Testimonials

“About 2 years ago I had the privilege and opportunity to participate in one of Dr. Balu’s Leadership for Global Citizenship workshops.  The problem solving skills I learned have been invaluable to me because I use them everyday in the work sphere and the domestic sphere.  As an administrative professional I occasionally come across ambiguous situations that require me to gain a different perspective of the issue.  I learn from it with great humility, adapt quickly and continue to provide the best possible service to advance the goals of the program.    As a mother dealing with emotionally charged youth, practicing compassionate curiosity about what is important to them and why it is important to them can help get to the heart of the matter. When the issue becomes clear, steps can be taken to diffuse emotions and bring about peace and calm.

One other thing I learned from the workshop is to remember that we are the creators of our own destiny. If you have a dream and you are passionate about something, find the time to practice your passion, for it brings such joy.

– Miguelina Tibar,
Program Coordinator, International Programs
School of Industrial and Labor Relations, Cornell University, USA

“Dr. Balasubramaniam (Balu) provides his students and wider audiences with a powerful synthesis of the most effective and even transforming leadership practices, presented with a spirited wisdom, engaging stories, and down to earth humor. He is a masterful educator, humanitarian, and leader, and we are privileged to partner with him.”

– Rev. David McCallum, S.J. Madden School of Business, Le Moyne College, USA

Dr Balasubramaniam has, on various occasions, conducted sessions on leadership at Akshaya Patra forums.  Just to name two examples, Balu conducted sessions on leadership for senior officials from the Mid-day Meal Programme of the Government of India, and for trainee officers of the 2014 batch of the IAS. Both sessions stand out for their conceptual clarity and their ability to connect in a simple, but lucid manner.  He draws on examples from real life to elaborate on his concepts and I have seen participants responding with enthusiasm.  His sessions have been highly appreciated by participants and we wish him all the best for all his endeavors.  We do hope that we will find many more opportunities to collaborate with him.”

– Bharathi Ghanashyam,
Former Director – Government Relations & Strategic Initiatives, The Akshaya Patra Foundation, Bangalore

“My organization was going through rapid scaling up.  Some key customer engagements required more people at various levels to learn and practice leadership skills. In addition, they needed to do this in an organization structure that was geographically distributed in two locations and had very limited hierarchy.  We needed about 20-25 key people to learn to practice co-leadership in a matrixed organization, dynamically adapting and knowing when to lead and when to follow while keeping “the work at the center” of everything they were doing.

We requested Dr. R. Balasubramaniam to conduct a customized workshop on leadership that will allow everyone to understand how they could practice leadership skills in such a context to achieve the goals of the organization while growing professionally.  The 2 ½ day workshop provided many fresh perspectives on how to work in an environment where things require adaptive leadership. The participants came away with a set of tools that they could use on a daily basis to enhance smooth and effective operation and also help mentor and be mentored by their colleagues.  The organization benefited hugely from this training by Dr. R. Balasubramaniam.”

– Chief Operating Officer
A midsize software company located in Mysore, India

“The workshop conducted by Dr Balu on Enlightened Leadership encapsulated his knowledge on leadership into a power packed focused performance where the work at the center was ensuring that our motley group could understand all the concepts ‘titrated’ at a rate at which we could absorb them! Dr Balu’s dynamism and depth of experience leading to the flow of the workshop kept us seamlessly riveted on the topic.

I personally could apply the understanding of various motivational drives in myself and others in understanding why some of the methods we had used for our work in a village development did not bear the expected results. Technical vs Adaptive fix was another fascinating insight. I am able to apply the concept of the “work at the center”- this has benefited me immensely on a personal and professional front!”

– Akhila Ramesh
Architect and Managing Trustee of Nivasa, a non-profit working to ensure equitable housing in Bangalore, India

“Dr. Balu’s Leadership for Global Citizenship seminar was challenging and invigorating. Each day we confronted a new personal or professional challenge through case studies that allowed us to consider all angles of approaching a challenge in a global context. We learned the importance of personal development in becoming an effective leader. Personally, I realized how applicable so many of these concepts were in many different arenas. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to intern with Dr. Balu at V-LEAD for a summer following my completion of the course. This intensive, hands-on experience solidified my knowledge and application of adaptive leadership by implementing the principles in a consulting project, while simultaneously examining my personal reactions and capacity to adapt in an unfamiliar environment. Studying with Dr. Balu has made me more humble and more conscious of my actions, has taught me to listen and ask more questions to understand how I can be of service, and has catapulted me onto an exciting path of learning, reflecting, and working for change.”

– Mallory Stellato, Cornell University, Class of 2015

“Dr Balu’s intensive one week seminar, ‘Leadership for Global Citizenship’ was a resounding success and had a profound impact on Cornell students understanding of leadership.  Seminar participants engaged in lively interactive discussion on the different forms of leadership as well as the diverse meanings and concepts associated with global citizenship.  From a much more culturally informed conception of both leadership and global citizenship, students applauded Dr. Balu’s uniquely engaging discussion style and came away with a deeper appreciation of a leader in a global context as someone who listens, engages with diverse stakeholders, fosters inclusion and “works from the center rather than from the top.” 

– Richard Kiely, Director, Engaged Cornell, Cornell University, USA

“In fall 2013 Dr. Balasubramaniam (Dr. Balu), delivered a three-day workshop on Leadership For Global Citizenship to 30 undergraduate students in the ILR School at Cornell University.  The workshop included sessions on Understanding Globalization + Culture and Leadership + Authority, Adaptive vs. Technical Challenges and Enlightened Leadership, and Working with Yourself.

The post-workshop reviews by the students were outstanding, however it was the following semester when several of the participants enrolled in a global service learning course I lead that  I gained my full appreciation and understanding of the transformative nature of the workshop. In our course discussions the students frequently referred to Dr. Balu’s workshop when delving into topics related to power, privilege and development.   They reflected on stories that Dr. Balu shared in his journey as a community development leader, then connected his stories to their personal thoughts and ideas.   His oratory, or storytelling, approach was a very effective way for students to truly understand and incorporate concepts related to power, privilege, leadership and development.

The power of the workshop is that in a short timeframe Dr. Balu is able to introduce the students to leadership concepts, share his personal experiences as a community leader, and then, most importantly, challenge them to question their assumptions about themselves, their culture, their definition of leadership, their concept of global citizenship and ultimately their role in the world.  These lessons are powerful.”

– Donna M. Ramil, Associate Director of International Programs in ILR, Cornell University, USA

Shaping Leadership…Transforming Lives