Achieving your potential in leadership, followership and partnership

Recently our Bayes Full-time MBA cohort had the opportunity to develop our leadership, followership, and partnership skills on the Achieving Your Potential programme. We travelled to the gorgeous 120-acre grounds of Warbrook House where we completed complex outdoor activities, classroom-based exercises, and discussions. It was an experience I will never forget and take with me in my future career.

This 2.5-day programme was led by the MBA Careers Team in partnership with Inspirational Development Group (IDG) who shared insights and motivated us from their past military and business experiences to guide us to be impactful leaders and effective followers in small teams throughout the programme.

On the very first day, we completed multiple discussion sessions and outdoor activities but ended the day with a competitive challenge where the main task was building a “rollercoaster” using limited resources. With no engineering background, our team created a system playing to our strengths to work fast and efficiently, which led us to victory in the end! What I appreciated most was that after each activity, no matter victory or failure, we reflected on what we thought we did well as a team and as individual contributors, identifying where we could improve for the next activity and allowing us to continuously improve to achieve our fullest potential. During the reflection we gathered around and rated our performance as a team, including remarks for the leader and areas we could all improve on. It was great having live direct feedback (better learned to call feedforward) to continue to develop our skills.

MBA students tackle a teamwork activity to build a rollercoaster with minimal equipment or instructions. They are on the lawn outside Warbrook House.

On day two we had an incredible opportunity to travel through The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst to the 478 hectare Barossa nature reserve. From here we were briefed as Maintenance Battalion Aid sections (MBAs!) to complete a series of timebound tasks, adopting the responsibilities of a private company specialising in the re-building of infrastructure in unstable environments. Located throughout the reserve we learnt to properly communicate through radio to the command centre and other groups, to utilise the one map and compass given, and carry a military backpack. After completing tasks within our smaller group, we were brought together with the other groups, where everyone helped game plan how to save the medical supplies that had been fictitiously taken from us throughout the activity. We ran through the field when we heard the gunshots (that were blanks don’t worry) it was go time! Working in a high-pressure environment, we all sprinted down the hill, divided up responsibilities to load up the stretchers and medical supplies and carry them up the hill for success, conquering the activity!

Kate and her team carrying a stretcher during the activity at Sandhurst

Looking back, it was an unbelievably positive experience that most MBA students aren’t exposed to. With gorgeous weather and views of the UK countryside being an additional bonus! The programme taught us all so much about leadership, partnership and followership and we all came out as highly skilled team players.

I developed insights relating to team behaviours and the effectiveness of my contributions, and I also gained self-awareness in these areas in an ever-changing environment.  When it comes to leadership, partnership, and followership, there is not one more important than the other, as I learned how to be supportive in any of those roles and how to adapt my communication to not only be the best version of myself, but the best version of myself for my team. My biggest take away was actually about how to be the best follower to make the team efficient and effective.  Challenging my true potential was the whole reason I joined the Bayes MBA; I wanted to take my skills to the next level in my future career, and I am so glad the Achieving Your Potential programme allowed me to develop these skills in a whole new way. As learned from radio command training, “Kate out!”.