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Home > Business > Special

B-schools don't teach work-life balance

Ashutosh Garg | July 25, 2006

B-school helped me organise my thoughts, build lasting friendships with my batch mates and relate business issues to the innumerable case studies, which helped me gain that additional edge. Yet, I was not prepared for so many real-life situations I have faced over the years. I am outlining some of these below.

Family balance: One of the stabilising factors in the early childhood years of people of my age group was our parents, who were largely from government backgrounds and devoted a lot of time to us.

I am not sure how many of us have spent the same kind of time with our children, which is why new terms like "quality time" have entered our lexicon. Families need time and personal investment; before you even fully realise it, your children leave home.

The importance of detail: No one taught us the importance of going into details. Macro level thinking was the order of the day and while this was important to build perspective, execution of the work was even more critical for organisational success. It was common to hear that there was no need to learn finance because you could hire a chartered accountant!

Success and failure: B-school taught me how to win, but not how to handle success. It gave me the background to run companies, but not to be a more humane person. It did not teach me to deal with failure, or the ups and downs of the corporate world.

Leisure: Most graduates of my vintage didn't understand the meaning of leisure. We worked round the clock, determined to get ahead in the corporate jungle. We used to pride ourselves in saying that we had 180 days' leave pending! Little did we realise how critical leisure time was to rejuvenate our bodies and minds.

Managing personal wealth: Over the years, while I think I have made sensible investments for the organisations I have worked for, I cannot say the same about managing the large sums of money I have earned. No one taught us the importance of writing a will or the importance of planning for retirement to ensure a home, money for children's education and so on.

Ashutosh Garg is chairman and managing director, Guardian Lifecare. He graduated from Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management in 1979.

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Number of User Comments: 6

Sub: Purpose of B Schools

An MBA / A B-School is not a panacea ! There is a defined curriculum that a B-school tries to cover in a defined period ...

Posted by Srivathsan

Sub: Honest Confessions

Ok, so now these B-school people are confessing how much they leave in illusions of what is a success! This is the problem I think ...

Posted by Smita Yadav

Sub: They also don't teach...

Ethics! They treat their subordinate employees like slaves.. I have seen IIM greads treating their bunch of bonded labourers in the US. They boos over ...

Posted by PV Rao

Sub: work-lie balance?

"work-life balance" is an excuse often used by slackers who are falling behind in the corporate rat-race! It is like "sour grapes" complaint. "You may ...

Posted by sri

Sub: Need for Life Work Balance

I think what Mr. Garg is saying is not correct. How to lead life is not taught in a business school. One learns it from ...

Posted by Surendra Birje



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