What got you here won’t get you there | MBA Learnings

KSM_LinkedIn_SocialImage_FT_MBAlearningseries_646x220_fSecond-year student Rohan Rajiv is blogging once a week about important lessons he is learning at Kellogg. Read more of his posts here.

I started a collection of content subscription projects via my “A Learning a Day” blog between 2009 and 2013 – “good morning quotes” on week days, “book learnings” on Sundays, “Monday learnings” on Mondays (this was one I actively participated in vs. initiated) and “Real Leader interviews” every fortnight. All this worked just fine for a few years. They taught me a lot. But, I couldn’t possibly keep doing these forever.

As I thought about 2014 during the Christmas-New Year break 21 months or so ago, I decided I needed to embrace change and simplify. So, over the next six months, I shut every one of these projects down and integrated every content project into my blog. Effectively, this led to my “200 words project” on Sundays and various categories of posts.

Simpler. Better.

This was my first experience with “what got you here won’t get you there.” All of these content projects played a huge role in who I am today. They helped me build up my discipline muscle, helped me believe in my ability to keep commitments, and also enabled me to connect with some incredible folks around the world.

But for the next step, I needed to change things.

So, as I prepared for my first year in business school last summer, I spent time thinking about the systems I needed to develop. What got me to business school wouldn’t help me at business school. The game had changed. I needed to change, too. But until a month or so in, I didn’t know the answers. All I knew was to ask myself the following questions:

1. What is important here? (priorities)
2. How should I approach this experience? (process goals)
3. Who are people who can help me in my journey? (people)

My recent post on “Making the most of your first year in an MBA program” was a culmination of the approach gleaned from those questions. When you know what you are looking for, the universe often throws a clue in here and there. I had a couple of pivotal conversations in my first month at school that helped me piece together an approach for my first year.

But, as I take advantage of a week’s break before the start of my second year, I feel it is time to revisit these questions again. Moving into my second year is like taking on a new promotion at work. A lot of what was important in my first year isn’t as critical this year. I feel comfortable operating the way I operate and could easily do so for another year. But I can almost hear that voice in my gut screaming as I contemplate the thought of not changing anything. As is the case when you lead change within yourself, the emotions on the surface seem to lobby against it. It generally feels easier to keep the status quo and continue cruising.

But I’ve learned to dig deeper and listen to my gut. And both that voice and the evidence unquestionably point to the fact that the game has changed. I should, too.

What got me here won’t get me there.

Rohan Rajiv is a second-year student in Kellogg’s Full-Time Two-Year Program. Prior to Kellogg he worked at a-connect serving clients on consulting projects across 14 countries in Europe, Asia, Australia and South America. He blogs a learning every day, including his MBA Learnings series, on www.ALearningaDay.com.

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