An MBA in Experience

Last night I was teaching an MBA course (week one) on transformational leadership. One of the student’s in the class was transitioning from a 25 year career with a well known canned food company. He was “replaced” through a corporate restructuring. He told the class he was getting an MBA to “ramp” up the second half of his career.

I was impressed that this guy, with tons of real life leadership and managerial experience, was willing to subject, yes subject, himself to an MBA. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of eductaion (if it’s real world centric), but after 25 years as a manager “doing” what we talked about last night, I use the word “subject” to describe what he’s doing. Hopefully, I can make the class worth his while.

As we made our way through the class, I kept thinking about the fact that this guy (along with others in the class), really already had their MBA’s. We should just cut to the chase and grant it to them. Now, I will admit part of that idea makes me cringe. After paying the price to actually get a doctorate, I have this side of me that believes other’s need to “pay the price” for a degree. But, then I think: this guy, in my class, is probably thinking the same thing I am, but from the other side of the lake.

—–

Guy in My Class: Good greif, I’ve actually gone through the process of DOING what we’re TALKING about for 25 years. Shouldn’t that count for something?

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Maybe we should give MBA’s in experience. I’m not talking about the honorary kind, but the real deal.

Here’s another mind blower:

If a person HAS an MBA they may be turned down (for a job) because they don’t have any experience. If a person has 25 years of leadership experience, but NO MBA, they may be turned down (for a job) because they lack educational depth. Huh?

2007-09-25T13:44:00-04:00

One Comment

  1. Mike September 26, 2007 at 8:25 am - Reply

    Amen

    Common question for me as a manager when someone is “assessing” my team: “Does so and so have a degree?” No, but they have been steadily advancing and performing here for 10 years…

    Definitely one of my triggers.

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