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Job: How can I deal with an arrogant MBA recruit?

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Job: How can I deal with an arrogant MBA recruit? [#permalink] New post 15 Feb 2008, 09:20
Expert's post
Great article with bad fame for MBA's: http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/2e71bb7c-daa1 ... ck_check=1

What would you do?

Quote:
How can I deal with an arrogant MBA recruit?

By Lucy Kellaway

Published: February 14 2008 02:00 | Last updated: February 14 2008 02:00

An MBA graduate from London Business School recently joined my team. To the annoyance of all other team members, he is living up to the MBA acronym, Mighty Big Attitude. He assumes he is on a fast track to senior management, name-drops his MBA theories, and is reluctant to do tasks he considers beneath him. How should I approach him about his manner in the work environment? I have no doubt he is a skilled worker but his cocksure demeanour and lack of team awareness must surely be addressed?

Manager, male, 51

LUCY'S ANSWER

There are few sights quite as ugly to someone with your length of experience as a jargon-talking young whippersnapper who thinks he is destined for the top.

Alas, one of the reasons the sight is so horrible is that the whippersnapper is likely to be right - I fear this one may advance far faster and further than you ever have. He talks the language, he has the ambition and people like him have a sickening way of doing really well.

I am assuming that you didn't hire him yourself? If you did you are very silly: obnoxiousness is one of the few things that show up clearly at interview. It sounds as if you had him thrust upon you by someone senior, who saw promise, rather than a cocksure idiot jabbering about strategic initiatives.

In this case there is no point in wasting your time trying to coach him. He isn't going to listen to you, as you are on the wrong side of the culture gap. You think he is pushy; I bet he thinks you are a has-been and a failure.

As his line manager it is simply your job to ensure that he does what he is supposed to do, whether he thinks it beneath him or not. If he refuses you have every right to come down on him very hard.

Either way I don't think this situation will last long. Probably he will get promoted on to someone else's team and you won't have to think about him any more.

If he doesn't, there is a good chance he'll quit. It is encouraging that everyone else on your team dislikes him. Unless he is really thick-skinned, he may find that being ostracised in a job that he thinks is below him is not a compelling value proposition.

With any luck he will take his awful jargon to a management consultancy, where both his words and his attitude would fit in nicely.

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Re: Job: How can I deal with an arrogant MBA recruit? [#permalink] New post 15 Feb 2008, 09:38
The reaction from LBS on the thread is very interesting. I think part of the reason that this is an issue in the UK is that the growth of MBA qualifications is only now beginning to have a significant impact on the business world. MBA's are relatively rare there, and most of the top MBAs are from US rather than UK schools (this obviously runs on an issue of age, as the LBS MBA is relatively young anyway). Where I have worked we had C-level employees from Harvard, Chicago, and most recently Cranfield - I haven't seen LBS come through at the senior levels yet.

As the arrival volume increases (and especially beyond the IB world where most head in the UK from what I can tell), I feel in part that people will adapt. Explaining going to do an MBA in the UK to your boss can be a touch and go experience.

The self policing that LBS are showing is promising, though a little unnerving in some ways. For every class of MBAs you are going to get some egotists. I am not sure how much LBS tries to breed that out (at NYU they have made a concerted effort to stop anything happening on the ego-MBA since day one), but maybe that is the way they will focus. All the same, that shows some self preservation on the managers side, and some poor tact from the graduate.
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Re: Job: How can I deal with an arrogant MBA recruit? [#permalink] New post 26 Feb 2008, 07:43
Great article.
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Re: Job: How can I deal with an arrogant MBA recruit? [#permalink] New post 03 Mar 2008, 07:45
put him in his place!
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Re: Job: How can I deal with an arrogant MBA recruit? [#permalink] New post 14 Mar 2008, 19:56
Nice read.
Re: Job: How can I deal with an arrogant MBA recruit?   [#permalink] 14 Mar 2008, 19:56
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