Showing posts with label MBA. Show all posts
Showing posts with label MBA. Show all posts

Friday, April 20, 2012

13 Characteristics Of Bad Bosses

bad boss
Bad behavior towards employee
If you're a manager, you've probably experienced the sensation of people not liking you -- but does that mean you are a bad boss? Not necessarily. Your goal, after all, is to implement the company's vision on the front-lines of the battle. If you're going to be, as one famous manager once quipped, "The Decider," people will resent you, no doubt. But as a boss you also have to do your job, and we all know that sometimes means doing things your subordinates don't like. So let us help you out. Here are 13 ways of knowing whether you're a bad boss: 

1. People are afraid of you. In some workplaces, managers are feared even by employees who don't know them - because their reputations precede them. If this is you, there's a high probability that you suck: no ifs, ands, or buts about it. 

2. You micromanage. Good managers manage, bad managers micromanage. If you're not able to persuade or convince people of a vision and instead regularly have to crack a whip to achieve results, either the team is rotten to the core or you have failed to properly motivate. (These ideas are not necessarily mutually exclusive). True discipline, as the saying goes, must come through liberty. If you fear that your team doesn't function without you looking over their shoulders, the problem may not be them: Maybe it's you. 

 3. Stress controls you; you don't control stress. There is some truth to the saying that there are no stressful situations, only stressful reactions to situations. Nevertheless, it's normal for all of us to react somehow to stress and for our emotions to manifest themselves. The difference between a good manager and a bad manager, however, is that a bad manager sends signals that the stressful circumstances are controlling him or her and not the inverse. This isn't to say that a good manager need exude the emotional output of a Scandinavian fisherman; instead, good managers maintain control and don't allow stress to dictate their behavior. Bad managers do the opposite. 

4. You create real and perceived distance between yourself and your team. Humans detest hierarchies and those at the bottom resent being reminded of their place within them. The best managers sit with their teams in a symbolic gesture of solidarity and their behavior demonstrates genuine solidarity. The worst managers sit in solitary offices, usually with doors closed, and behave accordingly. 

5. You're unavailable. A celebrated CEO once told me, "A good manager does his work at home. (S)he should never bring his/her work to the office." What he was getting at was that good managers are available to their reports at a moment's notice. If you're unavailable and inaccessible to your reports then you suck, regardless of how much you are appreciated by your superiors. 

 6. You don't know your reports. A good proxy question to ask yourself about a report is: "If he/she could have any job in the world, what would it be?" Knowing this answer means you understand the person's passions, dreams and ambitions. If you can't answer that, in England they'd call you a "hoover." 

7. You have no investment your reports' futures. Even if your report isn't working out and you have to remove him/her from the position, your primary concern should be for the person's well being. If someone is unhappy, it's usually bad for the team and bad for the individual; letting the individual go is likely in his or her best interest. If you find yourself simply wishing someone off your team because they're an obstacle to achieve your goals, you should probably question whether or not what the problem is a result of a skill-set mismatch, personality conflict or proper motivation. Only two of those three are solvable. 

 8. You manage down more than you manage up. Front-line managers often have the unfortunate task of mediating the tension between senior management's wishes and the demands of the front-line employees. Senior level managers operate on the assumption that they know better because they have access to more information. Front-line employees often feel they know better because they deal with the products and clients on a regular basis and receive feedback in real-time. Average managers simply take what's passed down to them and implement at all cost. Good managers collect data, build arguments and attempt to influence the decision makers. In addition, good managers find clever means by which to represent their team's interests as the best interests of the senior managers. If you find yourself as a facilitator of one-way communication, it may be that you're not stepping up to the challenge. 

9. You don't deliver tough messages. One way to avoid being a bad boss is to try to be loved, but being loved is not the same as being respected. Good managers deliver tough messages -- but they do so within the context of a relationship built on trust. Without trust, tough messages are in the worst case misinterpreted as open hostility and in the best case, simply ignored. When delivered with trust, tough messages have a higher likelihood of hitting the mark. 

10. You throw others under the bus. If you're a manager, the buck must stop with you. Whether you're explaining why your sales team didn't hit its targets, or you're justifying a decision by upper-management to change an incentive plan, the best managers accept responsibility for what happens on their watch. In the short term, it may bring relief to blame people or circumstances for your short-comings, but in the long run, avoiding responsibility will hurt your credibility on both ends of the totem poll. If the idea of accepting responsibility terrifies you, remember that how you react to a crisis is often more telling than the fact that the crisis occurred. Reacting to mishaps is the good manager's chance to shine. 

11. You don't read about management. Your MBA is not a black-belt, and your education is never finished. Good management is an art in which a teacher never stops being a student. No matter how long you've been in the game, your skill-set still needs to be constantly refined and your assumptions need to be questioned. 

12. You genuinely seek feedback. And you create a culture where giving that feedback to you is acceptable, even encouraged. A senior Google executive once said, "Feedback is a gift: sometimes it is a gift we're fortunate to give, and other times it's a gift we're fortunate to receive." You don't have to accept all feedback at face value, but if you haven't been made to feel uncomfortable through introspection lately, you may be a Hootie and the Blowfish Album away from being pure suckage. 

 13. You eschew vulnerability. Managers send signals about how willing they are to connect, and they are most open when they allow themselves to be vulnerable. Vulnerability, it should be noted, does not equate self-doubt or a lack of confidence. Instead, vulnerability is exposing the most basic elements of the human condition. If you're not allowing yourself to be vulnerable, then you're preventing the formation of connections with those who work closest to you. Bad managers abhor vulnerability for fear of appearing weak, while good managers use vulnerability as a tool to build trust and meaningful relationships. Managing a sales team is not the same as managing a boiler room; good management is necessarily context dependent. Nevertheless, one final truism is that bad managers (enforcers) have reports who work for them, while good managers (enablers) work for their reports. The question now becomes what type of manager are you? 

