06 May 2010

As part of the Leadership program, HEC MBA participants visit the St Cyr Military Academy for the Situational Leadership Seminar. The exercise permits participants to build their team leadership and group dynamics under the supervision of army officers, with the support of organizational behavior experts.

Yueyao Jin, September 2009 intake, tells us about her experience at St Cyr.

St Cyr was one of the most rewarding experiences for me at HEC. Working with army officers is indeed an eye-opening experience for leadership training. After this seminar, I know more about myself, my strengths and my weaknesses. I didn’t realize that I was unable to control myself when confronted with a fear of heights, but at St Cyr I learnt the art of control.

The highlight of this trip was when I was unable to carry on an exercise and army officer, Cyril, helped me fight against my fear of heights. My fellow group members completed the exercise smoothly. Cyril knew my feelings and he took me to do a training exercise which I wouldn’t have done by myself. He kept encouraging me, talking to me to distract my fear and it was a success. My group were very happy to see me successfully complete that particular exercise.

In another exercise, I was assigned as leader. The task was to climb a ladder with large gap between each step. This was much difficult and scary than you might think. There was no support. We needed to support each other. Team work was the key element, as well as good planning and control of fear. Trusting each other helped us climb up step by step. Since I was the leader, in no case I should give up. My team members were aware of my fear and they were exceptionally supportive. I felt a strong team.

This experience taught me multiple leadership skills, such as communication, human resource, task planning, etc, through various exercises as building a bridge, a boat, crossing the river, etc. In real life management experience, I will know how to start a task, how to distribute work across team and how to follow up efficiently. I believe these are all very important elements for high performance.

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