Leadership in the Digital Age

The altMBA by Seth Godin

From time to time I ask myself where are all the creative business folks, the ones who are focused on digital leadership instead of a title or hiding behind the chains of a disconnected reality, the ones who are not wantrepenuers or the people with a bit more hustle and edge, the leaders of a digital tomorrow,  you know the people who enjoy their jobs and are looking to drive value for their customers and to enable their companies, to restructure the industries or the environments that they operate in? 

I was lucky enough to be listening to the Tim Ferris podcast where he was interviewing Seth Godin, regarding his altMBA course plus other things and it sounded very interesting. So to study or not to study, that was my question? Do I invest my own money in a course that challenges the current establishment? Like all great customer journeys, there is a pre-start, start, middle, end and post-end and it starts with breaking the norm learning in a new way, curated by micro and shared expierences not title. 

The altMBA thesis; not everyone is ready to go on this journey with you, and you don’t have the time or leverage to change the worldview of those who resist, particularly during the early days. In summary The altMBA is a 30 day experience that helps leaders become effective change agents. It’s by application only and capped at 100 people in each session. 

Well, I leaped head first, probably at the worst possible time of my life, into an intensive 4 week program provided by Seth Godin and his team of Rukus makers. Using tools such as Slack, WordPress, Zoom Video and Vimeo.

Having read several of Seth’s books and personally being interested in the American New Wave of .com entrepreneurs, celebrities, transformative thinkers and authors such as Tim Ferriss, Elon Musk, Peter Thiel or even social media commentators (stars)/authors such as Gary Vaynerchuk. I personally did not believe that traditional education or educational establishments would provide the insights that I was searching for, also the type of people, the Alumni that I hoped to engage with, had to be different, a group of people who are either transforming the world, understand why it is transforming or like myself looking for a shared passion or bond for all things digital, creative and transformative.

So did I meet a magical group of people (take a look at this from Andre Piazza from Dell Marketing Solutions), I think he does a great job in summarising the experience) was it worth the personal investment? I think so, the reading material alone provided by the course is enough to keep me going for another 18 months and the fast paced dash through 15+ projects tackling subjects such as; 

Decision-making, Operating under ambiguity, Understanding worldviews, Risk-taking, Critical thinking, Story telling, Marketing, Strategy, Driving innovation, Securing buy-in, Management, Making change happen.

The corporate world has changed as we all know, a new digital axis has been drawn and 99% of the people, corporate infrastructure, or established systems only work by keeping the status quo in play. So for me this course was similar to an experience I had at some time in 2001, watching Steve Jobs present the first Ipod and Itunes and I thought wow, this is my new way to consume and organize music which was missing for me at the time, just like now with my knowledge in these changing environments.

I can not believe that when it comes to education in a digital world and importantly further education or self-development the answer can lie in traditional places, however it could start there. So is it worth it, should you continue to invest in yourself and your career?

What do you think?

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