Mar 11, 2010

Another Odd Fish in the Small Pond of Mr Wang's Life

In the near future, I'll be flying off to Europe to attend a course. It is a global course, with participants coming from many countries all around the world.

The course is residential, one week long, and intensive. Every day, it starts early in the morning (like 8:00 am sharp) and ends quite late at night (like 9:30 pm). There are no breaks except for lunch and dinner. When I get back to my hotel room each night, I'll also have to prepare for the next day's sessions. Which means that I probably won't get much sleep.

The course will be extensively graded and scored. If I pass, then I qualify for Part 2 of the course. This will be another intensive one-week event, to be held later in the year, in another part of the world. If I fail (either Part 1 or Part 2), then I am automatically disqualified from being considered for promotion in 2011. That's a strict rule.

You might be thinking that since I am a lawyer, the course probably has to do with the law, and that I will be attending lectures and sitting for exams.

However, it's not that kind of course at all. The course is mostly about personal effectiveness, and soft skills. And it is extremely hands-on. Based on what I know about it so far, a big part of the course will be run like a .... reality TV show.

What do I mean? Well, the course will constantly place me in a variety of simulated scenarios. For example, I might be required to act as the leader of a group of people facing an emergency. Or I might have to act as a CEO chairing a meeting on business strategy. I would then be closely observed, to see how I handle the situation.

And I will be assessed on attributes such as my leadership qualities; my presentation skills; my ability to convince and influence other people; and how I make decisions. Throughout the week, there will be judges to give me criticism and feedback on my performance.

It's going to be a little bit like Survivor (but less rigorous), or The Apprentice (but less bitchy) or the American Idol (but less glamorous).

(I understand that in one particular year, the participants even had to plan a rescue mission. There was a real cliff, with rappelling equipment, and a real little girl waiting at the bottom of the cliff. The idea was that you and/or your team members had to rappell down the cliff, to rescue the girl).

I've heard accounts about a few previous participants who felt so stressed that they voluntarily dropped out of the course, after Day One or Day Two. They chose to drop out, even though they knew that their promotion prospects would be dashed. So evidently the course can be challenging.

I do look forward to it. It will be an unusual and memorable experience, at the very least. Wish me luck!

26 comments:

SG Girl Next Door said...

Sounds really stressful to me..Hope you'll pass and get your promotion.

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Sounds fun. Good luck Mr Wang!

tianhong said...

all the best then. and take every challenge as motivation.

Anonymous said...

This is very interesting... Please share with us after the course. I need more of such courses in Singapore.

Anonymous said...

that sounds really unusual.

interesting company you have.

pl share your experience when you're back!

Onlooker said...

Good luck Mr Wang :)

Anonymous said...

What is the name of this course?

Anonymous said...

how much?

chengguan said...

it's really a good sign when your company is taking its leadership so seriously! good luck!!

the virgin undergrad said...

Sounds like a corporate version of a Sit-Test

Have fun!

Mr Wang Says So said...

Thanks, guys ...

It is indeed like the corporate version of an army Sit-Test. That's a very good description.

This is an in-house course. The person who designed it used to be a brigade commander in the Swiss army.

But there are also external trainers helping to run the course.

The said...

I love the rappelling/abseiling part.

Elle said...

Good luck, Mr Wang! I know you can do it.

I had a mock assessment in my uni to prepare us for the Graduate Programme, which encompasses this type of assessment in the process. Of course, mine is much simpler than yours. But, I am quite surprised that they do this assessment for promotion.

Anonymous said...

If a person do well in the course, will he/she also do well in real life?

If the correlation is 80-90 or even 100% then maybe it is a wonderful course.

Maybe our ministers should also attend as currently many are dissatisfied with the way things are going on in Singapore.

Anonymous said...

the next russell!

gambatte!

Anonymous said...

I think its a fallacy that if one is able to do well in a test, then one is certain for success....However, if one does not do well in a test, it means the person MAY BE less able for the situation, which the test is designed to assess...

I still believe every situaton is different because times have changed, the variables, intensity, etc... something which I called luck, if you will.

All these tests are only raising the odds of success, but its never a guarantee.

Anonymous said...

doubt the usefulness of this kind of course. Real leader is naturally born, can't be trained.

Anonymous said...

This sounds extremely interesting. I am sure it would make more interesting viewing than The Apprentice, where the contestants appear to be chosen more for their ineptitude and ego rather than business acumen. So I wish your course could be a real TV programme! Then we could actually learn something about management skills too - a bit like do's and don'ts being demonstrated. Please do share your experiences with us!

lumos said...

hi mr wang, this is a good sign, most of the more advanced organisations are using these methods to groom their next generation of leaders so if your company is sending you for this, your prospects are good. have fun and let us know how the experience goes

Anonymous said...

Take it easy.
What will be will be.

yamizi said...

Yo dude!

Listen to your inner guidance!

All the best!

Anonymous said...

Very interesting! All the best and hope you have lots of fun!

Satvik said...

Good luck!

Parka said...

It sounds like running a startup business. But is the reward is big?

Anonymous said...

Hey, I have done a 2 days version in Hawaii with the US Marines. Some element of physical risks. The only problem was the accent. They can't really understand.

Mr Wang, there must be participants from other countries?

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