15 November 2009


I keep postponing to talk about the amazing things I've experienced so far as President of AIESEC Norway because I want to write about them in details - bad, bad habit, because there are so many amazing things that they pile up and this leads to a situation where I never talk about them. So, I will try to put them all together in one post. The AWESOMENESS POST.

1 - Coaching visit to Local Committee University of Stavanger

In our national board job, we have a huge role which is to coach local committes. I am the coach of UiS and what this means in reality is that I have to do a consulting job with them to increase their performance. UiS is a very small local committee, they started just 2 years ago and almost no structure were in place. In fact they barely had members, only 4 or 5.

When I arrived there, I could see there were lots of things not in place, like for example the corporate relations - in 6 months they had only 3 business meetings, a total disaster. They were struggling and the few members they had were feeling they were failling big time, thus making the general mood being very down, because these guys have been working a lot. In fact 2 of the executive board had quitted also and a 3rd one was also thinking of quitting. Terrible state to be in, especially when you just recruited new members. This was looking like the recipe of disaster, if they kept the same pace, they would lose all the new members recruited and frustration would be in the air.

Instead of puting me down, their problems in fact energized me, I was excited to be back at the ground level to help them solve problems. I decided to step up and change the game. I gathered the executive board and had an intense day of work on feedback and suggestions to the LC and building up solutions. I felt energized because even though the problems were deep, I totally believed in their ability. The only thing they needed was passion and direction. And we built up this together.

Today (1-2 months after my visit), I can see the changes in UiS. Their members are passionate and motivated. They are having tons of fun while working very very very hard. And they have super talented people. If in 6 months they booked 3 meetings only, in one week they booked 8, talk about improving fast. I am 100% confident that these people that are in UiS now will change this local committee in an enduring way, shaping their culture for the next generation.

Extra random point about the visit: I never felt so welcome in any coaching visit: I had my own room, we went to 2 parties, 1 norwegian typical dinner and people really wanted to make the changes in UiS.

2 - Excel 2009 - AIESEC Norway National Conference

This one absolutely blew my mind. It was even more positive then I was dreaming it could be. What I saw was a different AIESEC Norway for ever before. Everything was just absolutely perfect:

- The content - the agenda was very well built and the content delivered with passion, creativity and focus. I believe at the end of the conference it was very clear the country direction and who was responsible to make it happen and how.

- The delegates - very lively, energetic, smart and willing to learn. What a crowd. I am so proud of our members. If they keep that kind of energy level and fun in their AIESEC every day work, I am sure they will do good.

- Facis - it was mainly the national board and some talented local committee vice-presidents. The content was delivered smoothly and in lots of cases in a very creative way.

- The conference organization committee and logistics - they were so amazing people. Always smilling, very focused on client satisfaction, these people put on a real show: amazing food, everything on time, great session rooms, party, everything. From the basics to details, the organization committee rocked the house - and, of course, the conference ended up in a profit.

- "Externals" - in AIESEC conferences all around the world we have this word "externals" to say about the people who are not in AIESEC, but they are there in the conference as representatives of other organizations or the government. In the case of Excel, we had 2 sets of externals that were just mind blowing: DnB Nor and CTI.

DnB Nor put a show that will be hard to match in the future. They delivered a full day of leadership development to our AIESEC members, which was part in fact of their own leadership development program. It was a great added value to our members and, not only that, it was also extremely fun and impressive. They had famous classical musicians, normal plenary sessions, skills workshops and also in the end a huge interactive session where every member had a different percussion instrument. The analogies with leadership were perfect: when playing, you have to combine listening to what is around you and playing your own music; the diversity of instruments (talents) made possible that in fact we had good music (if everyone had the same instrument, it would be very difficult for 80 amateurs to pull this off); leadership is about giving a base that people can use as a guideline, but also giving the possibility for people to solo with their own way, etc etc etc. I loved it. Some pictures of the DnB Nor leadership day with AIESEC Norway:

CTI had a short session on what is coaching. They offer an appetizer to our members, that thanks to our partnership can get professional coaching with very very competitive prices. They also give the whole national board a 3 days coaching course that is so amazing. I cannot describe how lucky I am for having this opportunity. Here are the coaching couple dancing in the moment:

- Sunny Bergen - believe it or not, it was sunny most of the time during the conference!

3 - National Board Team Days

Each quarter the national board gets together, stops for 2-3 days and evaluate where we are, where we are going, what we need to change, etc. It's the most powerful team management tool I use, because it's a mix of interpersonal relationship, direction, celebration of success and adjusting the things that didn't work so well, strategic creative discussions, etc.

It's just too awesome to describe, you have to be there and live it - and to live it, you have to be a member of the national board. I consider myself very lucky, because my team is simply the most awesome I ever saw. Such talents you don't find easily everywhere. They are challenging to lead, as any room full of only talented people, and I learn everyday with them.

I am so grateful for being the President of AIESEC Norway. This kind of opportunity, with this level of job I won't see very soon in my career. Probably it will take at least 10 years in a "normal company" to do the same things I am doing today at the top of my 27 years old.

I wish every human being have the same opportunity as I have, that's why I want AIESEC to keep growing, especially here in Norway.

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