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  • Maria Vandenburg

Inner MBA: Starting with the End in Mind

Updated: Sep 21

I believe I have previously mentioned, I am planning on using two separate programs to help me cultivate the vision and launch my very first company: We Are Just Us


We Are Just Us: "The evolution from Me to We with the realization that we are ALL enough... JUST as we are."





The program I am going to focus on today is the Inner MBA, a program put on by Sounds True, LinkedIn, Wisdom 2.0, Mindful NYU, and a few additional organizations. The Inner MBA is "a nine-month immersion program to train leaders, entrepreneurs, managers, and employees on how to powerfully grow themselves and their companies" (Inner MBA website)


We had our all-day orientation yesterday and I was amazed at what the team was able to accomplish. We had close to 1,000 of us gathered from over 50 different countries to collectively launch this program. Tami Simon (Founder and CEO of Sounds True) and Soren Gordhamer (Founder of Wisdom 2.0) kicked us off for a day filled with interviews, visualizations, and interactions. One of my biggest hesitations/concerns with this program was "how am I going to feel truly seen and heard in a group of thousands?" Well, the Inner MBA team proved to me yesterday that I could. Throughout the day we broke off into 1x1 groups to discuss what was moving through us, and we had the opportunity to connect in community. I loved this almost as much as I loved all of the knowledge that was shared through Tami, Soren, Richard Stozzi-Heckler, Lisa Lahey, and Rose Macario.


During our opening exercise, Tami asked us three different questions and invited us to reflect on them. She asked us to "begin with the end in mind." So, if we are forward-thinking and envisioning ourselves nine months from now as graduates of this inaugural program, we were asked to ponder and answer three different questions


  1. What is the personal transformation that I/We want to experience?

  2. How do I/We want our work relationships to change?

  3. How will our world of work/organizations change and why does it matter?


I recorded a video talking through how this is currently showing up for me but I also wanted to record it below. As you will come to see (or maybe you have witnessed this within me already), I am the type of person that LOVES to document my journey. I love being able to reflect back on where I was as well as who I become, and this process enables that depth of expansion for me.





So to answer the questions.


The Personal Transformation I envision beginning with the end in mind:

I said in a previous blog entry that authentic heartfelt leadership governs my personal life in my present moment, and what I would love is to see this expand into my professional life as well. I envision myself leading my own company the way that Brene Brown leads hers (another one of my unofficial mentors... I have quite a few, who I haven't had the privilege of meeting directly... yet). Creating the space where others feel truly comfortable showing up and allowing themselves to feel truly seen, listening deeply to what they have to say, learn, grow, and co-create a space of magic and wonder. So to deepen in connection with my own heart, and have it govern ALL aspects of my life, personally, professionally, and otherwise.


The change I would like to witness within my Work Relationships

During Day 10 of 30 Days of Authenticity, the intention is "I am The Other." If I had to define how I would like to see my working relationships evolve over the course of the next nine months it would be that, learning to see myself within everyone that I work with. Being open in moments of conflict and tension to not move into judgment, but to move into expansion. What do my working relationships have to show me? How can I broaden my own perspective to clearly see, connect to, and understand their perspective? I want ALL of my relationships to operate from this level of depth, where every opportunity is a chance to grow and deepen in both connection with myself but also in connection with "them" through the realization that there is no "me" vs "him/her" there is only "us." It's the founding vision of We Are Just Us as well, the "evolution from me to we" as I phrase it.


The Organizational Change I would like to Witness and Why it Matters?

I want to cultivate a deepening relationship with what others call "the field" or "collective consciousness." I personally have witnessed the power (and magic, and mystery) in being involved in a generative space and I want to bring that forward to my own company as well as any companies I am involved and/or working with. I also am consistently humbled by the depth of knowledge that surrounds me from my interactions from others, but not from a hierarchical perspective. It feels like every single day I learn something new as a result of my openness. I like to call it my "beginnings mind," which is something I spent time cultivating during my external MBA program at the University of Westminster over the course of the last two years. It revolves around being open to the idea that I/we don't actually know everything, that even the things we think we know can deepen in understanding as our consciousness does. It's the realization that we ALL have inner wisdom, we ALL have a story to share, we ALL matter. I hope to bring that wherever I go, to allow others to feel safe in showing up and sharing whatever is going on within them so that we can all grow in our shared consciousness of both ourselves and others.


I realize that a lot of this is not fully crystallized yet, but it is my start and I did want to make sure to record it. I will be doing this throughout the 9-month journey (for both the Inner MBA and U.Lab (the other program I planning on using to cultivate what's next for me).


I have a feeling this will become a bit more structured as it all becomes a bit more clear, but for now, this is where I am. Thanks as always for taking the time to tune in, AND... more to come. ❤️


© 2020 by Maria Vandenburg