Yearly Archives :

2016

Take Charge of Your Life

2736 1824 Tasnim Mustaque

Life after graduation is a thought that torments every graduate. Of course, there is excitement about being unshackled from early morning classes, night-long cramming, and dreadful grade announcement days. However, the “blues” engendered by the brusque realization of adulthood are inescapable – now what?

A myriad of career advices and warnings from deeply concerned well-wishers inevitably accompanies your bane. It is only human to get daunted and confused amidst this pandemonium, eventually losing sight of who you really are and what you really want to do.

An insufferable barrage of questions, the spectrum of which stretches from the utterly practical (How do I get a job?) to the immensely profound (What is my life’s purpose?), stares at you.

Unsurprisingly, every graduate faces the same questions, but the answers are unique to each. There’s no silver bullet, no magic solution. Nonetheless, mistakes and miscalculations made at this crucial time are often irreversible.

To get a bit more perspective, it is worth knowing some facts. Every year a graduate enters the job market as just one in a group of 1.8 million other soldiers. Every year, the employment situation worsens in a country where a sixth of the population is already unemployed or underemployed.

Recent ILO reports state further grim realities. Between 2000 and 2006 about 250,000 jobs were created for every point of GDP growth in Bangladesh. Assuming this estimation is fairly valid, with GDP growth rate of about 6%, annual job creation would be about 1.5 million. But even that does not match the 1.8 million new job seekers every year let alone those who are already unemployed.

With so much difficulty in securing a credible job, no wonder entrepreneurship is the new popular kid on the block for young graduates these days. However, the facts here according to the World Bank, is that only about 9,000 businesses get registered in Bangladesh annually and the Doing Business 2013 study ranks Bangladesh as 129th among 185 countries!

I know the facts above aren’t exciting but I shift uneasily at them too. The writing’s on the wall. It truly is survival of the fittest. The point that I am trying to make is that unless you take charge, your state of confusion based on what other people say is bound to get worse as you strive to enter a fiercely competitive and difficult post-university life irrespective of which profession you might choose to take up. The very people, who will be spearheading our front-lines and giving us direction in a few years’ time, need some direction for themselves right now.

This is the cue for leadership. Long burdened by its unjustly awarded political and authoritative connotation, the word “leadership” holds the answers to all of Bangladesh’s problems. Bangladesh Youth Leadership Center (BYLC), the country’s first leadership institute, has been dedicated to sensitizing and training tomorrow’s young leaders since 2008. The organization believes that the multi-faceted and convoluted predicaments facing our country can only be mitigated by a generation of compassionate and competent leaders. In accordance with that vision, BYLC has implemented an impressive number of youth leadership programs already, uniting students from different academic and socio-economic backgrounds.

The application of leadership in our lives is grossly misunderstood and underestimated. Leadership, when wrongful connotations are ignored, refers to the collective mobilization of a system towards a common purpose. Notwithstanding, the concept of leadership application in our individual lives is largely unpracticed. BYLC believes that the practice of that very concept is what our young graduates need to succeed in their personal and professional lives. Youth Leadership Bootcamp (YLB), a brand new leadership, program has been launched with the view of realizing this vision.

Youth Leadership Bootcamp, as the name suggests, will be a rigorous, fast-paced program on leadership and its application in personal and professional life. The program will consist of lectures on the exercise of leadership, simulative negotiation sessions, team-building games, visits to public and private organizations and non-profit projects, peer learning, and other networking opportunities.

BYLC has always believed that people are most effective when they are exercising leadership on behalf of the issues they are truly passionate about. Youth Leadership Bootcamp will therefore emphasize self-discovery and self-motivation, concepts which are underestimated in our increasingly mechanical post-university lives.

The workshop is designed around three central attributes of leadership: exploration, experience and expression. The program will put you in situations where you will be compelled to open your mind, rediscover yourself, set your imagination free; interact and work with other bright young minds and see firsthand how real life problems are solved in leading organizations; and articulate your thoughts and feelings to engender meaningful change. 100 full-time undergraduates, selected from a competitive pool of applicants, will spend three full days in Chittagong, lodging at BRAC Learning Center (BLC), Kazir Dewri.

