M D International School: Spreading the light of Erudition
When we talk about women empowerment, education is one of the strongest weapons to truly empower the half population. When an erudite woman leads an institution, this becomes indicative of a positive sign of a nation developing towards a better future. In the last couple of decades, India has witnessed numerous lady leaders with sheer brilliance and capabilities to lead big organizations. Today, we are going to talk about one such figure who has helped Bijnor based M D International School reach new heights of success.
She is none other than Naina Jain, Additional Secretary of MD International School. Her role has been instrumental since the school established in 2014 by Manorama Devi Memorial Charitable Trust whereas
- K. Jain as founder Chairman, Samta Jain as President, and Navneet Jain as Secretary played a pivotal role. The School has a team of well-trained more than 100 staff members.
MDIS is a co-educational (day) Senior Secondary School affiliated with the CBSE board and focusing on improving the quality of education in Bijnor through innovation and achieving excellence.
We talked to Ms Naina Jain on how she has been shaping the future of the school. Here are the excerpts:
Business View: How do you ensure the improvement and betterment of school?
Naina Jain: I am goal-oriented, results-driven, action-oriented, people-oriented, and health-conscious, honest and self-disciplined. These are really most important habits for improvement and to develop the ability to get on with the job and get it done fast.
Business View: As a leader, what are your priorities and how do you achieve them?
Naina Jain: As a leader, there is no doubt that my priority is to build a high performing team. As a leader, I facilitate interactions and build trust within the organization that really matters more than anything else. I always ensure high performing teams will overcome challenges in strategy, in execution and in all parts of the business. The most important decision I make as a leader is that which impacts the team and the people within the team.
Business View: How do you encourage team members to give their best?
Naina Jain: I always keep the door open to anyone with new ideas and encourage people to work together and share ideas. Individuals within the team can feed off each other – exploring, testing and refining new approaches. We train staff in innovation techniques and also involve them in creative problem-solving. We consider training sessions in techniques such as brainstorming, lateral thinking and mind-mapping. We motivate individuals or teams who come up with winning ideas by actively recognising creativity, for example through awards and recognition. We also create a safe environment and encourage diversity and provide proper tools as per their need.
Business View: How do you see a leader and what are some of the ideal traits of a leader?
Naina Jain: “A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way. A good leader has a futuristic vision and knows how to turn his ideas into real-world success stories. Apart from having a futuristic vision, a leader should have the ability to take the right decision at the right time. Decisions taken by leaders have a profound impact on the masses. A leader should think long and hard before taking a decision but once the decision is taken, stand by it.
Business View: How challenging is it for women to make a mark in the male-dominated corporate world?
Naina Jain: More women than men end up leaving work to raise a family. It shouldn’t be a case of child or career. Men don’t usually have to make the same choice. Women who take leave or finish work to have a child need to plan their workplace exit and re-entry carefully. Stay up to date with technology and workplace changes and maintain contact with your networks.
There are many challenges to women in leadership. Many of the challenges come from other people. Yet some of them come from the women themselves. I also suggest that women need to be confident in them and their ability to do anything just like a man. They must know who they are as a person and express that. Demand and expect the right to be treated fairly. Society needs to start accepting women as capable to accomplish anything. Success should not be dependent on what gender you are.
Business View: What are your views on work-life balance and how do you cope up with this?
Naina Jain: Today, the quality of work-life balance is one of the most important criteria for choosing a job. This generation wants to do it all – work hard, travel, stay fit, eat healthy food, spend time with loved ones and check things off from bucket lists. When it comes to work-life balance, there is no standard template. The idea is to set your priorities right as per your needs and situation and allocate sufficient time to each of the important activities. However, we must accept that there is no perfect equilibrium.
Having my priorities right always keep me away from unnecessary and unimportant tasks and make me able to better utilize my day and energy.“Balance is not better time management, but better boundary management. Balance means making choices and enjoying those choices.”
Time management is a very important aspect in my life when it comes to having a proper work-life balance. I always say that it’s not time but the priorities that matter. Giving importance to those priorities requires one to be punctual in everything whether in professional or personal life.
Business View: What would be your advice to aspiring leaders?
Naina Jain: To be successful, you have to use each day as an opportunity to improve, to be better, and to get a little bit closer to your goals. It might sound like a lot of work—and with a busy schedule, next to impossible. But the best part is, the more you accomplish, the more you’ll want to do, and the higher you’ll want to reach. So as long as you have the hunger for success, you will always have the power within you to achieve it.
Business View: Thanks for your time!
Naina Jain: Thanks a lot!