I am LeaderShape.

At the start of the week, these three words would have meant very little to me, but by the end of day six at the LeaderShape institute, they came to represent the kind of person I now strive to become.



I walked into LeaderShape not knowing what to expect, and I’m sure the other 60 students who walked into Al Sultan Beach Resort that day had no idea what lay ahead either. I heard from other LeaderShape alumni that it was a life changing experience, and that I should go into it with an open mind and a willingness to learn, and so, that’s exactly what I did.



From the moment we entered our learning community, we were made to feel comfortable and at home. I would be missing an integral part of what LeaderShape meant to me if I didn’t mention the family clusters. The larger group was divided into family clusters where we encouraged, motivated and listened to each other without passing judgements. By the end of the week, our clusters really did become like our second families.


Throughout the next six days, we all worked together as a community. A community, which celebrated differences, ideas and visions. We learned to develop a healthy disregard for the impossible and ask ourselves what a better tomorrow looked like. We learned that making mistakes was human and that we should regard them as  ‘fascinating,’ rather than obstacles. Most importantly, we learned to wear our core values on our sleeves for everyone to see, and that the only way to reach our visions was through integrity.



At LeaderShape we were encouraged to embrace challenges and be honest with ourselves. The challenges we set for ourselves ranged from sitting next to someone new at dinner, to pushing ourselves out of our comfort zones, even if that meant unleashing our inner gangsters and rapping in front of more than 60 people.



Being back in the real world, or ‘day 7’ as we call it at LeaderShape, is going to be full of challenges. Although I am more energized, motivated and inspired to turn my vision to reality, I am also aware of how easy it is to slip back into our normal routines and forget about our visions. I have confidence that LeaderShape has provided us with all the lessons and tools that we need to make our visions possible, now all we need to do is remember and implement these lessons with integrity.




If I had to tell anyone what to expect at LeaderShape, I would say this; on day one you will feel as if you are stuck in a room with strangers, by day three you will become friends learning and experiencing together, and by day six you will all become one family, living in a state of possibility. This is what LeaderShape has meant to me, and that is what I think every time I say, “I am LeaderShape.” 

by Marium Saeed  Jan 18th, 2012
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