Reflecting on India: Great Memories and Unforgettable Experiences

1929786_2901117841083_6513644370311218490_nOur week in Delhi went by incredibly fast, but left everyone in GIP India (Leading from the Inside Out) with new learnings, great memories, and lasting friendships. From our welcome dinner to our final goodbye at the Taj Mahal, each experience taught us a little more about ourselves as global leaders and India’s vibrant culture. I’ve picked out some highlights below:

  • Exploring New and Old Delhi: Prior to our welcome dinner, GIP India went on a tour of the city. Together, we explored Jama Masjid, Lotus Temple, and Humayun’s Tomb while learning about the landmarks along the way and India’s rich history. This was the first time I got to meet a number of my classmates, and we enjoyed bonding over our mutual respect and admiration for Delhi. We ended the day together at Bukkara over delicious Indian food to kick off our program–we were definitely spoiled on this trip!
  • Meeting our AbsolutData coachees for the first time: As mentioned in some of my previous posts, one of the things we got to do during GIP India was mentor a manager from from AbsolutData on topics including how to have difficult conversions, inspire/influence others, change others’ behaviors, etc. On our first day, we were able to go to the office to meet our coachees in person, while also shadowing them to see their management styles in action. It was a day for information gathering and conversation that would inform how we structured our feedback later that week.


  • Learning about the life of Gandhi: Prior to our trip, Gandhi had been an important figure that we discussed in class as a leader who harnessed the power of leading from the inside out. On the second official day of the program, GIP India visited the Gandhi museum and had a dialogue with the head of the museum.
  • Meeting Kiran Bedi and working with Navjyoti: Meeting the “femmspirational” Kiran Bedi and working with the women of Navjyoti was probably the highlight of my week. Dr. Bedi created Navjyoti to empower women through skills building, focusing on economic independence and education to achieve this. The women we met were truly inspirational and had overcome such adversity to gain the position they and their families have achieved today.

Now that I’m home, I can’t help but miss the time I spent in Delhi with GIP India and thank Chazen, Professor Wadhwa and our wonderful TA Sreya for such a great experience. For those of you checking out this blog to pick which program you’d like to take part in, I highly recommend Leading from the Inside Out. The skills I’ve gained from this course will follow me as I continue to develop as a leader.

Thanks for reading! Signing off.

Ting Ting Guo ’16

GIP India Spring 2016

Lessons through Coaching and a Fitting Farewell

On Thursday, my fellow GIP India (Leading from the Inside Out) classmates and I met with with our AbsolutData coachees for the final time.  After a number of one on one discussions and observations, my coachee and decided to focus on the topic of how to inspire others.  

As a growing company in the technology space, AbsolutData faces the challenge of retaining a pool of young, highly-skilled, driven analysts, making the ability to effectively inspire and motivate all the more crucial. Together, my coachee and I developed a loose framework for how to inspire others, starting from self-inspiration, which can be drawn from a variety of sources including others (historical or friends and family), the environment, the arts, etc. Using my coachee’s strength in storytelling, we practiced using vignettes from his own experiences to inspire others from within. The program was incredibly rewarding and we both walked away feeling as if we had achieve both personal and professional development.

The rest of the week ushered in a number of memorable speakers and experiences including a dialogue withthe CEO of Coca Cola India, the former CEO of SpiceJet, a spiritual Monk, and a reknowned sitar performer. Additionally, we continued to have enlightening lectures and activities led by co-professor  Rajeev Peshawaria, who runs his own personal leadership company, the Iclif Leadership and Governance Centre.  

We ended this week with a cultural visit to Agra, where we soaked in the beautiful, majestic Taj Mahal, described by our guide as “a teardrop on the cheek of time.” It was a moment of appreciation and reflection that I won’t soon forget–a fitting conclusion to GIP India, Leading from the Inside Out.

Ting Ting Guo ’16

GIP India Spring 2016

Learning to Lead from the Inside Out – The Midway Point

Welcome Dinner GIP India Welcome Dinner at BukharaThe past few days in Delhi have passed by like a whirlwind, with each day bringing the opportunity for learning and growth. So far, we’ve started each day with a short lecture by Professor Hitendra Wadhwa focusing on certain aspects of Indian culture and a review of concepts from our Outer Impact Through Inner Mastery Toolkit (created by the Institute for Personal Leadership).

