Posted by: drewdice | August 27, 2010


In James Clawson’s book, Level Three Leadership, he notes that there are three elements in what he calls the Leadership Point of View:

Seeing what needs to be done
Understanding ALL the underlying forces at play in a situation
– Having the courage to initiate action to make things better

Last night, I finished leading a 12 class session on Business Strategy with the Loyola University of Maryland evening MBA students, and our final class was focused on Putting Values into Action and reflection on their MBA journey.

I feel privileged to have led this class, and hope that through our time together, these future leaders feel more capable, confident and prepared to make a significant impact on our society. A couple of things struck me curiously as the group shared some of their thoughts, feelings and emotions, and I would love to share (anonomously) a couple of them with you, and want your feedback:

– Some of the students feel and obligation and burden now that their MBA journey is complete. These feelings stem from things such as time away from family over the past years, and that they (the student) must now produce in such a way that makes the time spent a worthwhile tradeoff. In my opinion, that is a valid feeling, and a big burden to bear. I believe we all want to do better….for ourselves, for our current and future family members, for our mentors….and mindset plays a huge part in this equation. It is really tough to focus on doing good and doing well when we have the weight and focus of debt (financial, emotional, time, health). Napoleon Hill talks about this (I love his book, Think and Grow Rich)

– Some of the students expressed relief that the program has ended, and that they don’t have to read, write papers or study anymore. I will take those sentiments in the raw emotion of finishing the program, and say that I understand the “want” for a break, but this also troubles me. A graduate degree, such as an MBA, is not a terminal destination for learning and impact. I struggle with the thought that the letters MBA actually DO anything. In my opinion, they don’t. PEOPLE do. As a holder of a graduate degree, my belief is that these individuals (much like when I graduated from Loyola’s Executive MBA program) have a duty and responsibility to act, to move forward, to continuously learn, expand their influence, network and impact and to change the way business happens (and social impact, and overall wealth, and, and, and).

As Clawson says, this is having the courage to initiate action. In my opinion, anything short of that is not fully taking advantage of the gift that MBA graduates have. Change the world folks. Let’s do this.

I would love your thoughts.



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