Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Leaving Hollywood and Its Tyrannical Leaders Behind

by Kyle Hebenstreit, MBA'16

The ability to write in a way that inspires and fosters teamwork is a trait of great leadership. Students in the Kelley MBA Leadership Academy, in collaboration with the Gotham Writers Workshop, have produced a series of blog posts to demonstrate these skills.

Hollywood is a weird place to work. Maybe it’s fictional characters like Ari Gold, Buddy Ackerman or Les Grossman that glorify the notion of an office tyrant, but there’s a celebrated culture of intensely demanding and, frankly, disrespectful bosses. Schadenfreude-fueled tales of misconduct drifted through the halls of talent agencies and studios where I worked.

There’s the time the agent publicly went ballistic on his assistant for not turning all of the Perrier bottles east, as requested. Or the time an executive didn’t like his assistant’s tie, so he took a pair of scissors and cut it in half to make what I’m sure was an important point. Or the time the head of the agency stood on his assistant’s desk, golf club in hand, screaming, “I don’t pay you to think!”

An explanation for why people act this way is for another blog, or cultural anthropology dissertation. What I’m trying to illustrate is that this is where I started my education on what it means to be a manager, a coach, a leader.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Perfect Your On-The-Job Elevator Pitch

by Kendell Brown, Associate Director of Alumni Career Services 

Kendell Brown
By now you are likely familiar with the idea of an elevator pitch. It’s a concise summary of an individual’s brand. I like to think of it as a 30-second commercial highlighting someone’s strengths and leverage-able skills. We talk about elevator pitches all of the time in job search circles. It can be used as an intro at a coffee chat, it’s the foundation for an answer to the “Tell me about yourself” question and if you happen to see a hiring manager on an elevator, well you figure it out.  Bottom line, they are useful and you can use them throughout your job search.

The thing is, once people find a new job, they typically abandon their elevator pitch. The thinking is, “I’ve got a job, why do I still need an elevator pitch?” If you take a more expansive view of an elevator pitch and define it as not just a tool to help me get a job, but instead as a professional executive summary you’ll see that you can use an elevator pitch in a variety of settings.

Entrepreneurs and salespeople often have a pitch ready to go, because they recognize that they cannot let an opportunity pass that could lead to an investment or sale.

But what about you, the cubicle jockey who’s just trying to get ahead—do you need an elevator pitch? Yes! Just because you have a job, doesn’t mean that you are not still trying to sell yourself. Let’s say that you are working on a big project, it’s your No. 1 priority and you feel as if you are really rocking it. Sure your manager and everyone on your team knows how well things are going and they recognize that you’re the reason. But what about your manager’s manager? Or the VP that your director reports to?

Thursday, April 7, 2016

What I Learned as a GLOBASE Participant and Leader

GLOBASE Guatemala 2016

by Kyle DeLapp, MBA’16

Kyle DeLapp
Over the course of my two years in the Kelley Full-Time MBA Program, I've seen many examples of why this is a world-class program. The best example of this is the Global Business and Social Enterprise (GLOBASE) program.

I was fortunate enough to be involved as a participant and as a leader for GLOBASE Guatemala. It was one of the major reasons I came to Kelley and both years I found myself learning more about the world, how business works in different cultures and geographic regions, and how I fit into the mix. Here are a few things I took away from my experiences:

As a participant:

Business is Ubiquitous

Before Kelley, I owned a perfume and fragrance business. Throughout my time there, I built relationships around the world and ran a supply chain spanning from China to the U.S. that ended in Dubai and Moscow. While in Guatemala, I was able to bring much of that expertise to the table and applied it to challenges my client was having importing products from China, Brazil and Spain. Interestingly enough, whether it's being practiced in a New York High rise, a developing nation, or in a volcanic crater, business is pervasive and instilled in every part of our lives. Sure, every business has unique attributes that create different challenges and opportunities, but the core operations span oceans, nations and cultures.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Take the Plunge

by Rhea Mahato, MBA’16

Rhea Mahato
Great leadership includes the ability to write in a way that inspires and fosters teamwork. In collaboration with the Gotham Writers Workshop, students in the Kelley MBA Leadership Academy have produced a series of blog posts to demonstrate these skills.

“Go make us proud,” I heard my mom say as she bid me farewell at the airport. Going to live in a completely new country and pursuing an international MBA was as enthralling as it was intimidating. As my flight landed in Chicago and I looked outside the window, I realized “No going back now.” In India, I thought I was going to live for two years in a small city and I was preparing myself for a hectic two years of academic rigor.

Dream the impossible and plunge in its pursuit. I wanted to be a leader affecting sustainable economic and environmental change in the world. When I was packing to come to the Kelley Full-Time MBA Program, I believed the global exposure and business learning at Kelley would give me the skills to be able to do that after I graduate.

And boy—I was so right. 

My leadership journey started right from the minute I walked in these halls.