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6 June 2023

A renowned French magazine highlights one of our innovative courses

The French magazine Marie-Claire recently chose to highlight a flagship program of the Geneva EMBA, Self-Leadership, described as an innovative approach to unlocking professional potential. Let’s take a closer look at this module and its usefulness within our curriculum.

The initial foundations of the Self-Leadership program emerged in 1995 during Jean-Yves Mercier’s doctoral studies. In order to foster autonomy, initiative, and accountability among executives, new pedagogical assumptions were established. Over the course of 13 years, these assumptions were validated through action. Then, in 2008, the students of the part-time MBA program at what was then HEC Geneva made a request. Faced with a changing world, they wanted to take charge of managing their own careers. However, they didn’t know how to do it. The research power of the University came into play. Didactic videos allowed for iterative individual questioning and group coaching. The Self-Leadership program was born.

Comprised of short and iterative sequences, this course alternates between 4 learning modes that collectively lead to the development of professional development scenarios:

• Individual reflection on an e-learning platform

• Regular self-assessment through 8 diagnostic tools

• Visualization of professional value during 8 coaching sessions

• Formulation of concrete projects in the form of scenarios and a synthesis report.

Throughout the program, numerous questions are addressed. What professional roles can we play in our complex, uncertain, and hyperconnected world? Is my way of fulfilling my role sustainable? What role am I currently playing, and what role do I have the potential to play? How do my behaviors support the role I wish to play? Where do my paradoxes lie? What impact does this have on how I live and manage my emotions? Which missions should I focus on to be connected to my energy? What were the driving forces behind my professional evolution until now? Where am I in my life cycle, and do they still suit me today? What is important to do now, capitalize or change? The small-group coaching sessions allow each individual to identify their personal compass, visualize their evolution scenarios, choose their preferred option, and activate their network to succeed in their professional development.

This newfound awareness and confidence is a life-changer. Just read the comments from some of our students at the end of the program:

For someone like me, who was super skeptical about all these coaching things, I am more than surprised. The self-reflection I gained throughout the course was a necessary step into improving my personal life and my professional life. I am going through many changes in my professional life, so getting a few valuable outside-opinions on one’s self- awareness, self-regulation, and self-motivation created a new picture of myself for me. I see my weaknesses more openly and try to convert them into strengths, and also try to make more out of my strengths. Further, I understood it is the little things that make a difference, such as realizing in a discussion with my fellow group members that a big part of my discontent & boredom can easily be outsourced.

Maybe it was just my case, because of the situation with Ukraine, but I found the Self Leadership journey useful not only for my professional life but for my personal life as well. These two parts of life are very interconnected, and when considering professional options, one should always take into account personal issues as well. I was very confused about my professional life when we started the course, as business in Ukraine had stopped generating any positive cash flow, and we still had operating costs. The worst part was that you could not predict or plan anything at all. Perhaps this is still the case now, but understanding it and knowing how to deal with it is the key to survival at the moment.

Applying the learnings acquired throughout the module allowed me to significantly improve my situation at work. Several activities that were not aligned with my flow were either reduced or simply dropped. Also, sources of conflicts have been strongly mitigated. The raised self-awareness clarified my strengths and weaknesses, and gave me the opportunity to work on areas of improvement, such as for instance communication. Both enhanced awareness and emotional intelligence will help in the processes of decision-making, for me to identify future positions that will suite my personal drivers.

The approach was unique and full of engagement. Our group bonded and managed to gain full trust and understand each other. We listen and exchange each other’s experiences, perspectives, and ways to overcome challenges and doubts that we have been facing all these times. The self-leadership journey and coaching sessions impacts how I feel, changes the way I see an issue, and challenges the way I manage expectations to come up with out-of-the-box options for my future self-development.

Professional evolutions, shifts in perspective, life transformations. To the point where the Self-Leadership course of our Geneva EMBA is highlighted by a mainstream magazine, not just within academic publications. Perhaps that is the recognition of excellence.


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