The Value of Accelerated Leaders – AIESEC interviews Scott Morrison

Last year we’ve had the pleasure of attending Marketing Rockstars Festival in Graz, where we met one of the speakers – Scott Morrison, former Marketing & Commercial Director, DIESEL and Founder at “The Business Accelerator”. We were blown away by his keynote on leadership and particularly the concept of accelerator leadership and wanting to find out more, we interviewed him. Enjoy the read!

  • First of all, thank you so much for agreeing to have an interview with us. Have you heard about AIESEC before we met in Graz?

My pleasure. To be totally honest, I hadn’t heard of the organisation before I had the pleasure of meeting you at the conference. Subsequent to that, I’ve learnt a lot about AIESEC and think it does some wonderful work with young people, empowering them to be leaders and take control of their futures. 

  • As an organisation that fosters youth leadership, your speech about it at Marketing Rockstars festival definitely caught our attention. How would you define leadership?

Leadership to me is something incredibly powerful …something that creates and brings magic to the everyday. I define great leaders as people who ignite a passion and energy in people to doincredible things that they never believed possible.

  • At M.R, you talked about accelerated leaders. What exactly differentiates an accelerated leader from lets say an ordinary one?

Ordinary leaders take all of the traits, skills and values of leadership and become competent at them. They get the job done and there are lots of them out there. Some businesses need this kind of leader as they are happy to plough the same furrow over long periods of time – they don’t want to challenge the status quo and like things where they are. There’s nothing wrong with this, per se – however, great leaders quickly want to move on from these businesses to further their challenges and career experience.

Great leaders take all of the above and are able to apply it in such a way that they ignite the passion and energy of their people to do incredible things that they never believed possible. They create the bedrock of everyday magic.

Accelerated leaders embrace both of those behaviours and add the ability to create positive disruption in their organisation – they lead their people and their organisation through the chaos that is the modern world of business; they empower their teams to sense, adapt and respond to the disruption that’s happening in their market and create an environment where people are inherently motivated to achieve great things right through the chain. They create leaders within their organisations recognising that a coaching mentality coupled with the power of building an empowering culture is the way that succession planning in business happens. They believe wholeheartedly that culture eats strategy for breakfast!

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  • People often perceive disruption as something negative. But you define it not only as something positive, but something great. What do you believe makes disruptionpositive?

My life experiences taught me that being different could be viewed one of 2 ways – you could use it as a detachment mechanism – feel like a victim and continually use it as a reason for your failure or underachievement. Or, you could reframe it, flip it and make it an powerful force for achievement. Being different allows you to experiment, to be unconventional, to embrace failure and see the success it brings. Disruption works the same way. If you use it as a force for bad, it alienates, divides and ultimately destroys. Use it as a force for good and it generates energy, movement and a following. That’s how you get things done in an organisation: generate an unstoppable force for good that engages and empowers people to perform at the best they can. Positive disruptionchallenges the inertia in organisations and gains traction, movement and acceleration.

  • One of my favorite parts of your speech was the 6 easy steps to success: Constant reframing, Radical collaboration, Embracing conflict, Always open, always on, Thrive on chaos, Extreme empowerment. Why are those steps the most important to you? And why C.R.E.A.T.E?

These steps are key to the success of an Accelerated Leader because they are some of the things that most challenge the inertia in businesses, organisations and consumers. They are the things that ordinary leaders avoid because they are threatening or challenge their own perceptions of what they need to feel like as leaders. For example, some people find it hard to relinquish authority and empower their teams as it’s not their view of leadership. However, it is critical that you are always building leaders all the way through the organisation not just at the top. That’s why extreme empowerment is important.

They are all distilled from my experiences of working with some of the world’s greatest brands and leaders in those businesses. I have tried and tested all of them and that’s why I can say that they truly work to accelerate leaders and in turn businesses.

C.R.E.A.T.E was a suitable acronym that spelled out a simple statement – Accelerated Leaders C.R.E.A.T.E positive disruption to accelerate businesses.

