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From Dream To Reality – 1 Down – 2 To Go!

From Dream to Reality – 1 down – 2 to go!

A lifelong dream is now closer to become reality than I ever dared to imagine.

What started out as ‘Mission Impossible’ a year ago, when I first began to think about an MBA, has turned into an actual possibility when I, in December 2016, graduated from The Henley Executive CBL (Certificate of Business Leadership) programme.

The CBL is the first of three stages on the challenging journey to the Henley Executive MBA and after having finished the first stage, I have now decided to continue. Why? Because I have realised that this is a truly challenging and personal journey of transformation for me.

The CBL is a unique opportunity to enhance your business know-how while integrating it with intensive leadership development (source: www.henley.dk

I took my first steps into the Henley programme in March 2016, when I got the opportunity to join the Nordic CBL class. My goal was to further strengthen my leadership skills. Throughout my day-to-day work as the Head of Group Financial Reporting at DR (Danish Broadcasting Corporation).

The Henley Executive CBL

Henley CBL er et specielt designet program med et særligt focus på at kombinere business know-how med intens lederskabstræning.

CBL’ en er et selvstændigt uddannelsesprogram, men svarer samtidig til første del af tre på Henley Executive MBA programmet. Det vil sige, at du efter endt CBL studie kan vælge at stoppe og få et anerkendt uddannelsesbevis, du kan sætte dit studie på pause op til fem år, eller du kan fortsætte direkte videre på anden del på Henley Executive Programmet.

Læs mere og tilmeld dig her 

I take great pride in always being one step ahead and I constantly encourage my wonderful team to develop new methods and ways of working in order to meet the demands of a modern finance department. Wanting to be one step ahead requires more than just a wish and a great team.

The CBL is a great way of upgrading your leadership toolbox to achieve this. Every module challenged me to see the world from different angles, which, for me, was a very valuable lesson, as I learned to shift perspective to the strategic fit.

The programme helps you make a real difference to the way you and your people perform (source: www.henley.dk)

During my 10 months through the CBL journey, I have not only learned a lot about how to be a successful leader in a rapidly changing business environment but I have also learned, on a more personal level, that the most significant learning experience from the CBL programme was that I had the opportunity to further develop and challenge my key strengths, my core values, my critical thinking as well as my reflection skills.

This was all done in an international setting, with other experienced leaders from all kinds of industries. And while writing the many assignments, another key learning experience for me was more focus on stakeholder needs and improved upward communication skills.

My learning team was an amazing experience

My learning team, ‘Masterminds’, was, without a doubt, my biggest learning experience from the programme. Discussing different challenges with other leaders makes the theories and tools very relevant for real life assignments. Without the ‘Masterminds’ this 10 month journey would have felt much longer and much more abstract.

This is where I really realised what effective teamwork can do. People with different skillsets, mindsets and backgrounds working together towards one shared goal. Truly inspiring!

I have never been more focused and present in everything I do

The inevitable questions during the MBA journey are: “How can you manage the work / life balance?” and “Where does the MBA fit in?” Well…I think that it covers both work AND life (personal development). I do believe that the most important factor for my work / life balance is to experience FLOW in my everyday life, and to follow my passions.

I found plenty of positive energy in my MBA-study, as it enriched my own understanding and helped me achieve a broader perspective. I would dare to say that this has made me a happier mother and wife as well.

I have also adopted a more strict time management schedule based on the “Getting Things Done (GTD)” way of thinking, and the results have been amazing. I have never been more focused and in balance with everything I do. I even manage to practice sports on a regular basis, which is something I have never had the time to do before.

Sport is one thing, family is another. I have to admit that my family has been very supportive from day 1 and this has made a huge difference for me. My daughter is already looking forward to the big graduation ceremony, which one of the former Henley participants has described as being taken straight out of a Harry Potter movie!

Next steps?

The second stage of my journey towards the Henley Executive MBA has started with a very challenging strategy workshop. Looking forward to strengthening my leadership skills, as well as further broadening my knowledge about the international business environment.

I am especially looking forward to our International Field study / Personal Leadership Development tour to South Africa and to the international assignment, where we will perform a task for an international company in another country, short term and unpaid. All tasks that allows me to challenge my international mindset.

Changing my dream from ‘Mission Impossible’ to ‘Mission Lets Do This’ would never have been made possible without the strong mental support from DR and the financial support from the HWC Foundation, who granted me The Dunning Scholarship Denmark (DSD) , which partly financed my CBL programme. Without them, all of this would still have been a dream!

MIrella Hansen, Henley MBA

        Photo courtesy: Klaus Nedergaard.

By: Heidi Lorenzen

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