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On the Path of Leadership

YLDP Batch of 2018 and directors with keynote speaker Consul General of India, Houston, Dr. Anupam Ray (center)

YLDP Batch of 2018 and directors with keynote speaker Consul General of India, Houston, Dr. Anupam Ray (center)

by Neil Raguthu
The Youth Leadership Development Program of 2017-18 ended with a graduation event on May 19th, 2018 at the India House, Houston. As I look back at the program and the leaders I was exposed to during the last several months, I am truly overwhelmed and grateful for all that I have learnt through their words of wisdom. I began the journey to become a future leader and learned during the multiple sessions, what exactly it meant to be a leader. The program, in addition to several other things, taught me the importance of promoting teamwork, to face failure, and to make sacrifices for the betterment of others.
Being a leader isn’t about improving one’s own individual skills, but it is rather to make the team work better together and succeed. We learnt this from Mr. Bhavesh Patel, now CEO of LyondellBassel who had earlier in his career, been tasked with the restructuring of the company in the European sector. He saw that the best way forward was to rework the entire structure by getting every employee involved. He strongly believed in taking input from his team members. His success story showed us the importance of teamwork in being a real leader.
Facing failure is a common part of life, but leaders are able to rise above the problems they face and continue to succeed. YLDP had taught us this when they invited Dr. Latha Ramchand, Dean of the C.T.Bauer College of Business, Univ. of Houston, to give us a presentation about the “Power of Failure”. She spoke about one of her own failures when she admitted to quitting the doctoral program at the Kellogg School of Management. However she later returned to continue her studies and is now a senior acadamecian. She said returning to her studies had been a pivotal point in her life because it proved to her that failure can be conquered. What defined her was that she got back up stronger. Accepting one own failures is difficult, but having failed doesn’t make us failures. It only encourages us to try harder and strive for higher levels of success.

Consul General of India, Houston, Dr. Anupam Ray

Consul General of India, Houston, Dr. Anupam Ray

To truly be a leader in the world, it takes the will to sacrifice for the betterment of others. Dr. Anupam Ray, Consul General of India in Houston, embodies this belief through his works. Dr. Ray was the Chief Guest and Keynote Address Speaker at the YLDP graduation event this year and we had the privilege of listening to his wisdom. He talked about what he believed a leader needs- the ability to face adversity with courage and to build one’s character by making sacrifices.
What really stood out was his own story of sacrifice. He is a Neurosurgeon by education and training, but instead of pursuing a career in medicine, he chose to work for society. He sacrificed a wealthier lifestyle because he believed that he could help more people in his current career. His story shows that leadership isn’t about having control or money, but rather working to ensure that others can have better lives as well.
These are only few of the lessons that we learnt during the year from various speakers. They truly define the skills and qualities of a leader and taught us how we could develop and implement effective strategies for our own success as future leaders.


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