However, other times, a business vision that may seem to be a good idea initially will prove to be unwise once one conducts a more formal analysis of all of the relevant variables and considerations involved.
I learned how important it is to maintain effective communications across a broad spectrum of communications media. Today, a business person must be able to multi-task and to conduct and effectively integrate numerous different types of communications effectively and efficiently. In that respect, I also learned that there are specific issues, considerations, and potential complications associated with every different type of communications medium. Sometimes the technical element of the medium present issues that can undermine the efficiency of operations; other times, it is the interpersonal elements of specific types of communications media that introduce potential problems and complications. An example of the former would be technical issues that interfere with plans to conduct meetings in a virtual medium. We learned that it is inadvisable to rely on virtual media without at least some means of backing up communications in the event of problems with the technology. An example of the latter would be misunderstandings among and between team members that can be cause by the impersonal nature of email communications.
The most frustrating aspect of the course was precisely that it required us to collaborate in groups to complete every assignment. On one hand, I would have welcomed the opportunity to perform some of the work entirely independently because that is the educational format that I have relied on most to date. On the other hand, I also recognize that this was one of the main benefits of the course because in the real world of business, one cannot choose when to work independently and when to work as part of a team. In fact, in most contemporary business environments, we will usually be working as part of a team and as parts of business units. In that regard, the entire team is only as string as its weakest element and only as strong as the ability of if its individuals to communicate, plan, collaborate, and execute in a coordinated fashion. If possible, I would appreciate if such a course could at least provide an element of individual effort that allows every student an independent means of contributing in addition to the collaborative components.
4) At the time of your retirement what do you want to be remembered for doing as a person and as a professional. Be broad and creative in your ideas and notions. DO NOT state the obvious (good person, mother, father, husband, community leader, etc.) Think BIG yet realistic as to what you will offer the world.
To be perfectly honest, I am not quite sure how I will look back on my life at the time of my retirement, especially outside the context of all of the obvious considerations that are not part of this question. Currently, I am experiencing mixed emotions about certain foundational aspects of my life that I will have to resolve between now and my retirement and the manner in which I resolve them will likely have a lot to do with what kind of person I hope to be. For example, I have a certain attachment to the traditional beliefs and culture of my home country and my heritage but some of those traditions are incompatible with other concepts that I have learned to appreciate as objective concepts.
In many respects, that conflict also raises issues in the sphere of ethics and morality.
As a Muslim from Saudi Arabia, I was raised with certain beliefs, values, and expectations about things that I have begin to question as the result of my exposure to Western ways of thinking. I realize that since I intend to have a family someday, it will be up to me to determine the values and beliefs with which I raise my children and that there is a moral responsibility that comes along with that. I suppose, by the time I retire, I would like to be known as someone who did his absolute best to figure out what was ethically right in life and not as someone who simply perpetuated a belief system because he was raised a certain way. While I cherish many elements of my heritage, I already know that some of what is still expected in my culture is inconsistent with ethical values that are obviously important.
In particular, I am thinking about such things as the role and rights of women in society and in human relationships. Intellectually, I understand that women deserve the same rights as men in society and that moral values (including sexual morality) cannot logically be determined by gender. By the time I am retired, I would hope that people who knew me would respect me for having figured out for myself what was right in many contexts and as someone who had the courage of heart and the strength and independence of mind to grow beyond teachings to which I was exposed that could have limited my potential as a person.
The more that I learn about subjects such as ethics, the more I realize that we all have obligations to others and that those obligations transcend every aspect of our lives. All too often we are confronted with news stories of successful and powerful professionals who have violated the most fundamental rules of human decency and morality in other area of their lives. To me, those contradictions and hypocrisies all boil down to a single concept: personal integrity. Therefore, regardless of exactly how I make a living professionally, what set of cultural values I ultimately adopt for myself and my future family, and what level of success I manage to achieve, I would most want anybody who knew me to consider me to have led a life of integrity. More specifically, I would like to be known as a person whose values were consistent and who expected the same of others that he gave to others. Naturally, I hope to be successful in my future career and to contribute something positive to the word; but it is more important to me that the people who genuinely knew me admired me.