I coach leaders on ways to bring this model to their teams so that they can accelerate they businesses.

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  • At the festival where we had more than 35 speakers, you were perhaps the only one to have had leadership as the core of your speech. Why do you believe this topic is important? What is your opinion about young leaders in Austria?

In a world where too many leaders abdicate their responsibilities and the role models of leadership for young people are changing beyond recognition, it’s about time that we all had broader discussions about what leadership means today. We need to ensure that there’s a clear understanding of what leadership looks like from all angles. There’s nothing to say that someone with vast experience is any better a leader than a 16 year old college student who has set up their own business. We can all learn from each other especially with the growth of tech, start-ups and revitalised entrepreneurialism in the next generations. When I mentor, I ask my menthes to critique some work that I have done too so that I can garner their perspective – we need to do this more with young people so that they feel valued as leaders. 

  • How do you think AIESEC can help nurture the mindset of accelerated leadershipamongst the Austrian youth?

 Young leaders all over the world need organisations like AIESEC to help them shape their experiences to become the best leaders they can be.

The beauty of the Accelerated Leader model is that it can be applied at any level, in any organisation and with any age group. If people embrace this thinking now then, as they progress right the way to the top of organisations, they will have a mindset that enables them to build a powerful culture below them where people are inspired to be part of an organisation that differs from lots of others out there.

I hope AIESEC can see the benefit of this thinking and find a way to use it to nurture the young people who they’re working with.

  • You are an inspiration to many people. But what is something that inspires you to do what you do every day; your inner drive?

I read a wonderful book called ‘The Last Shamen’ which encourages you to look deep into who you are and find what your purpose is, what your ‘greatness’ is. What is the one thing that you have been put onto the Earth to do. When I did it for myself, I found out that I should be a Guide – someone who shows people the right way to go.

It was such a powerful message for me and is the thing that drives me every day to be the best that I can be. When you are a Guide, there’s a lot of responsibility to engage with, absorb and share knowledge and to channel it to those who need it most. 

  • What would you say was the biggest learning point in your career that pushed you to go in this direction?

As I said, when you recognise what it is that you really feel compelled to do, there isn’t anyone or anything that can stop you. All of my previous roles were the education for me to be able to do what I love doing even more now. The other thing that really vindicated my decision was practising Street Wisdom which is a mindfulness exercise where you use the street to find answers to questions you have. When I did it, it cemented lots of things that I had already been thinking about and I have now become an ambassador for the movement. I incorporate it into my leadership coaching and people come away with a learning experience that helps reframe a problem they had previously been facing.

  • What would be your message to young people striving to succeed in todays world and become leaders who positively influence our society?

Become Accelerated Leaders – don’t accept anything less because if you learn from bad leaders you inherently pick up skills that you will want to shake off later in your career.

Envision a future where you are an Accelerated Leader, feel it, see it and believe it and you will become one.

5 Reasons to Become a Youth Talent this semester! – AIESEC

1. “Living diversity”

Not only is this one of the organization’s key values, it also pretty much describes the possibilities AIESEC has to offer. No matter if your interests lie within Sales, Project Management, Marketing & PR or Human Resources – there are many different projects waiting for you to join in on and bring new ideas. And this is what diversity is all about, is it not? Connecting people with different mindsets and visions. Can it be difficult to work with many talented people, who all seem to know it all the best? Yes, definitely. Why bother to join anyways? It’s more than worth it, being part of an inspirational team like that, because in the end we are all striving to be the best possible versions of ourselves.

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2. AIESEC helps you to travel the world and connect with different cultures

Going abroad for an internship with the organization you’re working in! Can it get any better than that? You can select between numerous countries worldwide AIESEC in Austria is partnering with (Brazil, Peru, Greece, Switzerland, Ireland, Malaysia etc.). And if you are not interested in being away for a longer time, you can attend one of the various conferences AIESEC offers. They take place on national, but also international level. An amazing opportunity to work on your personal skills whilst simultaneously discovering another beautiful place, such as Istanbul for example. And even by staying in Vienna you can connect with people from various countries and sharpen your intercultural understanding as AIESEC is formed by students coming from many different cultural backgrounds.

