She has crossed the gender barrier to hold a position of leadership in a typically male oriented industry sector, but she has not let it redefine her.
Instead her womanly instincts, the family-instilled values she acquired as a child and the life challenges she faced profoundly influenced her career path after leaving high school to eventually become General Manager of Standby Power Limited, the nation’s top name in the rental of portable generators, air compressors, lighting towers and trash pumps to the energy, special events and construction sectors.
As a person as well as a professional, Michele Arjune is as genuine as they come. Her candidness, sincerity and approachability were all too evident as she very willingly described her leadership style. “When you are in a position of leadership, you must first understand that you have people to lead… and in order to lead those people, you need to invest the time in understanding them,” she explained. “My staff is very important to me. I can’t do my job without them. From the cleaner to my managers, I take the time to get to know them and motivate them.
They, in turn, motivate me. Even when I’m having a down day, their enthusiasm inspires me. They are my family outside of my family.”
The more she disclosed about herself, her life and her career, the more it became evident that much of whom Michele Arjune is today is a direct result of the close bond she shares with her own family. As the only daughter of a tightly knit family, Michele openly admitted, “Family is my foundation. It is the strength of everything that I build on.”
She spoke of the admiration she’s always felt for her elder brother, Michael, and of how appreciative she was of the example he had set for her to follow by holding strong to his values and striving always to succeed. With the warmth of a ‘big sister’, she mentioned how her younger brother, Marlon inspired her with his loving ways and good nature then, acknowledged that her mother, Valerie’s enforcement of rules and working to make extra money for the family instilled in her the value of saving.
Of her late father, Michael Arjune Sr., Michele spoke with the reverence of a daughter who was her ‘Daddy’s little princess’ but who was shaped by the sterling example he had set for her. She fondly recalled that this hardworking and devoted man, who worked six days a week, never once let his work deprive his family of his love. “Everything I did, I did to make my father proud,” she admitted and remembered his words of guidance to her when she sought his advice prior to accepting her current position at Standby Power: “Let your conscience be your guide, Michele and you will make the right decision. Whatever you decide, I will support you.”
Her father’s faith in her was pivotal to the belief Michele has in her ability to succeed at whatever she sets her heart on. It forms the basis of the advice she would give any young woman with dreams of one day being a successful professional. To them, she offered these words of guidance: “Stay focused on your goals. Strive to achieve the things you believe in inside of you. Even a rock wants to be something,” she said quoting a line from the movie “Indecent Proposal”. She then added, “Know who you are and what you want. Educate and polish yourself, and stay focused by doing the things you need to do to bring out the brilliance in you. Live by your values, maintain good morals and above all, give yourself the chance to try.”
Michele admitted that her journey to becoming a successful career woman hasn’t always been smooth sailing and that there have been times of personal emotional turmoil, like her father’s illness and subsequent passing, which could have thrown her off balance. Instead she confessed, “I have learnt that when my personal life is crumbling is the time I must put into making my professional life peak. I’m not going to allow myself to fail at both. It’s all about balance.” She’s also grateful to her lifelong friend Charmaine Cupen, who has stood steadfastly beside her through good times and bad, as well as to her CEO Martin ‘Davy’ Boodoosingh for affording her the opportunity to lead such a dynamic company.
This balanced and realistically genuine perspective on life is perhaps what makes Michele Arjune’s success story so inspiring. “Making people happy and helping them is my joy,” she offered in closing. “If my story can inspire someone else, I would have done something good.”