Business school is great but there are many things you can’t learn in school. You’d have to go into the real world, try things out on your own and find your sweet spot. That’s why as important as it is to get a formal education, you must also invest in self-education.
So, if you’re banking that going to and graduating from a business school is all that it is for you to succeed in business, here are 10 lessons that you’ll learn in real life and not in the four walls of a school.
1. How to be a great business leader
The fact that you attend a business school does not mean you’ll be a great business leader. According to a Harvard Business Review study of the 100 best-performing CEOs in the world, only 24 percent had MBAs.
Being a great business leader requires that you know how to work with people and knowing how to work with people is not a natural talent in most people. You must learn, develop and improve your people skills if you truly want to be a great leader. Without people, your business cannot grow successfully
2. There is no single path to success
There’s no single formula you can follow to be successful. You have to follow your own path to achieve your dreams. No one — not a teacher, a mentor or even a billionaire business leader — can tell you how to create your best future. You have to figure that out for yourself. One person’s vision can’t be duplicated and remade by someone else.
3. How to develop quality relationships
It does not matter what you know if you don’t have people who will create access for you. Access is the single most important thing about achieving substantial things in life. You may understand the technical aspects of how to grow a business but if you do develop quality relationships with others, you are going nowhere. This fact is not taught in business school but it is a skill you need to master to help you reach the greatest height as a business leader.
4. Every interaction is a negotiation
Business school curriculum may include negotiation strategies but you’ll never learn that every interaction is a negotiation. Each time two or more people interact, there’s a form of negotiation going on. It is either you are trying to win the other party to your side or the other party is trying to win you to their side or both parties are trying to win each other to their own side. Whatever the case may be, success as a business leader requires that you understand that every interaction is a negotiation.
5. The importance of caring
Les Brown, World-Renowned Motivational Speaker & Entrepreneur, popularly said, “people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” This is so true and caring is not a skill that is taught in a business school. As you aspire to become a great business leader, you must understand that caring about your customers, your employees and vendors is a priority if you want to get the best out of others. When people know that you truly care about them, they go all out to make things happen for you.[Great Read: How to Attract Quality Customers When You Are New to the Marketplace]
6. How to hire the best people
Hiring the best people is one of the non-negotiable tasks that you’ll have to do if you truly want to become a great business leader but it’s also one of the most difficult things to do. Get it right with hiring and your business is booming. Get it wrong and your business takes a nosedive. Knowing who and when to hire is a skill that is usually not taught in business schools.
7. Failure is part of the equation
Business school will make you feel like once you learn the technicalities, you will never run into problems. But failure is a part of life that’s a given. It does not matter how smart you are, you are prone to fail in some of your dealings as a business leader. If you make a mistake or fail, pick yourself up, learn your lessons and keep moving.
8. You’ll have to figure some things out on the fly
There’s no doubt that business models are important. But sometimes you just have to wing it. There will be times when you come up against an unexpected issue or problem or a one-off opportunity. You’re going to have to figure out some things as you go. This is why the ability to think on one’s feet will always be essential to entrepreneurs.[Great Read: How to Start Charging Customers What You Truly Deserve]
9. How to outmaneuver larger competitors
You don’t have to be a giant to win. Being a small and nimble business has its advantages. But it’s up to each entrepreneur to see the strengths and specific advantages their business can utilize to outmaneuver larger competitors. Look for ways you can offer something the bigger guys can’t without going to a head-to-head competition.
10. Generating ideas that will disrupt
All entrepreneurs dream of disrupting their industry, but few ever do because it’s rare to come up with ideas that will cause sweeping change. Business school may teach you that disruption begins with defining a solution to a problem and then finding a way to add value to customers’ experience. It sounds simple, but finding a way to break with the status quo never is.
Thank you for reading.
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