Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Businessweek blog writer?

Is it in my stars to write for businessweek? It may be so! It turns out that I may have the opportunity to write about my experience at IMD in the MBA Journals section of businessweek's online business school coverage.

I have to submit some writing samples to IMD marketing and if I am picked, I will submit them to businessweek with IMD's blessing. This should be fun, it will help me get back into planning mode. My activities to get ready for Lausanne come in waves as my wife and I start to de-clutter the home, plan trips and sell used items on eBay. These are interspersed with daily mundane activities and work. It's definitely hard to keep the excitement level at a high, but it's little things like these that puts a smile on my face: a new and exciting adventure awaits... cheers!

Monday, May 17, 2010

GEM #2

To be a successful leader and visionary, it is extremely important to communicate with impact. What does that mean? Do we have to leave them wanting more? Do we have to entertain and wow our audiences? Do we have to come across as passionate and very clear on where we are going? I believe it's all of these and more. The way to lead that will help your organization understand the why and the purpose of their existence is to communicate in a way that inspires and conveys the purpose/vision with a bang. This easy to read book gives many examples of strong communicators and the secrets of their success. I definitely used these to my advantage as part of my interview, but more importantly it adds to my arsenal when delivering business presentations

GEM #2: 10 simple secrets of the world's greatest business communicators

My top 3 ideas from the book
1. Leverage your tone, speed up, or slow down to bring to life your words and its meaning
2. Speak with high energy and passion as people naturally gravitates towards those who are passionate
3. Start and end your presentation strong, it's the ending that is the most memorable

Friday, May 14, 2010

one countdown after another

My wife has finally finished her masters of architecture degree and it was a well deserved 3 years of hard work! We can finally start to plan for our move and figure out what trips we want to take before embarking to Lausanne.

Yesterday, I was fortunate to chat at length with a 2009 IMD graduate and it was great! He talked about his experience in the program and he had nothing but good things to say. He definitely thought the work load was heavy, but the sense of accomplishment was well worth it. He also talked about how the soft skills and leadership training helped tremendously, and he definitely looks at the world differently now afther the IMD program. His words added to my excitement as I flip flop between being really excited to start the program to wincing as I imagine the 16 hour days, 6 days a week.

So here we go, I am anticipating the start of my adventure, but also anxious to enjoy the summer as well as having fun planning out our vacation time before school starts.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

GEM #1

Growing up, I was never pushed to read, and so I never really found much joy in reading. Perhaps a few novels here and there, but that's about it. It's only during the past couple of years that I devoured books and read as if I was afraid I would not get to the gems out there before I hit the bucket.

There are so many great books that changed what I do on a daily basis and I will start to post them here. The first one is really a book that changed how I read books. Something that caught my eye in a second hand book store and when I browsed through it, I instantly knew this was the one I was searching for. I do not really read fiction, and I think that is something that will slowly be added to my list of books. For now, I crave for any non-fiction about business, leadership, communication, influence... hard to believe that a MBA candidate will be drawn to these genres huh?

So this first one is special: Love is the killer app by Tim Sanders

My top 3 ideas from the book:
1. Constantly help your peers, your bosses, your friends by giving knowledge
2. Use books as a solution to their problems
3. Instead of reading, STUDY the books you love; summarize, digest and apply!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Why do we help?

I engaged in an interesting discussion with my wife yesterday. "Why are you helping other applicants?" I was stopped in my tracks for a moment and wanted to quickly defend myself by saying "well, it's all public information, I'm not providing any secrets that you can't find out anyway". But then I really thought hard about why me and other past applicants help out by answering questions and giving tips.

I think I may have got it. Well, it's my best answer for now anyway. We understand what other applicants are going through because we went through the same process. We scoured the internet for tips and any statistics that will help us be more confident, be more prepared, because it IS a big step and whatever happens will change our lives forever. At least that is what we think when we are in the process of it all, essays, interviews, etc...

In the end, even though getting the extra information may help, the true value is that you will feel more confident, more prepared and that may add a little bounce in your step, a little more passion when you speak, and I think that makes all the difference. You want to get to that state where you feel like you can take on anything the world lashes at you, that's when you perform best.

So there, I'm helping out because I know what it feels like to be an aspiring MBA student, and I'm merely providing common sense tips and public information that will not thwart the intricate admissions process to ensure a fantastic class.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Impromptu presentation

For applicants that have been invited to an interview, congratulations!

The impromptu presentation can be a cause for concern for some of you since it is going to be a "surprise". I must say you need not be anxious, because I do not think they are looking for the content within your presentation. Well it has to at least be logical! I do not know if they keep the topics consistent, but I can tell you this. If you can tackle the case study given to you (and you probably can, since it's a required part of the interview), you will have no problems with the impromptu presentation!

I recommended Case in point in an earlier post if you really want to feel prepared for this section. It will help by giving a structure for tackling the presentation topic. With that said though, the book felt like an over kill to me. Again, I do not think the content matter as much as how you deliver your presentation.

I leave you with three thoughts:

1. Be confident
2. Be logical
3. Be concise