Angel Rivero Palomo


Diploma in Organisational Leadership







By Angel Rivero Palomo

Success or not success? A dilemma of human purpose and transcendence

It was the moment to close the window´s curtains; suddenly I was standing on a beautiful portrait, one of those that capture all senses and convince a spirit that there is something memorable on the air.

Standing on the hotel balcony that night in Oxford watching the city´s colours and sounds – full of energetic and vivid voices that will transform the world very soon – I recalled on what this week has been in terms of meaning for my life: onto my mind immediately came three special moments lived these days with my colleagues of the Diploma in Organisational Leadership: Our first examination in Oxford. Second, our friend Alper Almelek’s concert performing Shakespeare sonnets at Saïd Business School and Pembroke College´s Chapel… Finally, the meaningful dinner-lecture at Oxford Church. All this together, plus the moments we share, gave us an extraordinary added value to the “Mind of the Strategist Module II”. At the historic Oxford University Examination Schools, an architectural masterpiece by Thomas Jackson, wearing the collective symbol of responsibility: the traditional sub fusc – from Latin “subfuscus”, meaning dark brown – we attended our meeting with the rigour of evaluation that keeps the spirit of knowledge that generations have planted and collected.

Surrounded by historic portraits such as 1st Lord Carlingford by Tissot and the Herkomer Collection in the East School we face our first exam. Saïd Business School and Pembroke College Chapel witnessed a Shakespeare sonnets concert dedicated to the 400th Anniversary of his death, performed by our colleague at the Diploma in Organisational Leadership, Alper Almelek, and pianist Oguz Kasap. Thanks to their brilliant initiative we lived and were captured by the magic of the philosophical lines from the all times British author. On Thursday night we had a tour and dinner at the University of Oxford Church, a place full of history, tradition and mysticism.

The guest speaker was Professor John Lennox, an erudite mathematician who gave us his approach on leadership and success. To my surprise – and my Diploma mates as well – he measured success very differently as originally expected that night. He started by saying that success is a “very dangerous thing”. Then he reflected, what is success? You can be successful in one thing and a complete failure in other – he answered in a passionate thought. Then he asked us again: “is success a mixture of those?”. One of the most rewarding analyses was his teaching on finding our purpose in life beyond what is obvious and routine through the lens of values, ethics and reality. “Not in order to win an argument, but in order to hear a different side”. We should never lose our human inquiring nature in order to discover and transform positively our world. Living Oxford University as an insider is a changing life experience. Eruditeness, leadership, values, philosophy expressed in literature and art, history, tradition, worldwide friendship, families, meaning for life, transcendence, and of course… duties and exams are a meaningful combination to strengthen and to nurture our souls.

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