IE Business School Online Masters
Afueri Edeki
April 9, 2010

It’s a reality for us GMBAers that we have to put 120% behind work activities and that of our MBA, so how do we balance both? “It’s impossible”, do I hear? “There has to be a trade-off, I mean something’s gotta give”. Well to me it’s simple: Teamwork.

This underrated word rings new meaning to me on so many levels these days. Not that I haven’t been appreciative in the past but mulling over the last few months I have come to be more grateful to say the least. Let me paint my current situation from two angles:

WORK: Deadlines fast approaching, first quarter performance reviews, project status updates, executive engagement sessions, customer requests that they wanted “yesterday”…

MBA: New subjects to familiarise with, Individual report due in 2days, 2 team assignments due this week, 1 still undone, 3 articles unread, 2 pending for the following week…

Now the difference between both “lives” for me at the moment is that in my MBA, I’m part of a team. With the amount of work you’re faced with you have to be able to depend on others to achieve that goal: they pick up your slack, cover for you when you can’t deliver, sacrifice their time and sleep, offer to discuss points you don’t understand, show you where you went wrong…the list is endless. Even if you’re used to working on your own or never failing to meet deadlines; with our current schedule, this is the way to achieve that 120%.

You just don’t see it till you list everything you have to deliver.
THEN do you realise the reality in which you live (…or maybe throw in a quiz or three!).

Afueri (O da bo: Good bye in Yoruba)
Dedicated to the A-Team! (S1, GMBA 2010) 😉


This has never been so true for me as in the last week. The level of support I’m getting from my team is amazing, and simply being part of it, simply meeting with my team-mates in VC makes me feel better in a tough period like this. And this is without mentioning help and support also from people in other teams!
I’d never have imagined such a level of bonding could be possible in an online program!

Comment by Luigi Scatteia — April 10, 2010 @ 5:33 pm

As we are currently studying about different organizational structures and the strategic advantages derived therein, I would just like to add to Afueri and Luigi’s points with some personal observations from the marathon I just completed in Paris last Sunday.

Consider the following:

40,000 participants…

90% or more of these participants are complete strangers to one another…

Before the start of the race, this random assemblage of participants begins to segment itself into sub-groups based on self-evaluations of speed, endurance, and mental toughness…

During the next 42 kms, these sub-groups will further divide and re-orientate themselves into “virtual teams” based on how well each individual is running at the moment, personal time objectives, etc…

As the race progresses what essentially ends up happening is these “virtual teams” develop a rythm. It is this rythm – a combination of cooperation, synchronized breath and movement – that makes the gruelling distance achievable. You may not know the names of any of the men/women running next to you, you may not know where they came from, how long they trained, etc, but they become your life-blood during the race.

To me, this is a testament to the power of teamwork and evidence that the strategic alignment of common goals can sometimes be just as powerful as close, personal relationships…


Comment by Samir Shah — April 13, 2010 @ 2:01 pm

Another great association for excellent team work is a jazz band. Whenever three or four or five great guys meet for a jazz-session, you’re almost sure to see the magic! Professionalism, mixed with excellent understanding of each other make up wonderful music! Moreover, while playing every jazzman or woman:) gets a chance for solo, allowing the audience to enjoy both the individual and team performance. This is how A-team-work sounds to me:)

Comment by Elena Golovacheva — April 13, 2010 @ 4:53 pm

Very aptly put Afueri!!!
I would testify that its teamwork that has enabled me to reach thus far (half-way)in this GMBA program.
Its amazing to see how each member is willing to listen/learn/adjust/teach, always (ups and downs)ensuring to stand as one unit. Each time the focus is first on team deliverables & then on individual work.

The main ingredient to success in this program is ‘Teamwork’.
GO TEAM !!! (T)ogether (E)veryone (A)chieves (M)uch.

Comment by Julie Sam — April 13, 2010 @ 8:28 pm

[…] creerán la intensidad de los lazos que pueden establecerse durante el programa (ya lo comenta este post de Afueri Edeki), y sin embargo, horas y horas (en serio, horas y horas) de reuniones y casos, se […]

Pingback by El final, a la vuelta de la esquina… | Masters Online — April 22, 2010 @ 7:21 pm

Technology has its ups and downs, but for the most part it is highly beneficial. For example, I was using my I-Phone the other day to find some friends. I got off the wrong bus and was forced to use an I-Phone map application to find Philadelphia Park by myself. Ten years ago, I would have been coordinating calls at a payphone with the folks at home. Now, I’m much more self reliant.

Comment by Beth Hinkle — April 27, 2010 @ 1:50 am

THanks for the comments guys: from jazz bands to marathons, the value of teamwork cannot be underestimated:)

Look forward to hearing more inupcoming blogs!

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