Executive Education

Peer Talk Profile: Charmaine Tidmarsh

Charmaine Tidmarsh is a manager at Mother's Choice NGO in Hong Kong and a recipient of the Hong Kong Jockey Club Chicago Booth Executive Education Scholarship for the Leading High-Performance Organizations program.

Booth: What made you interested in applying for the Hong Kong Jockey Club Chicago Booth Executive Education Scholarship?

Tidmarsh: Leadership at Mother’s Choice, a local charity serving pregnant teenagers and children without families, nominated me for this course. I was very happy to have this opportunity, because I am a lifelong student and always looking for opportunities to learn more about the ideas, methods, and tools that can help me get the best out of our team. I aspire to develop leaders and champions that will support our vision, “Every child in a loving family.” Chicago Booth was instrumental in giving me more confidence and techniques that I could put into practice.

Booth: What was your favorite part of the Leading High-Performance Organizations program?

Tidmarsh: I enjoyed our speaker Susan Lucia Annunzio’s energy-charged presentations. She also was readily available to answer any questions, which was very helpful in interpreting my Strength Finder Profile from Gallop. The Action-Planning Tool by Gallop was also a great way to develop my own leadership qualities.

Booth: What concepts did you learn in the program that will be the most useful in your job?

Tidmarsh: I found the topic on leadership behavior very helpful. With my tendency to oversee every minute of operations, this course was an eye opener. Lucia shared insight on delegation, mitigation, and strategic behaviors. The 20/60/20 rule was so well captured. Lucia gave us useful tools to empower performance and reinforced them over and over. I am now able to mentor others to follow suit. We hope that through positive behavior change that is strength-based we can serve our clients and their families even better.

Booth: Were there any challenges you faced at work before attending this program that you now feel better prepared to handle?

Tidmarsh: I work in an environment where people from very different educational, cultural, and professional backgrounds come together. My takeaways from the 15 attributes and three drivers were very useful in growing high-performance environments. To be your most authentic self is hard in a work environment, but the program’s training guides you on the long-term benefits. Previously, I took it upon myself to monitor the details when developing or implementing a project. I now feel better equipped to influence my team to look at the short- and long-term objectives of the organization.

Booth: What was your impression of the faculty?

Tidmarsh: The attendees were from very diverse backgrounds—business, medical, legal, government, and nongovernmental organizations. This creates a very robust environment with hugely varied perspectives, making learning very interesting. Not only were the teachings outstanding, but the personal connection and hospitality from faculty members was engaging.

Booth: What would you say to others who are interested in attending the Leading High-Performance Organizations program?

Tidmarsh: For anyone who’s interested in leading more effectively and driving strategic direction by leveraging your strengths, you will find this program useful. If you want to build a positive, high-performance environment where your team members feel empowered, Booth’s Leading High-Performance Organizations is a great program to take.

Booth: Why do you think it’s important that professionals find new learning opportunities and acquire new skills?

Tidmarsh: The client’s needs are changing all the time. If we are not able to capture their needs, then the ability to offer them the best outcome will be compromised. In our business, this can change the trajectory of the client’s life. As such, equipping ourselves with tools to enhance the outcomes is as vital as being highly self-aware of our own strengths and areas for development. Programs such as the one I attended at Chicago Booth are a good reminder of how senior leadership can make or break an organization. It most certainly helps to build or even rethink your previous understanding. It’s very refreshing and the outcome can have huge impact.