I, The Absolute

Archive for May 31st, 2005

Critical traits and take-aways

Posted by itheabsolute on May 31, 2005

• A few other issues which had come up in the panel discussion on b-schools and value addition were risk taking, decision-making and opining abilities. An MBA education does not teach you these. Obviously. These are personality traits and cannot be taught over a one-year time. In contrast, what an MBA like this can do is to actually constrain you. Let us take an example. I have left a good job & a well oiled career. I have taken a risk which is both financial and career-linked. Now, when I go back to the job, my instincts will be to recover the costs rather than take further risks. So, I become conservative and will fall in line with popular/acceptable decisions. I would not want to risk decisions, if ever I can make decisions, for which pay off may be on either extreme. MBA education, to this extent, can actually constrain my risk taking ability.

Decision-making. All it needs to make decision is guts. You have this or you do not. I have known brilliant people who can never make decisions. No amount of learning, no additional degree can change such a person.

Opining. At least in India, we operate in a societal framework where certain things are taboo; certain types of social behavior are encouraged. Under such conditions, one can come out as strongly opinionated at the cost of being branded eccentric or worse, unwanted.

For many people, the payoff is certain, even if limited, when they are risk avers, don’t make decisions, and have popular opinions.

• A few take-aways from the first term, which is near its end, are the approaches to learning. What to read, what not to. How and when to work on independent assignments. How to work in groups when all group members are equal and more importantly when each thinks he is the smartest. How to allocate time between studying and co-curricular activities. As I reflect on the time I have spent and the returns I have managed over the last 40 days, I should confess that I am not too happy with myself. But I move into tomorrow with the hope that I don’t commit the errors which I have during these days.

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