27 September 2023

You Don’t Need An MBA

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Reviewed by Rama Gaind.

By Alicia McKay, Major Street Publishing, $29.99.

You will feel like taking up the challenge to lead differently after reading this book.

A facilitator, executive coach and corporate trainer, Alicia McKay has built her life, career and practice on strategy: thinking differently, making good choices and bringing change to life.

In this ground-breaking book, she outlines another path to the classic MBA. Alicia offers a level up “in how you think, what you see, how you act and what you get done. A new way of thinking about leadership.” This doesn’t mean she’s asking you to tap into strengths and get better at what you already do; she’s asking you to put some of that down, and stretch in a new and uncomfortable direction.

While there are no promises of transformation, or that you’ll get all the answers you need, she promises to open your mind to something new and help you start to stretch.

According to Forbes, fewer than 10 per cent of leaders exhibit strategic skills.
“Herein lies the problem: what we’re teaching is great, but it isn’t enough. Keen professionals spend, on average, three years getting a classic MBA, but half of it is out of date before they’re done. We’re not spending enough time teaching the stuff that never goes out of fashion: how to think and see things differently and respond strategically to change.”

MBAs are old news. Alicia McKay teaches leaders to focus on the things they don’t teach you at business school. Leaders are made, not born. You don’t need an MBA to be an effective leader.

They need to get smart, be strategic about the next step and expand their range, to face a complex and uncertain future. They need paradox: clear values and open minds, high performance and meaningful space, dedication to detail and big picture perspective. They need to ask different questions, design different options and most of all, they need to do that with others on the same journey.

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