I, The Absolute

Archive for May 26th, 2005

What they don’t teach at a b-school

Posted by itheabsolute on May 26, 2005

Many people think an MBA education is a passport to success, glory, better life, etc. So far, so good. There are a lot of things an MBA education does not and cannot teach. EQ and SQ, surely.

I am as sorry and shocked to learn and write about the death of our alum. He graduated out of ISB in April 2005. Just a few weeks ago, he made a fantastic presentation to the new Class of 2006 and received a standing ovation. Most of us thought he is “the coolest man”. He committed suicide. It pains to know that someone who you have heard, seen just a few days ago, no longer exists in flesh and blood; but remains a sheer memory. Can’t know what made him take such drastic and irreversible decision. May his soul rest in peace.

This again reminded me that an MBA education is not a ‘panacea’. It is just a tool in the hands of an already reasonable person. Riding on hard skills to the extent of ignoring EQ and SQ will not take anyone anywhere.

I have not heard of or seen a successful person who is not good at handling his own emotions. The starting point of a journey to success, to knowing the purpose of life is our own self. If I cannot know what I am, what I want, what I can do, what I can’t, who I can live with, who I can’t, there is no point embarking on a journey that is full of competition and complexities.

Life can get tough when the assumptions on which it is run, or thought to be run, are challenged. Career and a b-school education, which is an enabler of a better career, are but subsets of life. What an MBA education can teach, at best, is to handle business situations. It can’t even teach us to handle careers; let alone life. Handling life needs a different paradigm. It makes sense to invest time to think about this.

Post Scriptum:
 EQ includes answers to some of these: Do I know my own emotions, do I have the ability to communicate what I feel, do I have the courage to do so, do I have the ability to understand, relate to others.

 SQ includes answers to some of these: what do I live for? Is career the be all and end all of my life? Do I see life beyond career, etc

 All b-school aspirants, please read “What They Don’t Teach at Harvard Business School” by Mark McCormack

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