Week 2, Term 1 – Leadership (Cont.)
This week, we went on a few exciting cultural programs arranged by TU Berlin. Firstly, minigolf! We headed to Tempelhofer Feld which was luckily near one of our apartments. While most of us initially expected it to be regular minigolf, when we arrived, most of us realised it was built to signify many major problems in the world such as: Inefficient use of water, electricity, and high carbon emissions. What made it even more special was that the entire course was hand-built by one of the owners of the minigolf course.
Secondly, we also embarked onto a trip to the EUREF Campus, which houses a variety of companies that specialise in sustainable technology. They are currently renovating a gasometer and converting it into a expo hall for events, breathing new life into the area while maintaining its look and historical importance.
On our second week of lessons we were introduced to the idea that teams and groups have differences in terms of number of people, the number of roles, and how these roles are split up. We learnt the importance of learning to adapt as leaders in groups to not only lead others, but help them understand what they are truly capable of.
We also learnt of different decision making frameworks and some key elements of decision making, namely: Instinct, Judgement, and Perspective. Following which, we were engaged in a discussion on systemic thinking, and how this allows us to deepen our understanding of how different parts of a team work together and enables us to see the bigger picture. This leads into a better understanding of different organisation structures.
Towards the end of the course, we were introduced to idea of Physical Intelligence. Claire Dale, an expert in this field, ran us through several exercises where we acted out a series of different movements and ranked them based on our personal preferences. It was then linked to certain leadership attributes based on our preferred movement. This allows us to further understand what our strengths and areas of improvement we need to focus on as individuals.
Lastly, we reviewed every topic we had gone though in the past two weeks and even gave feedback on our fellow peers. This gave us a wider perspective of our personal strengths that we may not have been aware of ourselves.
At the end of the week, we attended our graduation ceremony which marked the completion of our first term in Berlin. We are very grateful for this course made specially for us; it has been a fun and insightful learning experience. Through this course, we have learnt to not only be better people, but better leaders.
In our free time, we explored and looked at what’s available in Berlin. We realised that many forms of entertainment such as concerts are more affordable in Berlin compared to Singapore. We took this opportunity to attend the Coldplay concert that was taking place at the Olympic Stadium. They played exciting songs such as Sky Full of Stars, Yellow, and Viva la Vida. The music and atmosphere was great, and we had a good time singing along to their songs.
We also took the time to go a thrift store as we heard that Berlin has a vibrant thrifting culture. One interesting shop we visited had the concept of paying for clothes by weight, and we spent over an hour browsing their extensive collection.
Over the weekend, we took the opportunity to travel to a lake beach in the outskirts of the city. It was a good chance to relax and wind-down after an activity filled week. We enjoyed playing volleyball on the hot summer beach, and playing in the cool water.