Monday, March 30, 2009

It's All About Skills...

I was recently asked the following question about higher business education: "Does an MBA breed authenticity and humility or arrogance in the name of leadership?" Well, if we can first transcend experience and degrees, and ask instead about skills (both hard and soft), then we begin to ask better questions, such as, "Who has the skills to get the job done?" Of course, skills can be acquired through both experience and higher education (or not). For this reason, I always ask management applicants about their skills, rather than their education or experience. "What skills do you bring to the table?" Responses such as, "I have years of experience," or "I have years of college," evade the question. My advice to everyone is make your experience and higher education translate into more and more skills, and do not assume that simply being "present" in experience or education is the same thing. As for where a person acquires their skills, who cares. If we can all focus on skills, rather than experience and education, then we can be best assured the right people are in leadership.

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