BYLC acknowledges that a three-day Bootcamp isn’t enough for you to find answers to your innumerable introspective questions, but it could be an important “turnkey” in unlocking your potential as a confident young mind, in charge of his own life to say the least. Youth Leadership Bootcamp will give participants a well-rounded experience which will leave them refreshed and ready to take on the world.

Reversing the Brain Drain

960 445 Zayan Waziha Faiyad

When was the last time you felt exasperated about the state of affairs in the country, perhaps letting out an audible expression of annoyance? Perhaps, not quite that long back. Even with all the wonderful things we have going for us, it is sometimes challenging to not feel frustrated about the myriad of innate problems evident in our society, starting from corruption to inefficient infrastructure. read more

LinkedIn: Your CV to the World

1600 1000 Jo Lovatt

Social media has become much more than just a tool for keeping up with family and friends. It’s now an online personal branding platform; LinkedIn is essentially an active and public CV, which can be viewed by any number of employers and is often the first search result that will pop up when anyone googles your name. read more

Leading with Competence

2144 1424 Tasnim Mustaque

This article originally appeared in Dhaka Tribune on June 11, 2014

They say that learning without application is just knowledge, but learning with application is wisdom. Engaging leadership lectures and team building exercises are unforgettable parts of my BBLT experience, but my most cherished memories are of working in Dhaka’s Kamalapur slum – my opportunity of churning some knowledge into wisdom. read more

Leadership in the Absence of Authority

2448 1632 Jo Lovatt

This article first appeared on the DFID guest blog on June 13, 2014. 

Not long after I arrived in Bangladesh, something very mundane happened to me that also happened to shatter my perspective. I was walking home and holding on to the remains of my lunch, naively expecting to encounter a rubbish bin along the way. My absent confusion turned into realisation when the bin never materialized, and it dawned on me for the first time how much I took for granted. read more

How Do We Bridge the Gender Gap? | Youth Bangladesh Leadership Development

5616 3744 Jill Hufnagel

On my way into work one morning, I heard a lyric from Dala’s “Good as Gold” that struck me as a provocative way of thinking about the challenges of making progress on the gender gap: “I won’t let the dust fall on my life.” read more

Heavy Lifting: Leading in Modern Times

5472 2223 Barbara Kellerman

For a variety of reasons, exercising leadership has become harder in recent years and resisting leadership has become easier. Followers are ascendant, leaders are in decline. This author calls the change a “seismic shift” and most observers can see it. Most, that is, except perhaps the one constituency that either does not or cannot see the change – the leadership industry. Readers will learn how the shift occurred and how it has caused what the author refers to as a “crisis” in leadership.

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An Inside Look into the BYLC Leadership Master Class | Bangladesh Leadership Youth Reflection Training Development

2592 1728 Sumaiya T Ahmed

The first time I heard about the Master Class on Leadership, I was hesitant. I was already a BBLT 3 graduate, and felt that I knew most of the concepts of leadership that would be taught in class. On top of that, I had piles of work to do at the office, so when one of my colleagues asked me to join the four-day long class, I did so without much enthusiasm. Little did I know, however, what the Master Class had in store for me!

 

From the very beginning of the Master Class, I, along with the rest of the group, were thoroughly engaged in leadership learning. Each and every discussion that we were having was being turned into a dynamic learning experience. In the first session, we delved deep into the role of leadership and authority. As the discussions progressed, we got drawn into a heated debate on the subject. Personally, I am not a big fan of confrontations, so, at one point, I became frustrated and looked towards Khaled Bhai, the instructor, to intervene. read more

Are Values an Essential Ingredient of Leadership?

5888 3504 Dr. Max Klau

Amongst those who study such matters, one school of thought says no, that leadership is a simple matter of power and influence, regardless of why or how that power and influence is used. From this perspective, a leader is someone who has followers, and a great leader is someone who has a lot of followers. The matter of whether that leader marches those followers off a cliff or towards a more perfect and sustainable society is secondary or irrelevant.

This view leads naturally to what I’ll call the “Gandhi/Hitler problem.” Gandhi had a great many followers, but so did Hitler. If leadership is essentially a matter of power and influence, then both individuals must be deemed great by virtue of the fact that they both changed history and influenced the lives of millions. For anyone with a moral compass and respect for human dignity, however, that’s an uncomfortable — actually, a repugnant — assertion. read more

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