altMBA Week Two: Leveling Up

It’s hard to believe that we’re already through Week 2 of altMBA6! Time sometimes stood still when trying to crank out a project to meet a deadline. And, on the other hand, I can’t believe that I am already halfway through the course.


Here are my nine takeaways from this week:


Making Decisions. The last week has been transformative for me. After learning how to make good decisions, I applied that framework to making a decision about my next step in my career. Instead of relying on my gut to make the decision, I used a decision tree to work through all of the options (even some of the crazy ones). At the end of that process, I made a decision and actually felt confident that it was the RIGHT decision, not one based upon emotions or a gut feeling. It was not an easy decision, but the solution is the one that will help me best achieve my objective. Framing and reframing the decision in different ways gave me alternative perspectives.


Leading. I have also discovered ways to lead, push back and speak out. Those have always been challenging things for me to do in a group setting. But, I have changed. I am now eager to seek out ways to lead in my learning group, my cohort and with all of the students in altMBA.


Giving back. When I signed up for the altMBA program, I assumed it would be all about doing the work and not about interacting with the community. Little did I know that learning how to give generously and freely to my peers would be a crucial part of the program. Encouraging them to push through those late nights and publish projects. I almost feel a sense of responsibility to the community—like I would in a community management role—to ensure everyone feels heard, understood and supported.


Teamwork. I like to get things done on my own, since I have always identified with the self-starter mentality. Collaborating with a team has been one area where I have learned to level up. I also discovered that I LOVE facilitating discussions and asking the questions to get my group members talking.


Doing the hard part first. I never realized how much and how often I procrastinated on projects. I always assumed there was never enough time to get everything done. Till altMBA. I found out that I had an extra 3-4 hours of productive time within my day.


Outsourcing tasks. Prior to altMBA, I felt a responsibility to my family to prep luscious meals, take care of all the laundry and keep the house spotless. When altMBA started, I relinquished my inner perfectionist housekeeper and focused solely on what absolutely had to get done (brushing my teeth, taking the periodic shower, getting my Zzz’s). I realized that delegating these tasks actually improved my productivity and allowed my teenage daughter and husband to feel they were better supporting me in my work.


Showing up. Not everyone keeps their commitments. That was one of the most disappointing (and somewhat surprising) things for me. One of my team members was a no-show to our learning group meeting and completely missed out on the project. Always show up. Never flake out.


Can do attitude. Instead of coming up with reasons why I don’t have the time or brain energy to work on a project, I look for clever ways to come up with that time or improve my brain energy. (Thank you, ZipFizz & OptiMind!) After altMBA, I know that I will be able to create time and space to work on my next big thing.


Leveling up. Not everyone is ready to level up. When we all first started the altMBA journey, our Slack community was buzzing ALL DAY LONG with inspiration, comments, positive mojo and virtual high fives. As we begin Week 3, I have noticed that the energy has died down. Some have dropped out. Some have fallen behind on projects. Others seem exhausted. And, I don’t feel that way at all. I’ve had to restrain myself from posting too often in the Slack community because I don’t want to overwhelm the group members. I feel that I can do so much more.


My investment in the altMBA program has already paid off. If all I had learned was the “how to make good decisions” exercise, it would have been worth it. That one exercise alone has given me the confidence I need to move forward with my next career move, knowing that it’s not just a gut decision but the RIGHT decision. You can check out my portfolio of work here.


And, we’re on to Week 3....