Director Message – Mrs. Rashmi Agrawal
Bump into the Director – Rashmi Agrawal
Mrs. Rashmi Agrawal has done Masters along with Business and Management Program from Goldman Sachs for Women Entrepreneurial Development, associated with ISB, Hyderabad.
Apart from heading Times & Trends Academy as Principal Director, she is actively involved in many educational projects and social forums. She is also the former Director at INIFD – Deccan, well-known Design School at Pune.
“Our Career Programs encourage students to develop as an individual with outstanding Technical Skills, Soft Skills, and the right Attitude. These courses introduce students to modern theories and techniques while taking into account the needs and requirements of the Corporate Industry,” adds Rashmi Agrawal.
Her persistent efforts have made Times & Trends Academy as one of the leading institutes in the educational sector in Pune for courses like Fashion, Interior and Jewellery Design. She is also known for her Image Makeover and Grooming sessions that she regularly conducts for aspirants. Her Guidance has helped aspiring graduates and youth to design a career that they dream of and become a highly paid expert.
My Thoughts on Women in Leadership
To be in shoes of a Director of a successful brand means a lot to me. And as a successful woman, who has achieved a lot, and seasoned all phases inspires me even more.
I can call myself a leader now, but was I a leader a few years back? Well, perhaps not. I was a business owner definitely, but leadership came quite late. And I know of many such business owners who are not yet leaders. To be very honest, I was always good at decisions making. I was also good at prototyping, and placing feasible systems for Operations, Sales, Human Resource, etc. But, when it came to leading a crowd, I always took a backseat. I left the entire game of leadership on Amit, my husband, and Founder and Chairman of our decade-long successful educational venture Times and Trends Academy (TTA). Well, Amit is a natural leader, and I never really thought of me leading other people.
Now I do understand the fact that leadership is a lot about understanding your personality, traits, strengths, weaknesses, etc. It also involves understanding people who are working with you. It is about the alignment of objectives, and communicating it effectively. As a leader, you need to draw a picture for everyone and let them know how you plan to achieve the objective together. It is about invoking passion in other people.
Lately, I am busy with narrowing down suitable franchisee for our brand. But, there is a realization that has struck me. I realize that I have always been busy. I have spent my 12 years in building Times and Trends Academy (TTA) along with my husband. And then there are my personal commitments that I have to fulfil. Be it spending time with my daughters, or attending family functions, I have been busy all the time. And I have been overwhelmed most of the times because I always spent my efforts in deriving results what others expected me to. Not that this was wrong, but where was my own voice? It was lost in all the clutter. I think there are times in life where we need self-introspection.
And there were times where I was living in a state of denial. Despite having many meetings with my employees, somewhere I felt I could have won more trust from them. This continued in my early years at Times and Trends Academy (TTA). And years followed after we started Times and Trends Academy (TTA), I spent a lot of time in self-introspection. I also spent time in questioning my beliefs.
Being a Director, I have been to many places across the nation. And during this journey, I have met some amazing people. Some of these amazing people have helped me generously. And Amit has been continuously supporting me throughout the journey. And one of my greatest teachers is Times and Trends Academy (TTA). I learned very valuable lessons from here. I have understood the value of relationship building from here. And slowly, I have transformed myself into a leader. And today, I can call myself a leader without a shadow of doubt. And I have never stopped learning; I am evolving with each passing day.
There may be leaders who are just born with leadership traits, and there are some people who choose to be leaders. And leadership is a lot about commitment and choice. This means bringing best out of people without compromising on their individuality and helping to achieve the common cause of the group. And only this scenario can motivate employees to follow their leader, and achieve success. You don’t need to use fear as a tool to get work done. A good leader inspires others to work for them. And if only more number of female business owners understood the leadership in this sense, they would be able to unleash the full potential and achieve humongous success. This would make it so easier for them overcome obstacles.
If you want to derive meaning about leadership, then here is a list of questions that you can ask yourself:
- Do you realize what you want in your life? And how serious are you about it?
- Do you dream about your life goals? Do you realize whether these dreams are your own or someone has planted those in your mind?
- Do you think your inner voice is lost? Are you passionate about your purpose every morning while you wake up?
- Do you have a belief system that others are willing to follow?
- Have you formed your own belief system? Do you live by them? Does your belief system attract other people to follow them? Do they have any meaning to others?
- Do you let your employees have their say?
- How comfortable are you in acknowledging your strengths and weaknesses? Are you good at handling uncertainty? Do you lose control when other employees have their say? Do you believe in synergy?
- Can you understand your employees the way you understand yourself? Do you wish your employees to understand you or you like to be in their shoes and see their perspective as well?
- Apart from the vision of the organization, do you have a vision as a leader? Do you have a plan to lead employees in achieving the short-term and long-term objectives?
- Can you analyse the situation and understand where you and your team has come from, and where you plan to take them? Can you sense the gap between you and your team? If yes, can you curb it or narrow it down? Do people easily confide in you?
- Can you devise small plans as a part of achieving the main goal?
If any of these questions mean anything to you, then leadership makes sense to you, and with some lessons, you are ready to be one fine leader.
Rashmi Amit Agrawal,
Director, Times and Trends Academy (TTA)