As before, this month again I had an individual TEC On Campus session with Mr. Brinderson, CEO Brinderson Inc, followed by a day-long group session in Paris on Friday 24th.
My individual session was scheduled just after the Statistics mid-term examination. So, had to wrap up my exam quickly and run for the session organized at the BT Retail Workspace in the Executive MBA Building.
The group session was held at Ritz in Paris where we had an insightful discussion with Mr. Steven Sherwood, the CEO of CWS Capital Partners LLC, on the current financial crisis in the US, its effect on real estate activities and his views on leadership in business & personal life.
Aside, we also discussed deeply on topics like financial independence, personal support groups etc which resulted in some home work to be done before the sessions next month. The session overall was very intense resulting in a busy day.
The hospitality at Ritz was good as usual. I must mention that last time, due to Ramadaan, I was unable to taste the food at Ritz. This time I did have lunch there and I must say that the fish was pretty good. Dining once a month at Ritz is not bad after all!
Coming tuesday we have our mid-term examination on Financial Markets. I’ll write more later on this as I have to go back to work now.
Everyone needs support with pressing issues in their personal and professional lives. CEOs and Presidents, leading small or big organizations, are no exceptions to this fact. While a normal person can find support in their superiors, where can a top leader of an organization find similar support without compromising his/her position ?
Enters The Executive Committee (TEC), now Vistage International, which provides a platform for CEO-s of non-competitive industries to interact. TEC is really about peer-to-peer relationships that byfar exceed the realms of abstract ideas and go deep into the real lives and issues of the people involved.
The HEC MBA operates an on-campus version of TEC which tends to replicate the same model with 12 selected MBA participants. The program is led by Gary Brinderson, Founder (1965) Chairman & CEO, Brinderson Inc who chairs one-on-one and group sessions every month with the participants. Effectively, the purpose of this program is to mentor and guide the students in their career, business and life issues.
On 17th September I had my first one-on-one session with Mr. Brinderson. The 45 minute session was well spent on topics which I generally never spoke about aloud. We spoke about my family, relationships in life, how I valued them, fears, drivers etc. The point which my mentor was trying to drive home was that decision-making becomes easier when we make our thoughts explicit. Of course we need to do so in a confidential setting and, I thought, probably TEC is going to provide me with that platform.
My thought came to life with what I experienced at our group session on Friday, 19th September 2008. The whole day session was held at Ritz in Paris and we were introduced to our guest for the day – Mr. Bernard Bismuth who is the General Manager of CCI Eurolam, President of FIEN and holder of more such titles. The interaction we had within the group, with our mentor and with our guest proved to be an intense experience. The day was filled with real life stories, hard lessons of life, their connotation with business principles and how, with a positive attitude towards their future, individuals have garnered courage to overpower the challenges encountered. I learnt a lot. The importance of having a support group, the necessity of gaining financial independence, the skills required to be a successful entrepreneur, the value of maintaining work-life balance, etiquette and much more. Knowing what the On Campus TEC alumni have to say, it seems that the first sessions in September 2008 are only a pre-cursor of the immense value this program provides to all its participants.
The experiences shared by others have helped strengthened my existing beliefs and opened me to new perspectives. I am so glad that my family, especially my mother and wife, supported my decision to obtain an MBA at this juncture in life.
Aside, it was also a chance to see Paris again. Ritz is afterall not a bad place to visit every month and the Column at Place Vendome definitely marks well the victory of Napoleon in Austerlitz battle of 1805.