Friday, October 22, 2010

Lecture to 1st Year MBA Students - Pendekanti Management College

Firstly, let me congratulate you on having chosen to be MBA students. You are now part of an elite band. You are now part of a group that can make a big difference to the way things are managed in our country – in business, in politics, in education, in arts – you can take us to the next level. If you choose to. It is necessary therefore, to share what we have learnt, the mistakes we made so you can learn from them.

The Mediocre MBA
Most are more or less going through their academics, their career and life not knowing what to expect. Hoping someone will pick them. Hoping that just by passing through MBA, they will get a job. Hoping to be successful. In terms of ability not many have the skills to manage – not much subject knowledge, not much clarity, no communication skills - written or spoken, unexplored leadership skills, no initiative, no track record of managing anything.
I would not hire anyone like this. This is the story of mediocrity, in which we appear to revel in comfortably.

The Fully Baked MBA
One wants a fully baked MBA who is ready to hit the shop floor. MBAs who know their subject certainly, and have applied it to some extent. In MBAs we want people who know what they are doing, who can take responsibility, to know the industry, who offer solutions, who offer better ways to do things, who improve efficiency, who understand team work, leadership, who can make things better. That is what you get paid for. Not for a degree that means nothing. You need to justify your salary, you need to be able to say – I am worth this much because I bring this value.

The secret to success – Project Success
Irrespective of your background, your ability, your past, your intelligence, you can rewrite your entire life starting now. Take stock of what you have now in this time of preparation. You have two years, approximately 600 days to prepare. In these two years, you must use your resources - the time, the wisdom available to you (through books, lecturers, guest lecturers and secondary sources of information) and most importantly the energy that you have, to the optimum. The ones who use this time well go ahead, the ones who use it badly, will remain. If an average IIM puts in something like 12-15 hours a day, you must exceed that. Alright, at least put in a third of that and see.

This is for every one of you. Your job is to fulfill this gap between mediocre managers and fully baked managers.
As students or as raw material nothing differentiates you from the IIM students, if you choose to use your time well.
The resources you have are the same:
-          Knowledge (books, libraries, lecturers, guests, internet etc) – so get all basics right, get your subject knowledge in place
-          Application of knowledge – this is where you can score over the other (meet more people, understand more businesses, understand the dynamics of money, see if you can get results by design, try yourself out in leadership roles, take initiative more often)
-          Time - 600 days
-          Energy (you have a limited amount so use it where you want to) – use your energy well so get the maximum results out of it
The best prepared will succeed. So prepare.

2 Years To Prepare For Life
Do not stand in line with a begging bowl. Instead create what you want. Find out soon, what jobs you like best, what organizations you want to work for, what kind of a company you wish to start, what kind of a life you want to lead - and pursue that thought. Very often I find people queueing up to take whatever comes their way - please don't. It happens to people who are unclear about what they want, unsure of what they can do and who are unprepared. Go after what you want. And to do that, you must start preparing now.

Write your Vision
Start identifying what you want to do, what makes you happy. Things you can do for long hours, things that give you happiness. And follow that route. If you have an ambition of being a big shot in Microsoft, start aiming for that. Get requisite skills. In any field, any company. Even your own company. Food, music, acting, travel, finance, people, writing…start identifying what will define your overall life, when it is over. Start the process now. By the end of this period you should be able to say – yes, this is my route. My vision, my way.

Your Mission
Your mission from now on is to be responsible, smart, intelligent, politically aware, enterprising, articulate students who step out of this institute as MBAs second to none. You work to create a brand image of a college that has a distinct identity for itself and its students.

Your Role – Responsible Adults
Your days of handholding are over. You now have to understand how to use all the resources you have. no one will tell you. Take complete responsibility for your life. You cannot blame anyone now.
Just because you joined this college does not mean you are guaranteed anything – not a job, not knowledge, nothing. It is what you make of what is available to you.
Your role as PG students is to know your subjects inside out, is to challenge thoughts and theories, is to create new theories. Which means that you do not just learn what is taught, you fully understand, compare and apply. Your role as managers is not to merely know the theory, it is to know the practice. Which means that you must apply all that you learn. Meet people, speak, start a business, learn about banking, meet an entrepreneur, meet the canteen wala, see how money works, see how you can use money, see how to use all this in a commercially viable manner, see and find out if business is all about money or something else also. You are all ready for adulthood and this course expects you to start behaving like that. The lecturers will teach, but you must apply all that is taught everyday.
Learn, apply, grow. Use everything to grow
By the end of 2 years all your basics must be in place
-          Knowledge
-          Communication skills (written and spoken)
-          Initiative
-          Knowing your talent
-          Knowing what you want to do.

Make Mistakes, Grow
Apply all that you learn, discuss with your peers, give seminars, sharpen all your skills that are required - communication - written and spoken, knowledge, leadership capability, team work, initiative, capability to manage situations, ability to make good decisions, to process data, to analyse information. There are any number of resources available. The more mistakes you make, the more you will grow!
Don't repeat the mistakes of course.

Don't Hold Back, Give Your 100%
It is the time to know what our limits are. Push yourself 100%. In games, in festivals, in seminars, in discussions, in creative ideas, in academics...push it that 10% more. It is practice for life. To begin with get your act right on academics.

See Your Potential, And Live Up To It
You have a fair idea of what your potential is. What you see yourself as. Live up to it. Your best image. Not someone else's image.

What you get is what you give
Remember – in the outside world, what you get is what you give. You build ability, you give value, and you get paid or rewarded for it. So build ability in all you do. Just because you are an MBA you will not get a job – you get a job because you take value to it.
Find your limits. push yourself. 10 hours – 15 ours.
Take responsibility from now on for yourself
To learn is to make mistakes. So ask, make mistakes – it means you are learning

Best Wishes - Dream of a More Efficient Society, India
I will keep luck out of the picture and give you my best wishes. To design success. To hold your faith when it is tough. To go that extra mile. To know your true self and to be comfortable with yourself. To have the courage to see your true potential. The harder you work, the more confident you get. The more experiences you have, the more secure you feel. The more new things you learn, the more the ease with which you can handle a new situation.

Have an opinion. Take responsibility for your opinion. Use your education and time wisely. When you step out tomorrow, I would be happy to see students who are prepared to take the world head on. To take it to the next level. If all of you give 5% more than what you thought, that is all I ask, you will make a huge change to your lives, to our world. I hope to interact more with you later but for now remember, prepare to be the best, give it everything you have and use everything to grow as a person.

No comments: