Lebanese American University


Class under the tree

Professionals registered in LAU’s EMBA program develop their motivational skills during a three-day boot camp.


Participants kick off the day with in-door lecture sessions that include hands-on learning games.


Nature activities included horseback riding, hiking, biking, ATV riding, archery, rappelling and zip lining.


Outdoor activities reinforced the theories presented during the lectures.


Participants, who hold managerial positions, came from different professional backgrounds.

Under hundreds of pine trees in Ras el Metn, a group of 21 professionals gathered last month for a Motivational Theories Boot Camp. Aimed at enhancing motivational skills in participants, the camp was part of an elective course within the EMBA program at LAU.

“The students — most of them in managerial positions — learned that we must understand people’s needs in order to motivate them and that each person is motivated differently,” said course instructor Hassan Chaker. An LAU alumnus himself, Chaker has trained almost 24,000 people worldwide including 6,000 students from his alma mater.

“Hassan Chaker cannot be described. His energy is contagious and infectious!” said participant Nadine El Bolbol, Assistant Manager at CSC Bank SAL and Owner of an online clothing store.

The three-day boot camp combined proven in-action techniques, peer interaction and research-based insights. Each day, during an in-door lecture session with hands-on learning games, Chaker would introduce a topic. This was then followed by outdoor activities, such as horseback riding, hiking, biking, ATV riding, archery, and nature activities (rappelling and zip lining), to further apply and reinforce the theories he had presented earlier. The students performed tasks in teams, and each elected team leader was responsible for motivating their team members to achieve certain set goals.

“The team members used delegation, empowerment, communication, and motivation to reach their objectives. They were inspired to pursue their dreams and make positive changes in their lives,” said Chaker, who added that the most inspirational part of the camp was conducting a class in the open air under a tree.

Although the participants come from different corporate backgrounds, they managed in just three days to synergize in a rare way. “The camp pushed the participants to let down their guard and just have fun,” said EMBA Program Officer Fida Haidar, who acted as the camp coordinator.

Some of the students, who were very reluctant at first to mingle with the group, ended up considering the other members as “family.” They all left thrilled.

“The boot camp was an inspiring experience on both the academic and personal level,” said student Yara Kabrit, Head of Money Market section at Banque Misr Liban. “It helped us become more educated managers, better leaders, and most importantly more positive and optimistic individuals.”

The boot camp was the second to be held after last year’s camp on Leadership. Sirin Moawiah, a senior consultant at PWC, participated in both. “I am very lucky,” she says. “This gave me the chance to gain knowledge while connecting with others. I learned that I should keep learning, spread positive vibes, and always listen before making decisions.”

“A highly motivated workforce will yield maximum output” says Haidar.   As the founder of Walmart and Sam’s Club, Sam Walton, once said: “Appreciate everything your associates do for the business. Nothing else can quite substitute for a few well-chosen, well-timed, sincere words of praise. They’re absolutely free and worth a fortune.”


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