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5 Things that an MBA is not!

The number of ISB counselling requests have gone up considerably. I guess the fact that this year ISB became India’s largest BSchool (with Mohali) has got to do something with it.

With it, unfortunately, the quality didnt go up. People are still not thinking right about an MBA. Or atleast are not being forced to. At times I wonder who is to blame.

I dont tire telling people what an MBA will and should not do. So here it is:

5 things that an MBA is not

1. A Placement Agency

Please! Dont think of an MBA school as a placement agency. Its not the source for finding jobs. Linkedin perhaps does a better job. It is only meant to equip you with tools to find (or figure) the best job. And then offers you an opportunity to take a shot at it.

But dont blame the school if your dream company doesnt come. Or your dream role isnt offered. Honestly, the school didnt sign you up for that and thats the cruel truth. It just promised education, not  a job.

2. A 100% ROI investment

In the same breath, dont expect your placement to pay off your your MBA cost, in the first year itself. If that was the case most Wharton grads would commit suicide.

How many investments have you made in your life, that paid for itself in 12-24 months? If there are many, you are probably smart enough to not require an MBA!

3. An opportunity to party and have fun

An MBA  will suck the last drop of blood out of you and then ask you to take a vodka shot! Its rigorous (especially 1-yr programs) and require 16 hour days, most days. Get ready for that. Party schools are made famous by the 5% who came in with that agenda.

4. A place to learn management

Nothing can teach you management. No class, no professor and no case study. An MBA equips you with the skills to manage, but doesnt tell you how to manage. Its obvious because almost all managers are MBAs but few of them are good. So don’t think that you will do an MBA and will be fit to become a GM, if you have never led a team, made decisions or handled budgets! It will be easier, but it wont be automatic!

5. A place to slog and get grades

The worst mistake you can make during an MBA is to focus on grades and not on the learning. Its unfortunate that in India, the trend doesnt die. But as far as possible – escape the temptation. Consulting might require it, but honestly, the ones who get in dont really slog. It usually comes naturally. For the rest – pick courses you want to learn – specialize in areas you wish to and strengthen your fundamentals. The dean’s list will happen by itself and if it doesnt, the world will still survive and so will you!

 

Before you step in for the MBA interview – ask yourself – are you stepping in thinking that an MBA will be this magic wand that will change your life! If yes, take a break and apply again!

Do you want to change?

If you continue doing what you do, you will continue being what you have been.

Nothing changes, except when you want to change!

 

I have been home for almost 1.5 months now. And have learnt some awesome things that I wouldn’t have otherwise.

– You don’t need to go to office to get work done.

– It’s awesome when your son wakes from his sleep at noon, and comes to say hello for 5 minutes. Everything else stops

– Your body can stand on one leg. You won’t be fast, but you can still move! And that matters the most

– But not being able to move fast sucks. Sucks big time.

– It is not about where you go to take a break. Even your balcony, in the evening, seems like a whole new world!

– After everything else is done, it is your family that stays with you! Nothing else matters.

Pits a change I didn’t want. But it’s a change I am thankful for!

The power of 1!

It doesnt matter how many people buy the deal. One bad review kills it all

It doesnt matter how many people buy the deal. One compliment makes all the difference

It doesnt matter how many people, anymore. YOU are powerful.

They didnt understand life

When I was 5 years old, my mother told me that happiness was the key to life. 

When I went to school they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, and I replied – Happy

They told me I didnt understand the assignment. I told them they didnt understand life

– John Lennon

The irony of email – signal and noise!

Ever since I took over the fancy title, my email volume (both work and personal) has increased by about 260%. I am averaging around 230 work emails and 45 personal emails every day. But here is the ironic part

I feel I am getting more signal than noise now.

I am a BIG supporter of the signal and noise theory. Most times, people mistake noise for signal and chose to react. I don’t think I am an expert at deciphering signal, but I pick my “battles”. most things for me, work wise and personally, are noise. I don’t ignore them, I just don’t react.

But surprisingly, this has changed lately. Atleast when it comes to email. When I was expecting it to be the other way round. My response to email ratio has increased and that’s not because I am compelled to respond. I genuinely see the benefit of doing so.

Customers with feedback
Employees with concerns or suggestions
Decisions to be made
Follow up (people must hate me for the amount of follow up emails I send – thanks to boomerang)
etc etc

Yes – The big difference now, is my time to response. And that’s by design. I take time to respond. I want to. Because suddenly (atleast in my head) my words weigh a lot more than they did. So I want to make sure that I do justice to the one writing in. Give him/her what they want and solve it right then and there, so that my followup decreases.

Nothing really has changed. In me or in the world. But somehow there is suddenly more signal than noise! Fascinating. Maybe not long-lived though.

You learn everyday!

The deals business makes you go through a beautiful ride everyday! It’s so close to the customers – every step and action of yours is public. Margin of error is…well..zero!

So we had this deal, that I thought was interesting. It runs today in Delhi – doorstep beauty service by VLCC – you know the typical women works – facial, waxing, Bleach, hair spa etc etc!

So here I was – oh wow – all these nice elements from a good brand, at a great price and what more – at one’s doorstep.

The deal failed!

Hit by massive depression, I go back home and quiz my mom, sis and wife! Here is the reason:
Going to a nice salon, is an escape from home! The idea of getting these treatments done while their daily routine is happening alongside, isn’t a dream you can sell!

I love this industry. You learn something new everyday!

Any reason why you think this failed?

The power of the right incentive!

“I could end the deficit in 5 minutes. You just pass a law that says that anytime there is a deficit of more than 3% of GDP all sitting members of congress are ineligible for reelection.”

– Warren Buffet

The pessimists might ask – who will pass such a law! Yes, einstein! Smart of you

Look beyond the law. The message is the power!

What’s your team?

A leader is all about Top People and Top Sales.

It’s unfortunate that most ‘leaders’ forget that Top Sales is infact a byproduct. It’s almost automatic. Magic!

Build your team. NOW. And only you can build it. Not the HR. Not someone else. You!

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