3. It’s all about the networking …

Heard this sentence before?! Yes of course, especially when it comes to Business & Economics there is no such thing as the easy way to success. Forgive the disillusionment but nowadays it is not enough anymore to complete a bachelor’s degree in exactly six semesters with outstanding grades. There is much more to it. Practical work experience you experienced and connections you’ve made during that time play an important role. This is also where AIESEC can help you. Not only will you gain a lot of experience by completing different business related tasks, but you will also get the chance to meet many inspiring people and attend trainings, workshops and business meetings.

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4. Step towards your future career

As simple as it may sound -­ working in a student organization is also an extra point you can add to your CV. Once, an AIESEC member held a lecture presentation at a beginners course at WU and after he had finished the very well-­liked and respected professor encouraged the students  to give AIESEC a try. He  mentioned that being part of AIESEC can significantly improve your career chances. No need to say more, right?!

5. It’s a fun world …

Exactly! Nowadays we are so busy with striving for perfection, working and keeping up with everyone else. But as a matter of fact, we only live once and we should also not forget to have fun. And this is a big part of AIESEC, apart from the things you learn and the opportunities you get. You are going to meet amazing people with whom you can have a great time, share unforgettable memories and maybe even gain  some life-long friendships.

So what are you waiting for?! Give yourself the chance and start your journey with AIESEC.

For more information you can check the website: www.aiesec.at, our local Facebook pages or approach our info stands at universities.

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Author: Sara Balitzky

4 Reasons to Work in an International Team

10431305_2681127749925_4296718496242939197_o-e1426172758714-500x800Ten years ago, I never would have seen myself working outside of the United States, with people who didn’t speak English as a first language, in an environment where even ordering coffee would be a challenging experience. But when in university, I joined AIESEC, an organization that makes these things possible for thousands of students in the world.

Currently I am working in Vienna, Austria,  on a team of people from Luxembourg, Germany, Serbia, Romania and Spain; and last year in Costa Rica, I worked in a team of people from Estonia, Slovakia, Colombia, India, Egypt, and Costa Rica. I went from a relatively homogeneous part of the U.S. where the biggest difference between people was where they went to high school, to working in two different countries with two different teams where every single person speaks a different language. This has been a journey that certainly has its own breed of lessons, 4 of which I found to be the most important for professional and personal growth.

1. Understanding is a first step to emotional intelligence

Everyone knows that emotional intelligence is highly valued in the workplace and especially in leadership. What people may not know is that the process to developing emotional intelligence actually requires a lot of core interactions with people who may fundamentally think differently from you.

I learned this lesson during a fight with one of my colleagues. In our disagreement, I realized that neither of us was coming from a place of bad intentions, but that he and I were simply just products of the environments of our home countries and therefore have different perspectives on many issues. Coming to this realization was the first step to solving tensions and paving the way for future positive collaborations.

Of course, this requires setting aside your own priorities and viewpoints for the greater good. This is a humbling experience that cannot be learned in books. By interacting with more and more people who think differently from you, you are able to fine-tune your interactions with them, and propel yourself to proceed in a way that benefits everyone involved.

 2. You get to re-invent yourself in your new environment

Growing up, I was always lost with what to do with my life and how to do it. Now, I can consider myself to have a purpose in my life, the passion to do it, and the structure to get it done.

This is because I was able to learn from my teammates how to find purpose, how to prioritize, and how to take action. In meetings, personal interactions, and working on projects with my colleagues, I was able to see different ways of processing information, seeing what is important, drawing conclusions and in which manner to act based on these conclusions. This was extremely vital for me to challenge my own style of critical thinking and taking action and to constantly re-polish my own purpose, passion and plans.