Day 1: AbsolutData

As mentioned in my previous post, part of our curriculum in GIP India is to coach a high performing employee from AbsolutData, a consulting company that provides data analytics solutions, on topics relating to Inspiring Others, Having Difficult Conversations, Changing Others’ Behavior, and Influencing Others. Each employee self selected for the program and have undergone a rigorous application process. Our Leading from the Inside Out class had until this point only communicated via Skype, Whatsapp, email and phone, so we were incredibly excited to have the opportunity to visit their office and see how they interacted with the colleagues.

The purpose of the site visit was to get to know our coachees and to focus on data gathering either by sitting in on meetings or under covering through interviews. On Thursday, AbsolutData will come to our hotel where we will discuss our findings and recommend solutions regarding the areas that they want to strengthen.

Walking to AbsolutData for Day 1 of Coaching
Day 2: The Life of Gandhi 

Gandhi Q and A
Learning more about the life of Gandhi
Part of our preparation for India involved learning about the life and teachings of Mahatma Gandhi. So on Day 2, following a short morning lecture, we visited the Gandhi Museum where we were able to see not only where he lived and meditated, but also his last steps. The visit was incredibly inspiring, and we were privileged to have a Q&A session with one of the museum staff members.

So how do you inspire others? Well, there are 5 guidelines that are crucial to remember:

  1. It starts with you: In order to inspire others, you have to first inspire yourself and truly believe in the vision you’re sharing.
  2. Your actions are your message: Gandhi was perhaps the best example of this point. He was someone who lived what he preached. “My life is my message.” -M.G.
  3. Inspire again and again: Inspiration isn’t just a one time thing, so every opportunity should be used to inspire.
  4. Focus both on epic and everyday situations: As a continuation of above, helping others frame everyday successes and failures in terms of pursuing a goal is often helpful. In addition, understating what inspires you will help you get inspired by common, everyday occurrences.
  5. It’s all about them: It’s important to remember that to present a compelling vision, the inspirer needs to integrate the hopes and aspirations in the ones he or she is trying to inspire. It really is all about them.

Gandhi’s Path
Day 3: “Yes Madam, Sir” and Navjyoti

Personally, Day 3 has been the most inspiring day thus far. Not only were we able to visit the site of Navjyoti, an NGO dedicated to empowering women through poverty alleviation and capacity building, but we also had the privilege of meeting Kiran Bedi, India’s first and highest ranking women officer.

Sitting in the presence of greatness-Kiran Bedi!
We separated into groups and visited parts of the village where women had benefited from Navjyoti’s programs. My group visited a group of 15 women who had started a collective microcredit fund. The program had allowed several women to gain financial independence through interest-free loans and startup capital for their own shops. It was an incredibly moving experience.

I’ve enjoyed every second of GIP India so far and can’t wait to see what we have in store next!

Ting Ting Guo ’16

GIP India Spring 2016

Incredible India – From Ponicherry to Delhi

For the past two weeks, I’ve had the pleasure volunteering with Habitat for Humanity in Pondicherry, India. The experience had given me just a glimpse a country rich with history, culture, tradition and growth. Tomorrow, I board a flight to New Delhi for my Leading from the Inside Out course led by Professor Hitendra Wadhwa, part of the India Global Immersion Program through Chazen.

New Delhi, an urban area within the metropolis of Delhi, is the capital of the Republic of India and the heart of the Government of India. It’s filled to the brim with movers and shakers, with the decisions and behavior of Delhi’s political  elite dominating regional media. At the same time, traces of rural remain, with turbaned shepherds and sheep dotting open fields and patches of green near the airports. Amidst sari-clad women weaving through old fashioned construction sites, there are executives working out in high-tech gyms. Currently, Delhi’s consumer market and skilled labor force has attracted significant foreign investment in the industries of construction, banking, power, telecommunications, healthcare, community service and real estate.

Over the next week, my peers and I will be interacting with a number of key players from companies including absolutdata, Navjyoti and Lemon Tree. My classmates and I will also have the opportunity to mentor a manager from absolutdata on the topics of difficult conversations, influencing others and changing behaviors. Prior to our trip, we prepared by going through a series of virtual simulations on Professor Wadhwa’s mobile application, Virtual Mentor, with in person lectures and peer practice. Outside of guest speaker events and site visits, our class will have the opportunity to visit the Jama Mosque, Red Fort, Raj Ghat, Feroz Shah Kotla, Humayun’s Tomb, India Gate, Hauz Khas Village and Agra (Taj Mahal and Agra Fort).

Huge thanks go out to my TA Sreya Bhattacharya, Professor Wadhwa and Chazen for making this possible! I can’t wait!

Ting Ting Guo ’16

GIP India Spring 2016