She’s resilient and will go above and beyond to get something done! As the Head of Communications of a social media platform, Cipluk Carlita has a lot to share about her journey and some of the life changing lessons she learnt along the way.
Can you name me one person from the industry who inspired you?
I would say, the former Twitter Country head, Roy Simangunsong. He is extremely smart and would often challenge our thinking. When I used to brief him for an interview, he used to give me multiple one liners (that made me nervous, but also forced me to think) and play devil’s advocate. He pushed us to think out of the box and work with different scenarios and way of thinking. To add on, the way he treated his team made me respect him so much more. He was the leader who is also a team member, and while being fun, he would continue to teach the team so many things.
What is your biggest fear?
I have this fear of failing, can I do this or not? At every step of life (whether it’s starting high school, university, a new job or even a new chapter in life), I always have this fear of not being able to do something. But I turned out okay. In fact, my biggest challenge is how to overcome my fear; and I constantly re-affirm myself by saying, “Cipluk, this is going to be fine. You've done this before, it's okay if you fail, you just have to start over and try better.”
I also think that this resonates more with Asian/Indonesian women as we are typically raised by a patriarchal system. A lot of times, we don’t speak up our ideas upfront. This was something that I learnt in Twitter, if you don’t speak first, people will speak it for you. One of my previous bosses said that, “just speak first, just do it first, say sorry later”. Start first and I think that’s something that not a lot of Indonesian (women especially) do. We are used to the concept of listening first, but once you are a part of a multinational company, you can’t stay with that kind of attitude.
What's the leadership trait that has resonated with you the most? There are two traits that have stuck with me. The first is from one of my previous managers who taught me that if we want to succeed as leaders, we should be able to help our team members grow. One way to do that is to encourage them to have a growth mindset. As a leader, our rate of success is not based on whether we succeed, but on whether our team members succeed. The second is how can we support our team members who want to strive but are failing. How can we motivate them without getting annoyed about the fact that they fail at every task? As a leader, we need to ensure that our team members thrive and keep learning. If I can’t push them any longer, I encourage them to think about the problem and come up with multiple ways to solve the issue. There is no right or wrong solution. I continue to give them feedback, because they can’t be better if they don’t know what they are doing right and what needs to be worked on. Being a parent is also similar to leadership. Can you be a good example for your kids? You have to be their friends, but you have to give authority at the same time. So, I'm trying to find the balance. Keep on finding the balance and then it's never been easy at all, but it’s a learning curve.
If Kartini was alive today, what would she be advocating?
One of the constant challenges is being able to balance our roles and maintain our identity by being a woman at home and in the workforce. If you already have a family of your own, the challenges are different. It’s a constant learning process as every family, every culture and religion are different. If Kartini was alive today, she would be advocating a life of unlimited possibility. We can be whatever we want, and no one can stop us. As a mother, I want my daughter to know that she can choose any career path and doesn’t have to follow my footsteps. If she wants to be in PR, great! If she wants to be an artist, that’s amazing too. As long as you're doing it out of passion, integrity and commitment.