23 March 2009

New team: our first assignment together

I am quite excited – and tense – because this week our whole new team is gathering together for the first time in Oslo. The reason: Unite 2009, the AIESEC Norway national conference where current local and national committee executive boards and newly elected executive boards get together to plan for the term 2009-2010 and prepare all this people to perform, so when the current boards leave, AIESEC Norway won’t be so affected. It’s quite challenging to balance continuity with paradign break to grow as an organization when changing almost all leadership each year. But that’s the AIESEC way and that’s the beauty in it: you have to learn and learn fast, because time flies and 1 year is nothing to do all we want.

As I said, I am excited, because I am meeting my new team, the people I will lead for the next year, but I am quite fearful for the same reason. Until now, it was me who was judging them on selection process (which all of them did amazinly well), but now the table turns and all eyes are staring at me. What will they think of me as a president? What will be their impressions? Will I be able to live up to their high expectations? How they will compare me with their previous leaders? Will I be able to inspire them so they enjoy the conference and also perform at their best? These are all questions on my mind and I don’t have the answer – and probably I will have only partial answers by when the conference ends.

I am also excited to meet the new local executive boards, since these are the people who will be mostly responsible for the results next year. But also for this reason I am quite afraid. Afraid if me, my team and the current MC will be able to deliver the right messages and content so they can be prepared for their terms. Will we be able to inspire them to the right direction? How will I impact them as their president? Will we lead by example? Will they learn? Will they be motivated to perform? Are we changing AIESEC Norway for the best? These are questions that, once again, I have no answer and I will take some time to figure out it.

But, besides the fear, I will face it and be at my best to overcome it. As the quote says: “courage is being afraid but going on anyhow”.

I will let you know how it was on my perspective and maybe my team and other AIESEC members can comment on theirs.

22 March 2009

Why people succeed?

Why do people succeed? Is it because they’re smart? Or are they just lucky? Neither. Analyst Richard St. John condenses years of interviews into an unmissable 3-minute slideshow on the real secrets of success.

It's a really simple and funny presentation that could easily be used to kick off a training session as a thought provoker or discussion point.

I hope you like it!
Via learn2develop.

For me, the video also show some pillars of the successful leadership behaviour. Self-leadership.

10 March 2009

International Presidents Meeting 2009 – IPM

IPM 2009 or Global Leaders Summit 2009 (a more comercial name used to promote the conference) is the annual meeting where all AIESEC national presidents (from current term and elected to next term, as me) get together to:

- Elect the new President of AIESEC International and give confidence vote for his Directors and Vice-Presidents
- Start the global planning process, giving input to the global focus areas that AIESEC International for next year will have
- Prepare the elect presidents to lead the organization by leading high performing teams and managing well strategies and operations
- Help current presidents to wrap up their experience and prepare for next steps

But the above points really don’t describe the greatness of it. IPM is basically great because of 3 things: AIESEC International elections, presidents and content.

Elections for AIESEC International

When I joined AIESEC (back in 2005), I imagined AIESEC International people as the big super hardcore dudes. Respect, you know? It’s really funny when you see your friends, people that you have worked with, with all their qualities and improvement points, with all their successes and failures to apply to those positions.

It somewhat break the magic, but at the same time remembers us about the AIESEC magic: you will develop, it will be fast and if you are up to it, you can go sky rocket to the top.

And the AIESEC International President election, with 5 candidates, all of them current members of AIESEC International was a very special moment. It was very inspiring to hear those guys. It demands tons of balls to apply to this position, because it’s so much pressure, expectations and it’s there, in front of every AIESEC country, if you fail or win, it’s very public. I respect the people who applied.

AIESEC International President results announcement:

Aman Jain, candidate speech:

Directors announcement:

Vice-presidents announcement:


First thing about IPM and the other AIESEC conferences is that IPM doesn’t look like a conference, it’s basically a meeting. You meet people and exchange tons of ideas. It’s a 10 days conference, but it passes so fast as 45 minutes Lost episode. You want always more, but it’s already over.

