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Managing international teams and challenging the status quo: Amit’s experience on the SPARK program

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MBA

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Blog

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19/11/2020

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Amit joined Admiral in August 2016 on the SPARK program, as an International Pricing Manager after his MBA at LBS. Background Education: BA Economics from Cornell University, MBA from London Business School Languages: English, Hindi Home country: USA Admiral anniversary: August 2016 Description of role I manage a Cardiff based data science internal consulting team and recently the local data science team in the USA as well. In total, this amounts to nine people spread over two continents. We work on building models that use new data sources such as vehicle safety characteristics and map information. Countries worked in with Admiral The USA, Italy, France, Spain (and the UK of course). Most memorable project and why My most memorable project is the first one where I managed someone else. The transition from being an individual contributor to a manager is one of the most significant learning moments I have had in my career. The MBA prepared me for this to some extent, but I think the only real way to understand the challenges and solutions is through experience. Best advice you’ve been given and advice you would give a new IPM Challenge the status quo. Admiral is very welcoming of new ideas. It may feel intimidating in the beginning to question people who have decades of experience in the industry, but it is the key to adding value. Favourite thing about your job My teammates! You can find out more about the journeys our MBAs have taken here or read more about our MBA Leadership Programs. Alternatively, follow our MBA Leadership page on Linkedin.

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Kat Gil Mast

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Kat Gil Mast

Kat Gil Mast

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Kat Gil Mast

Leadership lessons with Henry

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MBA

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Blog

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04/11/2020

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People often wonder what makes an effective leader. Our founder Henry (INSEAD ’88) spent some time with our MBA summer interns, sharing his insights and passing on some valuable advice. Here’s what we learned: Becoming a better leader Firstly, it’s vital that you step back and think. Know what you stand for, where your values lie. This will impact how you lead, who you lead and ultimately how effective a leader you become. Secondly, do your homework. Becoming a better manager is not only achieved through experience. There are reams of podcasts, books and articles on the matter – some more worth ingesting than others.  Talk to people you admire and see what read, listen to, etc.  While you’re asking these people what they read, ask them about their career, their business, the challenges they faced and how they dealt with them; try to reduce your learning curve by using the experience of others.  Thirdly, never underestimate the importance of communication. Be succinct and simple.  People don’t listen or read the way you talk or write.  They will only get a portion of what you are trying to get across.  Remember, you can almost never over-communicate.   Teamwork - ‘The team, the team, the team’ The power of the team is invariably greater than the power of any individual.  Therefore, getting others involved is essential if you want to be a great manager.  You don’t want to be the cork in the bottle and so you have to learn to delegate and let other people step up.    That means it’s important to make sure they are engaged in the big picture as well as their smaller picture.  Never forget how important you are to the people you manage.  What you say or do has a big effect on those you lead.  This isn’t about being superior to people but just cognizant that what you do has a ripple effect that cascades down the entire organisation.      Get out and about Beyond the clichés, travel grows open-mindedness; it teaches you tolerance – something you need a lot of when you’re leading people.  It shows you that others think differently to you and that this isn’t about being ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ but it’s just different.  This exposure helps you to think differently, more creatively.   Knowing your sector Any business is a good business. If you love business, then it doesn’t always matter what industry you are working in.  Somebody out there is making buttons and gets excited about a new 5-holer – in green!  If you love getting your hands dirty, if you love using your ingenuity and creativity and driving business success, you can enjoy any industry and learn to lead in your sphere of influence.   Avoiding divisions within the workplace Business is hard enough already.  In any team, there will be plenty of challenges from the outside. Why create internal divisions?  The power and togetherness in the workforce is the result of a conscious effort to reduce divisions.  For example, when designing our office space, we chose open-plan.  No one has a private office.  No one in the entire group has a private office.  This is a conscious decision that we made to reduce barriers to communication and when you reduce those barriers it helps to get people working together rather than fighting internally.   Creating culture Culture in the workplace exists for a reason: to produce a better economic result.  A lot of our business ideas and the ways we are more efficient than our competitors result from the culture that we have intentionally fostered.  When recruiting our future leaders we are looking for a good cultural fit, not just intelligence or experience.  If the body rejects the organ it doesn’t matter how good the organ was!  Our culture rests on four pillars: communication, equality, reward and fun.  But we don’t believe all offices or departments should be the same.  Every part of the company will have a different culture because the leaders are different and the people they lead are different.  But all those variant cultures are united because they rest on those four pillars.  You can find out more about our MBA Leadership Programs and apply on our website. You can also follow our MBA Leadership Programs on Linkedin. 

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Kat Gil Mast

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Kat Gil Mast

Kat Gil Mast

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Kat Gil Mast