“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”
This motivational quote from Mahatma Gandhi captures well my rationale for starting, back in 2016, an Executive MBA at Frankfurt School. Lifelong learning is becoming the norm in today’s world, with the pace of technological innovation being so fast to continuously require new job competencies and skills. The Lifelong Learning Programmes offered by Frankfurt School to its graduates, with the possibility for them to attend for free one training module per year after graduation, fits perfectly the needs of an ever-changing society and gives FS Alumni learning opportunities which extend way beyond the 18 months of the EMBA Programmes.
Today, three years after the graduation ceremony in the monumental setting of Frankfurt’s Paulskirche, I applaud my decision to study for an Executive MBA and do it at Frankfurt School. For two additional reasons, other than the Lifelong Learning Programme I just mentioned:
The Social Network each one of us created with our classmates. Our class consisted of 44 very diverse students. Diverse by country of origin, language, culture, job function, industry, ethnicity, gender, religion, you name it. This gave me an unprecedented opportunity to mingle with extremely brilliant people with a cultural, educational and/or professional background very different from mine. The bond we created in class over the 18 months of the EMBA programme still lasts through recurring reunions (even though the COVID-19 pandemic dramatically limited in-person events) and frequent WhatsApp messages or calls.
The Soft Skills I had the opportunity to develop or refine during the program. Negotiation, teamwork, leadership are just a few examples of the soft skills that students practice and improve over the course of the program. It was during my EMBA that I got closer to the idea of Servant Leadership, which eventually turned to be a major game-changer in both my professional and personal life.
The idea of the leader as a servant to his or her team, someone who focuses on the development, growth and well-being of the team members can make a pivotal difference in the lives of those being led, the leaders themselves, and eventually the department and/or the organization they work for. I didn’t discover Servant Leadership during the EMBA, but certainly it was the EMBA that stimulated me to dig further into the subject and forge my leadership style according to the principles of Servant Leadership.
In February 2021 I published my first book on Servant Leadership, “SERVE to lead”, now on sale on Amazon. If someone told me five years ago that I would write a book on leadership, I probably would have not taken them seriously. At the end this was possible thanks to one more soft skill I could practice and improve during the course of the EMBA: time management. When you have a full-time job, a young daughter, and your EMBA studies to take care of at the same time – as I did – you learn fast how to best manage your time, and even how to find the time to write books. Yes, books. Plural. Because in 2020 I wrote also “Changing History”, a sci-fi novel on time travel and alternative history.
In retrospect, the Executive MBA Programme at Frankfurt School contributed to changing my history.