Failing to plan is planning to fail.
- Title: The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business
- Author: Josh Kaufman
- Publication Date: 2010
- Recommendation Score: 5 / 5
The author, Josh Kaufman, argues that MBA programs are too expensive, with a low return on investment. Especially that the best MBA programs are highly selective, they will pick the candidates who have promising profiles, and who would climb the ladder with or without an MBA. He suggests that business school is unnecessary, and that reading books and gaining real-life experience is a better option.
“The Personal MBA” book as a distilled summary of a huge number of business and personal development books. It gives a boost of knowledge about business, but you need to complete it with further readings and practical experience. As the author puts it: The Personal MBA is a “Do-It-Yourself” approach to business education, but “Do-It-Yourself” does not mean “Do-It-By-Yourself”.
The book comprises both the technical and emotional skills needed for a successful career. The chapters pursue the following outline:
- Value Creation
- Value Delivery
- The Human Mind
- Working With Yourself
- Working With Others
- Understanding Systems
- Analyzing Systems
- Improving Systems
Every human being is unique. Each of us has a unique DNA, a unique experience of life, and a unique outlook to the future. Nonetheless, as a species – Homo sapiens, we all share some traits at different degrees: we tend to over-generalize, we procrastinate, we are curious, etc. Moreover, if we scan the history and the geography of human societies, we notice some patterns in the characters: the leader, the soldier, the scientist, the rebel, the traitor, the altruist, etc. We don’t find it difficult to compare one or more characters of a story to other characters in other stories…
The study of human behavior and personality has gained increased attention in the last two centuries and has evolved from pseudoscience theories (such as phrenology and physiognomy) to an established branch of psychology.
In a previous post “Who Are You, Really? – Brian Little“, the personality is defined as the result of the following determinants: biogenic (inherited genes), sociogenic (culture and values) and idiogenic (individual decisions and will) traits. The OCEAN model for human personalities and behavior was used as a tool to assess the basic personality traits.
Many other models exist in the literature. In this post, the following personality models are presented: MBTI, FIRO-B, SDI, and DISC. These models are widely used today in the corporate world (in hiring and management), and they are part of some management programs. All the models are based on psychological research studies and are formulated as introspective self-report questionnaires that can be found online.
MBTI – Myer Briggs Type Indicator
The Myers–Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is a personality assessment model that was constructed by Katharine Cook Briggs and her daughter Isabel Briggs Myers. It is based on the conceptual theory proposed by Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung. The personality traits are grouped into four categories:
- Introversion / Extraversion: What is your source of energy? From inside yourself (I) or from people (E).
- Sensing / INtuition: How do you perceive the world? As facts and details (S) or as possibilities and big picture (N).
- Thinking / Feeling: How do you make decisions? Using analytical thinking (T), or feelings and empathy (F).
- Judging / Perception: How do you organize your life? To-do lists and instructions (J) or flexibility and improvisation (P).
This produces 16 personality types as shown in the figure below. An individual can fall into one type, or between 2 or more types, depending on its score.
What gets measured, gets managed.
Peter Drucker, “The Practice of Management”, 1954
In his book “Up the Organization”, Robert Townsend gives 10 evaluation criteria that you can use to rate your boss as a leader.
Here is, in a nutshell, the difference between a boss and a leader: a boss is someone who was appointed by the organization to manage a team. A leader, on the other hand, is someone in the organization who inspires people. A boss pushes people to work, a leader pulls them towards his vision. Some bosses are leaders, others are just managers. For a brief comparison between (bad) boss and leader characteristics, you may refer to the info-graphic at the end of this post.
Back to Townsend’s criteria, the author suggests that you score each of the following characteristics from 0 to 10, the total (from 0 to 100) is you boss’s rating. How much is your boss : Continue reading “Is your Boss a Leader ? – Robert Townsend”