Startups & SMBs: Why an MBA Degree isn’t Important for Being a Leader


Some five years ago, having an MBA degree was as important as graduating. Whether you were graduating in Physics or History or even Accounts, the there was an immense peer pressure to get into a B-school. Most would opt for the normal MBA course, while some preferred to go for an entrepreneurial course. The general feeling over the last few years has been that an MBA degree offers you a career ‘escalator’, as you become a manager and then a leader. However, leadership is more than that. So, having a degree from a b-school doesn’t matter as such.


PPTs Are Not Ideas
Whether in India or abroad, most b-school students spend a major part of their time preparing presentations and slideshows to put forth their points and the learnings they get from books or case studies. This then extends to the company, which they start working for. While presenting ideas in an organized and efficient way is a good idea, but expecting each and every small plan or a concept as a PPT is not. In fact, these things could end up wasting time of your team, and you could have a disgruntled workforce, who isn’t happy with their work. A better way to develop great ideas is to have a casual brainstorming session and ask everyone to chip in without any hesitation. In fact, you can encourage all team members to speak without worrying about looking stupid.

Balance Data & People
Many people believe that numbers speak the truth, which they do. In fact, these days with the advent of big data and various tools enable you to get insights from the numbers that you have collected. Business schools are introducing new quantitative methods to enable students to be more data driven. Some tools even allow you to visualize the data in a fancy way. And most organisations are increasing transparency by making their processes more objective, which is a great thing. Nevertheless, just using the numbers and ignoring the human factor can be futile. Many leaders, to increase productivity and optimize their profits, will use data and make changes. For example, one digital company we know decided to quantify every task. Certain creative tasks can never by quantified and they ended up having many disgruntled employees.

These are a few things that are hard to pick up in a b-school. So what else have you learnt, as an entrepreneur that you think cannot be taught at a b-school? Use the comment section to share your views.

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