The last module of our MBA Leadership Discovery Process took place over the past four days in the great outdoors of Sweden. It was called “the Simulator” and called forth our leadership – both personal and team based – in various challenges and situations. It was also an accelerator – meaning that the advisors could speed up the process, throw curveballs at us, or add new information to increase the learning.
The whole adventure was one big unknown. Details and information was withheld so we couldn’t “prepare” in advance for what we were to encounter. While I want to tell you all about the adventure, I also want to honour that element of the Simulator. So, instead, I will tell you what the adventure wasn’t instead …. warning: the following has high levels of sarcasm.
It was a very short bus ride into a luxurious hotel where, upon arrival, we were given a detailed agenda of the next 4 days. We had packed our bags so well that there was no need to repack or leave anything we brought behind. I was just glad that we didn’t have to carry everything – sleeping, cooking, and survival equipment – with us through the woods.
The map we got was very detailed and the walky-talkies we used to stay in communication were the most powerful ones I’d ever used. Our team was so proficient at using these tools that we never got lost, ever. Not even for a second. Our advisors even commended us for how proficient we were at consistently being on track and on time.
No one complained the entire time either. I think this was because the cabins we stayed in along the journey were super warm, the food we ate could have been from Noma, and the terrain made the hiking part seem like a walk in the park. No ones limits were tested at all – which is unfortunate. I wish we spent more time on reflection though and really providing feedback to each other on the task and their leadership. We had only one task a day, which gave lots of time to relax and socialize with the other people along the journey. These tasks were a breeze and at no point did our team doubt what we were doing or where we were going. To be honest, at times I wondered if I was just on vacation.
The last day, however, was pretty disappointing. We all separated and did our own thing. We ate outside in the cold and kept to ourselves. There were no celebratory drinks, jokes about Swedish models or freezing cold rescues, quick yoga sessions, or any real feeling of camaraderie or friendship. A low point to end of the journey for sure.
All I can say is that the adventure was a big let down. The worst part of the MBA to date for sure.
In truth, I had a blast. It was challenging – mentally and spiritually – and gave me a lot of great situations to continue to reflect on to see the different ways I show up for a team. Thanks Sweden, you’ll be remembered.
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