THE Asian Federation of Advertising Association (AFAA) recently concluded its sixth instalment of FastTrack, a three-day leadership programme for top talents in Malaysia, India, China, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Indonesia and Pakistan.
Many of the talents hold leadership roles or have been earmarked to be promoted from middle to senior leadership.
Recognising that the leadership landscape has changed, AFAA commissioned 95% Corporate Culture Consultants to develop FastTrack to equip current and future leaders with an array of leadership skills, with emotional intelligence as the core.
FastTrack has proven to be a powerful and successful leadership programme. To date, it has 164 alumni from over 10 countries. Success stories from previous graduates attest to the manifest positives of a heightened emotional quotient (EQ), and FastTrack’s efficacy in garnering that outcome.
“We are incredibly heartened by the breakthroughs. We continually receive positive feedback from the human resources department of the participants, and we are pleased to witness their ability to engage in higher-level conversations and take greater responsibility in their work.
“The advertising industry is challenged like never before; trust and credibility is diminishing, therefore this is a critical time for us to raise leaders with the right attitudes to seek solutions,” says AFAA chief knowledge officer Bharat Avalani in a statement.
Numerous past graduates have written in, citing new victories on their professional front after applying their learnings from FastTrack. “Embarking on any new journey in life is, ultimately, about change. As I prepare myself for a new role, deal with new clients, establish my equity with new colleagues, and hopefully inspire a new team, I realise that nothing can happen unless I strengthen my fundamentals.
“The things that have got me here, the tricks that have brought me success, the shorthand techniques my brain relies on to solve problems, aren’t always going to be successful,” says Siddhant Lahiri, a graduate of FastTrack 2017, who shared his learning as he settled into a new leadership role as the head of strategic planning, Redifussion Y&R Mumbai.
“I know it’s a ruse when you called this programme a ‘Professional’ Excellence Programme. In fact, it should be called a ‘Life’ Excellence Programme. I love it, because you come into this programme blind but leave with eyes open,” adds Udyami Samaraweera, head of brands, Shift Integrated, Sri Lanka.
“I think every part of the training were pieces of an entire puzzle. All of these experiences are necessary as they form a larger, cohesive experience. I learned to connect with a lot of my suppressed inner demons that have been holding me back prior to this. I also learned that I need to give myself more credit,” notes Atreyi Nag, senior account executive, Soho Square Advertising and Marketing Communications, India.
To date, AFAA has membership from 20 locations across 10 countries in Asia, and targets to introduce the hallmark programme to other countries. The federation also plans to conduct FastTrack sessions more frequently, while exploring sub-regional and national sessions.
Meanwhile, a “Fasttrack 2” is being created as the next-level programme for its graduates to upskill in leadership.
“Learning never stops. The marketing and communications industry is one with a force to do good. We desire to see the leaders in it be sensitive to the problems of the world and willingly serve others,” says Avalani.