Monday, November 18, 2013
A few weeks ago, I went on a 3 day retreat as part of MBA 510, Leadership Skills and Team Development, a course that is required for all new MBA and MPAC students. The retreat was an outdoor, experiential learning experience that took place on Bastyr University's beautiful campus and surrounding forest.
Over those 3 days, I was in constant, close contact with a group of 28 people I had just met a few weeks earlier. We bonded through team challenges involving everything from hiking to climbing, many of which were physically demanding and mentally draining.
I learned numerous lessons out there including the importance of positivity, the formation of effective leadership, and the power of need. Each challenge required the full support and cooperation of every team member in the group and when one person was incongruent, morale sank and success became elusive. Leadership was demonstrated in various ways, from bold ideas to supportive words but all included listening to one another. When people were needed, they rose up and tackled the most daunting tasks and achieved something they didn't think they could.
It was difficult to come back to the "real world" after this experience. The level of comradery, positivity, and support was almost unreal. One of the most difficult things for me was maintaining that momentum and applying it in my own daily life. It is easy to escape for a few days and act like a different person, but it is much more difficult to permanently become that person afterwards.
From the silly games to the heartfelt class discussions to the eye-opening retreat experience, this course exceeded my expectations and I am grateful for meeting so many good, thoughtful, and inspirational people. Going forward, I am hopeful that we will all become not only more effective leaders but also more conscientious and supportive people.
To my friends in the Fall 2013 MBA 510 Thursday evening class,
What an amazing adventure. From the bottom of my heart, thank you everyone for such an unforgettable journey. Every one of you has a warm heart and I can confidently say that I learned something from each one of you. You guys were the best group of people any one could have asked for and I truly hope I see you all again in future courses, parties, and beyond.
To Bill, Hartley, and Carly, thank you for being such excellent role models and facilitators. I hope someday I can be as positive and inspirational as you all are.
Loc Nguyen, MBA candidate, email@example.com