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Friday, April 13, 2012

Is An MBA Right For You?

Thinking for right education
See the opportunities that an MBA degree could offer.

Thinking about going back to school to earn your Master of Business Administration (MBA)?

Looking at new employment numbers, there may be no time like the present.

A recent analysis of career placement data for 2009 and 2010 by U.S. News revealed that 75.7 percent of 2010 MBA graduates were hired within three months of graduation, up from 70.8 percent in 2009.

It's Time to Earn Your MBA. Find the Right Business School Now.

Think an MBA might benefit you? Join us as we explore seven MBA specializations that could help you climb the corporate ladder. In addition to required core courses, most business schools allow you to concentrate on one of these key disciplines:

    * Business Administration
    * Health Care Administration
    * Management
    * Human Resources (HR)
    * Marketing/Communications
    * Technology
    * Accounting

Keep reading to see if one of these MBA specializations is right for you.

#1 - Business Administration

Business administration is the meat and potatoes of business school, or what most schools call the core curriculum. In this program, you would take courses like accounting, communications, economics, HR, marketing, and technology. You'll also likely work independently and in groups, pouring over case studies and giving presentations to your peers.

Potential career paths: Mastering business administration can help you develop a broad-based background that could help prepare you to move into any number of avenues in today's multi-faceted business world. An administrative services manager, as one example, has an average income of $81,530, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Another position that many MBA students hope to rise into eventually is general manager, a position with an average yearly compensation of $110,550.*

#2 - Health Care Administration

Getting an MBA with an emphasis in health care administration could give you an in-depth understanding of the country's biggest and fastest growing industry. Health care specific classes might cover the sweeping governmental reform that is changing the way health care is delivered. You also might study the technological advances that are helping move electronic records online while also debating issues like patients' privacy rights.

Potential career paths: Whether you're interested in overseeing pharmaceutical manufacturing at a large plant overseas, working as a fundraising manager at a major hospital, or helping lead a team of sales professionals in the medical device industry, there is no shortage of exciting management options to pursue. Hospital health services managers have an average yearly compensation of $96,660, according to the Department of Labor.*

#3 - Management

Earning your MBA with a management specialization could give you a top-to-bottom view of everything and everyone in an organization. You'll likely learn about general management principles while also studying methods that are unique to different disciplines like heath care or technology. Typical courses include risk management, leadership and team-building strategies, and project and supply chain management. Along the way you might build key problem-solving and communication skills that you could put to work right away.

Potential career paths: An MBA with a focus on management could be a great calling card to employers who are looking for employees who have what it takes to grow into senior roles. One route to success would be to start as a project manager and work your way up the ladder. Positions like distribution manager and purchasing manager have average yearly incomes of $85,470 and $96,910 respectively, according to the Department of Labor.*

#4 - Human Resources (HR)

This particular career-focused specialization is a good match for MBA students with strong interpersonal skills. While an undergraduate degree in HR is a helpful gateway to entry-level positions, earning an MBA with a focus on HR is a fantastic way to gain an understanding of complex issues like labor law and union issues. This type of program generally includes coursework in collective bargaining and labor economics, which are key areas top-level HR pros must master.

Potential career paths: An advanced degree like this one is increasingly important and "highly recommended" when trying to land senior HR positions, according to the Department of Labor. Some students move into a related career track as a contract negotiator or mediator, while others gravitate to a more traditional HR track. HR managers have an average annual wage of $105,510, according to the Department of Labor.*

#5 - Marketing/Communications

Identifying a company or organization's competitive advantage and sustaining it is at the heart of this MBA specialization. By studying marketing and communications, you could learn how to design, sell, package, and spread products and messages to your intended audience, whether it's locally or globally. Along the way you're likely to study everything from advertising and sales to promotions and public relations (PR).

Potential career paths: Specializing in marketing/communications while getting your MBA could be great prep for a career in public relations, marketing, sales, or advertising. Management roles in these areas require smart, business-savvy professionals with strong communication skills. According to the Department of Labor, PR managers have an average income of $101,850 while marketing managers average at $120,070.*

#6 - Technology

The timing for getting an MBA with a focus on technology couldn't be better, according to QS World MBA Tour, which reported a 39 percent spike in MBA hiring for the technology sector in 2010. Getting an MBA that focuses on technology could help you to stay relevant in this rapidly evolving industry, particularly if you have an undergraduate background in computer or information technology (IT), though it's not required. In this type of program, you could learn how to manage a technology team while studying strategies for a networked economy.

Potential career paths: While many students move into technology product management, you could also be prepared to work in related areas like mergers and acquisitions for IT firms. The computer software industry is another exciting career possibility for those with a technology-focused MBA. According to the Department of Labor, the average compensation for software publisher managers is $136,580.*

#7 - Accounting

Getting an MBA with an emphasis in accounting can give you a strong understanding of how a company's bottom line impacts its operating and strategic decisions. Want to advance to a certified public accountant (CPA) or work in the finance department of a corporation? This degree could help.

Potential career paths: An in-depth understanding of accounting theory and practice is great preparation to work as a CPA or manager in the financial services industry. According to QS World MBA Tour, the finance sector hired 22 percent more MBA grads in 2010 and expects to increase hiring by 11 percent in 2011. Financial managers have an average yearly compensation of $113,730, according to the Department of Labor.*

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