ONE month of training……lessons for whole LIFE

Posted: August 18, 2010 in Uncategorized
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ONE month of training…………………..lessons for whole LIFE

11th July 2010 is when it all started. I was really excited and elated to be a part of the Thomson fraternity and felt I was lucky to have been selected for “The Future Media Leaders Course”. There was curiosity to meet so many people from different parts of the world and lot of expectations from the course itself. I looked forward to this one month which would give me lessons of leadership, a chance to work on my own strength and weaknesses and also make friends for life. To my surprise I have taken back a lot more than I could ever expect from Thomson’s Foundation!!!

First Day at Thomson's

To begin with, it was my amazingly comfortable and cosy apartment that made me fall in love with the place thus giving me a brilliant start. Century Wharf was great to stay in and Room no 239 was my abode for next one month. I realized at this moment that TF(Thomson Foundation) has left no stone unturned to make this the best experience of our lives.

12th July and the whole journey began.  A journey of meeting the most recognized and respected media leaders in the UK, getting up and personal with them, sharing their rise and fall and also learning how we can prepare ourselves to lead avoiding the pitfalls they faced. Two most distinguished and experienced people were with us during the whole course, helping us understand these people more and get the best out of them. They were Lyn Hartman and Clive Jones, the master trainers for us at the Thomson’s.

Lyn’s advice that I should learn from all these people whom we are going to meet, like I have plugged in a USB in all of their minds was quite useful and I tried to  gain maximum from the speakers. A famous quote by Woodrow Wilson says “I not only use all the brains I have but all I can borrow”, this was the time we could borrow the best brains in the world, not for sometime but the rest of our lives!

Menna Richards, Director, BBC Wales was the first leader we met during TFML (The Future Media Leaders) Course. She inspired me as a woman. She is a woman who has achieved quite a lot of things and has been the first one to do them. Interaction with Menna taught me a lesson of not putting limits to your ambitions. She not only leads the whole BBC Operations in Wales but has also been instrumental in bringing lot of BBC production from London to Cardiff thus boosting the economy locally. It looked like she never stopped at her role and has always strived to do more. And I feel that’s the way to go about in life. If you stick around with the same things for very long, you tend to get bored and thus disinterested. Develop your interest in things and make sure you take out time for each of them. Keep going. Never stop.

Meeting David Mannion, Editor in Chief, ITN, again was a great experience. He discussed in a very candid manner, about the roles and responsibilities he has handled all through his life and his decisions during the tough circumstances.  A major lesson that I learnt from David is the fact that you grow the most when you surround yourself with people more talented than you. He advised us not to feel daunted but learn from these people. I always thought I would feel low if I work with people more efficient than me but realize now that working with more efficient people actually makes you raise the bar for your own self thus letting you learn and grow more. David also discussed the importance of moving on in life, and said “Don’t dwell too much on bad decisions you made in life. Move ON. Remember you have other people to lead and decisions to make. Don’t beat yourself over those decisions. Grow over them and just move…….”

After the leadership lessons and listening to the highly influential talks it was time to see the most happening offices in the world, Google UK. While we learnt about the dedicated research tools google is developing for journalists, we explored the premises which looked like a party space more than an officeJ. What the media really needs to learn from Google is the art of employing the best people. Their rigorous selection procedures ensure hiring nothing but the best. I feel even we in the media industry need to employ the most creative and skilled people to take broadcast media’s content to next level .

Full Fun at Manmouth

Another best thing about the course was the spacing between things which was beautifully organized. Not only we had lessons to learn but also picnics with friends to relax and refresh ourselves.Our trip to Manmouth was one like that.  Just loved the countryside!!! 

