Direct, immediate impact: Managing and Leading in Organizations

By Katie Meyer, Executive MBA Metro NY ’19

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Though it’s still early into my Cornell MBA journey in the Executive MBA Metro NY program, the Managing and Leading in Organizations class (or M.L.O., as my cohort and I lovingly referred to it), has, without a doubt, already impacted my leadership capabilities and my career.

Here’s the official course description:

Participants study effective management of individuals and teams in the context of dynamic organizations. Topics include leadership, organizational design, structure, diversity, culture, change, evolution, and strategy.

The topic of managing and leading is something that I am inherently passionate about, so having the opportunity to take a class on the subject was something I was looking forward to. Looking back on it, I wished the class would have lasted longer.

In the short time we had together, Michelle Duguid, associate professor of management and organizations, led our cohort through a variety of current leadership topics. These included motivation and engagement, the power of cultures within organizations, politics and networking, influence strategies, and more.

What was most impactful was how we learned about and dove into these topics—head first, together, as a cohort, in our class teams, and in a variety of manners: case studies, group breakouts, team papers, and personal reflection. What appeared to be, at first glance, just an auditorium-like classroom became an open forum and a place to practice, try out, and hone our leadership competencies.

Outside the classroom, I also had ample opportunity to try out new theories and ideas with my team at work. I focused in on motivation and, specifically, how the different members of my team are motivated. I learned new techniques for providing feedback, which I immediately deployed. I started speaking to my director and mentees about case studies, readings, and conversations from class and elevated and expanded our dialogue.

I truly believe that everyone should strive to be a lifelong learner—open to new ideas and thoughts and always seeking new information, especially given the rate of change in business today. My Managing and Leading in Organizations class has not only had an impact on me (and reinforced my belief in lifelong learning), but has also already had a greater impact on my expanded network. It will continue to shape my leadership capabilities in the years to come.

Learn more about the Executive MBA Metro NY program

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