of skill, I am confident that I can positively influence those in my company to be more productive for the good of the company which will ultimately redound to their benefit.
One of the most challenging things about predicting the future lies in the fact that nobody really knows what will happen. The most that one can do is prepare for what happens. As such, I believe that by training and improving my leadership skills in this Reinventing Management Programme I can have a clearer future that is not contingent but is assured by the fact that I can be ready for anything, be prepared for everything and overcome all that stands in my way.
Question 5: Describe two or three experiences where you tried to contribute to a social transformation, whether in an organization, in your community, or in society as a whole.
“Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and I, I took the one less travelled by and that has made all the difference,” the exact words that explain why I am where I am in my life and why I am writing this statement. There are always crossroads in people’s lives where they are given the choice to go one way or the other. I find that in my life I have made decisions that are based on my expectations of myself and my dreams in life. I understand that the value of an education is something that will always appreciate in value as one grows older. This is why I have tried to help children in my community understand the value of people, the value of life, and why education is important.
Every weekend, my group assists in holding seminars and talks to help educate children. It is not the normal educational set up but rather a get together where children can ask all the questions that they have always wanted to ask adults. It is an enriching experience because it allows children to grow, most especially when they feel they are taken seriously. In such an atmosphere, we have been able to encourage many children to pursue dreams larger than just being a college graduate because now they know that their only limit is their imagination.
It is said that the one thing that nobody can ever take away from you is your education. From a business standpoint, I can confidently say that I am a good investment. One’s education is something that will never decline in value and will always be an asset in life. That being said, I feel that the best way to succeed in life is to protect that educational asset. I strongly believe that getting the proper education from this programme will not only protect that asset but also enhance its value. The education, training and network that I expect to be able to gain during my years of study at this outstanding educational institution will surely provide me with a very bright future; provided of course that I will be given the opportunity to do so.
Question 6: Why do you think it is necessary to reinvent management?
I am a professional who is looking forward to becoming successful in this world and I recognize that this is a critical period for me to make great difference in my life. This is why I am looking forward to applying for this Reinventing Management programme since it will afford me the chance to have the training to be competitive in the global economy and at the same time the flexibility to be able to deal with the different cultures in the diverse business world. The world has already become a borderless place. Cultures, races, beliefs and ideologies blend together and interact because of the growing advances in communications. I recognize that success is determined by one’s ability to adapt to the differences in management cultures, corporate cultures and personal cultures, while at the same time, maintaining one’s individual identity.
By reinventing management, I hope to be able to learn how to be flexible and adaptive to the demands and changes. A management perspective that is slow to adapt to changes and unresponsive to the demands of the global world is one that is doomed to fail. I believe that a dynamic and pro-active stance is necessary and it is only at this fine academic institution that I will get the training to be competitive in the global economy and at the same time the flexibility to be able to deal with the different cultures in the diverse business world. This programme will strengthen my ability to turn good ideas into practical solution and provide me with necessary theoretical framework. I am drawn to this course for its recognition in its tailored and flexible curriculum which emphasizes on hands-on experience and superior resources available to students. Most importantly, I believe that the teaching method starting from research driven then apply to the real word case is very effective way and best fit me.
I believe that my education here is an important bridge between me and society which is related to my future life. I believe there are a lot of lessons that I can learn here that can make me better and more efficient. Also, I am sure that, as a professional in these fields, I will play a very important role in the success of any firm or company that I will work for. I am also sure that this background will help me reach a new career peak in the future. I really believe that this professional training course will be invaluable in helping me get the goal that I want.
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