It’s easy to wait for it. The movies have taught us that when the music swells and the chips are down, that’s when leaders arrive and when heroes are made.
It turns out, that’s not how it works.
Our work is what happens in all the moments. Leadership doesn’t simply appear when the script announces it does: it is the hard work of showing up when we’re not expected to, of seeing what’s possible when few are willing to believe.
Your defining moment is whenever you decide it is, and you get a new chance to lead every day.
Two months ago, we ran our first session of Rising Talent, a special session of the altMBA by and for emerging leaders at Fortune 500 companies.
Our month-long sprint connected senior leaders from SAP, Starbucks, Dunkin’ Brands, Citi, General Mills, Lululemon, NBA, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Adobe, Audible, Barclays, Chipotle, Delta, Trane Technologies, Frost Bank, Kellogg Company, Kraft Heinz, MetLife, Qualcomm, Shopify, Slack and Warby Parker. Even though the world was already turning upside down, this extraordinary cohort showed up and did the work, even as they were contributing at a high level at their day jobs.
The results reinforced what we’ve been saying at the altMBA for the last five years. Possibility is where you find it. We each have more to offer than the world expects. And growth is something we’re capable of, as soon as we’re committed to seeing what we can contribute.
The secret of our workshops is the level of commitment that our students bring. Even in times of turmoil. Enrollment opens the door to action instead of compliance.
Our current worldwide tragedy is a slog, but it will have another side. And the organizations that thrive will be the ones that don’t rely on top-down management to go forward. It’s peer-to-peer leadership and innovation that produces resilience, and leadership that turns any moment into a moment where we can make things better.
Ishita Gupta has written more about the Rising Talent altMBA here.