Just recently, I was blessed to have attended my first Net Impact conference in Portland…WOW! The sessions, the people, the memories are far to exhausting to record in this blog. One thing I can confidently say is that Net Impact gave me a new hope for business and a new passion to pursue during my MBA career. I was treated to a short session on the value of an MBA by Max Anderson, the co-author of “The MBA Oath”. The book and the session starts with an inspiring message. “As a manager, my purpose is to serve the greater good by bringing people and resources together to create value that no single individual can create alone”. (Anderson, 2010) I was, and still am, completely captivated by this message. In light of how I now view sustainability (see blog above) this message inspired a new way of understanding sustainability. It brings a message of hope, of meaning, of value to a lost leadership profession. The actual oath itself encompasses words like integrity, society, faith, spirit, humility, honesty and transparency. These are all intangible characteristics that do not hold a monetary value, yet hold so much value in the qualities of a good leader. This oath is something that I will hang proudly bedside my MBA degree. I know that taking this oath, freely and upon my honor, brings a sense of pride to my education because I know in the long run the sustainable business enterprise will rely on these values.
I truly believe that we are in a time of need, a time of need where leaders are once again idolized for their courage to do good, and to set the right path for others. With the recent financial crisis, the confidence in our MBA students in general has been severely damaged. We have lost the connection with society in doing what’s best for all by greedily consuming for one. It is important that we propel from our educational experience as professionals once again, having a sense of pride and honor for our innate ability to lead.
After hearing a soulful performance from Max, he asked us to participate in what they called “silent communication”. So often we communicate with sound, but this activity enforced a “no talking” rule where each individual in the room was invited to answer a question on the wall with a marker. Here are some examples:
It was unbelievable to see how much thought and genuine interest people took in this activity. Everyone was collaborating to build on each other’s ideas, always embracing one another while adding their own personal flavor to the mix.