MBA Candidates, Read These Quotes for a New Perspective on Leadership

By - Jun 18, 23:14 PM Comments [0]

2015-06-16_19-29-30By Adam Hoff, Amerasia Consulting Group

This is a quick one, but a worthy one.  "Leadership" might very well be the most "cussed and discussed" (hat tip, Harry Truman) word in the MBA landscape, given the prominence given to the concept by schools and candidates alike.  But what I find surprising is that the word - which can be viewed so many ways - often takes on this strange meaning in b-school contexts, which is sort of a stand in for "accomplished."  The idea of leadership has become titles and roles and responsibilities and kudos.  Sort of a "he who has the most ribbons is the leader" kind of a dynamic.  And while I will be the first to admit that leadership can indeed sometimes be about accolades (often leadership qualities get people recognized and/or recognition can give someone a platform from which to lead), it sort of misses the point.  And nothing hammers that home like the Golden State Warriors, who were recently crowned NBA champs.

Now, in one way, the Warriors actually solidify the very perception of leadership I was just talking about, in the form of NBA MVP Steph Curry.  He's the best player on the team and you often hear that he "sets the example" and he's a "great leader."  And I actually believe that he is - both because of his talent (and therefore his platform), but also because he seems to have innate leadership gifts like servanthood, empathy, compassion, listening, consensus building and so forth.  So in a way, the Warriors don't tell us anything new.  Except that it appears, from many accounts, that one of the most crucial leaders on that team is NOT the best player Steph Curry, or the most veteran player or the most tenured player or the highest paid player ... but rather just A player.  That player is Draymond Green, a guy who stepped up and started leading the minute he got there, as a rookie who was a second-round pick (i.e, barely expected to make the roster), and who hasn't stopped leading.  Why?  Because he has innate leadership qualities.  Put another way: he is a born leader.

Consider these quotes from a recent piece by Zach Lowe of Grantland:

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