After the visit to ITN, Press Association, Google we got back to Wales to meet one of the most creative media personality of British television, Peter Bazelgette. Peter, as the world would know comes from a completely creative background. Having worked with the most interesting content creation companies, Endemol, Peter provided us with a lot of insights into the creative world. He told us about the success stories of people who changed the face of television forever, John De Mol, Paul Smith and Charlie Parsons, creating formats like Big Brother, Who wants to be a millionaire and Survivor. He told us that all these people had brilliant ideas initially, but no one to back them. But they din let their ideas go and kept trying for it. Their persistence helped them reach the heights they are at today. Peter explained “If you believe in your ideas and constantly work on it, you will definitely get the results. You have to be persistent, and wait for the right time. And you should never and ever give up before that time

Another Leader I loved meeting was VIKKI HEYWOOD, Executive Director, Royal Shakespeare Company.   I have always admired women who are at the top, and VIKKI is one such example. What inspired me the most about her is the fact that after reaching quite high in her career, she realized there was nothing more to it and chose to get back to basics to start her career in management. She started from scratch and managed to reach where she is now. And not only is she transforming Royal Shakespeare company, she is also bringing a change which is transforming its employees and the systems there. Vikki is a perfect example of the leaders who follow their heart and doesn’t let anything come in between turning their dreams into reality even if it asks for starting all over again!!!

At the Royal Shakespeare Company

Vikki also shared the tips of being a better leader. She told us that leadership is not about running the organization but leading the organization. If as a leader you do the things yourself, people would automatically follow you. So, you have to set the right examples, so that people follow you.

Last but not the least; it was Greg Dyke, former Director General BBC, who not only taught us the lessons of leadership but humanity as well. I will remember for my life what Greg told us “As a leader, you have to be good to everyone on your organization. People from the bottom most in hierarchy to the top have stories to tell about you and that’s what tells people who you are. It’s not about the speech you delivered or the dress you wore, its all about the way you make people feel.

Apart from the speakers, the team activities were a great experience too! The tasks set to us during the course opened up our brains to the importance of team work and how two brains can think better and faster than one. I remember when we worked as teams on real life situations given to us by Clive and Paul. We all realized, different people think differently which sometimes help solve a problem very fast.

As I shared it was time for us to work on our personal strength and weaknesses also during the course, Time Management was one of the things I really wanted to work on. While peer pressure got me into the management of it quite well J , Mona, one of my co participant taught me lessons I would remember for my life. I can never forget these thoughts of her

Thanks for all the strength and courage buddy

We are an IMAGE. Whatever we do has an impact on that image. If we do good things, we love to look at our image in the mirror, and when we do things we do not like or should not do, we don’t like our very own image.” If you know what are the things which can make you feel satisfied the most, you should prioritize them and then let them fall into the right schedule. If you keep a constant watch on what you are doing, and what you should be, time manages itself for you. Time is MONEY I realized after being on this course. You exchange your time for very cheap things in life, but you really don’t know you are wasting the most important thing in your life and it’s priceless.

Among all the lessons, workshops and teachings, I loved shopping in Cardiff and meeting some amazing people there. I am really gonna miss the whole Thomson Family, I became a part of, our training rooms, Miranda’s beautiful smile and care for all of us, Tracey’s running around for each and every small need of ours, Tims undying support and efforts to keep us all entertained, the crazy boot drive to Abergavenny, walks back home in the evening, Lyn’s extra efforts to talk and understand all 10 of us, Clive’s business advices………….In all an experience I will cherish for my whole life.

Thanks Tim, Lyn, Tracey, Miranda, Clive for all your support and thanks to Siko, Noli, Ghassan, Mona, Misha, ManQ, Abdul, Amitabh and Lucy for being such great friends and such great time together J J.

I really wish from the bottom of my heart all the success to Thomson Foundation, who is turning around lives of so many people around the world in the media sector. Hope more and more participants come to this course and learn the most important lessons of their life. It has been a life time experience for me, and as the title of the blog says…’s just ONE LIFE, and Thomson’s has taught me to make the best use of it and enjoy it to the most.

Trip to Penarth....beautiful evening!!!

Last Day.....will really miss this time

The Boot ride to the mountain top….
  1. Sayan says:

    Its a really good writeup! well done!

  2. Shelly says:

    Deepu…i really loved your blog…first of all you are an amazing personality and secondly,you are a very good writer and thirdly…YOU ARE A SWEETHEART.

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