Today I enjoyed reading interviews with various MBA graduates in the latest alumni magazine from the University of Toronto's Rotman business school (which is one of the better business schools and one of the better alumni magazines).
Although MBAs are degrees of great complexity and controversy, I was struck by the simplicity of the grads’ comments when asked the most important skill required for their job. Here are some of their answers:
VP international marketing: “Collaboration.”
Director of Advertising Development: “I must be able to influence people to collaborate.”
President, country manager: “Active two-way communication; the ability to bring together a number of diverse views.”
Information Technology co-ordinator: “Strong communication skills… as an administrator in a foreign country, it is doubly important to ensure that what you are saying/hearing is not misunderstood or altered by cultural/language perception filters.”
Finally, I liked what one guy had to say when asked for his “words of wisdom:” “Never underestimate the importance of other people in your success.”
Clearly, not all MBAs are the prima donnas that conventional wisdom makes them out to be. Some of them actually get it.