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10 values MBAs must learn outside of B-school

Last updated on: June 26, 2013 17:21 IST

Photographs: Chris Keane/Reuters Harpreet Singh

These values guide our actions and the decisions we make in life and at work.

B-Schools prepare you to take on the corporate world, by giving all the necessary management skills and knowledge. However soft skills are equally important to make you a successful manager and a good leader. These values guide your behaviour, actions and decisions and will be of great importance to your career and future success.

1. Striving for excellence

Trying to excel in your area of work is an important part of professionalism and it is crucial to imbibe this value early in life. This involves a constant endeavour to try and put quality effort in everything you want to do till the time it becomes a habit. This could be sports, extracurricular activities, academics, being part of a club or society, or undertaking a social cause.

Once you try and push yourself out of your comfort zone to explore new possibilities, you automatically hone your talents.

2. Integrity

Building your reputation takes years, but it might take only a second to lose it.

It might not be taught in your management class, but you would have heard it from all those around you. Having high levels of integrity under all circumstances is the most important characteristic a manager can possess.

Integrity means being truthful, honest and reliable, whether or not anyone is watching you. This value should not only be reflected at your workplace, but also with your friends, family and anyone you interact with.

The author is President, JRE School of Management, Greater Noida.

10 values MBAs must learn outside of B-school

Photographs: Todd Korol/Reuters

3. Innovation

Out of Box is a phrase not understood as often as is used. It does not only mean a breakthrough or a big invention. Innovation can be a part of our everyday actions.

Once we challenge our regular way of doing things it is only then that we do the same things differently and generate more value for ourselves, the organisation and even the society at large.

4. Sharing

It is important to understand that people working in companies are not independent of each other but are connected. This makes sharing inevitable. One would be expected to share resources, ideas, knowledge with their colleagues and peers which is termed as ‘teamwork’.

Therefore, it is important to learn to function in a team environment so that you adjust easily.

10 values MBAs must learn outside of B-school

Photographs: Romeo Ranoco/Reuters

5. Ownership

Managers are expected to take charge of their task and see it through from start to finish. It is about believing that the work being entrusted to you is your own responsibility and you would be accountable for the results.

Learn to take ownership when you are given projects or an additional responsibility to work on. This will be reflected once you are at your job. A a person who takes onus will never find or look for an opportunity to put the blame on others in times of trouble.

6. Joy

Always having a positive attitude is reflected in your personality. A joyous person will find happiness in his work and make his those around him cheerful too. Happiness at work comes when you love your job, give 100 per cent to what you do and constantly motivate yourself to achieve your goals.

Rather than looking at your job as a mere means to an end, have a passion for your work. If you love your job you will give it your best which will lead to endless possibilities for career success.


10 values MBAs must learn outside of B-school

Photographs: Adnan Abidi/Reuters

7. Passion to learn

The inquisitiveness to learn something new should remain forever. Those who continue to strive and improve by learning continuously will have their learning curve always go up the graph.

This passion comes when one takes regular interest in not just learning about their academic or functional areas but also keep their eyes and ears open to what is going on around the world.

Passion to learn will spearhead your growth by improving your skills and expertise.

8. Empathy

Empathy is one of the key management skills. It is important for a manager to understand someone else's point of view. To recognise, accept and appreciate that each person is different helps in understanding them and will make you more flexible.

Many leadership theories suggest that the ability to have and display empathy is an important part of leadership.


10 values MBAs must learn outside of B-school

Photographs: Stringer/Reuters

9. Courage

Courage might bring to mind images of heroism and sacrifice, however it is an important virtue of a successful manager. Courage at work means allowing the status quo to be challenged and ideas to flourish. Courage at workplace can be to do a thing differently, innovate, take initiative or voice a different opinion.

Courage helps companies and people grow. It helps increase communication, honesty and clarity in an organisation, therefore companies look for people who are courageous.

10. Responsiveness

A manager is be expected to be highly responsive to his environment and customers by being aware of the situations around them. For this, one should be agile and take spontaneous decisions. This is possible by being outward looking, identifying opportunities and areas of improvement and creating quick and effective solutions.