Creating Leaders: Progressing Women in Leadership Roles

By: Sachin Lawande

Visteon graduates first class of 22 women in Momentum leadership program

At Visteon, we believe in cultivating a pipeline of strong, impactful people who lead from the front, build strong teams, inspire change and lead the market. Last year we launched Momentum, a professional development leadership program for high-performing women.

The year-long program was demanding, with challenging, real discussions, thought-provoking activities and hands-on learning. Momentum participants were paired with a promoter (mentor) to guide them throughout the program. At the end of their Momentum journey, the 22 participants completed capstone projects which I had the pleasure of reviewing along with other leaders in the company.

In the past year, during my interactions with the participants, I have often shared these five key learnings based on my own experience. They are especially relevant as this team puts their Momentum learnings into action:

Leaders Inspire others

Leaders are not complacent. They respond to changing markets and technology with agility and nimbleness. They lead technology disruptions.

They also communicate their purpose and vision with clarity and authenticity. People are smart, and they can see or listen through the voice. You need to convince people around you and enable them to progress in the direction set by you.

Leaders inspire others. If you cannot inspire, it’s difficult to be an effective leader.

Learn from those around you

Leaders should not be afraid to admit they don’t have all the answers and should actively seek to increase their understanding of what’s new in the technology landscape. A good leader needs to have a thorough understanding of the ecosystem, trends and the competitive landscape while intentionally asking questions.

Adopt a growth mindset

Unlearn what is obsolete. Make mistakes and learn from them. Adopt a growth mindset. Our abilities will improve through learning. Learn to be comfortable in an environment that is less comfortable and more challenging.

Everyone needs a mentor

I am fortunate to have found great mentors throughout my career. My mentors have always encouraged me to take up challenging assignments — including my current role at Visteon. I give credit to my leaders of the past who pushed me to do things that I never believed I could do.

I also consider my wife who took the responsibility of my family, as my mentor. To be an effective leader, you need to seek the right kind of mentors. We do nothing on our own.

Raise your hand

We need to strive for success; it is not automatic. Do not wait for someone to anoint you. Raise your hand and be vocal with your thoughts. Network and ask many questions.

Professional growth does not occur by accident, it is a burning passion used to propel us forward. If you have that, you will get the support that you need to progress in your career.

Believe in yourself and step up.

To the Visteon Momentum, class of 2021, I wish you the very best. And as I always say, the automotive industry is a legitimate participant in the global connected digital lifestyle and the economy that we are part of. There is no better time than today to be part of this exciting industry.