To MBA or Not To MBA? Part II

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.

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The First 90 Days (on a new job)

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.

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10 Tough Interview Questions

“Why are manhole covers round? How do you measure 4 gallons of water using only a 3 and 5 gallon jug? How many gas stations/dogs/windowpanes are there in the United States?”

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Focus on the Inner Circle!

Businesses are living, breathing entities.  In fact, they are not that much different than the human body.  Like the body, businesses have core functions (e.g. the equivalent of the “heart”) and they have supporting functions (e.g. the equivalent of “arms and legs”).  Now, in the event of a negative incident, (e.g. an accident), the body’s focus immediately shifts from “business as usual” to “preservation mode” and it does so by harvesting a majority of the blood from other parts of the body to core functions so to ensure they remain active and functioning – even at the expense of its supporting functions.  Why?  Because the body knows that if it can’t keep its core functions operating, it’s a matter of time before death is its only option.

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The “Infamous” Corporate Ladder!

“It’s good to be the King!”

Working hard and reaching the top is something that many strive for… and why not?  It’s recognition for your hard work… it’s validation that you have the right stuff to make things happen – and the perks… the perks could be wonderful!  Now, granted, there are a lot of challenges on your way to the top and, even more, once you arrive.  But today, we’re going to talk about a few simple scenarios about how you may actually get there!

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How to E-mail Busy People…

It’s no secret that today’s world is highly interconnected and more interdependent than ever before.  And, in order to succeed in this world, obtaining the right guidance is more important than ever before.  The challenge, however, is that many times, the people you seek guidance from are not directly connected to you – so, how do you ask for help?  In many cases, we do what we feel most comfortable with – e-mail.  It provides us the ability to reach out while still remaining in our comfort zone.

The challenge with e-mail, as with many initial communication methods, is that there is an art behind getting what you want without burdening the other person.  All too often, we’re a mixed bag of information and rarely communicate all that we want to on the first attempt.  In fact, many times we find ourselves reflecting back on the conversation either regretting something we said, or worse, didn’t say.

I came across a great post by Jason Freedman who outlined some tips on how to e-mail busy people… below are the key points.  Valuable stuff.

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The Power of Enchantment!

Recently, I was fortunate enough to hear Guy Kawasaki speak about his new book, Enchantment.  For those of you who don’t know who Guy Kawasaki is, he’s a local Silicon Valley guy who’s done many things including having written 10 great books.  His un-official bio reads as VC, start-up, and author.

It was a pleasure for me to hear Guy talk about his new venture and trust you too will enjoy it.

Enchantment
62:20
Guy Kawasaki at Stanford

What Are Your Rules?

I’ve always found it interesting when a successful executive takes the time to write down what they believe have been their core success principles.  Given the vast majority of topics available, it’s not that easy to narrow down to a select few.  More importantly,  those that have been identified as consistent and repeatable – this ability is, in many cases, equally if not more important, than the principle itself.

I came across an article yesterday where Pepsi’s CMO, Salman Amin, defined what his six principles of success have been and I’ve shared them below.

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Conjunction Junction – What’s your function?

I received a call from a friend the other day seeking some guidance.  He’s newly unemployed and we were discussing his options.  He said, “I’ve never really been in this position before… not sure if I should start something on my own or if I should go back and take up a new job?” In the midst of the conversation, my mind froze!  There it was!  The infamous grammatical conjunction that stops us in our proverbial tracks almost every time we use it.  Can you guess which word I’m referring to?  It’s the word, “OR”.  Don’t get me wrong… the word ‘or’ can be critical at times when faced with the difficult decision of choosing between the lesser of two evils.  For example, would you like to be audited by the IRS or spend a week with your mother-in-law?  Depending on your circumstances… the IRS may not seem so bad! Continue reading →