Aman Modi, IMD Class of 2012 The life of a chief executive

We had our third leadership experiential last week.  As part of one of the exercises I got to experience the life of a chief executive.

Let me warn you, this post is going to be rather incomplete and might leave you hanging on a bit, because I’m yet to make complete sense of it myself.

In our task we had to work with four other study groups, making a mega team.  We had six people in our team and other teams had five to seven members each.  We could send five briefing leaders and we chose to send one briefing leader from each of the five teams in our “universe”.  I should mention that this task was considerably easier for us than for other teams, as other universes had six teams, not five.

So, somehow my team chose me and then when five of us came back after the briefing again, somehow, I became the chief executive of the team.  From there on, it was an interesting journey.

I have to state here that our team won, based on our performance in achieving the assigned task.  But as the chief executive I felt something that I have never felt before. I felt pressure. I was totally overwhelmed -  in between the confusion and the chaos.  I felt out of my depth so many times.  I felt as if I was being pulled in several directions; it was as if I didn’t know what was going on and what my team was working on.  At times, I saw people who were disengaged and I wanted to go and talk to them, but I felt I was always too busy fire fighting to go and do that.

It was so intense that at times, I felt like escaping, like running away and curling up into a ball and hiding in a corner where no one could find me.  But I couldn’t do that – I felt an equally intense sense of responsibility towards “my people.”

I don’t know what the entire situation represented.  Honestly, I’m yet to make sense of it all – what I did, why I did it and what impact it had on the people around me.

All I can say for now is that it was an amazing, intense experience, which was like nothing I have experienced before.  It will take me some time to reflect and explore, but I promise you that the day I know a bit better, I will write more about it.