Three months into the program, and we can already feel the transformation taking place. While working to tight deadlines with little sleep, collaborating with classmates on team projects and assignments, and preparing for and sitting exams, most of us – including myself – have had moments of doubt. Are we going to make it? But then, knowing that being here means we are made of more helps us to dig deep and find the strength to move on, stand up, and keep going.
We are able to put into practice what we learnt during the High-Performance Virtual Teams course with Professor Ina Toegel, that sharing and opening up helps us build trust, make friends, and create a high-performing environment. Allowing ourselves to be vulnerable with one another also really helps us to understand that we all face the same challenges, that it is hard for all of us, but it becomes easier if we help and support one another.
Another aspect that helps us through the process is celebrating each success, however small it may be. Taking time to have a drink together, discovering new restaurants, playing beach volleyball, or discovering new places whenever we have some free time always helps us to recharge our batteries.
Another key aspect I would like to share is about self-leadership. I knew when choosing an MBA at IMD that it was centred around leadership, but I did not expect it to be this strongly focused. I mostly considered team leadership, but never self-leadership. The latter has had the biggest impact on me. As the IMD MBA program is an ever-changing journey, I know that due to the intensity of the program, I will surely learn a lot and become a better version of myself.
One of the key learnings I recently understood is that to benefit from this transformative journey, I need to take time to self-reflect, to learn about myself, and to understand what motivates and what impacts me. Whether through the Personal Development Elective, self-introspection, discussions with our coaches or by learning to face difficult conversations, I have learned that avoiding the problem does not fix the issue. Moreover, as German author Eckhart Tolle says: “As long as you are unable to access the power of now, every emotional pain that you experience leaves behind a residue of pain that lives on in you.” It is time to access the power of now, to face today’s reality and give the best we can.