Haas Dean Interview and more

15 06 2010

Hi Folks, how are your preparations? Do write back. Well, from my side, I have few updates:

1.  GMAT: Yes, I am closing down to the final round with mocks as much as possible now. I was planning to take the test sometime towards end of this month but had to postpone. My father got transferred to another city and I had to fly back to home to help him with his shift. In fact, I am writing this post from a new place. I will be back in Bangalore by this weekend. The plan is to concentrate on mocks and try to get accustomed to the time format of GMAT and once 2-3 consistent good scores and I will book my date. I am confident this time.

2. Dean Interview: Recently, Richard Lyons, Dean, Haas Business School, University of Berkeley, gave an interview at GMAC. I feel the interview transcript is a worth read for anyone planning to apply to Haas. Some of the prominent insights are:

  • managers and leaders increasingly need to influence without authority or beyond authority
  • One has to look at the broader social context and understand that society is not that happy with us as business schools. So a major challenge is to respond intelligently to the fact that we are part of a system that performed very poorly over the last three years. Are we to blame? Obviously not exclusively, but we are part of that system
  • One of the big opportunities is for schools to redifferentiate, to find the heartbeat of your school and try to use it as a true north
  • The archetype of the Innovative Leader is deeply anchored in the distinctive culture at Berkeley, and [inherently] is tightly woven into the curriculum
  • What type of leader do you then produce? Why does the future demand this kind of leader? Call it “competitive advantage” or any other name, the big brass ring out there is organizational capacity to produce differentness. Every business school has to think hard about innovation, but what I think is different [with the Haas model] is the focus and coherence around the idea that this is the capacity-building leader we really need.

I feel that Dean Lyons is very visionary and insightful in his interview. The competition among b-schools to differentiate and innovate is as intense as we strive to do the same while applying to our choice of b-schools. Moreover, I completely agree with Dean Lyons when he mentioned that manager or a leader influence not limited to authority alone. Sometimes, we see people in our vicinity who force their decisions just because one is a manager, MD or CEO. Such people forget that if one can gain the respect and build the reputation of trust among their colleagues and subordinates, then the same decisions will have their long term valuable impact and this would be a REAL CHANGE.

Source: GMAC Dean’s Digest

3. Stanford GSB Graduation Commencement: Yes, GSB guys graduated this weekend. Congratulations to all. Entrepreneur, Jeff Skoll, advised the class “Define your dream and chase it with as much rigor and authenticity as you can muster“.

I feel that is a very strong message and has all the right messages of life imprinted in one sentence.

Dean, Professor Garth Saloner summarized by saying “In summary, please indulge me just one last time when I say I hope you will lead a life of impact and meaning, and that you will ‘change lives, change organizations, change the world.”

I feel that GSB aspirants should mark this statement of Dean Saloner. Talk to any alumni, browse through the curriculum of GSB or read through the experiences of any Stanford GSB student/graduate and I am sure you will feel the deeper essence of Dean Saloner’s statement. Let me see if I can quickly get a respond of my friend, Marquis, on the statement of Dean Saloner too. All I can say this is a feeling which you will get strongly if you research GSB from the bottom of your interest with utmost sincerity.

Source: http://www.gsb.stanford.edu/news/headlines/2010commencement.html

For those, who missed the live commencement of the graduation, I am embedding the commencement video here below.

Lastly, wish me luck on my final round to GMAT. 😉


Prioritizing Life

9 06 2009
One of my dear friend, classmate, ex-colleague and ex-roommate forwarded me an email, which clearly depicted the truth of life. The short story was in the language of “Hindi and I used Google Translator to convert it to English. after which I had to do few changes (Of course, Software are always dumber than us!). So , here it is:
When we want to do a lot of things quickly at the same time, when we desire to get everything rapidly, and we feel that twenty four hours a day is also a very less, we recollect this, ” A glass Jar and two cups of tea”. A professor of philosophy walks into a classroom to teach an important lesson of Life today. He places the glass jar on the table along with table tennis balls. He, then, begins to put a ball on by one as long as there’s no place left in the jar. He asks the students – Is the entire Jar full? The students say – “Yes”.

The Professor then starts filling the jar with small – small gravels slowly. He moves the Jar so that he can fill all the empty space possible. The professor asks again – “Is now the jar full?”.  The students once again say – “yes”.

