Posted by: Louis Lavelle on May 15, 2009
It’s the season of commencement, a time of endings and beginnings, and a lot of really smart people are putting a lot of thought into telling new MBA graduates what they want to hear, what they need to hear, what they shouldn’t hear. Among them: JP Morgan’s James Dimon at Harvard Business School (Harvard MBA Profile), Abbott CEO Miles White at Kellogg (Kellogg MBA Profile), and Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus at Wharton (Wharton MBA Profile).
Now along comes John Baldoni, author, blogger, consultant, and motivational speaker, with his own two cents. In a recent column about what he would say to the MBA class of 2009, Baldoni offers many of the usual bromides, advising graduating MBAs to be proud of their accomplishments. But he also suggest things like “check your ego,” “honor integrity,” and “respect your employees”—I guess he’s assuming that everyone at commencement will actually have a job where they can apply these rules of the road.
It seems to me that Baldoni is, in not so many words, advising the nation’s new MBAs to, well, stop being MBAs, or at least the caricature of MBAs that has dominated the business world until now. To be fair, the notion of MBAs as a group being ego-driven, honorless, and lacking respect for those below them on the food chain is a bit over the top. But whatever.
So what does everyone think of Baldoni’s advice to the MBA class of 2009?