Most Managers do not Know How to Manage

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What’s worse, is that many management schools (universities, for the most part) do not know how to instruct leaders to lead.  Simply ask any new MBA graduate if the person feels ‘ready’.  Or, look at the sorry statistics of MBA grads*.   For a contrast, listen to the comments of two graduates of a recent practical business leadership course (which we will discuss below), both of whom had earned MBAs previously:

(Compared to my MBA, this event was) “an in-the-trenches, core of strategies and tactics for real businesses in real time.”

(Compared to my MBA, this event was) “chock-full of useful everyday strategies for management, leadership and life.”

CCCC, an Ottawa-based CEO coaching company has guided business leaders in Canada, U.S., Mexico, Austria, India and Russia over the past decade.  As a conclusion to this 10-year endeavor, and discovering repeatable concerns, (leader-to-leader, company-to-company, and country-to-country), CCCC launched a one-time, face-to-face, “Practical MBA” course last January running for three months.  It attracted Ottawa students (as well as on-line business people from London ON, and three from Alberta).  

Due to the demand of the students themselves, this course will no longer be a ‘one-time-only’ event.  This September, the course will be repeated, with sign-ups, already, from Ottawa, Brooks Alberta, and Guadalajara, Mexico.

But, back to the main issue.  Why do traditional MBA schools not prepare future leaders so well for the rigors of everyday problems of the corporation?  While the Mintzberg reference below offers many reasons, the simplest one to grasp is that traditional MBA schools are run by universities with long-term, sometimes lofty, theoretical underpinnings.  There is a race among various schools with the aim to be better than the others, yet stay within a familiar framework.  We suggest that it is the unwillingness to depart from the familiar framework that has allowed the content of the MBA to stagnate and get behind current leadership needs.

During our 10 years of coaching, we found the most common concerns of leaders – all of which the PMBA answers – to be as follows:

•    How do I find the right people?  Our 30% hiring failure rate is not acceptable.

•    How can I tell the real leadership potential of my junior aspiring managers?

•    How can I change the mood across this company to be more positive?

•    How do we get consistency, instead of dramatic ups and downs every week?

•    How do I make my people truly accountable?

•    How do I delegate in a way that works?

•    Why do some people always get upset (instead of happy) when we pay out bonuses?

•    How can we make planning, strategy and structure connect?

•    How do we ensure we are all following the right priorities for our business?

•    How do we improve sales?

•    How do we fit people into the right jobs?

•    Our interoffice communications stinks!  How do we make it work right, today – and, into the future?

•    How do we manage that rotten apple who’s been with us for 20 years, already?

•    How do I keep control of the numbers so that I am always on top of the company situation?

The next blogs will address 7 of these concern.  You, the reader, may suggest the challenges of greatest concern to you – either those listed above or your pet peeve.  I will listen to you and in the blogs, address the issues deemed most relevant.  No more prolonged sales pitch – just how-to-management information.  

Since today will be our one chosen opportunity to pitch the CCCC Practical MBA, here are its highlights:

•    Duration:  5 September till 30 November 2013

•    Time: Approximately 1-1/3 days per week

•    Price: $10,000 in stages, including meals and 7 overnight stays

•    13 books are included, provided in soft format

•    Given by practicing business leaders, successful in the high-tech world

•    Videos of each live session, available, if business priorities have you miss any session

•    Class is limited to 10 students

For more information, go to:

See you at the next blog,

Bill Caswell

*Mintzberg, Henry, Managers, Not MBAs, Berrett-Koehler Publishers, San Francisco CA, 2004

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