Friday, May 6, 2011

Leadership Week update

We are in the middle of Kellogg's first Leadership Week, which is being organized by the Business Leadership Club (BLC). They've had events scheduled all week, including a Meyers-Briggs workshop, a leadership competition, and several panels. I've participated in a few of the events and panels, and I thought this would be a good time to do a "quick" update before I head down to Texas (yee haw) for the weekend.

Advice from an alum: Get to know your professors
I'm cheating a bit by including this, since it is from a panel last week, but oh well.

I was waiting for our group room to open up today when I saw Prof. Hubbard speed-walking his way from room to room to work with teams of students in his current Advanced Business Strategy class. I spoke with him last quarter about what he was doing to retool the class, and it sounds like it has been very well received since I've heard nothing but positive things about the class from friends that are in it.

On one of his walk-by's, he commented that I was looking like a hippie (you can see why in the video below). It got me laughing, and it made me think of a piece of advice that an alum gave during a panel on What I Wish I Had Known while in grad school.

She said that although we spend a lot of time getting to know our classmates, it is easy to forget about getting to know our professors. And she mentioned how beneficial it can be to have an expert that you can reach out to in the future if you ever need advice. Andrew Youn ('06) also mentioned how helpful it has been to have Kellogg faculty advising him with his organization, again because he can tap them for advice on their areas of expertise.

I haven't done much on this front, and it is a little too late for me to do it now, so consider it a heads up for any future students. Fortunately, there are a lot of ways to get to know the professors, including the students lunches they host every quarter and faculty-advised independent study projects.

Leadership Competition
I participated in the leadership competition, which lasted most of the day on Wednesday, ultimately coming home empty handed (and continuing my streak of losing everything I participate in at Kellogg!).

I was on a team with 3 classmates, including a friend from my CIM section and 2 first-years that I had the pleasure of getting to know for the first time. We had to complete 4 challenges that promoted a variety of leadership skills like communication and teamwork. The final challenge was to give a 5-minute presentation on leadership at Kellogg to a small panel of judges, made up of Prof. Kraemer, the President of KSA, and the President of the BLC.

Although I was a bit hesitant to present at first since I didn't want to risk our chances with my 70/30 public speaking odds, I ultimately agreed to do it, keeping in mind that it was a great opportunity to practice presenting with little preparation.

I recorded our presentation so that I could go back and watch myself for the purpose of identifying areas of improvement...there are a lot. My portion is below.

Based on what we learned in Managerial Communications, I'd give myself a C. I was fidgeting a lot, didn't have strong gestures, and overused a lot of gestures. On the other hand, if I grade myself versus where I was before Kellogg, I'd give myself a solid A.

There is obviously a lot of room for improvement. I'm hopeful that I can continue practicing in the future.

Panel on values-based leadership
There was a panel on values-based leadership, the topic of Prof. Kraemer's new book, which is based on his Managerial Leadership class, on Thursday afternoon. The panel included some of the execs that he brings in as guest speakers in the class.

Kellogg panel discussing values-based leadership

Although I was familiar with the content, I still found it helpful to get a quick refresher and hear the panel's take on the questions from the audience.

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