A constantly evolving discipline
"I work for ITW GSE, a leading supplier of ground power and Air Conditioning Units to the aviation industry for aircraft on the ground. As part of company development plans I was offered the opportunity to do some leadership training. It was up to me to decide where I went – I looked locally but couldn’t find anything that really worked for me. So I threw the net out further and went international.
LBS stood out for obvious reasons like rankings, brand and prestige, but appealed mainly because of its demonstrated strength in leadership. Studying in London also offered me more exposure to international companies and the school is extremely well-connected to the Middle East. Plus it turned out that our HR department had connections there.
I thought I already had a fairly international perspective – after all, I’m French, I work for a US globally diversified manufacturer that has a division management structure in Denmark. I’m based in Dubai, where life is very multicultural. But I still didn’t realise what impact the programme would have on me in that respect. For people coming from their home country who are used to working mainly with others of the same nationality, it’s invaluable. A manager working in Saudi Arabia and a manager from the UK, for example, have vastly different experiences of leadership to share. Diving into that intimate and personal understanding of culture brought a huge amount of value to the group.
On the programme we completed a NEO-Personality assessment. That was an eye opener. The psychology and debriefing process we went through for the test enabled me to explore different parts of myself, including my leadership skills. It really showed me what leadership means – it clarified my perception and my understanding. We examined the ways leadership is described, the ways people
demonstrate it, how it’s changed in the past ten years, and also new trends. It was fascinating.
There is some great formal teaching by Margaret and Niro on this programme, and there’s a lot of discussion and opportunity to interact. So that allows you to share experiences and really ramps things up. It’s very dynamic. That’s when you start to feel you’re part of a journey – one that’s both very interactive and interesting, but also well-organised and efficient.
Bringing back learning from a short programme and implementing things into your day to day role takes focus and effort. I haven’t yet implemented everything I learned, and I’m still learning to mix what I gained from my dynamic LBS experience with the Scandinavian management style and its focus on work/life balance. But we did a lot of work on how to influence people, and I’ve found that very useful."