Story from our people

As shared by Deni Ratno – IYL participant 2008 – 2009.

It was almost a year ago, when the Firm offered me to join a new leadership training program, namely “Inspiring Young Leaders Training”. I was told that there were around 20 of so-called “potential young leaders” of PwC Jakarta invited into this training. When the briefing meeting of the program was held, I was among 20 curious managers and senior-managers, who were wondering what the Firm actually wants from them (and, of course, what do they get in return). We did not know much about this program, as we were the pioneers. All we knew was that the Firm intended to breed future PwC leaders through a series of leadership training. To be honest, I was a bit skeptical. Trainings, like books, may provide you with the knowledge, but not the experience, whilst leadership is about experience, not just knowledge.

However, I was so curious about this program so that I decided to accept the offer.

It’s not easy to start doing anything when you don’t have confidence in it. I had to keep reminding my self to an old adage which says that minds are like cups. They can only be filled when they’re empty. So I threw away all skepticism, doubts and prejudice from the beginning, and decided to “enjoy the ride.”

So there I went. We went through four intensive workshops. The twenty of us was trying to figure out what leadership is all about. We did it through discussion and sharing, instead of text books and lectures. We even went deeper. We shared each other’s experiences and life journey. From these activities, I know why they used the term “Inspiring” in this program.

 
We did not stop at workshops. Leadership is also about “walking the talk”. So we engaged in a number of projects, including working with a not-for-profit organization. In these projects we took a role as mentors for young people. It was very challenging. We had to support our mentees in achieving their personal goals. One may think that they had a lot to learn from us. As a matter of fact, we learnt from them as much as they did from us.

 

During the workshop, we were also challenged to push our right brain. It was exciting to know that our auditors and consultants are not just professionals in their respective fields. Do you know that they’re also good singers, cooks, musicians, painters and photographers?

So, yeah, I enjoyed the journey very much. Yes, there were ups and downs, laughter and tears, during the ten months of the program. There were times when our commitment to this program collided with our daily works. But we all learnt from those things.

If I look back and ask to my self, what made this program different from other “ordinary” training? I would say it’s the experience. We had a “safe environment” where we practically could share everything. We had a chance to see “the other side” of our PwC fellows. We had moments where we had to stick together and rely on each other. It was where the leadership was not just discussed and analysed, but also lived.

When I was invited to share my experience with the next batch of IYL Training few weeks ago, I was asked what was the most difficult experience I came accross during this program. I said it was when I was getting to the end of the journey and knew that I would miss a lot of things.