Fleet Complete stands behind its core values, one of which is “people”, and although this wasn’t the first time Fleet Complete has invested in its people it was certainly well received that we’d be attending Rotman’s School of Management and taking a custom Business Management Fundamentals Course. It would spread over 3 months with 2 classes a month and only one of those classes landed on a weekend… now that’s a company that invests in its people!
I, along with 24 of my work colleagues from Fleet Complete, have had the pleasure to experience one of the best business schools in the country and fully sponsored by Fleet Complete to boot!
The lessons we learned will forever live with me and will change the way I work and we work together everyday. The course material was always closely linked to real-world scenarios and concepts like reciprocity, presenting your ideas, and providing effective feedback were only a few key concepts that will change the way I work forever.
So, let’s start with Rotman’s reputation. I don’t think there’s much here to discuss, most know that Rotman’s reputation precedes it. It is the best business school in Canada and has the 4th best PhD program in the world as ranked by the Financial Times (Jan 2015).
Our course was wonderfully orchestrated by Dr. Hugh Arnold, who is an Adjunct Professor of Management at Rotman’s. He has published extensively in the leading scholarly journals and has written several books in the McGraw-Hill Series in Management. The real world examples he gave were contextually brilliant and brought a sense of insight that otherwise only real world experience could have expressed. Hugh also presented us with cases that reflected real life failures and successes. It built a forum in which we could understand concepts exaggerated and brought to life and magnified the underlying points. The impact of his lessons illustrated that self-reflection and self-assessment is critical to understanding the impact of your work and how it affects others.
The idea of reciprocity is a simple one: help others out of the goodness of your own heart without ever expecting anything in return. Dr. Bill McEvily who is a Professor of Strategic Management at Rotman, taught us that you could build a culture of helping others professionally or personally effectively developing a reciprocity ring within your own organization all while unconsciously building your own network and strengthening relationships with people you may otherwise never have. The implications for your network are quite exciting but it is a virtuous circle of sorts so you’ll need to contribute early and often which will build up your reputation for generosity and as a result, you’re more likely to get the help you need or want.
Presenting your ideas or thoughts is never easy especially when it’s being communicated via text on a screen and we all know how that can be construed at times. So, how do you get your message across clearly and effectively? Mila Naimark, President of Clockwork Talk who has more than twenty-five years of experience in global leadership communication taught us that there are some strategies here to think about when presenting. How many times have you started a conversation with someone and ended it off with “what were we even talking about again?” and how to avoid this is exactly the driving force behind what we learned. Knowing your audience and never losing focus of the message you’re trying to convey is an art and thanks to Mila for me succeeded at helping me how to do just that more effectively.
A good friend and colleague once told me that “managing a team is never easy because it meant having to manage people.” Now of course nothing bad was meant by that but if your work comes in a few flavours then it’s obvious that people will come in many so naturally, it would be harder to manage people than it would be to manage the work itself. As part of my job as a manager providing effective feedback to my team is important and understanding that feedback should focus on behaviour and not character, attitudes or personality is key. Making sure that the behaviours being displayed and how it impacts projects and people and to provide feedback early and often is also essential. The are many lessons to be had here but if there was one teaching to take out of this course it would be how to better manage my team and providing effective feedback was definitely one of them for me.
The Rotman’s School of Management was an experience that will be hard to beat. When a company like the one I’m happy to be a part of provides these kinds of experiences, and I believe I speak for all the managers at Fleet Complete when I say this, I can’t see myself being anywhere else! So, how will my experience at Rotman’s directly impact my work? The answer to that is (on behalf of the entire Fleet Complete Management Team thank-you Fleet Complete) Rotman’s will forever have a positive & progressive impact in the way we work, think, and manage for the remainder of our careers.
- – Gehad Alhundi, Manager, Infrastructure and Technical Operations.