Learning to be leaders

Roche Turkey colleagues work with school children and inspire them to become good leaders.

Developing leaders doesn’t happen easily. But with the right effort and motivation it can. Nearly 90 employees in Roche Turkey have decided to volunteer their time as part of a campaign to inspire school going children aged 12 to 13 to become leaders. The program is conducted in collaboration with the Young Guru Academy (YGA) that runs leadership programs for different organizations in Turkey, including Roche. YGA’s leadership development program has been set up in partnership with institutions such as Harvard Business School and is built on three fundamental pillars. They are—Leader Discovery, Leader Enrichment and Leader Development.

“Roche started working with YGA in 2011 and became a strategic partner in 2013 and decided to focus on the Leadership Development aspect. Thus far over 90 employees have volunteered from the Life Team in the Turkish affiliate of Roche,” explains Nursel Külahlı, Social Responsibility Project Specialist and Life Team Leader.

The program has a two-fold impact. While on the one hand it seeks to improve the volunteerism efforts of Roche colleagues in the country, on the other, it helps young school children to work on their leadership skills, starting at a young age.

For the future

Roche volunteers work with about 480 elemen-tary school children through the YGA Cansuyu Libraries. These efforts are spread all over the country in different centers such as Istanbul, Izmir and Ankara. “The leadership libraries have been developed with the vision to cultivate self-confident individuals who read, think creatively and share their ideas freely. The aim of these libraries is to create a platform for bright children who could be potential leaders in the future,” says Nursel.

She adds: “YGA’s effort is to make these youngsters dream a better world; think outside the box; be confident; respectfully listen to and understand the ideas of others; think and write creatively and become individuals who are aware of their own potential. As part of this endeavor they have to conceptualize and carry out their own social responsibility project.”

Each Roche employee volunteers a minimum of 36 hours on this program and helps organize events and camps for these future leaders over weekends. All in the hope that they help build the next generation of leaders in the country, be it in any area of life.

YGA also conducted leadership courses for Roche last year. “Our collaboration started with the founder of YGA, Sinan Yaman, to get training programs organized specifically for Roche Turkey leaders,” says Berrin Yılmaz, Head of HR.This program was held over six months and over three phases—See One, Share One and Be One—with each phase leading to sharing and introspection among senior leaders and anyone in Roche Turkey with people management responsibilities.

Tags: Sustainability, Society