We had our leadership session today (19th Jan). Prof Anand and his team gave us a good introduction of what to expect this year. All of us are eagerly awaiting the personal development elective and leadership lab experience.
One of the strongest things about IMD is the focus on leadership, owing to IMD’s reputation for the executive management training programs. As MBA students, all of us had that in our development objectives when we chose this school. It is all the more interesting when you realize the classroom’s average work experience is 7.5 years (roughly). Most of my fellow classmates are seasoned executives who have managed teams before and are all aware of the challenges that come with it. Personally speaking, managing people is probably the most challenging thing i have done in my career. As managers we constantly face situations for which we are not prepared for. Most of what we do is react to situations as they arise. That is where the leadership lab experience will come in.
We were told today, all MBA students will be assigned a coach who will provide feedback to us throughout the year. We will be given scenarios in which we actually have to act out the scenarios and we will be recorded. Then, along with the coach, you review the recording and learn how you reacted and how to improve. how cool is that!
In my previous organisation, we had a session of this sort (though only a 5 day session). We were given time with a professional actor to act out on-the-spot situations. It was one of the most eye-opening moments of my career. So i am eagerly awaiting the leadership lab experience to learn more about our leadership style.
Prof Anand and his team are going to go one step further. In addition to providing feedback, they are going to educate us on understanding behavioral cues to learn human psychology. I bet this will come in handy in dealing with inevitable office politics!
On the fun side, we were given a short assignment. We were told to write one positive thing in our life every week throughout the course of the MBA program. We were told we will be revisiting that as a group when the program ends. I thought it was one of those optional, nice-to-do things. As it turns out, they actually left a small jar in all our inboxes.. (they werent kidding!) we got out of the first leadership session to find out the glass jars were already waiting for us! Here we have Aurelien and Ishwinder happily posing before the jars!