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Anna Dilku: Case study

Following a restructure, Anna’s entire team was disbanded. Whilst she’d been through restructures in the past, this one was different. She loved her job, her colleagues, her employer and everyone around her kept telling her “you’ve got nothing to worry about, you’ll be snapped up in no time!” but she felt lost.

She was starting to think about her career path and where she could go next when she heard that ELP (Aviva’s Ivy House in-house Emerging Leader’s Programme) was accepting applications. She knew that the ELP was built on the premise that, to become an extraordinary leader, you must first know yourself deeply and take 100% ownership for who you are. She also knew that there was fierce competition for the 50 places offered across the world! Extraordinary times called for extraordinary measures, so she felt compelled to apply…

“I knew from the first masterclass that this was going to be different. Hearing my homegroup’s first impressions of me was my first experience of radical support and radical challenge – something we all learned to embrace! The content was just what I’d hoped for. I loved how we all threw our whole selves in and I hadn’t anticipated how much we’d learn about each other. Those deeper connections have laid the foundations for developing more meaningful relationships with other colleagues back in the business.

The programme forced me to carve out time to really think about who I am. Identifying my values and how they showed up helped me to refine my job search. Working through my ‘life wheel’ to identify what aspects I wanted to improve was a game-changer. Creating my vision board excited me. Writing my mission statement was invigorating. Finding my element sparked inspiration. My enriched self-knowledge means I now know what I stand for and everything I do is congruent with my values. Radical challenge from my elevator pitch has allowed me to relinquish my pursuit for perfection, in exchange for soul-nourishing authenticity.

I’m grateful to both Aviva and Ivy House for offering me a place on ELP – I’m giving more of the real me to my family with the greatest gift I can give – being fully present. I’m giving more of the real me to my colleagues, including taking part in a podcast about my faith, interviewing a globally-renowned artist live for our first virtual Diwali, speaking on a panel about Building Bridges with TikTok and CNN, launching a Sikh Yammer group, and presenting Aviva Radio.

I have ambition to achieve so much more, so this is just the beginning. Looking ahead, I will be able to walk (or dial!) into an interview knowing that I am true to myself, my accomplishments give me confidence in my talents and the creative energy that flows through me leads me to brilliant ideas.

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