Distinguished Adjunct Professor Ingo Holzinger, Course Coordinator for MGMT 5150 Skills for Leadership and Director of the Strategy Field Study, explains how this core MBA course helps students develop the ability to reflect, an essential skill for successful business leaders. A final reflective assignment in the course allows for variety in submission formats, which enables students to express their reflections in creative and personally relevant ways.
I am Ingo Holzinger. I am the course director of MGMT 5150 Skills for Leadership and the director of the Strategy Field Study.
Developing the ability to reflect is defined by Schulich as a learning outcome for the MBA program. It is an important quality to have as a leader, being self-aware and how self fits into the context of where one wants to make a leadership difference.
One of the final assignments in MGMT 5150 is a reflection, ‘As a future leader, I will need to.” What reflection does is it asks students to reflect on their learning in the course to see how they can make a positive leadership difference in the future. They have the option to submit a reflection paper but they also have the option to submit videos or audio recordings for their reflection. It has actually turned out to be quite interesting the videos and audio recordings that are often much more personal than the – and more interesting, more creative in many ways than the written reflections.
The students appear to appreciate the option of submitting a video or audio recording for their reflection. Only about 20% of the students each semester do it but the ones that do get quite creative. I believe it provides them with a platform to express themselves differently. Not everybody is a an effective writer or likes to write and having the option to submit a video or audio recording gives them the opportunity to do something that’s more personal, that fits more with their own style. One example that I vividly remember was a student who used her dog as a stand-in for herself in her learning journey through the course and and while that may sound quite humorous it was actually quite outstanding in how she incorporated course concepts that she found meaningful that will help her make a difference in the future and have her dogs go through these concepts. You have to see it to believe it. It was very creative and for her I believe very meaningful.