The apprentice, the presidency and the project!

So yet again Sunday evening comes around 5 minutes after I left work on Friday. It been a busy week; our documentary about the Brent Pope Rugby Legends Foundation was on RTE 1 and hits to our site shot up 250% on average every day since it was shown. There are 1 in 4 charities shutting down and we are managing to stay afloat, it’s been tough out there but we’re offering team building products to corporates that seem to be really catching on, plus we’re hiring so that can only be positive. Now it’s just about sustaining that momentum, building more houses and keeping in the media to raise the profile. That’s just the 9-5 though.

Like I said, the weekend just zips by. Saturday morning and team 5 are huddled around a laptop in a coffee shop off the M50. Donal dials in on Skype from Wicklow. Papers strewn around the table and we’re debating the best strategy for our mobile phone company. We look like a team from the apprentice (minus the cameras and the bad attitude). I would have said Charlies Angels but we’re taking about the MBA here – we use our brains, not our judo skills, plus I haven’t been to the gym in 6 weeks.

My brain is getting a lot of exercise though; back in the coffee shop, debating tactics and discussing all our projects. I’m project lead this week and we’re talking about what Ford can learn from Dell. It’s tough but it’s brilliant. 7 weeks in and I’m surprised at how much I enjoy the classes and discussions, how eager I am to pick up my books after a long day and how much I look forward to meeting up at 10am on Saturday mornings.  It’s practical, it’s relevant and it’s more challenging than anything I’ve done in a long time. It’s like a rollercoaster – uphill battle to get to a deadline and then the thrill of delivering a presentation knowing you’ve nailed it. I know I’m not the only one. 3 hours in we call it a morning and Dermot hooks his rucksack on his back and smiles – “Maire says I’ve not been this happy about working on a Saturday before, I’m enjoying this, even though it’s taking up all my free time.”

I hop back into my car, drive around the corner into a 30 minute tailback – roadworks for the third time this week; it seems the country has decided to start preparing for the future again. I turn on the radio and it’s Bertie. I’m glad we’ve moved away from that type of leadership, and we’re demanding more, but even more importantly than that, it seems people are engaging and owning that leadership more.  My money is on Michael D for president next week and I’ve just had an idea, if he wins, I’m going to try and get him to open our new renovation partnership with St. Michaels house 2 days later. Who knows, my next blog post might have that photo….

– Karen Kennedy, Exec-MBA 2010-2011