The best part is that I could even pick out the commonalities of working styles between different cultures. I learned how to be goal-oriented and focused from my European teammates, I learned how to be persistent from my Asian teammates and I learned how to be passionate about my work from my Latin American teammates.

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3. Being a Global Citizen doesn’t only mean travelling

I would not consider myself a well-traveled person; I have been to only around 12 countries in my lifetime. However, I feel like I’ve been able to experience many more.

When the revolutions in Egypt were happening, my Egyptian teammate spoke of the youth perceptions there. When floods took over parts of Serbia, my Serbian teammates were checking up on their families and friends. When the Russian-Ukrainian conflict grew, my Estonian teammate also spoke of concerns in her home country.

Working on an international team gives you a front-row seat to these kinds of world issues. But beyond that, you also learn about the beauties of each country that may never appear in headlines, which brings me to my next point:

4. Challenge every assumption you have about society

Perhaps to many people on Earth, Colombia would be a drug-and-violence-riddled society, but I know differently from my Medellin-raised Colombian teammate. I learned about the smart and forward thinking of people who live there, with vast skills to improve their country and contribute to the world. Perhaps to many people, Romania is full of gypsies, but I know differently from my Romanian team leader. I learned that people care about their country, want to see it improve and are willing to be the generation who accomplishes it.

I am an open person who tries not to have preconceived notions about people based on where they are from, especially as an American-born daughter of Indian immigrants. But my personal interactions with my international teams further solidified my strong desire to always challenge the formed assumptions.

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Author: Harkiran Kaur

Frauenpower in den Führungsebenen

Frauen an die Macht heißt es bei AIESEC in Österreich. Bei der österreichischen Zweigstelle der weltweit größten, von Studierenden geführten Organisation, sind dieses Jahr die höchsten Führungspositionen ausschließlich von Frauen besetzt.

Anlässlich des Anlässlich des Weltfrauentages 2015 erzählen sie von ihren Erlebnissen.

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Sie sind junge Frauen – keine von ihnen ist älter als 25 Jahre. Was sie gemeinsam haben ist der Wunsch zu lernen, sich weiterzuentwickeln und stets neue Erfahrungen zu sammeln. Die internationale Studierendenorganisation AIESEC bietet ihnen genau diese Möglichkeit: sie unterstützt junge Menschen während ihrer Studienzeit dabei sich persönlich und professionell weiterzuentwickeln und mehr aus ihrem Potential zu machen. Im Laufe von mittlerweile über 60 Jahren wurde AIESEC so zu einer der führenden Organisation für Youth Leadership.

Dieses Jahr sind es 9 Frauen, die in ihren Positionen als Vereinsvorsitzende maßgeblich an der Entwicklung von AIESEC in Österreich und seinen Mitgliedern beteiligt sind und sind dabei für 20 bis 100 junge Menschen verantwortlich, mit denen sie gemeinsam dieses Ziel erreichen wollen.

Ihre Rolle ist vielseitig: Sie sind Manager, Teamleiter, Vortragende, Freunde und Leader. Es sind jeden Tag neue Herausforderungen, die sie bewältigen müssen. Sie kennen die Statistiken über schlechtere Chancen von Frauen am Arbeitsmarkt, haben von der Gläsernen Decke gehört, die Frauen den Aufstieg am Arbeitsmarkt verwehrt. Sie wurden selbst schon mit Vorurteilen über Frauen in Führungspositionen konfrontiert.

