Tuesday, February 3, 2009

I'm getting one MBA and 2 PhD's

If all goes well, in just 11 months they will give me a a really expensive piece of paper with fancy writing on it and the WFU logo, which will allow me to add "MBA" to my resume.  And hopefully along the way I will have gained a good bit of knowledge on topics such as these and these, and a few others from May to December.

Two courses that aren't on the course-list but it feels like we're getting PhD level exposure are corporate layoffs and corporate leadership.  I'll start with the later.  

I don't usually write about my company on this blog, but thought it might be appropriate for a couple reasons:
  1. Leadership seems to be in short supply these days, and our Vice-Chairman is truly an outstanding motivation speaker about leadership topics.
  2. Education is so important to our Vice Chairman that he endowed the Business School at his alma mater.
  3. This talk was given as part of a leadership series at the graduate school at NC State, so it's speaking to students.  (NOTE - It's about 65 mins long, but worth a watch)
This talk does a really nice job of highlighting why attitude and motivation are so important, especially during difficult times.  He provides some excellent examples of how the company dealt with the Internet Bubble, as well as how they realized changes in the world and took actions to reposition the company to better compete in the new realities of the world.   Finally, he talks about how he uses frequent goal setting and open discussion to build and maintain culture and focus through good times and bad times.

One the flip side, I'm also getting a PhD in watching how companies, their leaders and their employees deal with layoffs on a massive scale.  This isn't Organization Behavior, this is Laying Off People 101.  I have two Senior Executives on my team who are dealing with layoffs of nearly 20%.  I have one classmate that luckily was on the right side of a 33% cutback, and another that is going through a major merger and restructuring.  And this is just my team.  The stories are fairly consistent from the rest of my classmates and their teams.  

While I don't get any credit for these two additional topics, they are definitely adding to my list of experiences and will hopefully be valuable at some time in the future.