dimanche 11 mai 2014


I teach at one of the most prestigious business school in West Africa (www.cesag.sn) courses that supposed to directly impact the students’ ‘next day step’. It’s about change management, setting competitive enterprises, and building people capacities and competencies.
Most of the students are in senior position with at least 5 years professional background. They are more accustomed to interaction, which makes easier to get a vigorous discussion going. But there’s one thing that worries me: they’re too eager to please.
The pleasers they act like undergrads: wanting to please the teacher and get good grades. When I ask a question, they proffer the answers they imagine I’m looking for. Such students will make excellent corporate foot soldiers but they won’t make great leaders. They aren’t thinking for themselves; they’re just trying to second-guess me.
What’s worse is that, in focusing on their grades, they’re missing the point. They’re attending for professional learning process. Not for the external documentation but their internal, personal development.
By the time you do a ‘professional courses’, you should know why. You want to broaden your knowledge base or deepen your skills - or maybe you want to find out whether or not entrepreneurship is for you. Whatever your goal, If you don’t know why you attend professional courses, then you shouldn’t ….
The best students I have view their courses tactically: one step on the way to a destination they’re determined to reach. They pick and choose their classes and modules strategically. They aren’t afraid to argue because they know they need to stretch and test themselves. They have set and are following their own agenda, not mine.
I do appreciate their determination and focus. If they can apply that kind of clear thinking to their careers, they stand a far better chance of applying it to their businesses.

Here’s my advice: Know why you attend professional courses; pursue that goal ruthlessly and with total focus. Forget about grades and bend the program to your needs.

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