Wow! What a joy this first month of Markao Business Academy has been.
We have a small first cohort of our program, each unique in their interests and special in the gifts they bring to the world.
We began with an orientation week that helped everyone get settled into a solid rhythm of classes, co-working sessions and Q&A sessions. Students committed to honoring the Markao principles of Mission, Authenticity, Resonance, Kaizen, Appreciation and Opportunity. They committed to coaching agreements that let them know they have a safe space in their weekly mentoring sessions to share whatever’s showing up for them both in life and in business. And we all agreed to honor the group values and etiquette to make our online learning area and experience most effective and nourishing.
We’ve gotten to know each other, and some of our common and unique interests and gifts. A special guest, Liesel Teversham, came in to help the students get to know their personal strengths and how to use them in their life and careers most effectively. She’ll be returning next month for a group conversation to go deeper into our strengths understanding.
The primary focus in the second and third weeks was on time management, joyful productivity, and becoming effective. Students learned a variety of tools for staying focused, managing expectations, and enjoying their work in the world. These skills will set them up for a lifetime of productivity, effectiveness and fulfillment.
Students also took a course in Navigating the Extremes, learning about the various ways extremes are thrown at us in life and business, and how to find a middle way that feels grounded, secure and peaceful. In this course, they learned about the mean between the too little and the too much, what Aristotle calls virtue, and began a practice of working with one virtue every 3 weeks throughout our 36 week program.
Virtues are practices, not just concepts. Students learned about how the extremes can take us to a place of false power or false powerlessness, while practicing the middle way of virtue supports us to stand in a place of authentic empowerment. We began with the practice of courage, understanding that to take a step forward on any new adventure first requires courage.
We wrapped up week four with a course in the Foundations of Authentic Entrepreneurship. The students’ homework was to consider how their unique skills and gifts might meet what’s needed in the world. We’ll be diving deeper into how they’ll create resonant offers (products or services), and step into their strengths more fully in the coming months.
In these first few weeks of student engagement and interaction, we’re seeing the incredible value of what Markao has to offer young adults. Students are engaged, and trusting us to guide them toward creating a life for themselves. They’re happily supporting one another, offering suggestions, resources, and inspiration from their own experience and learning. They’re committed to learning and becoming not only effective entrepreneurs, but more importantly, authentic human beings longing to bring forth their best.
What a privilege it is to work with these young adults, and to envision the future they will help to create!