Jan 2016 - Sep 2017
As I write I am flying business class 10,000 meters above the Pyrenees, drinking champagne and wondering what just happened to my soul.
India. The street’s energy, the temples, the barbed wired business parks, the people, on people, on people. Handwoven silk sarees of celestial colours against a backdrop of minimalist office interiors, and against the backdrop of the grey and brown streets with smoke, noise, and men drifting round them. White Jaguar sedans woven in by motorcycles and scooters with brightly coloured beautiful women riding side saddle on the back- and the green tuk-tuks always in their way.
EMBA13s are all enroute to home. In India the cows are still standing calmly amongst the rush of combustion engines. Reactions have varied. For me bandages have been removed to reveal unhealed wounds – and India has debrided them. God and I are arguing again. It’s not pleasant for either of us. Why is “why?” the hardest question to find the answer to?
EMBA13, my new family, are now members of Oxford University. We are at Oxford because we won some perverse global lottery and leadership has been handed to us. Originally I wanted to write about why Oxford is, without doubt, the number one EMBA in the world – that seems obvious to me now. Net present value, betas, IRR, hedging… you’ll get that; but, you can learn that at any B school. If you hear a higher calling then you must put down what you are doing one week every 5 weeks, leave your culture, bang up against your peers, and begin to remove your bandages. Is it just about maximizing shareholder return or is it about setting a new course for the world? – an arrogant boast if Oxford had not proven itself here so often before. For 800 years Oxford has been the crucible for world leaders. 800.
If you think you are up to the task, then perhaps you don’t understand the task and there are other B schools you should be applying to? If you are beginning to understand how hard it will be for your soul to lead in an ever wider circle, and know you are imperfect, maybe, just maybe, you are being asked to come to Oxford. I am wondering if I am up to it; but, three modules in the old bandages are no good anymore. Forward.
If you send in your CV and Oxford invites you to apply, consider carefully if you are asking yourself the right questions. Have you been given these quirks of personality and intellect in order to solve your own problems? If you think you are not ready but maybe feel you are being asked to lean forward now, to speak, apply. Think of India, think of others, not yourself. If Oxford says it is your turn, then you will soon be one of us. We need you. We want you. The outcome is still uncertain and time is our only possession. Come.
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