The desire to become an effective business leader is one of the core motivations for candidates studying Imperial’s Executive MBA programme. In recognition of this essential component and the need to grow responsible leaders who are equipped to deal with the challenges of a technology-driven world; the Executive Leadership Journey (ELJ) is a combination of coaching, assessment and teaching that runs throughout the two-year Executive MBA, and is designed to develop candidates into decisive future leaders of business and society.
Drawing on themes from other modules studied during the Executive MBA such as Organisational Behaviour and Responsible Leadership and Corporate Success, the ELJ gives candidates the opportunity to practice what is taught in the classroom and develop the behaviours they will need to succeed in their careers.
This begins in year one where the focus is on identifying each student’s strengths, personality and leadership style though a series of tests that uncover how these elements interact with one another, and which ways of working are best suited to their individual preferences. Particular attention is paid to how candidates lead in a team setting and how they function in an organisation.
We know that really great leaders understand themselves. The Executive Leadership Journey gives students the opportunity to understand who they are as leaders, and put classroom theory into practice.
Fiona Sandford - Course Lead, Executive Leadership Journey
From here, a combination of academic learning (integrated into the core curriculum), personal development from experiential learning experiences, and both group and individual coaching sessions allow candidates to further explore what makes them tick by putting theory into practice.
Mila Komarova is one of the Executive coaches on the programme, who, having spent nearly ten years as a consulting professional herself, started her own coaching practice in 2019 and focuses on helping candidates learn more about themselves.
“All students get a dedicated executive coach who works with them throughout the programme on one-to-one and group basis. This work is completely bespoke: sometimes more specific and immediate, e.g. helping the student prepare for an interview, and other times more in-depth and long-term – such as supporting them in progressing to a C-level position.
The Executive MBA programme requires intense self-exploration and at times brutal honesty with oneself – ‘who are you as a leader?’ ‘what makes you stand out?’ and ‘what parts of you get in your way?’ These are all million-dollar questions, and ones that can make all the difference between an average career and a brilliant one – so we are committed to helping students address those.”
Whether candidates hope to accelerate their careers within their current organisation, or create opportunity for a change in direction, the Executive Leadership Journey offers them an invaluable opportunity to maximise their time at Imperial. By analysing their own behaviours and discovering how to transfer learnings from the Executive MBA programme into their working lives, students leave the Business School well-equipped to develop into inspirational leaders of tomorrow.