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Career

All MBAs, Career Tools, Interview, Job Search, Personal Development

Are You A Manager Or A Leader?

Both may sound the same, may even have the same results, but there are several resounding differences.

Managers manage tasks.  Leaders lead people. 

Managers delegate.  Leaders motivate.

Managers demand rigor and routine.  Leaders inspire trust and innovation.

Managers are given authority.  Leaders earn respect.

Managers have employees.  Leaders have supporters.

One is a title, the other is a mentality.

Managers have a transactional relationship with their subordinates.  A manager instructs what needs to be completed; the subordinate completes the task as asked. Managers may lead with a fear mentality, which does not provide room for growth, stability or respect.  Leaders appeal to his or her team’s motivational needs.  Leaders have charisma, a positive attitude and hold themselves accountable.  The ability to encourage others to work towards common goals while supporting individualism, creativity and advancement is the mentality needed in a successful leader.

The list below provides 10 Keys to Cultivating a Leader Mentality:

– Bill Mansell, president of MindPerk, Inc. :

  1. Countenance.  This is much more than planting a smile on your face (although you should definitely start there).  It means greeting people warmly, looking them in the eye with a genuinely kind and caring manner.  (If you don’t feel particularly kind or caring at first, that’s all right.  Just act the part.  Pretty soon you will begin to feel it, too.)
  2. Trust.  Team members need to know that they can trust you to treat them fairly and courteously.  Always give others credit for their work and their ideas.  This creates an environment where they feel safe giving their best effort and sharing their best ideas.
  3. Positive Atmosphere.  Everyone does better in an upbeat, positive environment.  Eliminate complaining, whining, and negative criticism from your speech.  Pretty soon, others will follow your lead.  Have fun with people and try to make their lives more interesting and enjoyable.  Even the most difficult job can become more bearable when you’re around people with a cheerful attitude.  Be that person.
  4. Be a Leader, Not a Boss.  A boss expects to be obeyed by virtue of his or her position, and therefore comes across as demanding, unfeeling, and, well, bossy.  People follow a leader because of the relationship, not the position.
  5. Be a Team Player. Jump in and help whenever necessary.  Never ask someone else to do or learn something that you wouldn’t be willing to do or learn yourself.
  6. Treat People Like Human Beings. No one likes being treated like a machine or a number.  Human resources are not assets to be exploited.  They are individuals with emotions, ideas, and creative talents.  Learn their names.  Become familiar with their hobbies, their family, and their personality.  You’ll get far more out of a person when you treat them like a human rather than a resource. Never put others down.  And when they do something extraordinary, let them shine.
  7. Be Human Yourself.  Don’t always be the perfect person.  I’m not saying you shouldn’t try your best.  You should.  But it never hurts to let people know that you didn’t always know everything, and that you, too, made mistakes and learned from them.
  8. Involve Team Members. Get their input in setting the vision, rules and structure of your organization.  Then insist that for the good of all, everyone comply.
  9. Express Sincere Appreciation. Say “thank you” early and often.  Set a goal to compliment an individual five times for every one time they need to be corrected.  Be quick to praise a job well done.
  10. Reprimand Respectfully.  If people need to be corrected or disciplined, do so without delay, with kindness and an obvious concern for their well being. When team members are reprimanded by someone who they know genuinely likes them and wants them to be successful, they will be much more likely to respond positively than if the reprimand comes from someone whom they dislike or fear.

Success Tip: People with charisma have amazing influence over others.  They pass through life inspiring greatness, uplifting spirits, and planting seeds of excellence. They are a valuable part of any team and command higher salaries.  The truth is, whether you are in management or not, you need to cultivate charisma.  It will help you at work, in your family, and your social life. (Mansell, 2012)

While reviewing the characteristics of a leader, factors besides personality contributed to an individual’s nature of being a leader.

“A surprising number of these leaders had some form of handicap in their lives which they had to overcome. Some had traumatic childhoods, some had problems such as dyslexia, others were shorter than average. This perhaps taught them the independence of mind that is needed to go out on a limb and not worry about what others are thinking about you.” (Leadership vs. Management, 2012)

While that may mean some individuals have a predisposition to be leaders than others, it does not mean that leadership cannot be learned or developed.   More importantly, all individuals should strive to strengthen their ability to lead and not manage.

Resources

Mansell, B., Cultivate Charisma. (n.d.). Business Training Self Improvement Resources – MindPerk. Retrieved (11/30/2012) from http://www.mindperk.com/articles/cultivate-charisma/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_content=Cultivate-Charisma&utm_campaign=OMM20121130

Leadership vs. Management. (n.d.). Changing minds and persuasion — How we change what others think, believe, feel and do. Retrieved (11/30/12) from http://changingminds.org/disciplines/leadership/articles/manager_leader.htm

All MBAs, Career Tools, Careers, Finance, Job Search, Operations Management, Personal Development, Sales & Marketing

The 2012 Trend of the MBA

According to recruiters across the globe, “Leadership, innovation, problem-solving, critical thinking and strategic planning are among the many skills that employers need in today’s market,” says the 2012 Graduate Management Admission Council 2012 Corporate Recruiters Survey.

