Leadership requires an understanding of who we are and what we want to achieve. The IMD MBA Leadership Lab challenged our way of thinking.

Last week was the toughest week in the first month of the MBA program. There’s no other way to describe it. We are still getting used to the frenetic pace of the program, juggling between accounting, finance, economics, and leadership streams. What made last week the most testing so far, both physically and mentally, was the inclusion of the Leadership Lab .

We have been working for the last month with Professor Jennifer Jordan on several topics around leadership. We learnt about the impact our personality has on how we lead. We’ve started a journal to document our learning journey. However, while those activities set a necessary foundation, this was the first moment where we experienced what we’ve been studying in practice.

Leadership in action

Last week the MBA class went through IMD’s famous Leadership Lab. Three days of group activities and self-reflection, designed to raise our self-awareness and our work within groups. Each day had different activities, but all of them geared toward our analysis of how we behave in group dynamics.

On the first day we defined where we’re coming from, we established trust and saw where we stand as a group. The second day, and arguably the most challenging and rewarding, featured a trip to nearby Puidoux for an all-day retreat. We performed several activities and after each one we got together as a group, led by a coach, to understand how and why we performed as we did. Cameras filmed us throughout the day to give us unfiltered feedback of how we did. The third day was one of reflection. We analyzed the previous day and had feedback sessions among the members of our group and with our coach.

The seeds we sow…

Leadership is not an easy subject. It’s not something we can read in a book and instantly apply to our life. It requires hard work and an understanding of who we are and what we want to achieve. The last few days have been a challenge to our way of thinking. A challenge to confront the memory of our own behavior with what others experienced and what was recorded on camera.

One of our leadership coaches filming a team activity

It’s tough to receive feedback on your words and actions. Nevertheless, it’s a necessary step to grow both as a person and as a leader. However difficult the path is, we need to sow the seeds for a better relationship with ourselves and others.

…and what we reap

Two weekends ago, we went to the mountains for our class’s Mountain Experience. One of the tasks we were invited to do was send a postcard to our future self for December 2022. A postcard where we had to write two promises about how we will take care of ourselves and two ways we will challenge ourselves during the year. It’s impossible for me not to link the past three days with the contents of the postcard.

The seeds we sow now will bear fruit in the coming months. The struggles we go through today serve a larger purpose of bringing us closer to the future we envision. The last three days gave me the insight to fuel what I want for this year and for that postcard.

This will be my last post for the first part of the year. I will come back to the blog in May. I hope that looking back on the words I’m writing now, I will see the growth from the seed we plant today.


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