Sailing for further Growth: BBS Sailing Experience 2023

19 October 2023

Sailing is an activity that requires commitment, dedication, courage, and adaptability. For this reason, it can be an apt metaphor for a growth journey where one’s abilities are tested, challenging oneself and long-standing beliefs. Among the experiences that enrich the journey of participants in the master’s programs at Bologna Business School, the BBS Sailing Experience is undoubtedly one of the most exhilarating, capable of condensing an entire educational itinerary into just two days.

This year, the initiative has reached its ninth edition, and thanks to the collaboration of the BBS Alumni Association, the annual regatta that forms the core of the entire experience has been organized. A trophy dedicated to the memory of Stefano De Maria, a student of the Executive Master in Business Administration, to his passion for the sea and his commitment to creating and strengthening the BBS Community. On October 7th and 8th, 40 managers, alumni, and participants from different educational backgrounds, from Executive MBAs to specialized Executive Masters, gathered against the spectacular backdrop of Marina di Punta Ala to face the challenge of the sea together. It is a moment that combines team spirit and individual skills, highlighting the dynamics related to teamwork and the leadership qualities individuals have developed during their educational journey. A journey that, in reality, never truly ends because, for those who seize opportunities, there are no circumstances from which it is not possible to learn.

This thought is particularly dear to Professor Lipparini, Associate Dean for MBAs at BBS, who, along with Gianfranco Di Pietro, training consultant and coach, led participants to reflect on the importance and responsibility arising from the choices that a leader must have the courage to make. A speech that began with the figure of Napoleon Bonaparte and the defeat at Waterloo, which saw the great strategist make a series of glaring errors in judgment, from underestimating the strength of the enemy to overestimating his own abilities to the choice of team members in the decisive battle. In this case, too, there is a lesson to take home, a message that participants fully grasped during the four sea outings made for the regatta: leadership must not be stubborn, it must not become fossilized over time, and it cannot afford a static attitude. On the contrary, it requires continuous renewal through a careful combination of strategy, organization, execution skills, and, when needed, improvisation.

Just as in sailing, so too in professional life and one’s educational journey. These are essential elements for achieving objectives. And just as in sailing, one is always seeking new destinations aided by the wind, so too in managerial growth; one never ceases to find new horizons.


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