Some of the leading complaints companies made were:

“Coach students to do more homework on the companies they are interviewing for; it’s frustrating to lose candidates who are just on ‘fishing expeditions.'”

“…prepare…the students to truly understand their motivators and what they are looking for in their career; just because a company has a household name doesn’t mean that it’s the best [fit] for everyone.”

“Overall, align candidate interests with the right potential career opportunities and do a better job of understanding what companies offer as a career platform.”

According to GMAC, MBAs should have several years of work experience prior to entering their degree program, and employers said they would like to see all candidates have industry related experience, either from a job or an internship.  27% of recruiters consider internships a primary factor in deciding whether to interview a candidate.

Employers also want leadership traits; those with examples and experience of aiding companies in enhancing their effectiveness, facilitating direction, providing delegation and progress as well as being innovative and effecting change, are in high demand.

Hiring projections for 2012 show that companies world wide are expecting continued growth.  Nearly 4 in 5 companies, or 79%, plan to hire at least one MBA candidate in 2012, an increase of 5% from 2011, and a nearly 30% increase from 2009. (GMAC Survey, 2012)  Hiring tactics still remain the same, as company based referrals lead the recruiting efforts.

While much dedication is placed on the technical skills developed during a student’s classroom tenure, the soft skills such as communication, time management, camaraderie,  and leadership, fostered while completing group projects, internships and presentations, develop each candidate as a whole.  With hiring trends increasing,  the demands of employers are as well.  Equipped with a well suited degree, strong professional and interpersonal skills, MBA graduates are well versed to tackle the turbulent job market.

To view the Graduate Management Admissions Council Recruiter Survey, click here.

Resource:

GMAC – Graduate Management Admission Council®. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.gmac.com/~/media/Files/gmac/Research/Employment%20Outlook/2012-crs-report-final-participants

All MBAs, Networking, Personal Development

5 Reasons Mentors Can Advance Your Career

Mentoring, it isn’t just for kids.  Adults, especially those during career transitions, and at mid-level growth benefit from having a mentor during their professional careers.  A report released by the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology found that “mentoring has been associated with higher job satisfaction, higher promotion rates, higher future income, increased work success, and higher retention rates.”

Beyond navigating the extensive employment economy, mentors offer much more than a networking connection.

According to Dr. Lois Zachary, Mentor extraordinaire, here are a few reason mentors are advantageous to any career:

  1. Perspective and Experience. A mentor can give you the benefit of his or her perspective and experience. He or she can help you assimilate to a new position and give you an insider’s view on how to get things done.  A mentor can help you look at situations in new ways. He or she can ask hard questions and help you solve problems.
  1. Define and Reach Long-Term Goals as well as Accountability. A mentor can help you define your career path and ensure that you don’t lose focus and continue down that road even when you become distracted by day-to-day pressures. When you know you are meeting with your mentor, you ensure that all the tasks you discussed in your last meeting are completed.
  1. Trusted Colleague to Discuss Issues. A mentor can be a great sounding board for all issues – whether you are having difficulty with your immediate supervisor, an ethical dilemma, or need advice on how to tackle a new project or ask for a raise.
  1. Open Doors and Expand Networks. A mentor can open doors within your company, in other companies, or onto a board, as well as offer connections or other professionals to get in touch with.
  1. Work better. With the help of a good mentor, you can work more efficiently with a clearer view of the future you are trying to achieve. This helps you feel more confident in your job, which leads to better job performance and more success along your chosen road.
If you are interested in finding a mentor, see the Graduate Business Career Services Department

How have mentor or other professional relationships shaped your academic and professional career?

 

 

Adapted from The Glass Hammer, 10 Reasons to Have a Mentor, especially Mid-Career, December 2009. Author: Andrew Newell

Click here to view the full article

All MBAs, Interview, Job Search, LinkedIn

A Recruiter’s Guide to Job Seeking

Ever wanted to get inside a recruiter’s head?  What is he or she thinking when you are relaying past experiences and attempting to answer those behavioral interview questions succinctly with the right amount of detail and passion?  What do recruiters deem the greatest interview mistakes and how are they using social media these days?  These are a few of the questions that were posed to the recruiters from Target, Buffalo Wild Wings, Moneygram, Datacard and CMD Associates at the Recruiter Panel lunch event held by Graduate Business Career Services on March 6th.

 Jennifer Finkelson (Buffalo Wild Wings), Dana Schulz (Target), Stefanie Haglend (Moneygram), Twanda DeBorde (CMD Associates), and Julie Serlin (Datacard Group) spent an hour and half with the full time MBA students providing interview tips and answering  an array of student questions.  Here is a quick summary of the do’s and don’ts when it comes to applying and interviewing at these  top corporations.

