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MBA - Everyone please read this.

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MBA - Everyone please read this. [#permalink] New post 29 Jul 2008, 06:41
My question to all of you MBA aspirants or alumni is. Will an MBA programme provide me with the leadership, managerial, and decision making skills so much necessary to lead. My situation is unique.

I came to the US as an international student, almost 10 years ago, for the last 5 years I've been part of the technology arena, and have been worked as a analyst. But I've always had this mental barrier of not having the skills (verbal, analytical) to be a good leader. I've worked in the shadows of manager who's only qualification was the fact that they were good in managing people and know how to delegate. I've developed tons of soft and hard skills along the way, but stuggle to take up leadership role for obvious reasons ( an immigrant with an accent) . My entire reason for going back to school is to be a better communicator, a more confident leader, an quick on your feet thinker and a better people's manager. I"m planning to attend Emory with it's emphasis on "leadership". With all my pleasant dispositions, can an MBA enviornment, and a lot of hard work help me develop the effective skills to be a leader? If there is anyone who could relate to my situation, I really would like to know your findings .

I really appreciate your response.
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Re: MBA - Everyone please read this. [#permalink] New post 29 Jul 2008, 08:33
Hey bud,

A short answer to your question is yes and no :) . An MBA will give you the theory, and classroom based practice in the skills you were mentioning. There are diverging schools of thought on this matter. Some believe that management, decision making, and leadership can't be taught, and has to be experienced; others believe that learning about it can equip you with a better foundation from which you make better choices. I personally feel it's a mix of both, with the edge going to experience. But that's just me, I'm more of learn-by-doing kind of guy.

You raised some interesting points regarding your situation. You mention you struggle to take on leadership roles due to your immigrant accent. Brother, that's the last thing you should be worried about, and that is the last thing that should be preventing you from taking leadership roles. My parents were immigrants, some of my friends and colleagues are immigrants, and let's face it, the B-schools that you and I will be attending will be full of immigrants. I can understand your hesitation perhaps based on the fact you're worried you might not be able to get your point across effectively, or your team might not understand you initially. In my humble opinion, if you strongly feel that you have the aptitude for your work and the task at hand, the only way to learn is to jump right in. You might be the worst leader the team's ever had, but I guarantee you that you will learn more about yourself and what your really need to improve on more than reading a textbook, discussing a case with classmates, or doing group presentations.

I can also understand the hesitancy to take on new roles at work for fear of messing up and not doing a dynamite job and having your job in jeopardy. But there are tons of ways to get leadership experience that doesn't affect your earning potential. Does your company have any organizations, clubs, or the like? How about out of work? Any churches, religious organizations, social networks (hobbies, etc) that you could join and take an authoritative role?

I've had alot of experience along the way, both academic and real world. I've also been in your shoes before, and I really feel that an MBA won't be a cure all for what you're describing. It will give you a better set of tools, yes, but you'll still have to get in there and 'build the fence' so to speak. Hopefully this helped, and Emory is a great program, I'm an alum (BBA)...and am looking at their MBA program as well.

Cheers mate,

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Re: MBA - Everyone please read this. [#permalink] New post 29 Jul 2008, 09:23
Leadership is like learning to invest. You can read books, take classes, and listen to others experiences. However like one of those fantasy stock picking contests, you'll make decisions differently than if it was your hard earned money on the line. Learning to lead is virtually the same. You need to put yourself on the line, good or bad. Only through crisis, difficult choices, and ethical challenges do you truly learn the skills and obtain the experience to lead.
Re: MBA - Everyone please read this.   [#permalink] 29 Jul 2008, 09:23
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