I believe that life is the best teacher. Challenges which we face at a professional or personal level present to us an opportunity to learn and grow. I have learned the most by surpassing those challenges with some help and support from different people who touched my life in a very positive way. The process starts with introspection and reflection on why a particular situation is a challenge. Then, motivation and inspiration can provide the required impetus to surpass that challenge. I believe that learning is a collaborative process and all of us need not go through the same struggle of learning from our own life experiences. Leaders who have found this path can illuminate it for others so that they feel empowered and inspired to move forward, beyond their challenges.
Optimal learning environment
For me, most of my learning does not take place whilst being among and interacting with a large group of people. In large groups, we tend to wear masks, present only our good parts and hardly reveal our true challenges. I learn most when we are engaged in challenging tasks in small groups. Providing open and honest feedback is critical as it helps us to reflect on our challenges.
In a formal setting, the learning environment should be engaging, and everyone should feel the psychological safety to speak their mind openly and freely. In an informal setting, learning is facilitated when someone speaks to us with compassion and understanding and shares her/his insights to enable us to reflect on our challenges. However, most of the learning is self-propelled. The other person can only show us the beacon of light; walking the path we must do on our own.
In the Copenhagen MBA, I learned most from activities outside the classroom where we worked on challenging tasks in small groups and our true personality came out in the open. One such experience was a simulator exercise as part of the Leadership Discovery Process which took place in the woods. We had to make a watch tower from wooden logs and use it to communicate with other groups. It was a good learning experience since we had to work as a team and collaborate with other groups for the task to be complete and successful. My learning from this activity: – Always speak your mind freely, listen to your inner wisdom and your intuition and believe in yourself even when others may doubt you. Even if the whole world doubts you, stand your ground and do what is necessary!
Breaking through limitations
“It is the mark of an educated man/woman to entertain a thought without accepting it” – Aristotle
My most important learning from the Copenhagen MBA: All of us face some kind of challenge and to be honest, those challenges are not real. They are the makings of our own minds. We pull ourselves down by paying undue attention to our inner criticising voices. However, we can convert this into an opportunity by reversing the polarity of our self-talk from pessimistic to optimistic and by transforming self-critical chatter into positive affirmations. Positive self-talk builds self-belief. This is the most important element needed to succeed in life. All of us doubt ourselves on more than one aspect. If we don’t believe in ourselves, how can we expect others to believe in us? Such confidence is vital because without it, there is no success and fulfilment in life. This presents a huge opportunity for all of us to surpass our current challenges and become free from any kind of self-imposed limitations. Only then can we realise and achieve our true potential as a human beings!
I would strongly recommend the one-year Copenhagen MBA to anyone who wishes to take their professional journey to a new height. It is my ‘best advice’ as well.
Ankit comes from Uttar Pradesh in India and has studied subject as diverse as engineering, management, economics, psychology, sociology, and spirituality.