We continue our review of the Mandela Washington Fellowship application for 2019 by analyzing question 2 of the application questions.
As always, I have worked with a number of fellows across Africa and cohorts to put this review together. For question two in particular, I have worked with:
Esther Mark- Nigeria
Adepeju Jaiyeoba – Nigeria (Team Lead)
Amani Katana – Kenya
Mioraniaina Johane – Madagascar
Patience N. Agwenjang- Cameroon
Rita Zaumu- Cameroon
Dayo Nigeria – Nigeria
Tola Oni- Nigeria
Owolabi Tobi Isaiah- Nigeria
What do you think is the most important quality in a leader? Describe a time you have attempted to embody this quality when working with others.
The elements of the question:
A: Your most important quality of a leader
B: A personal example of you displaying this quality
A. Responding to this question you have to remember that the Mandela Washington Fellowship is for those who have led and are leading change.
Think about what makes you stand out as a leader as well as what unique qualities the leaders you know possess. What makes you different from everyone else? How have you been adding value to your community? What is the key strength that makes you function effectively? It could be empathy, focus, creativity, innovation or an approach you take while solving a problem!
One way to identify the qualities you have is to think, for instance, about the public figures, mentors and family members that inspire you personally. Once you’re done with it, think of the common quality they may have, and the one you have cultivated and Imbibed which makes others and yourself grow.
Talk about it. Let the reviewer know why you stand out as a leader.
B: Having talked about the WHAT, you now go to the HOW. How has this quality helped you in working with others? You should try as much as possible to explain this. Describe. Narrate. Employ the storytelling approach and give a rundown of what has happened in the past that you solved using this quality. Your ability to work with people under different situations and conditions is important here.
This is also an opportunity to show how you can embrace diversity by working with people with different opinions and from backgrounds and cultures. Be sure to describe a particular incident as the question has specifically asked for an example.
The following checklist will guide you in writing your example:
(1) Who are the persons involved?
(2) What happened?
(3) In what way did you exhibit this quality?
(4) What was the effect of your use of this quality (feedback)?
(5) How did you go about it?
As much as possible, show that whatever skill you picked, is helping pave a way for you through your relationship with others.
Don’t fabricate stories, share something that truly happened in the course of exercising leadership, it is always more authentic when your story is real. Also don’t forget to connect your response to the central theme of your application.
Wishing you nothing but the very best everyone!
We are cheering you on!!
(Compiled by Adepeju Jaiyeoba for the Team)