Improvisational Leadership

Going to keep this post short, as I just wanted to get a shout out and say, “Happy Close-to-the-end-of-the-school-year” to all. Where are my fellow bloggers at? I’m sure they’re wrapping up a lot of loose ends on final projects and finals themselves. As for us third years, we’re getting ready to graduate!

I wrapped up my second 1-unit class to round off my MBA with a class called Improvisational Leadership. Definitely an interactive class with lots of self-reflection and exercises to get one’s motor running on how to engage and stay dynamic within our own ever-changing environments. I really love tying things up with a soft-skills class to round off the quantitative and strategic-focused courses. Some people really are innately great at soft skills, but there are aspects that can definitely be learned and/or honed through practice, which I certainly appreciate.
Personally, I was comforted by the fact that some of the improvisational maxims in our readings lined right up with some of my list in the previous Top 10 blog. Particularly, “Make Mistakes!” (“Don’t be afraid to make mistakes” – #7 in my list).
In recent times, I have really had to expose myself to this and “let things go.” With the flurry of activities in my own work, there are so many things I have to let my team experience and figure out for themselves. It’s been a rough ride, but I think the lesson learned here is that as you move up in your career, there will be an endless array of “to do’s” — and we can’t just punch the card and try to get through that list. Building on routines sometimes is helpful, but we can’t let it get in the way of innovation or stagnation of other developments. So, theory in practice, as they say… Not that I don’t still try to stay vigilant, but the point remains that to extend ourselves means to let others get on the same page and aligned such that greater works can be done. Not just the work of a sole person which just won’t scale. More hippy talk from a Berkeley-ite?
Until the next time, I’m wishing all the students, prospective students and related Haas’ians well. Definitely will let you know how graduation goes. We’re all set and ready for May 15th! Happy Haas’ing, friends.
– TL

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