❶ An MBA teaches you the dynamics of business

Like any field, business is rich with complex underlying dynamics. Marketing, economics, accounting, finance, strategy, are all elements of highly complex, and often intertwined, dynamics that move business forward. 

And like any field— engineering, medicine, architecture, law—understanding these underlying dynamics involves careful study, which is what the MBA offers. The emergence of the internet and access to data/information/intelligence is effectively redefining how we do business. 

Corporations have to now operate in a highly transparent environment where decisions, and indecisions, are scrutinized with lightning speed and trillion dollar consequences.  Understanding business and all the factors affecting business conduct ensures that the odds are with you in making better quality management decisions in your career.  

"Going through an MBA is a huge exercise in increasing the amount of workload and information you can comfortably take on."

❷ Teaches you the language of leaders

Common language is important especially when the stakes are high.  Every environment where decisions need to be made quickly and the consequences are high, you will find a unique language rich with code words and gestures.  For example: surgical theatres, military operations, a pilot’s cabin.

Likewise, business leaders whose decisions impact jobs, the economy, share prices, and corporate risk, also have their own language.  This language is rich with words that have embedded in them an understanding of issues, challenges and a way forward; an understanding offered in the MBA.  Mention “Blue Ocean” to someone who has their MBA, and they will get it. 

They understand what it means and they can then anticipate where the conversation is going.  Without an MBA and without having gone through the process to understand and dissect the “Blue Ocean”, it will take you a lot more time to catch up to the same level of understanding—time that you will most likely not have if you get to a leadership role.

❸ Enhances your capacity to work

The volume of work that you face when going through an MBA is astounding.  There is no easy way to say this—it is a lot of work.  Between the assignments, readings, case preparation, projects, and job search, you are easily putting in a good twelve or more hours of work, seven days a week. Going through an MBA is a huge exercise in increasing the amount of workload and information you can comfortably take on.

As it turns out, this serves a purpose.  Business leaders, whether they are CEOs of multi-nationals or managers of a small team, are often overloaded.  There is too much to do and not enough time. One of the biggest drivers to their effectiveness is the ability to manage the volume of work and information coming to them. 

Having worked with leaders who were both MBAs and non-MBAs, I witnessed this come to life. Where most non-MBA leaders were stressed because of the hours, or the number of things they need to be mindful of while pushing to achieve annual goals, the leaders with MBAs tended to sail through with relative ease.    

Leading in business, or going through an MBA for that matter, is not easy or for the weak willed.  However the MBA offers an excellent opportunity to prepare yourself for demanding business roles in your career.