How the LeadershipPlus will benefit me for a lifetime

12 April 2022

Full-time MBA participant, Angel Zhou, shares how the MBA programme has developed her leadership skills. 

"People are always blaming their circumstances...the people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they can't find them, make them." - George Bernard Shaw.

Do you ever have that moment when your mini-me is trying to raise its voice, wanting to change, be different, and you don’t know how? This little voice led me to pursue my education and to apply for the Full-time MBA programme. Warwick Business School (WBS) was my first choice. WBS is one of the top business schools in the UK, Europe, and globally, with a continued good reputation and excellent faculty quality. The first time I talked to the Recruitment team from WBS, I felt the warmth, it was like they were welcoming me home, and this feeling has never changed since then.

My favourite module so far is LeadershipPlus because I’ve always endlessly chased my higher self. I hope that I am different today than I was yesterday and that I can become a better version of myself. It is not only important to keep working on and improving myself, but also a leader look at the wider picture, such as team and goals in order to be truly successful.

Leadership starts from within

If I don’t understand myself or have an awareness of myself, how can I become a better person? Or make an impact on other people? Or my team?

Self-awareness is a crucial yet fun process from the module. It was not easy to face myself when I was not entirely expecting to. The module dug deep into me, and I have had less choice to avoid listening to myself. I have had to accept some of my weaknesses, even ones I had never wanted to admit. I understood that to establish a new (better) pattern in my mind, I needed to break the old way first. This process was not comfortable, but it helped me gain mindfulness, build up my self-awareness and grow my confidence to communicate with others - to listen, learn, understand others - and lead people in a positive direction with ethics, compassion, and empathy.

LeadershipPlus will benefit me for a lifetime

Six months flashed by, and the module has already impacted my life. I realised that

I was thinking differently than my old self when I approached people and matters, communicating across cultures, and was using this skill to help others develop themselves.

In my opinion, LeadershipPlus is the most fun module, as it incorporated many interactive workshops. It has allowed me to experience something and then consider how I felt or acted during that experience, so that I can understand myself and my reactions better. I remember there is one section where we need to list our priorities in our own life, from one to six in order. When some of the thoughts in your head become visual, the perception seems to be more profound. By looking at what I wrote, I suddenly felt that some of the things in my life that I had been trying to value were being ignored.

Applied to an organisation, these lessons can help to identify which are primary and which are secondary priorities. A key challenge for organisational leaders is to identify these priorities and work out how to balance them, meet their organisation’s goals and care for their employees at the same time.

Another workshop I recall was a role-playing workshop, in which we played as chiefs of different villages. To survive, we had to negotiate how to divide the existing territory, all striving to achieve the same objective, whilst stretching our communication skills. The results were entirely different; some chiefs returned with a full load, and some chiefs had nothing. Fortunately, I was the chief who returned with a full bag! But, I was not able to achieve this without the support from my team. From this it was clear that understanding ourselves and others is an essential element of communication and is a key factor to becoming a great leader. A great leader has a significant impact on the organisation and society.

I don’t want to share more because I don’t want to ruin your own fun experience in the future. Overall, I believe what I have learnt from the LeadershipPlus module will benefit me for a lifetime.

This is a unique year in your life, and you will not be the same after your MBA. So have fun, be curious, be open-minded, be ready to take whatever comes to your mind, and let the module lead you. Refresh, re-think, re-progress and embrace your new self.

Enjoy your MBA journey!

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