‘Do I need an MBA?’ I asked to no one in particular and thus I remember asking myself this just before I was accepted by FMS in Delhi University, a leading management school as their student a few decades ago. I looked around, smiled, and told myself, ‘Of course not. You’re already a smart kid. But you do need theories and jargon to be one-up on your boss, right?’ Well, that was then and I wouldn’t say that management education is all about being able to use jargon without blinking… there is more to it. But as Josh Kaufman said: “Business schools don’t create successful people. They simply accept them, then take credit for their success.” Now that you’re all smiles, let’s go on with the more serious stuff that I have to tell you all about.

The world isn’t divided into those who need an MBA and those who don’t. Each of us needs to understand a lot about business and management just as much we need to remain physically fit. The five reasons why we need this understanding of businesses and management are: 

Conversation between you and your dreams

An edge is the ledge that keeps you alive

Knowing this and that can help you here and there

We are all brands surviving on visualised stories

Life is a race for the vantage point

 

Conversation between you and your dreams

01_Conversation between you and your dreams

01_Conversation between you and your dreams

It was Warren Buffet was said, “I always knew I was going to be rich. I don’t think I ever doubted it for a minute.” However, knowing isn’t always the same as being able to see it all live in your life. To hold meaningful conversations with your dreams you will need to understand them inside-out. This is possible only if you understand that business and life are not separate… there is a lot of marketing, resource management, accounting, and every other element that an MBA strives to teach, right there that you come face to face with as you live your life. An MBA, I guess, is more of an attitude than a mere qualification for a mere job.

An edge is the ledge that keeps you alive

02_An edge is the ledge that keeps you alive

02_An edge is the ledge that keeps you alive

In a world that is full of thoughts that clone each other, the best way to climb higher is to cease being one. Formal management education taught me how to search for all the new edges and convert them into ledges to stand on and climb higher. The best part about management theories is that they are not static and are transforming with the times… and this is the sort of understanding that gives your professional thrust an edge. An unbeatable edge.

Knowing this and that can help you here and there

03_Knowing this and that can help you here and there

03_Knowing this and that can help you here and there

As I was writing this post I realised that a management student was quite different from those who were specialising in, for instance, economics. Yes, organisations do need people who excel in economics and mathematics too, communication and language are just as vital… but they also need those who understand everything there is to be understood. What I mean is that the MBA is made to crawl through multiple disciplines that are linked to improving productivity and profits in any organisation.

We are all brands surviving on visualised stories

04_We are all brands surviving on visualised stories

04_We are all brands surviving on visualised stories

Tactical prowess and strategic insights are all about how well a person is able to visualise them as they would go about raging through a real time business world. Those who get into the world of management education get to learn how a chess player thinks. They anticipate moves and create an entire map of possibilities and then convert all of this into stories that are powerful enough to provide impetus to their plans. This is what MBA is all about. Management students, I must admit here, need to be excellent story tellers!

Life is a race for the vantage point

05_Life is a race for the vantage point

05_Life is a race for the vantage point

Show me someone who does not like to remain in demand and I’ll show you a society where MBA doesn’t exist. Life is indeed a race for a vantage point and the one who reaches there first is the one who has understood map-reading of a matrix that includes truckloads of psychographics and demographics… and this is what they actually teach you in MBA.

If these are the things that you think you need in your life, it is time that you slowly inched yourself nearer the right sort of MBA… well, the sort of courses that involved institutes run. Forget the second rung colleges and institutes… unless you want to deliver Amazon orders wearing a tie. You know what I mean.

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Arvind Passey
01 May 2016