Nichts von alldem hält sie jedoch davon ab, sich hohe Ziele zu setzen und sich der Herausforderung zu stellen. Von ihren bisherigen Erlebnissen gibt es hier einige Auszüge:

Wer sie sind und was sie bewegt:

Magdalena Prieler

Als Studierende der WU Wien habe ich mich vor über einem Jahr dazu entschieden, an der Technischen Universität Wien ein eigenes AIESEC Komitee zu gründen. Das erste an einer technischen Uni in Österreich. Mittlerweile sind wir rund 20 TechnikerInnen aus den verschiedensten Feldern und zeigen, das technische Studierende sehr wohl auch an Themen wie der internationalen Verständigung, sozialem Engagement und Leadership interessiert sind. Nach meinem Studium möchte ich als Fellow bei Teach for Austria SchülerInnen in den herausforderndsten Schulen Österreichs unterrichten und mich in meiner Zukunft für ein Schulsystem mit mehr Chancengleichheit einsetzen.

Magdalena PrielerMagdalena Prieler, 21 Jahre alt, kommt aus Linz und studiert Internationale Betriebswirtschaftslehre an der Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien.
Julia Wurnitsch

Mein Jahr als Lokalkomitee Präsidentin war eine große Herausforderung, nicht nur aufgrund der neuen Aufgaben und Verantwortungen, sondern auch aufgrund der Fluktuation im Vorstand und unter den Mitgliedern. Im Großen und Ganzen kann ich aber sagen, die Personen, die das ganze Jahr mit mir gearbeitet haben, haben einen großen Entwicklungssprung gemacht und haben, so wie ich, viel professionelles Wissen aber auch Emotionale Intelligenz erlangt. Am Ende meiner Amtszeit bleibt nur noch eines zu sagen: es war alles Wert, denn diese Zeit hat mich und meine KollegInnen zu den Menschen gemacht, die wir heute sind und ich bin stolz darauf! Meine Zukunft sieht folgendermaßen aus: nach meinem Studium werde ich mindestens für ein Jahr ins Ausland gehen und die Möglichkeiten, die AIESEC mir bietet ausnutzen: sei es in einer internationalen Firma im HR-Bereich oder in einem nationalen Vorstand von AIESEC arbeiten. Danach möchte ich mit einer Kollegin, die ich durch AIESEC kennen gelernt habe, ein Unternehmen gründen, am liebsten im NGO-Bereich, denn ich will auch weiterhin zu einer besseren Gesellschaft und zu einer besseren Welt beitragen.

Julia WurnitschJulia Wurnitsch, 23 Jahre alt, kommt aus Deutschlandsberg und studiert, lebt und arbeitet seit 3 Jahren in Linz.
Raffaela Reindl

Für mich war es sehr spannend zu sehen, wie man als Führungsperson die Richtung eines Teams beeinflussen kann, besonders auf einer persönlichen Ebene. Wie balanciert man eine gute Teamerfahrung und Performance? Dieses Jahr war eine große Herausforderung für mich und ich bin sehr dankbar für die Erfahrungen die ich machen konnte. In Zukunft möchte ich gerne im Bildungsbereich arbeiten und Kindern helfen ihren Berufsweg zu finden. Ich denke, es ist sehr wichtig, dass Kinder oder junge Erwachsene wissen, wo ihre Stärken liegen und was ihnen im Leben wichtig ist damit sie herausfinden können, welcher Beruf das so gut wie möglich verbindet. Mir hat diese Beratung als Jugendliche gefehlt und da ich sie später in AIESEC bekommen habe, habe ich erkannt, wie notwendig sie für eine Berufsplanung in jüngeren Jahren wäre.

Raffaela ReindlRaffaela Reindl, 22 Jahre alt, kommt aus Bruck an der Mur/Steiermark und studiert Umweltsystemwissenschaften mit Schwerpunkt Geographie.
Cristina Soreanu

