B-School Bulletin: Biden To MBA Students: Fight Inequality

From left, Kellogg Dean Sally Blount, former Vice President Joe Biden, Northwestern Provost Jonathan Holloway and Kellogg Professor Ben Harris

Biden Challenges Kellogg Students To Address Growing Inequality

News from Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management 

“Railing against the growing divide between America’s haves and have nots, former Vice President Joe Biden challenged students to embrace policies to narrow the gap in a speech at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management on March 9.

“Biden, who praised the school and its dean, Sally Blount as national leaders in the business world, said the students can have a huge impact on society but warned that society itself could be at risk without change.

“’Name me one society that has been sustained with massive inequalities in income,’ he asked the crowd of about 800 people, who packed the Kellogg Global Hub. ‘Name me one.’”

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How To Solicit Negative Feedback When Your Manager Doesn’t Want To Give It

News from Harvard Business School

“In my role as a leadership coach, I consistently hear my clients say that they crave negative feedback from their managers in order to improve in their jobs, grow their careers, and achieve better business results. However, when it comes to soliciting negative feedback, they find that their managers would rather dismiss, deny, or delay it rather than speak directly, truthfully, and immediately about what isn’t working and what needs to change.

“That makes sense when you consider what may be at risk when giving (and receiving) negative feedback. In her article, How to Give Negative Feedback When Your Organization is Nice, my colleague Jennifer Porter cites barriers to giving negative feedback that include hurt feelings; a desire to maintain professionalism (rather than having things get ‘messy’); a lack of role models for giving negative feedback; the prospect of an emotional outburst; and not wanting to jeopardize the ‘nice’ culture.”

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Microsoft Chairman John Thompson at a March 7 campus talk at MIT Sloan

Microsoft Chairman’s Advice For MBA Students

News from MIT Sloan School of Management 

“In more than four decades at tech’s biggest companies, Microsoft Chairman John Thompson has encountered phenomenal success and faced a few disasters.

“He spent 28 years at IBM, rising to lead IBM Americas. He took a risk, leaving IBM at the dawn of the Internet age in 1999 to become CEO of Symantec, presiding over the ascendance of Norton AntiVirus software.

“Now he invests in early-stage companies and education initiatives. A 1983 MIT Sloan Fellows graduate, he visited campus March 7 for an iLead talk, explaining how to blend humanity with power. And how it helped avert those disasters.”

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Companies With More Female Execs Make More Money — Here’s Why

News from University of Arizona Eller College of Management 

Sheryl Sandberg

“Among the world’s largest 500 companies, only 10.9% of senior executives are women, according to Weber Schandwick’s Gender Forward Pioneer Index. A significant share of the companies, 37%, have all-male leadership teams, while an additional 21% have only one woman.

“That’s their loss, because there’s substantial evidence that gender diversity at the management level enhances a company’s performance.

“While researchers are still trying to figure out exactly why companies with more women at the top make more money, here’s what they know so far.”

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Beyond Coaching Psychobabble: Let The Buyer Beware

 News from INSEAD

“I find myself increasingly intimidated by people in the executive coaching world. They give me a sense of unease about my own abilities. Many in the profession claim to be able ‘to unlock clients’ dormant potential and to provide them with a sense of self-fulfillment.’ As these coaches seem to have so much to offer, how can I reach the Olympian heights they profess to dwell in? With their amazing skills, they say they can ‘deepen their clients’ learning, improve their performance and enhance their quality of life, both personally and professionally.’ It must be true because they present glowing testimonials of clients who, thanks to their life-changing interventions, have become phenomenal leaders.

“Amidst the boom of executive coaches, there appears to be an even more elevated type of coach: the master coach. These remarkable professionals differentiate themselves from the pack by being ‘always on the lookout for the things their clients don’t want to see or don’t want to hear.’ They are their clients’ early warning system, the very key to their self-actualization. These coaches bring their clients to places they never thought they would be able to reach.”

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