Friday, January 4, 2013

Journey of a Leader: Small Victories

Second-year MBA, Consumer Marketing Academy

How quickly 8 months flies by.  Seems just like yesterday, I was meeting with my GLOBASE Guatemala Leadership Team for the first time last April.  We had a vague idea of what we wanted, but it seemed so far away.  Fast forward several months, and it’s awesome to think how far we’ve come.  We are in the thick of the GLOBASE leadership experience, 99% of the planning done, and now we start to execute when classes resume on January 7. Talk about pressure!

Sometimes, I know I get caught up in the weeds of planning, and it takes some personal reflection for me to realize the awesomeness of what has just happened.  And here I realize the value of small victories and celebrating those small victories.  To see something as big as GLOBASE start to come together is amazing.  It’s energizing.  It’s exciting. 

In the past 4 months, my team and I have recruited 20 enthusiastic student consultants, interviewed and selected 5 Guatemalan small/medium enterprise clients, planned a 7-week curriculum, and planned a 2-week in-country experience.  I know that a year from now, I’m not going to remember the hours of work that went into this … I’ll remember the effect that work had on the participants, on me, on my leadership team.  I’ll remember:
  • The overwhelming excitement we received from those clients that we selected to work with this year.  The smile I heard over the Skype call when I called to learn more about the client’s business.  The warm, grateful emails I receive from the client ... anxious to meet her student consulting team and to get started on the project.
  • Seeing the student participants get excited about Guatemala after they received word that they’d be participating this year.  The Facebook updates exclaiming, “Guatemala in 2013! So excited!” and the emails students sent to us letting us know how thrilled they are to participate.
  • GLOBASE Guatemala Kickoff Dinner, when we first got to share with students our vision for GG2013, when we described the 5 projects we had selected, and basically got to know each other a little better.  I thought to myself later that night, after everyone had gone home, “OMG this is happening.  It’s real!”
  •  Assembling the student teams.  Balancing the interests, fields of study, and personalities of the student participants into 5 different consulting teams was a difficult exercise but so rewarding.  Each team has a great project and complementary skills and personalities to deliver quality work.
  •  The first meeting I had with my student consulting team.  We didn’t talk about work; we chatted about school only briefly; we didn't get nervous about the upcoming semester.  Instead, we shared a beer, got to know one another a bit better, celebrated the end of a semester.
  • Leadership Team gatherings.  Most every Monday, my leadership team would get together at a neighborhood restaurant off campus to just socialize.  We knew that we were going to be spending a lot of time together over the next few months, and we will have to completely trust each other in-country, so this get-to-know-you time was invaluable to me.
These, I realize, are small victories.  But they’re important.  And they’re all a part of a big payoff that will be GLOBASE Guatemala 2013.  The planning’s done, now it’s time to execute!

Watch Megan in our "Journey of a Leader" series on YouTube.


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