MBA Ashridge Powerful Leadership Program in the UK

Get out of your protected fishbowl to meet the challenges of the open water…

This was the personal leadership challenge to each participant during the Alfaisal MBA International Study Experience during Summer 2014.


If it was easy to learn to manage one’s own mindset, motivation, and goal-directed behaviour, executive coaching would not have been used extensively by leading organisations across the world to provide their leaders with a winning edge. Twenty-eight selected AU MBA students experienced the life-changing benefits of executive coaching when they set out to explore leadership in a global context in the stunning setting of the castle and grounds at Ashridge Business School.

This summer, AU MBA students developed and applied practical new competencies for leadership success within a competitive business environment. The leadership experience was designed and co-presented by executive coaches from Open Water, an international leader in social intelligence coaching, at Ashridge.

Ashridge Business School is widely recognised for their success in executive learning. They were ranked seventh in the top twenty business schools world-wide by Bloomberg Businessweek in 2013, and in the same year, Financial Times ranked Ashridge in the top 1% of the world’s business schools. However, their fame most of their awards are in the fields of executive learning and organisational development. This focus on the practical application of personal leadership was the reason why Alfaisal MBA teamed up with Ashridge for our Summer 2014 international study experience (ISE).

This ISE exposed our MBA students to more than just a jaw-dropping historical and botanical setting; they also benefitted from accelerated learning and experiential learning techniques. These methods are proven to affect mindset, increase learning retention, and promote lasting behavioural change. The coaching helped our students to explore and apply the four core elements of emotional intelligence (self-awareness, self-management, social awareness and relationship management) to develop and sustain personal leadership mindsets and behaviours.

Further international study experiences are planned for the Spring semester in 2015. However, in the meantime, the many new skills, challenging new goals, and many memories we have made during the Ashridge ISE will help us to build the AU MBA’s mission of world-class education that is relevant to the sustainable development of our community.


Photo captions:

Photo 1: The men on the MBA ISE express their enthusiasm against the backdrop of the historical buildings at Ashridge.

Photo 2: Gathering essential data from the far corners of the Ashridge grounds to solve problems was, at times a very tiring, but exhilarating activity for our MBA students!

Photo 3: Active participating in the learning was the norm throughout the MBA study experience.

Photo 4: Men and women broke through personal challenges to achieve goals at the MBA international study experience.