Five things about Seth Godin's altMBA
The raven is the smartest of the bird family, a powerful, consistent and even mythical creature. - AltMBA website FAQ,
Seth Godin’s altMBA program is difficult to describe. This past fall I completed the five week experience which is sold as “…an intensive, 4-week online workshop designed by Seth Godin for high-performing individuals who want to level up and lead”. I found it to be the most effective four weeks I have ever spent in training or education. Would I recommend it to everyone? Heck no! Read on and see if it sounds like a good fit for you.
What the course includes is hard to describe. This course pushes you. It forces you, along with everyone else, to work past the point you will give up. That point is called the dip and is about two weeks in by the way. You will come out the other side realizing how much more you can do.
But I can assure you that what you get out of this course will match the effort you put into it. Here are five things you need to be aware of before you take this beast on:
The advice to prepare and freeze a months worth of dinners and kiss the family good bye is only slightly exaggerated. I went in assuming that it would be every weeknight until midnight, and full days Saturday and Sunday. I normally finished up by 11pm on weeknights, and while I ended up only a part of Saturday, Sundays were often full days.
You will be responsible for how much you get out of this course. Each assignment is mercifully up to you for a topic. This helps as you can deal with subject matter that is familiar and useful while exploring it in new and interesting ways. The amount of time you spend puzzling through the assignment, writing and re-writing - then reviewing other peoples work to provide insights, then the amount of time you spend considering and altering your own work, directly matches how much you will grow. Through the cycle of writing, reviewing others, considering feedback to you, and re-writing you expand your horizons pretty quickly. AltMBA is a journey of self discovery along a thoughtfully guided path.
You will do projects outside of your comfort zone. Oh yes. There are assignments which will fit right into your sweet spot, but most will be different and require you to think in a completely different manner. In some cases the assignments will poke into your personal life and ask you to consider and write about challenges you have. In other cases it may be simply things you have not had to do before… like make 99 business plans in six hours. If you are set in your ways and are not seeking to making positive change in yourself this course is not for you and it will be painful.
You will read, write, and think… a lot. Aside from the time investment you will produce a LOT of words. At three weeks in my writing software showed I had written over 40,000 words. In layman’s terms that is a lot. Also, you will be sent a pile of really good books before the course starts. One of the only flaws I feel the course had was that it did not align the books with the course or prescribe which to read first. All of them are awesome books and I am still making my way through them, but my advice read as many of them as you can prior to the course beginning.
You will be sad when the course is over. If you apply for this course and stick with it, you are a highly motivated individual. While in this course you are surrounded by people who are sharing big thoughts, planning big things, thinking in new an innovative ways. This crowd is self-selected and quite intense. When the course ends you will go back to work and probably be with a crowd that is beaten down, set in their ways, and uninterested in making big changes. I can’t put into words how that feels, but it feels sad.
I do not recommend this course lightly. If you are the person who thinks about how you can change your surroundings, or have big ideas about where you want to go, or try to pursue your dreams (even if you fail) this is probably going to be awesome for you. The time flies and yes, it is a metric crap-ton of work, but it is all rewarding and it goes fast.
If you are just looking for some sort of management training course, or a get rich quick approach, or someone to hand you a bunch of study guides, this is not for you.
Composed on December 1, 2017
Bill is a voracious learner who believes every process or methodology has something worth stealing. Over three decades of IT experience, and his own Fortune 100 development department, provide the confidence to experiment and push the boundaries of how we think about development, developers, and methodologies. The mantra is to improve even a little every day, but have the five year vision in mind. Learn more about Bill by clicking here.