The Chief Executive Officer of a company is the big boss that runs the show.
He or she got there through hard work and perseverance so you may wonder why he would need a coach. Well, some people are born leaders. They have a natural ability to use their social influence to get the support of others to accomplish a common task. Then there are some people who have the experience to run a company but need a little help to understand that there is a leader in them, if they only look.
Meet Jayamala, a leadership coach. Her job is to provide positive support and feedback to individuals to improve their leadership skills in a business setting. It is her job help people realise that they have the skills to manage a successful team if only they know how to use them.
What kind of a student were you in school and college?
I was very diligent and almost always a topper.
And your favourite subjects?
Math and English
Which teacher do you remember most and why?
English teacher from the 5th grade – she simplified some tough pronunciations and grammar constructs which I remember even today.
When did you realize this is what you wanted to do?
It evolved over time. Through my college and work I realized I loved to help people understand their potential people especially in the business context. Most people have skills and they have dreams but connecting the two to get real outputs seem like a challenge for many. Enabling them through a structured goal oriented path is very satisfying.
If I want to do what you do, what do I have to do?
You have to understand human psychology, and it helps to have a management degree. You have to work for a good many years in a company starting off in your area of specialization eg Finance, Marketing, HR etc and moving up into areas of General Management. Then you can get accredited as a coach and begin consulting. You are more effective as a consultant and coach if you have done some/all of the things you are helping others with.
What’s your typical day like?
I travel an hour and a half to client site, do 3-4 meetings some individual, some group and trek back the same distance!
What did you do with your first paycheck?
I bought funky jewelery!
Name some joys of your profession.
You meet people of different shapes, sizes, types from different cultures, countries and backgrounds. Their needs and motivations are different, and they respond differently to situations. So I cannot have a one size fits all approach – that challenge is a lot of fun.
Were you named after anyone?
No particularly but my father wanted victory to be inherent in my name which is why I have Jaya in there!
What are some of your hobbies or passions?
Quizzing, solving logic problems, learning something from scratch every 2-3 years – currently its Hindustani Classical music. I believe this keeps me feeling young and always in learning mode.
What is the most thrilling experience in your life?
I am mortified of the escalator – I avoided it for the longest time even lugging heavy bags across international airports. When I first got on one a few years back after much self-rationalization and ribbing by my kids I felt like I had landed on the moon! I went back to do the ride again much to the embarrassment of my kids!
What book are you reading right now?
Snapshots from Hell- the Making of an MBA.
What is your animal spirit? Why?
I think I am an elephant – My physical self can be welcoming and imposing at the same time. When provoked I can turn into a dangerous specimen!
Things to do
How much do you know about the structure of a business? Find out the full form of CEO and COO. What are their functions? Ask your parents if they know anyone who runs a company and see if you can talk with them about the work they do.
For more such interesting Professions list for kids, don’t forget to visit our professions page.