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2 Days in Mountains Gives MBA students New Insights Into What Leadership Means
Date: 2019-02-15  |  Read: 477

Forty-five MBA students from the Yonsei Graduate School of Business participated October 26-27 in a leadership program at Gyeryong and Chilgap mountains conducted under the guidance of Professor Yong-Suhk Park of International Business.


Based on the idea that the uncertainties of corporate management are much like the challenges of group mountain hiking in terms of challenge, teamwork, and leadership, the program is designed to create an experience emphasizing the importance of teamwork, knowledge, and leadership. Participants were divided into three teams that held orientation and group meetings on September 10 and 20 and then met again on November 7 for a debriefing.


We interviewed Nam-Hong Lee (entering class of 2018, Corporate MBA) about his participation in the program and what he learned from it.


Q> What motivated you to participate in this program?

A> The most memorable moment of my school life is when I leave class and spend time with my friends. I participated in this leadership program for two days and one night, because I thought it would be a memorable experience if I completed the tour through teamwork. I still remember attending a one-week GET program at Loyola Mary Mount University in Los Angeles one summer and having a barbecue party in the evenings with colleagues after taking classes during the day.


Q>What is the most impressive thing about the program?

A>The second day, I woke up with a pain in my left knee and wondered if I should give up because I couldn't walk, but I decided to challenge myself even if it was hard for me, and also, I couldn’t afford to lose the teamwork. If I gave up, I wouldn't have been able to meet the KBS ‘1 Night 2 Days’ Team, and I wouldn't have felt the joy of completion. I have come to realize again the common truth that if you persevere even after an unbearable amount of hardship, something good will come to you.


Q> What do you think leadership is?

A> I think leadership is about giving a team a strong motivation and confidence to achieve their goals. I realized the importance of leadership once again while adhering to the rules and helping myself and my teammates complete their missions.


Henry Shackleton, the British Antarctic expedition leader, who exemplifies leadership, demonstrated leadership by bringing hope to the men trapped on the ice of the Antarctic Ocean and at the crossroads of life and death and returning safely under extreme conditions.


Through the program and anecdote about Henry Shackleton, I came to think that leadership is (1) always talk to your staff and colleagues, (2) give a behavioral plan, ask for cooperation, and demonstrate confidence in positive outcomes, (3) check on the situation frequently, (4) if the crisis continues, there is a tendency to be complacent, (5) get close to people who are unhappy and gain their support, and (6) use humor and diversionary jokes to relax the organization and let everyone join in the problem-solving process.

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