The Courage to Act is the memoirs of Ben S. Bernanke, chairman of the Federal Research from 2006 to 2014. The book records how a Princeton professor changed himself to become a leader of the global financial market and acted with courage to fight crises.

Before I joined IMD, I admired leaders with the courage to act. In my view, such leaders are powerful, assertive and energetic when conquering challenges. However, after spending three months with my MBA classmates, especially teammates in the “dungeons” (study rooms), I gradually got the idea that courage itself was not enough. It is necessary for a leader to own the character as “dare and care”.

I was a finance manager in one of the top real estate developers in China, leading a team to complete M&A deals, share placement and land acquisitions. My boss praised me as a good team player, but I am learning genuine teamwork with my IMD mates.

Cyril_Photo 1 Brainstorm during Integrative Exercise

(Photo: Brainstorm during Integrative Exercise)

Each member of an outperforming team is accountable for the others’ growth, and when everyone grows, the team gets stronger. I am grateful for the feedback from my “dungeon” mates who have helped me understand myself more deeply and have provided me with the power to be a better me – a man who not only owns the courage to act and change, but also has the warm heart to care about others when they are in need.

Cyril_Photo 2 Feedbacks from teammates in Leadership Lab

(Photo: Feedback from teammates in the Leadership Lab)

As a chartered financial analyst (CFA) and chartered accountant (ACCA), I asked myself countless times how I could contribute my strength to the team as well to the class. When finding that I could leverage my finance and accounting knowledge and make the needle move, I acted without hesitation. So far, I have held 4 accounting sessions after class, and I hope my work could help classmates overcome difficulties. We are in the same boat, and if our boat is full of care, I believe we can achieve far beyond our expectations.

Cyril_Photo 3 My team performed best in the outdoor games and won the chocolate

(Photo: My team performed best in the outdoor games and won the chocolate!)

Cyril Chen


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