Zig Ziglar was one of the greatest sales people that ever lived! What made him great wasn’t his ability to close a deal but rather his ability connect with those that he was making a deal with. After a successful career in Sales, he went on to becoming a widely recognized author and motivational speaker. Unfortunately, he passed away last week but his lessons will leave an indelible mark in history.
Words – in today’s vocabulary, are more powerful than they have ever been in our existence. Simple letters assembled together have the ability to make you feel like you are on top of the world; or, they can serve as a guillotine and do irreparable damage.
Depending on your intent, words can be used as a tool and if utilized wisely, could lead to one achieving the result they so seek. Knowing this, the responsibility to learn and choose words carefully, is great and often not treated with the respect it so deserves.
So what is the “hidden” value of an MBA program? My hint, in my previous post said, “it has nothing to do with education”.
Let’s try to look at this objectively. As part of an MBA curriculum, a student is required to learn the core functions of a business. Now, depending on the program itself, a student can specialize in a particular subject (e.g. finance), but generally speaking, the program will still need to cover other topics including, but not limited to, HR, Marketing, Finance, Ethics, Economics, and Strategy thereby providing the student with a broad knowledge base needed to operate a company. So, regardless of whether you go to Columbia, Berkeley, Stanford, or Pepperdine, you’re going to have to learn the same topics.
To start, we must all understand what an MBA degree is. As defined formally, “the Master of Business Administration (MBA or M.B.A.) is a master’s degree in business administration, which attracts people from a wide range of academic disciplines. The MBA designation originated in the United States, emerging from the late 19th century as the country industrialized and companies sought out scientific approaches to management. The core courses in the MBA program are designed to introduce students to the various areas of business such as accounting, finance, marketing, human resources, operations management, etc.”
If there is one thing that I have come to learn, accept, and expect throughout my life, it’s that, whether in a personal or professional capacity, people will experience what I call, “life’s resets”. In fact, people will experience many of them and in some cases cause them. Basically – this is something that throws your whole world upside down – a S.E.E. (significant emotional experience), if you will. Often, these are things that you cannot prepare for. As one of my favorite song lyrics go, “The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind; the kind that blindside you at 4pm on some idle Tuesday.”
The number one question on everyone’s mind, including those running in the current GOP election, is “When will the economy get back on track?” Of course, for the average citizen, the implication behind this question is “When will the unemployment rate reduce?” (i.e. when can I expect to find a job?).
Keeping this on a positive note, let’s assume that you have been one of the lucky few to actually get noticed and have embarked upon the interview process. As I’ve stated before in other posts, this, to no one’s surprise, is an employer’s market (with a few exceptions, of course). That said, employer’s are cognizant of the fact that there is an abundance of talent available and will heavily scrutinize anyone trying to secure a position within their organization.
At some point in every manager’s career, there comes a time when you will need to terminate someone’s employment. Typically, this situation falls into one of two categories – a corporate layoff due to cost cutting / restructuring or letting an employee go for performance-related issues. Regardless of the reason, it’s a difficult situation that requires careful planning and execution, compassion, and, for legal reasons, brevity.
The challenge in letting people go is acknowledging the fact that it’s not personal and doing your best to remain cognizant of that throughout the process. Now, while I understand this is easy to “write”, I am very well aware of the fact that work becomes personal for many people. Further, for many people, some of their closet relations have formed through their work so, again when I say, it’s technically not personal, I recognize that it very much is.
Ahh… to be “golden” – what a great feeling! For those of you don’t understand the context, being “golden” is when you can do no wrong. Be it in your career or in your personal life – you basically have reached living bliss! Everything you touch – turns to gold! People love you! They want to be around you! It just doesn’t get any better!
All of us, at some point, have enjoyed being golden at some point. Note the past tense? That’s right – being golden isn’t, for many of us, a constant. It’s a state that we enter and exit at different points in time. Remember when Michael Phelps set all those world records for swimming? No – what you remember is his being in the news for possession of marijuana! Sorry Michael – not golden! Or how about Tiger Woods and the fact the he’s probably the greatest golfer ever? You get the point.
In fact, given today’s naturally stressful work environment, vacations are important to help get recharged so you can continue to push forward and climb the corporate ladder.
This is a question that I have given thought to repeatedly over the years. You have good, hard working people who join a good company and, over time, the relationship between the two changes. That doesn’t necessarily imply things are bad, but just different. The result, unfortunately in many cases, is that the real loss is felt by the company losing the talent and not by the individual losing the company because that prominent individual is very capable to securing a new position elsewhere.
This is clearly evident by the lack of good talent available in the market today and why, in many cases, there are bidding wars on the limited talent pool. If you are in Silicon Valley – I’d like to see you find a great software programmer – go on… find one that is just sitting idle waiting for your call!