Now, the Professor gets his sand bag and start filling the jar with sand till the extent possible. Now the students sensed their immaturity. The professor asks again, It is now full, I guess, right? All said in one voice – “Yes, now it is completely full”. The professor then grabs two cups of tea from under the table and tries to fill into the jar. The tea slowly slips into jar slowly.

With a pause and serious voice, the professor says, “Students, you consider your life like this jar”. The most important part of your life are the table tennis balls namely God, family, children, friends, health and hobbies; the small gravel mean your job, car, house etc.; and the meaning of the sand and small – little things like useless, bad fight and quarrels. Now if we would have filled the jar with sand first, then there would not have been any place for the table tennis balls. In case we would have filled the jar with gravels, then probably sand could have find some place but there would not have been any place for table tennis balls, for sure.”

The Professor continues, “The same logic applies to life also. If we spend all our time and energy in small and unimportant things, it would destroy the important ones and we would not have any time for the most important people in our life. For the happiness of mind, it is important that you decide what to do. Play with your children play, water the garden, go for morning walk with your wife, throw useless stuff from home, do regular medical check – ups. Arrange your table tennis balls first, worry about them, they are the most important. First decide what is important, The rest is sand.”

The students listened carefully the professor. Suddenly one of them asks, “Professor, but ” What are those two cups of tea? The professor replies smilingly, “I was thinking why anyone did not ask this question?” and answered, ” No matter how much we feel that our life is full and satisfied, but here should be always be time to sit and drink two cups of tea with your special friends.”

You guys, might wonder why such a story here. The reason is: we are all MBA aspirants and some of us are MBAs, coming from various parts of the world. Some of us consider such an esteemed graduate degree to a high earning job, become a CEO and so on. Perfectly fine. But unless we try to prioritize our life properly, we can’t expect to put the course of a company or an organization on a responsible and caring road, where the community and the company grows hand in hand. Spread Love and try to create lives and not destroy. I, also, take this opportunity to pray for the troubled Indian students in Australia, who are reported to racist attacks recently and request everyone to maintain peace and love.

Business Ethics Oath-A Marketing Gimmick?

31 05 2009

Well, I thought I am not going to write anything today anymore after submitting my first application, even though it was for the fellowship. But I bumped into this article at New York Times. The article talks about corporate ethics and how B-schools like Harvard, Columbia and Wharton are stressing on the needs of the ethics and social responsibility in the corporate world. Now, I am bit confused about the whole fuss. Ethics, Integrity, Values are the individual heritage of an individual that defines its characters. I understand that a lot of current financial mesh is a result of irresponsible executives but do taking oath is the guarantee of no more irresponsible behavior. How many times have we sang our national anthem and national pledges in our life till date ad how many times at least we have tried to be honest with it? The answer lies within an individual and his/her character. No matter how many courses each school teach, no matter how many oaths do graduates take, finally it comes to the work that would decide the outcome. I have an example here to give. B-Schools look at various parameters while deciding admits from the pool of applicants. If one has ever browsed through various consulting websites and applicant/current/past blogs, everyone talks about community service as a strong criterion. Now, honestly, if one has to answer himself, how many of them do community service for the sake of their interest and how many of them do it just to get an admit into a elite school after getting a big GMAT score on their application. I am not going to comment on it but each one of us knows the truth. This is the first sign of the integrity, values and responsibility.

I am not here to criticize the application process but what I want to say is probably B-schools should concentrate on some time with spending with the incoming admits so that they can know them more as a human being. Such events should not get buried in the form of marketing gimmicks. Every individual graduate should feel the essence of his MBA degree an how far one can stretch this valuable degree to serve the people and the country better.

PS: This is a complete personal opinion and has nothing to do with any other individual’s opinion. I respect the integrity of every human being as an individual and respect his/her opinion.

How to Fix B-Schools-HBS

17 04 2009

Harvard discusses in its blog “How to Fix Business Schools” and stresses on the importance of  “ETHICS”.

Very true, ethics is the just one of important things that one should look for a good human being but if the motive and purpose of the human being is not right, then nothing is going to bear right fruits. Though I am not an expert but I always strongly feel that the purpose of human being’s life is not money or his self life rather it is his motive and few things that he would like to do before he dies and leaves this holy world. When people ask to do soul search, we need to find out answers to few questions:

1. If I were to die tomorrow, what are the things I would have done by then?

2. If I were to die tomorrow, will I be dying happily with some satisfaction?

If the universities are going to find the soul of its students by sqeezing his/her soul, then the B-scholls will definitely be able to produce gems from the sea.