Q&A With Future Leaders From SHE Leads

SHE Leads


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Each week we will give you a Q&A on their experience with SHE Leads and about their ambitions as leaders.  This week we spoke with Farhat Khan, Head of Enterprise Architecture at ISS.

What are your ambitions as a future leader?

Digitalisation demands for a new way of leading the enterprise. Digitalization is not just about managing the data assets or the technology landscape from a silo IT department. It requires a thorough analysis of how an organization uses its competencies to realize its strategic intent and objectives and how technologies can support this.  

Often, both the operating model and the company set-up need to go through a transformation in order to enable the consolidation between the business and technology landscape and thereby fully harvest the benefits from the digitalisation. 

This calls for a new set of management tools at corporate leadership level.

My ambitions are to utilize my skills, competencies and experiences by delivering enterprise digitalization management tools at the corporate leadership level and be the change agent for digital transformation.

I believe leadership is all about empowering others to deliver their best and especially in my professional field, empowering corporate leadership with specific tools is what makes an impact on the company’s digitalisation journey. 

What would be your goals as a leader?

To make a lasting change in the field of digitalization management by eliminating silo management of technology and digitalization initiatives and implementing enterprise-wide digitalization management.

In additional—as a team—develop and execute strategic plans on the optimal utilization of company technology resources where re-using of technology platforms is made possible to simultaneously address several business needs and enable a cost-efficient achievement of business targets and strategies. 

And finally—to inspire, motivate and engage others to achieve their goals and visions.

What are the three words that your employees would say about you as a leader?

  • Empowering
  • Change agent
  • Persistent

Who is your role model? 

I find inspiration and motivation from leaders like Nelson Mandela and his likes, who have moved mountains because they truly believed in their vision and abilities to make it happen despite all odds. Such leaders followed their heart with such immense strength and passion, that they made a sustainable change. 

I believe that this is also applicable in the business world, where strong and passionate leaders are needed to deliver sustainable change along with great business results while leading its people in a visionary and engaging manner. 

What are the lessons in your professional career that you have learned the most from?

Career development is a continuous process and I believe in reflecting and learning from my experiences and observations to keep developing further. However, working on your skills and competencies requires not only an inner clarity. It also requires that you get real growth opportunities and gain access to important platforms. 

I have learned that one needs to be open to learn from even a smaller opportunity—than not having any opportunity at all. The biggest lesson for me has been that persistence combined with a growth mindset can make you come a long way. 

SHE Leads mentors and mentees led by Jeanette Carter.

Why did you join SHE Leads? What did you hope to learn from the mentors?

SHE Leads was offering the exact platform for learning and growth that I have been looking for recently.  While I have developed tools for enterprise-wide digitalization management during my career, I am eager to learn more about top management and to develop skills and tools to prepare for my career ahead. I am hoping to learn more on this from my mentor who is a skilled executive. 

What do you think would be your strengths and weaknesses as a leader?

My strengths are my strong will, passion and persistence to achieve both my personal goals and the business goals of the team. Being impatient is probably the weakness that sometimes can be a barrier for me.

What are the key takeaways from SHE Leads?

The key takeaways from SHE Leads have been an increased clarity on my strengths and weaknesses and their impact on my future opportunities. 

There are still some modules left from SHE Leads, and I look forward to having a contextualized deep dive into above mentioned and plan for the time ahead.

Why would you recommend future leaders to join SHE Leads?

SHE Leads delivers a complete programme that has been designed in collaboration with Deloitte.  The leadership tools are easy to apply, and you get the guidance you need from professionals. In addition, you get the opportunity to learn from peers and mentors. Altogether SHE Leads delivers a well thought trough platform for career development for senior professionals. •