The Yin Code of Effective Leadership

Virginia Woolf once said, ‘A feminist is any woman who can tell the truth about her life.’

As the world celebrates International Women’s Day, I wish to acknowledge certain key principles I learnt from some of the remarkable women in my life. While many may not be ‘feminist’ in the modern context of the world, they are uncompromising in presenting the truth of who they are. Their honesty inspires me to be the best of who I am today.

1.     The Yin Code of Single-minded Focus – I am able to own my work and the members of my team thanks to how I internalized the untiring daily efforts of my mother who ensured that every member of our large and extended family always felt nurtured and loved.  

2.     The Yin Code of Partnership- Constantly adapting, adopting, changing with the need of the hour – morphing into whichever avatar is most suitable at the time is a skill I learn from my wife. My go-to person for all life-hacks, friend, and confidante, she shares equally in all my decisions. She gives meaning and direction to both my career and my personal life.

3.     The Yin Code of Unfailing Support – My assistant is my Aladdin’s Lamp. Not only does she simplify the tedium of my workload, but she magically converts and processes all extraneous information into appropriate bytes for me. She is my scanner, ever alert as I hurtle through meetings, travel and deadlines.

4.     The Yin Code of Effervescent Enthusiasm – The sparkling enthusiasm to take the initiative for anything is exemplified in my 16-year-old daughter, who never learnt to say never and will ‘boldly’ go where no man has gone before.’ A quick chat with her anytime of the day is enough to revive the most tired of spirits.

5.     The Yin Code of Removing the ‘E’ from the Motion – An old school alumnus, a specialist in behavioral study has a wealth of information on ‘why we do what we do’. My chats with her enable me to step back and identify my own emotional triggers and reactions to situations. I now find my approach to showdowns is rather zen.

6.     The Yin Code of Authenticity and Flow – Finding, articulating and representing your true voice is not easy. Like good wine, it requires both maturity, nuanced edges and distinction. A colleague who has re-invented herself several times over and excels in ‘going with the flow’ helps me articulate and present the best of an unmasked self.

As I take stock of all the feminine contributors in my life, I realize that these principles are key for any successful team. Follow these simple guidelines to stay prolific and original.

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