Tips and Guidance from Leadership Coach

“Your visions will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.”     Carl Jung

Today’s guest entry comes from Susan Goldsworthy, MBA Lead Coach at IMD.

The IMD MBA is renowned for its Leadership Stream, designed with a strong personal element. Why is this important? Well, clearly leadership starts with self and the more aware we are of our own drivers (conscious and unconscious), the better we are able to lead both ourselves and others in a mindful manner.

My fellow coaches and I are delighted to work with the students throughout the year. It is a privilege to be trusted to accompany students on their journeys and it is particularly rewarding, humbling and fulfilling to bear witness to the progress they make. It takes courage to fully immerse in the IMD MBA Leadership Stream but those that do see the biggest shifts and gain the most benefits – not just for the year but also for their lives.

At this time of year, there can be significant anxiety around the job search. As MBA Lead Coach, I share a few thoughts that I hope provide some guidance in these times of uncertainty:

  • The IMD network is a powerful one – leverage it. Plant the seeds, nurture them and then harvest the results. Remember to invoke the law of reciprocity by being generous of spirit in giving support to others. And remember to thank those people who have helped you in any way.
  • Keep connected – to your classmates & to your network. Be delighted for your colleagues who receive offers. Celebrate with and for them. Be supportive of those who are still searching: be available to listen with empathy and to role-play interviews. Be secure bases for each other.
  • Focus on what you can influence rather than what may concern you but you can do nothing about. Spending time wallowing in a perceived failure is just wasted energy. When things don’t go as you may like, acknowledge the disappointment, digest it, learn from it and then let it go and refocus your energy onto those things you can influence.
  • Have the courage to step out of your comfort zones, to try new approaches and to have open and engaging dialogues with your colleagues. Care and Dare.
  • Keep an exercise routine going: the mind and body are connected and even short bursts of exercise can help enormously in maintaining a balanced perspective.

Many students are also in the ‘anticipatory grief’ stage as the unique MBA year is drawing to a close and ‘real life’ beckons. Acknowledge the emotional rollercoaster: it is important to respect these emotions – recognize and embrace them – as they are signs of the powerful connections that have been made in just one short year. The IMD MBA is often just the start of a deepening awareness that students have on their leadership journeys – and the bonds created often last a lifetime.

In the words of T.S. Eliot, What we call the beginning is often the end. And to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from.”


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