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B-schools make managers, not leaders
Vipul Jain |
July 19, 2005
B-schools don't teach you leadership. The job of a leader - as distinct from a manager - is to unflinchingly believe that tomorrow will be better than today.
That's what keeps you together when you don't know how you are going to get to your goal. It makes you get out of bed and get to work. As a leader, people look up to you; they draw energy from you. Many of us are managers; few are leaders.
B-schools don't teach you the importance of personal space. A leader has to believe in his people. He should be able to step back and let them discover their own management styles.
Giving your employees room to grow is critical when you want to create leaders in the second line. If you try to impose your values on them, you will only create replicas of yourself. Remember, diversity is essential.
Another lacuna in a B-school education is that it doesn't teach you integrity. This goes beyond corporate governance. Integrity implies transparency, fairness in all your dealings, respect for others and sticking to what you say.
It shows in the way the organisation acts with its employees, customers, shareholders, suppliers and the government.
Also, B-schools don't discourage you from striving for instant success. They don't lay enough emphasis on ethics and values and on the fact that grit and determination are important attributes.
Of course, ethics and values go back to learning at home and at school. So you can't put the onus only on B-schools to teach you values.
But you need to learn constantly, and B-schools don't emphasise that. Learning opportunities exist everywhere - you can learn from your subordinates, from conferences, from books.
You shouldn't be afraid to have people around you who are smarter than you are - you should take pride in them. Constantly raising the bar in whatever you do helps both the individual and the organisation grow. But B-schools ignore this aspect.
Vipul Jain is the CEO and Managing Director of Kale Consultants. He graduated from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, in 1980.
As told to Rituparna Chatterjee