Die Rolle des Landesvorstandes einer Organisation ist bestimmt mit einer großen Verantwortung verbunden, aber sie lehrt einem auch sich selbst und andere in schwierigen Situationen zu führen. Ich bin überzeugt, dass diese Rolle mich für die verschiedensten Problemstellungen einer Führungsposition bestmöglich vorbereitet hat. Die wertvollste Lektion die ich, als Frau an der Spitze der Organisation, gelernt habe ist wie man stark bleiben kann und sich gleichzeitig anderen öffnet. Ich kann nur hoffen, dass mehr junge Frauen die Möglichkeit wahrnehmen und sich in Führungspositionen verwirklichen. Ich selbst habe ein klar definiertes Ziel, welches mich in meinen nächsten Schritten leiten wird: Ich möchte Orte schaffen, an denen Menschen wirklich genießen können was sie tun, Arbeitsplätze an denen Menschen ihr Potential voll ausschöpfen können, um das Bestmögliche zu erreichen. Aus diesem Grund denke ich über eine Karriere in einer Personalabteilung nach, aber auch beratende Tätigkeiten oder mein eigenes Start-up sind nicht völlig ausgeschlossen.

Cristina SoreanuCristina Soreanu, 24 Jahre alt, kommt aus Krajowa und hat Psychologie in Rumänien studiert.
Theresa Stadler

Mein Jahr als Präsidentin von AIESEC an der WU Wien gleicht einer Hochschaubahn. Ich war zuständig für ein 7-köpfiges Team mit dem ich gemeinsam ein Komitee von ca. 100 Studierenden geführt habe. Jeden Tag habe ich gelernt was es heißt Verantwortung zu übernehmen und für das Lernen, die Entwicklung und die Performance anderer zuständig zu sein. Als Präsidentin war es außerdem meine Verantwortung mein Komitee in dem globalen AIESEC Netzwerk auf Konferenzen (z.B. in Taiwan oder Griechenland) zu repräsentieren. Dies gab mir die Chance Menschen aus aller Welt mit unterschiedlichen Kulturen kennenzulernen. Mein Traum für die Zukunft ist es eine globale Organisation zu gründen, die bestehende Bildungsplattformen und -tools vernetzt und Teilen der Welt zugänglich macht, in denen Bildung aus System- und finanziellen Gründen schwer zu erlangen ist. Bevor es soweit kommt möchte ich allerdings Erfahrung in internationalen Organisationen/Unternehmen – z.B. bei der UNO – und Gründererfahrung sammeln.

Theresa StadlerTheresa Stadler, 22 Jahre alt, kommt aus Wien und studiert an der Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien.

AIESEC (Association internationale des étudiants en sciences économiques et commerciales) ist eine internationale gemeinnützige Organisation, die junge Menschen dabei unterstützt sich während ihrer Studienzeit persönlich und professionell weiterzuentwickeln.

Seit über 60 Jahren ermutigt AIESEC Jugendliche dazu, sich selbst herauszufordern und mehr aus ihrem Potential zu machen und wurde so zur führenden Organisation für Youth Leadership.

Mit mehr als 86.000 Mitgliedern in über 128 Ländern und Territorien weltweit sind wir die größte von Studierenden geführte Organisation der Welt!

AIESEC in Österreich ist in Wien, Graz, Linz, Salzburg, Innsbruck und Liechtenstein mit lokalen Gruppen vertreten.

How AIESEC team experience contributed to my studies

Hi I am Ulrike Jordi and I am an Erasmus student at the University of Vienna and I joined AIESEC after a presentation at an ESN (Erasmus Student Network) event. I joined because I wanted to get out of my “Exchange Student Bubble” and spend free time in a meaningful way. Now, after one semester in the organization, it has evolved into a way of gaining experience and practical knowledge connected to my studies.

Back home, in Switzerland, I am only a part-time student – otherwise working as a primary school teacher. Through the projects that AIESEC organizes with the help of international interns – Colors of the World and Career to Go (which my team was preparing), I got insight into the Austrian education system and the way schools work here. The projects also gave me new ideas I could implement in terms of new topics and delivery methods in teaching – how things could be presented at schools to both students and teachers.

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I am now continuing with AIESEC for another semester, planning and hoping to switch to the area of human resources, because conducting Individual Coaching Talks, Team Management, Team Buildings and conducting Interviews belong to an area I can see myself working in the future.

On top of that I meat numerous great people and had an absolutely awesome team experience!