 DO:

 Come Prepared:  Be ready with a list of questions for your interviewer that show an understanding of the company values, recent newsworthy events, and overall culture.  Make sure you have stories (2 minutes max) ready to share when behavioral interview questions are asked. The scenarios you share should include quantifiable results that had a broad impact on your overall job.

Show Passion, Be Energized, Come Curious:  Recruiters want to feel your excitement for the position.   Show them your interest through answering questions passionately with the appropriate level of enthusiasm.   Let your natural curiosity shine through with questions and an attitude that shows you are ready to learn and contribute.

Be Confident:  Confidence is portrayed through good eye contact, a firm (not death grip) handshake, and succinct to the point answers.  Be confident, but be yourself. 

Complete your LinkedIn Profile: Julie Serlin, from Datacard, remarked that she keeps LinkedIn open on her desktop throughout the day.  She refers to it repeatedly to source candidates or to ensure that resumes are consistent with LinkedIn profiles.  An incomplete profile is akin to  an incomplete brand.  Make sure you have a professional looking photo,  a detailed experience section with 2-3 bullets for each position held in  the past 10 years, and a least a few recommendations.

 DON’T:

 Ask a Transparent, Inappropriate Question:  “How long until I get promoted” does not show passion or interest in the current position.  It does, however, portray overconfidence and, quite frankly, doesn’t make you overly likable.

 Get Caught without Enough Questions:  This comes with preparation.  There really is no such thing as too much research when it comes to interviewing.  Familiarize yourself with the company website, read articles in Forbes, WSJ, and Inc. to get up-to-date on news worthy events relating to the company or its competitors.  All of this research proves useful when it comes to the point of the interview where the candidate can pose questions.  When you meet with several representatives at a company, it’s crucial to have curious, insightful, unique questions for each interviewer.  The only way to be ready for this is to research.

 As always be true to yourself, be polished, be prepared, and be passionate.  Approach each interview as an opportunity to learn and grow, and always do your best.  Even if you don’t land the position you are applying for, you will have made an impact on the recruiter and hiring committee.  You want to make that impact a positive one.

 

Personal Development, Sales & Marketing

Can Healthcare Take Tips from a Marketers Playbook?

The last 2 days of February finally brought some long awaited (or not, depending on who you ask) snow.  The snowfall didn’t stop marketing professionals in the health care industry from coming on campus for a MN AMA Healthcare SIG event focusing on the impact of health care reform for marketers.  This second in a three part series featured a panel of healthcare/marketing professionals including Rich McCracken, Account Director at Haberman, a full service marketing agency, Kim Wiese, Vice President of Marketing at Optum, and David Moen, M.D., President and CEO at Fairview Physician Associates.  Daniel McLaughlin, Director of the Center for Health and Medical Affairs, moderated the panel and facilitated the conversation which touched on the overall mind shift that is necessary in the US culture, in terms of healthcare.  

Dr. Moen stressed the importance of educating and encouraging physicians to focus on patients’ needs rather than wants.  He passionately expressed the need for doctors to have the courage to hold up a mirror in front of patients enabling them to see what it is about their lifestyle that is negatively impacting their health.  We live in a culture that values quick fixes such as pills and elective surgeries.   Marketers are faced with the challenge of changing a population’s way of thinking and altering consumers’ way of living, not simply selling a product.  

Ms. Wiese spoke about Optum’s work in researching employee engagement and therefore saving healthcare costs.  They have invested time and money in farmers markets and healthy lifestyle campaigns.  While all of these initiatives have been positive and well received they have not directly decreased health care costs.  What research has shown is correct physician referrals have a larger impact on cost decreases.  She gave an example of 25% of the United States population suffering from back pain.  A large number of those patients are referred to an orthopedic surgeon and often eventually undergo  surgery.  The proper diagnosis may have been seeing a chiropractor, saving thousands of dollars and preventing unnecessary recovery from surgery.  

Rich McCracken gave a thought provoking comparison asking the audience to raise their hand if they have received any incentive email from a retailer this week (such as a Leap Year 20% off sale, etc.).  Every audience member held their hand up. He then asked how many have received an incentive email from their healthcare provider.  A few hands rose, but definitely not the majority.   As he wittily remarked, “If J.Crew were my doctor  I would receive weekly emails encouraging me to take the stairs at work, or skip dessert, etc.”  Unfortunately healthcare is not as simple as consumer goods and marketers are faced with HIPPA (health information privacy) regulations that prevent such contact.   

 Regardless of the obstacles, and there are many, the point remains; our healthcare system is broken and needs a good fix.  How to do it is complicated and merits lengthy discussion.  Thankfully the MN AMA Health care SIG is hosting this series to begin the dialogue.