The MBAs are split into two groups as they head off-campus for their leadership labs with advice to keep an open mind!

This week, the IMD MBA program is focusing on leadership. For the first time, the class was split into two groups: in the first half of the week, Cohort A did their off-campus leadership lab while Cohort B (that’s us) did some Economics, and then we switched for the latter part of the week. After a month filled with subjects concentrated in honing our hard skills, such as Accounting and Finance, the leadership labs are a welcome change in the program’s pace.

For me, Leadership is a tricky skill to master. In other topics, such as Operations or Strategy, the answer to your problem will most likely be present in a book or in a scholarly article.  The way I see it, you can’t necessarily say the same thing if you want to be a great leader. It deals with a lot of self-awareness and understanding of your actions, thoughts, and the way you communicate these to others. The pre-course readings and the first few subjects have given us some sort of idea of what is to come in the rest of the leadership stream. This is the IMD MBA’s main value proposition and what makes it stand out from the other programs.

Before I left, I spoke with some of my classmates from Cohort A to ask them how their leadership lab went. They just said to keep my mind open to get the most value out of it. They’re not allowed to share too many details, but I got the impression that it would be an interesting experience.

As human beings, it’s basic survival instinct to have walls and to keep our guards up all the time. But I think we will have to leave those behind as we go off-campus for our leadership lab. At least that is what they (Cohort A) said. And since I want to get the most out of this program, I’ll follow their advice and try my best keep an open mind and to let go of my defences. In fact, I’ll leave the entire armoury behind for the leadership stream. After all, this is one of the things IMD is known for. Regardless of the initial anxiousness that I feel, I am overall excited! Here we go…

Kevin J. Yang

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