Archive for July, 2006

July 20, 2006

Studying now…but the mind is wandering….

So I’m getting my MBA now and have been thinking about one of my earlier posts as my mind has been wandering back to this very subject called life. And it hit me…..this MBA program is not about a masters in business….its a metaphor for life itself. “MBA a metaphor for life”? — what the ?  I think I’m dellusional as it’s approaching early morning here.

I guess what I mean is that I’ve read a ton of those “business guru” books, books on highly effective habits, time management, and a million Harvard Business School case studies to the point I think my eyeballs are about to pop out of my head. Well, I should clarify that I never finished the book on time management — why? because I didn’t have time 🙂 Anyway, some of these readings were okay, some long and boring, but most pretty much state the obvious. Again, still amazing you can make money from simply stating the obvious.

Since stating the obvious has always come easy to me, I thought one day I might write my own guru book one day. But the reality is …. who the heck am I? So maybe I’ll shift my focus to my son and apply my collective “management” and “life” knowledge I learned so far and create a curriculum of sorts — something my son can refer to as he goes through his own life.

Maybe I’ll model it after my MBA experience this summer at Babson…..

July 13, 2006

found a fellow Wolverine who wrote his top 5…

google is great! Some dude wrote his top 5 and I figured I’d copy/paste it here. Not bad…but why stop at 5? 10 was too much effort for him? 🙂

Top 5 Lessons of a Michigan MBA (author unknown)
5. Be Content (Have Fun)
True, the real world is difficult and not always fun. Still, it is important to seek contentment in what we do, and try to have fun where we can. My two years at Michigan went by way too fast, and the rest of life will go by even more quickly. Have fun and be content – it makes all the difference.

4. Maintain Balance
Yes, that’s why I put “(Have Fun)” in parentheses. It is important to maintain a healthy balance between work, fun, and everything else in life. Sure, I was able to balance my commitments during school, but let’s face it – I had it pretty easy. I really admire my colleagues and non-student acquaintances that have managed to pull this off with more pressing life commitments – those that are married, those that are working, and especially those with families. I continue to learn from these exceptional individuals.

3. Learn By Doing
One of the hallmarks of the Michigan MBA is something called “Action Based Learning.” This ethos is intertwined throughout the curriculum and embedded within the spirit of the program. MAP M.ultidiscplinary A.ction P.roject is a 7-week course where students work with real companies on real business projects) was a unique foray into experiential learning. Beyond the curriculum, there were multiple opportunities for students to become involved in extra curricular activities and events, providing a platform for further growth and learning. The Michigan M-trek, business plan and case competitions, and student led clubs (see Weekend Warriors) and events were just a few of these unique opportunities. In my opinion, learning is best accomplished by doing.

2. Seek & Build Character
Even though I’ve listed this as #2, it could very well be #1, and should realistically be even higher. My MBA experience was an intensive affirmation of this truth. Even though none of us would like to admit that we lack character, the truth is that everyone has areas of weakness. The real difference between those with character and those without is self awareness. People with character are constantly looking inwardly, striving to grow in areas that are lacking, and inspiring growth in those around them as a result. People without character are harder to identify. If you are anything like me, you choose to give most people the benefit of the doubt, choosing instead to see their good qualities first. Still, I can’t iterate this enough: steer clear of those with deep character flaws, and draw near to those with strong character.

1. Take Risks
As much as I hate the cliché, the underlying idea is essential in life and in business. Do things that cause you to “step outside of your comfort zone.” While this doesn’t necessarily mean you have to jump out of a plane or SCUBA with sharks, it does mean to seek opportunities to expand your own horizons. You can learn a lot about yourself through new activities, and in doing so, your sphere of empathy and understanding will increase. It’s also a great way to build confidence. For those who know me, it may be hard to believe that I was actually petrified before perfoming in front of 800 peers in the Michigan Follies production. The fact that I was so nervous could only mean that the experience would be a good one – and it was. So important is this learning, in fact, that I made it the central theme to my Ross Profiles submission. Looking back, I can safely say that my MBA experience was well worth it. If you are considering an MBA degree, appreciate the fact that you will learn so much more than business acumen. In order to fully capitalize on your MBA learning experience, don’t overlook life beyond the classroom. Be sure the MBA program you choose offers a well-integrated platform for professional and personal learning.

July 12, 2006

one link I found on someone’s top 7

I copied/pasted here…..not sure who this guy is….but 7 Life Wisdom’s are not bad….


1) Most importantly, I’ve learned that “Life is short”… sometimes much too short.

A dear friend died the day after her 37th birthday. My eulogy highlighted how her personal priorities made her death somewhat easier to cope with. She *always* allocated time for herself, her significant other and her family. She worked hard, but didn’t let work rule her life. Money was always budgeted to allow her both to vacation, and to save for “the future”. She spoke of this “balance” many times before she died, and her wisdom allowed her to enjoy the life that she did live to its fullest.

I can’t quote her source, but when I was putting in some crazy hours consulting and traveling she reminded me “no one has ever wished on their deathbed that they’d spent more time at the office”.

2) Recognize that there are things you control, things that you can influence, and things that are beyond your control and influence. Success is a relative term, and means different things to different people. Ensure that whatever your measures of success are, they are within your control. It’s amazing how some people judge themselves and others based on things that they have no control over.

Personal success is within your control. Business success is not. Assure yourself of having a successful life by allocating time to the things you can win / control

3) I learned that among the things that make a successful business the most underrated item is “luck”! In business, sometimes great people fail, and sometimes idiots succeed. Ensure that you don’t judge a person based on events that were beyond their control.

4) Don’t be afraid to make mistakes! They are your best opportunities for learning. However, ensure that you do learn from them, as people have little patience for those that repeat their mistakes.

5) Don’t be afraid to question the status quo when it doesn’t appear to make sense. I’ve uncovered many misallocated resources by asking the question “why?” and ensuring that the response is adequate and appropriate.

6) There are two types of companies… the quick and the dead. A quick decision is usually better than the perfect decision made slowly. I remember two analogies I repeatedly used with a management team I was part of in the 90’s.

– A car has stalled on the railway tracks. The passengers spent so much time debating whether it was more efficient to exit on the driver’s or passenger’s side that they were killed by the next freight train.

– Rather than standing still agonizing and calculating if the best direction to travel for a long journey is compass heading 274.4 degrees or 261.3 degrees, lets just start moving “west”, and refine our course as we go.

We can spend too much time planning our course, when we should take action. The corollary is that even when we do start immediately, quite often our destination changes well before we arrive.

7) Integrity is one of your most valuable assets. No one can take it from you, but it amazes me how cheaply some people trade it away.

July 12, 2006

I wonder if anyone else has their own lessons out there to teach their kids…

There must be some people out there in Googleland who have their own lessons to teach and wisdom to share with their kids….