How can I increase my leadership value is a question I have been asking myself for the last three years. One of the ways that I thought would increase my value was to get an MBA. While it has not been easy I would not change the decision for a minute. Leaders have to challenge themselves if they want to continue their development and have the credibility to lead others.
As I developed the plan for the second half of my life (I'm 38) I knew that I wanted to position myself to be an entrepreneur. I looked at business school as the final piece to the puzzle, a critical cog in my quest to bring value as a leader. Some would say, you don't need business school to bring value or be a leader. While that is true, I felt that the obstacles I faced in my career were primarily because I didn't have the quantitative background that I needed to effectively bring value. Yes, I had the basic skills needed to be a good employee, but I lacked the understanding of the crucial pieces needed to analyze a business at the level where you can truly qualify and quantify individual contributions.
I am currently a Global Executive MBA student at Duke University's Fuqua School of Business. Since starting business school, I have seen my quantitative ability to assessment skills grow exponentially. How has this increased my leadership value? It has increased it in two ways. First, my confidence is well above the level it was previously. I realized that I was a good employee but not someone that analyzed a situation any differently than other good employees which made me expendable. Second, my quest for understanding of complex work and business issues is not relegated to a ten or fifteen minute research period. Instead it involves a detailed process that which provides a solid foundation for understanding and presenting concrete solutions to complex issues.
As I continue on my journey I am keenly focused on the continued improvement of my skills as a leader and business person.