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OWP Day 3: Rethinking leadership and embracing the potential of AI

Sophia C. Muleya reflects on how OWP is equipping her with the courage to challenge what she knows and embrace the unknown.
June 2023

By Sophia C. Muleya

When I was told that I would be joining the OWP program, I was expecting it to be a week of sitting in classrooms and listening to lectures on building the necessary cognitive skills and competencies to be an effective leader.  

Boy, was I wrong! 

Right from the first day, everything I thought I knew about leadership was challenged, even down to how much sleep I should be getting. Hearing the stories and insights from amazing leaders like Richard Baldwin, Mate Rimac, and Dominic Alldis made me rethink my own approach to leading a team, how I can become more impactful and relevant, and continue to add meaningful value to my organization.  

If the first two days gave me a new perspective on leadership, today’s sessions on AI completely turned my world upside down, especially Professor Michael Yaziji’s session this morning on how AI will reshape society. Anyone who knows me has heard my skepticism about AI. Despite all the hype surrounding ChatGPT, I had never felt any desire to use it.

After all, it feels like we’re creating something we don’t yet fully understand and could potentially lose control of one day. However, I now recognize this reluctance for what it is: fear of the unknown. Am I still afraid of AI? 100%. Will I try to master it so I never have to work on any menial, routine tasks again? Certainly!  

The session on dual transformation also left a huge impression. Ambidextrous leadership is a brand-new concept to me – repositioning the core business to perform and, at the same time, creating new business seems like a diametrically opposing idea and completely blew my mind. Yet immediately, I’m thinking of what I can do after this week to build upon what I’ve learnt about ambidexterity, so I continue to develop the skills to lead strategy, execution, people, and my stakeholders.  

Adding to the whole OWP experience was getting to meet other leaders from all around the world, all superstars in their respective industries. It has truly been a privilege to be able to exchange ideas and learn together, and hopefully, some of the friendships that I’ve built here will last beyond the week in Lausanne.

This article is inspired by a LinkedIn post: you can follow me here