Around 200 AIESEC presidents, from 107 AIESEC Countries, this is something especial in itself. All of these people with the same role, sharing similar realities, problems, solutions, ideas. People usually say the AIESEC President is a lonely role, since you cannot talk about everything with your team. This conference is where all these people get together and identify “hey, I can talk to you! You understand me!” I myself already got some very good friends that are also elected presidents that I know I will talk a lot during my term.

Discussing the balanced scorecard

People from Western Europe and North America Growth Network


I was agenda manager for the conferences here in Norway (and back in my local committee in Brazil) and one thing is very obvious: it’s extremely hard to make a conference to a too diverse audience. The magic of IPM is that everyone there is a president or will be. Thus, the content is tailor made and very relevant, doesn’t matter if you are in a weak or strong AIESEC country, hardcore management in financial crisis is all the same.

It’s been a long time since I didn’t have such an empowering AIESEC conference in terms of content also. I am more than satisfied and lots of sessions just blew my mind in ways that made my though “wow, I really don’t know anything”, “how I didn’t think of that before” and “jesus, these guys are doing a great job, I want to do that too”.

One extra point to the content was related to the AIESEC partners that were delivering sessions. At least the ones I attended - Tata Consultancy, Future Considerations and Time Management International - were extremelly useful. Thanks a lot!

IPM was the AIESEC conferenceexperience. (not to mention Rome, which is probably a point on next posts)

09 March 2009

Coaches Training Institute (CTI) – Co-Active Coaching Fundamentals Course

Thanks to a deal between CTI and AIESEC Norway, my collegues and I had the opportunity to attend the Co-Active Coaching Fundamentals Course, given by CTI Norway.

Being in so much AIESEC conferences with all kinds of learning seminars, sometimes you get used and don’t expect much from this kind of course. But after I got there, wow, it was trully very powerful learning. After the 2 days and a half course in Co-Active Coaching I can say that I’ve not only turned into a 100% better coach and leader, but also a better person. And that’s only the first one, they have, as I remember, more 3 or 4 courses that complete the Co-Active Coaching Curriculum. I must say that I am very willing to go on the other courses too, each one dealing with different aspects of the Co-Active Coaching Model.

The 2 facilitators (it’s probably better to refer them as “coaches” simply), Bill and Roxane, were amazing and inspiring. They had 2 different styles that complemented each other. Of course the coaches played a big role in our learning, but the course is so practical that sometimes you barely need them. It’s all inside us – thus one of the pillars of the Co-Active Coaching Model: the client is naturally creative, resourceful and whole. We coached and experienced coaching from all sides, for 3 days and the results were amazing. I think there’s no better way of proving the point that coaching is super useful than actually coaching and being coached – and that the course was totally succesful.

And about “us”, the participants, it was such a heterogeneous group that in the beginning I was afraid of the result and the focus. We had from 23 year old to 60, from tech experts to business leaders, consultants, people who want to change career to be coaches, people with masters in coaching, people who worked with Mother Theresa in Calcuta, etc. Definitely I learned so much from each person, breaking even some stereotypes and judgments I had in the past. It was almost an enlightening experience, if you let me be so “new age woogie boogie”.

This coursed even sparked me the willingness (again) to be a professional coach. Who knows where this might lead me? It’s very connected to what I see as my mission: to develop my potential by supporting the developing in others potential. Also it could be some valuable tool for my idea of the “school of the future”.

If I could recommend just one course for people that the main work is dealing with other people, I think this would be the one.

08 March 2009

Peak experiences

AIESEC is quite fun and you learn so much that it’s hard to describe, but sometimes it can be quite stressful environment. Naturally, we strive for quite stretching goals, deal with high pressure for results and that’s how we learn also. But from time to time you have this kind of experience that is absolutely life-changing and that pays-off all the sub-optimal voluntary salary, stress, working in some weekends and all the things that sometimes we do. Some people call them peak experiences and I am quite found of the name, because it’s almost like being high, so much fulfilled, happy and whole you feel.

I’ve had quite some peak experiences in AIESEC and the last months I had quite some: I already mentioned in this blog my election for President of AIESEC in Norway and selecting my team, but there were also 2 more that I will describe in next posts: CTI coaches training and International Presidents Meeting.