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Who Am I not to Serve?

· cartier,awards,women initiative awa,tanvi gautam,cyrille vigneron

Not everyday does one get to walk on the red carpet and not every event you attend leaves you

overwhelmed with inspiration. But the Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards held in Singapore last week was just that and more!

The awards championed the cause of women entrepreneurship, innovation and leadership — topics that are very close to my heart and what I do. Add to that the beauty and excitement of being on the red carpet! I felt like a true star, waving out and chatting up with an eclectic bunch of business leaders and entrepreneurs, as I made my way to the seat for the magnum opus, that these awards truly are.

My personal highlight of the evening was meeting the Cartier CEO, Cyrille Vigneron. Sharing my Cartier story with him and discussing the imperative need for inclusion across organisations, cultures and boardrooms was the perfect beginning to the evening.

Leadership lessons in innovative businesses

Needless to say, the awards were inspirational and invigorated me to continue my journey of creating leaders for disruptive organisations. But the biggest takeaways, were undoubtedly, the leadership lessons that these women leaders shared with us. Here are my top three picks:

  • The answer to your progress may be in the mistakes you are making: I completely fell in love with Luz Rello’s story. One of the finalists at the awards, Luz is a Spanish entrepreneur and dyslexic. She has created a tool to help detect and improve dyslexia-related skills, aptly called Change Dyslexia. To develop this tool, she identified patterns in the mistakes dyslexic kids make themselves. “The answer to dyslexia was in the mistakes they were making. So how do you look at mistakes? The answer to your progress may be in the mistakes you make in life!”I thought that was really fascinating and you can know more about her story here:
  • Real opportunity for technology lies in making a difference to humanity: The second story that really connected with me was the story of Yiding Yu, the founder of Twiage . An award-winner that evening, Yiding’s venture connects real-time data from ambulances to the emergency rooms in hospitals. It is unimaginable, that how in today’s day and age, the ambulance is not speaking to the hospital, when someone is being rushed into emergency. As I keep reiterating, the real opportunity of technology is to improve the state of humanity and Twiage was a brilliant example.
  • You think you can’t do it, till you do it yourself: Finally, the story of Swati Pandey, from back home India was quite interesting! Swati is the CEO and co-founder of Arboreal Innovations, a company that produces natural products, with its biggest success being Stevia, a natural substitute for sugar. She talked about her harrowing experience, where the company’s newly appointed COO, didn’t show up three days before a crucial major investor meeting and test trials. Despite being at a loss of what to do, she rolled up her sleeves and just got it done. “You think you can’t do it, but you don’t know what you can do, till you do it!” Elementary, one would assume, except that it is tougher than we think.You can explore Swati’s story here

Without a doubt, women entrepreneurs rule the world!

 (If you are a woman leader, and are charting your journey in this challenging world, The Spark Lies Within, my book is a recommended read. You can pick up a copy here.)

#Cartierawards 2018 #SwatiPandey #KristinaTsvetanova #PaulaGomez #SirounShamigian #YidingYu #MelissaBime

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