IMG_0025_opt“Even though you don’t know the people you’re sitting with, you know them”.  That was the magic of last week’s EMBA reunion and learning event.  Participants from five alumni classes and the current class joined together for the first time as one group and discussed with an energy and openness you’d expect from people who have known each other for years.  The EMBA McGill-HEC Montréal was the common thread and common language which made that possible.  Fully 60% of the alumni took part in the day’s activities, confirming the strong link they feel to the program and the network it has created.

Every day of EMBA classes starts with an hour devoted to reflections, and so it was with the EMBA reunion as well. 100 senior managers reflected on “What does managing with impact mean for you?” and “How do you manage with impact?”  The diversity of the EMBA McGill-HEC alumni was reflected in the many lenses through which they considered “Leading with Impact”. Here are just a few:

  • Lead with your values and stay true to your values
  • Communication and knowing your people is key to impact
  • An impactful leader is recognizable by the leaders he develops
  • Having a positive impact means going beyond your own interests and using your competences in the service of society; not just money, but time and brainpower too
  • It’s a balancing act: having the vision to lead the organization without losing touch with day to day operations
  • Learn to let go of some of the things you love to do – let others take them over so that you can go to the next level

Unanimously, the group felt that their answers to this question were different now, after doing the EMBA program, than they would have been before.

This was an excellent start to a full day of learning that included:

  • the launch of EMBA McGill-HEC alumni affinity groups
  • a CEO Panel on “Making the Tough Calls” with Robert Card, CEO of SNC Lavalin and Michael Roach, CEO of CGI.
  • a series of four learning sessions, on e-Leadership, Neuro-marketing, Conflict resolution, and Communicating for Impact

The day concluded with a keynote speech by Bernard Voyer, an accomplished explorer and mountaineer who has been to both the north and south poles and has scaled the highest mountain on each continent. He used his own experiences to illustrate how each of us could go “Step by step, towards the summit”.

It was a powerful day, where connections were renewed, and new connections were forged, between an impressive group of alumni, including more than 30 CEO and company presidents, leaders in non-profit organizations, businesses owners and senior executives.  We’re already looking forward to the next event.