Traffic at work isn’t just a metaphor. It’s real. We get stuck. Surrounded by people who are just as stuck. It can seem like progress is at a crawl.
And then, we see a different way. Someone finds a lane we didn’t even know existed. Quickly, they’re joined by a few others, a cohort that’s making a difference and moving precisely where they want to go.
All around us, there are people who want to protect their status quo, while others are on a path to level up. Some careers are about checking boxes while others set people up to draw the boxes.
This blog, of course, is for people who want to do work that matters. It might be a more difficult route, but it’s worth it.
The work of leveling up involves pushing past perceived limitations, understanding that they’re not real.
And it involves surrounding yourself with people on a similar journey.
“What’s required here?” is the question we were taught to ask. This is the loyal employee and the reliable cog, meeting spec.
“What is the opportunity here?” is a totally different question. It’s about contribution and forward motion, not simply compliance.
For people in a hurry to learn and contribute, the range of learning options online is a boon. You can learn more, and more quickly, than ever before. The options range from straight video courses (some of which are really quite expensive, some of which are nearly free) to intensive interpersonal community interactions. Some involve fun topics and well-known celebrities, while others are dry video monologues offered in exchange for a continuing education credit.
Nearly three years ago, we started the altMBA. Our goal was to find people who were already enrolled in the journey of leveling up and making a difference–and so we created an intensive thirty-day workshop that would help them do better work.
The altMBA is not like the other online courses you might see offered from various websites. We have a coach for every ten students, with group work, daily video calls and most of all, peer-to-peer projects. There are no gurus, no video lectures, nothing to memorize.
It’s easier to take (and make) a straight video course, but I’m not sure it can deliver the results worthy of your time.
One of the key choices we made is that we don’t have tests or a fancy accreditation. That’s because these enforcement tools separate the student from the process, turning it into something adversarial. The question, “will this be on the test?” is a question about how little can I do, and about compliance.
On the other hand, if you’re enrolled, then no enforcement is necessary. If you’re enrolled in the journey, no one has to hassle you. Instead of seeking to do less, you seek to do more.
The altMBA was created to help people see more clearly, make better decisions and engage with their soft skills, the ones that truly matter. This is a cohort of people who have decided to leave their imagined limitations behind.
With the altMBA continuing to thrive, we’ve taken some of what we’ve learned from the process and expanded it into a new learning paradigm, online seminars we’re calling workshops.
Unlike the altMBA, these new workshops don’t have a high coach ratio, organized learning groups or peer-to-peer projects. Instead, we’re building online communities with dozens of video lessons, lessons that each participant can turn into a chance to improve their own projects. In a typical workshop, there are hundreds of thousands of page views every few weeks, and a post is made every few minutes, 24 hours a day.
Real people, interacting with each other because the journey is worth it. Seeing in others what they know they have in themselves.
These workshops are far more tactical than the altMBA, but they still end up challenging people to ask themselves (and each other) the really hard questions.
We’re calling these the Akimbo workshops. They include The Marketing Seminar, The Podcasting Fellowship and several others. And we only offer them to people who are already headed in that direction. It’s voluntary education, it’s for people who have decided to get on the bus and get to where they’re going.
I hope you’ll check out both the altMBA and the Akimbo workshops. Because if you’re ready to level up, we’re ready for you.
PS If you’ve been on the fence about the altMBA, I hope you’ll click over to see some of our latest news, testimonials and updates–the final decision deadline for our next session is this week, on March 22.