My leadership journey started after I left school and started teaching English in a private school. I had to work along with other teachers, management and the student representative association. I connected the dots of my practical experience to leadership learning in 1999, when I completed a Diploma in Management and from there onwards, I started my academic education. While working full-time, I completed a Postgraduate Diploma and my first Master’s degree from University of Leeds and University of Norwich in the United Kingdom respectively. I completed my second Masters, Master’s in Business Administration while working full-time as well. I believe in continuous learning, and this is why I encourage my employees and teams to upskill their learning and pursue their academic goals. In 2018, I moved to Malaysia to pursue Doctorate in Business Administration.
In 2004, after the catastrophic Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami that affected thousands in Asia, I founded the Non-Governmental Organisation; Care Society in the Maldives, which was a joint-collaboration with ActionAid International. I was part of the Tsunami Management Team (TMT) that made decisions for the six cross-country (Sri Lanka, India, Maldives, Thailand, Somaliland and Indonesia) rehabilitation reconstruction program, with a budget of over 30 million pounds. As part of the TMT, I had to travel to other countries and undertake evaluations on effectiveness of programs. I remember my experience in Chennai, as I sat on the floor talking to Dalit women, women shared their harrowing experiences of tsunami, families lost their relatives, faced discrimination, lost livelihoods, many were affected psychologically. I listened and asked questions as they shared, cried and laughed. My experience has taught me what Peter Drucker, the famous author and founder of modern management said, “The most important thing in communication is to hear what isn’t being said”. My ears and eyes were wide open to hear what was not being said.
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