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Joined: 19 Feb 2010
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06 Nov 2010, 08:05
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Hi guys. I still didn't take the GMAT so still didn't apply to any school, but anyways the question about examples for leadership in the application didn't give me too much peace because I thought I had only a couple of genuine examples to talk about, and wasn't too convinced that they would work out well. But after reading this article I thought of at least 3 or 4 extra examples I could talk about, and gave me the confidence all of them could be excellent, if I can describe the situations very well in the essays.

So I thought I would share with you the article:

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06 Nov 2010, 22:48
Great!! Kudos are in order. .
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10 Nov 2010, 23:29
kudos )

thanks cano!
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22 Feb 2011, 18:16
Hi Cano.

Thank you for sharing a great article about making your leadership case to b-schools. It is an excellent & informative resource.

I thought the author's point about describing how you have 'solved a problem' was particularly interesting. There are many opportunities to solve problems within our normal work environments and within our larger societal community. The author highlights how an MBA candidate created a scholarship program to assist youth education in Latin America.

Professionals who participate in our volunteer group, USA Leadership Corps, also solve societal problems. They provide strategy consulting assistance to emerging small businesses and nonprofits.

Therefore, if you are having a hard time imagining how you will describe how you solved a work or societal problem for your upcoming applications, please consider our USALC group.

Thank you again for sharing a great article.

Maxwell Roper
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23 Feb 2011, 07:03
decent article, vets will crush leadership
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23 Feb 2011, 08:17
wp06 wrote:
decent article, vets will crush leadership

....but with a well written essay. I have seen people write some ridiculous essays even when they have some awesome stories....
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23 Feb 2011, 08:19
very true, i am just being a jackass haha
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05 Jan 2012, 14:03
Poonam@myessayreview recently wrote an article in response to a question posted on this forum. I think the response would help you guys as well. Please read below -Rajat

A lot of people equate leadership to having managerial or supervisory responsibilities. In reality, a leader and a manager are very different. A manager copes with complexity, brings order and predictability to a situation. whereas a leader shows how to cope with rapid changes. This is not to say that a good manager cannot be a good leader but it’s just that management and leadership are 2 different beasts. Quoting John P. Kotter – at a high level:

- Management involves planning and budgeting. Leadership involves setting direction.
- Management involves organizing and staffing. Leadership involves aligning people.
- Management provides control and solves problems. Leadership provides motivation.

In short, demonstrating leadership (or even practicing) does not require you to have people reporting to you.
To demonstrate leadership you can show examples where you have embraced changes and motivated others to do the same to embrace changes in the global world, taken calculated risks to seize opportunities; set the right direction for your team helping them work more efficiently; created alignment among people, and also between people.

Currently, I am working with an applicant who has demonstrated excellent leadership skills throughout his career spanning six years as a financial consultant at Financial Services Business Unit in India. During his first 6 months, this bright candidate volunteered to take up a challenging project which no experienced manager was willing to take up this task due to the risks associated (due to stringent operation time-window, no established model to emulate etc.). By accepting the challenge and, making it a highly successful project, he demonstrated true leadership qualities of taking a calculated risks and setting a clear direction for people even though he held no reporting responsibilities .

A successful applicant who I recently worked with and who was accepted by the prestigious LBS in MiF program doesn't have people reporting to him but is still an outstanding leader. He has demonstrated his leadership skills by convincing others of his innovative ideas. He worked tirelessly to prove to traditionally conservative Swiss bank that adopting modern technology will benefit their customers and bring new business to them. He then executed with a team on these ideas and this bank is reaping the benefits ()

Another applicant I have worked with for his INSEAD essays took up the challenge of planning & execution of a project to deliver textile goods at nearly twice the usual rate of production . He overcame the hurdles of communication, planning, cultural gap, shortage of time and team members 'pessimism by motivating them to work extra hours by adapting to their culture and observing fasts in the month of Ramadan. Thus, he achieved the target deadline successfully by showing leadership qualities of motivating people, showing cultural adaptability , and leading in crisis. Again – this guy did not have people reporting to him.

Now that you have a better understanding of what leadership is , you can look back and look for times when you had demonstrated one or more (note you don’t need to demonstrate all) of these qualities in your professional career. You may also look for instances in your personal life , if you have strong leadership experiences to share.

1. Challenge : Think of a situation when you or your team faced a challenge. Then begin your story with that challenge

Examples:
 you volunteered to take up a project what no other manager was willing to take up
 two of your teammates were disputing over an issue which, if not solved ,would financial impact or any other significant impact on the company
 production deadline was too stringent

 How did you come up with a creative solution?
 What were the tactical things you did to overcome people issues?
 What other human level things you did to assuage egos , show gratitude, move people forward?

3. The Outcome: Mention the outcome/ result of the project

 It is effective if the outcome is quantitative .
 But qualitative and human level impacts are also valued since leadership essays are people- centered.
4. Learnings: What lessons did you learn from the experience? Make sure that:
 The lessons learned should stem from your story.
 The end should show that you are reflective and have grown from your experience.

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05 Jan 2012, 17:09
Do u think being an SG president in your undergrad institution is a good example for leadership ?
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05 Jan 2012, 19:50
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Ivan91 wrote:
Do u think being an SG president in your undergrad institution is a good example for leadership ?

When determining whether you should use your SG presidential experience to demonstrate your leadership abilities in your essays, there are two things to keep in mind. First, schools are much more interested in what you did rather than what your title was. Therefore, if you were a passive president that just accomplished the bare minimums, being SG president may not help your cause. However, if you had to deal with complex challenges and you were able to motivate people in order to accomplish results, then you may have a good story.

Second, schools are typically more interested in recent experiences versus dated experiences. So if you are applying to Harvard's 2+2 program, then a story like this might fit the bill. However, if somebody is five years out of school and the only leadership experience they can come up with is about what they did during their undergraduate experience, they'll likely have difficulties getting into a top MBA program.

Just my two cents, hope it helps!
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