Lately I have been taking the time to sit back and reflect a little bit about some of the things that I have experienced in my life. One of the things that I have been thinking about is how international experience has benefitted me. My father’s occupation was one that required him to relocate about once every three years. Normally we would live in either Germany or the U.S.A. As a child growing up under these circumstances I was able to see and live in a lot of different places. This provided me with a wide variety of first hand international experience.
I have been contemplating and evaluating how this has helped me develop as a person. Yes, I thought, I have seen a lot but what is it good for? I think I have come up with at least somewhat of an explanation to this question. From the discipline game theory I recently learned of the concept of ‘bounded reality’. This says that the rationality of individuals is limited by the information they have, the cognitive limitations of their minds, and the finite amount of time they have to make decisions. As an academic I naturally strive to make rational decisions and I try to equip myself with all the tools necessary to make those decisions. I have come to the conclusion that at least one of the three limitations to rationality is at least to some degree under my control. Knowing this makes me appreciate international experience much more.
International experience is not just going to visit another country or interacting with individuals from different cultures. Hopefully it is the broadening of one’s own perspective. The wonderful thing about different cultures is that they contain varying viewpoints which from an outsider’s point of view is like looking into and experiencing a completely different world. An outsider’s world after this is forever changed as this experience has added new elements to his or her own perspective.
I accept the fact that I will never know everything and I will never be 100% rational. Even so, I do have the ability to attempt to maximize my rationality with regard to the world that I am in and that world is an international one. So in conclusion international experience has enabled me to broaden my perspective and hopefully allowed me to be a more rational individual, especially in the context of our globalizing world today.
Who is a leader?
‘Be a leader’ or ‘hone your leadership skills’ are common jargons we hear in our day to day lives. It might not be a surprising fact for most of us that it is one of the hot selling topics in today’s world. It is the central theme of most of the self-help books and courses out there in the market. Again, I won’t be wrong to assume that all of us at some point or the other in our lives have made use of one of those books or courses. But have you ever asked yourself the question - ‘Who is a leader?’
Today I decided to ask myself the question. After musing over this for a long time, I came up with the following:
A true leader should be someone who is capable of leading his team differently, as per the situation warrants. The first situation is when everything is going fine and the team is inching towards victory without major troubles. The true leader should then be ready to play the second fiddle to his teammates. He should let his teammates’ march ahead and let them collect the credits for their hard work.
The second situation is when things are not happening as per the plan and the team is facing hardships and is finding it difficult to advance towards its goal. The true leader should then lead the team from the front, guiding the teammates with expertise and skills, making use of his or her rich experience.
How many of the so-called-leaders-of-today fit this description? Does today’s management education help bring to life the true-leader lying dormant within us? Is there room for improvement? Let us contemplate this thought and aim at becoming the true leaders of tomorrow…
In this week’s blog entry I will be sharing my thoughts on Leadership, a hot topic around the EBS campus.
What is a leader? This question has occupied many hours in the lives of academic researchers, who have tried to discover the characteristics and traits that a leader possesses in an attempt to identify future leaders. As I am not one of these researchers, I can only offer you my opinion of what leadership is by describing who I would be happy to follow.
I would like my leader to possess skill in the area that they are leading me in, in other words I would like them to be excellent at what they do so that I can actually learn something from them. On the other hand I would like them to be honest and have integrity as there are many situations in business and life where a portion of the truth is merely swept under the carpet and only half truths with the positive information are communicated. This is where I believe a leader should stand out from the rest and should be able to tell the truth and at the same time be brave enough to take responsibility for both their good and bad decisions. A strong, fair and admirable leader is one that can stand up in front of everyone and admit having been wrong or incorrect, but still thereafter hold their head high and be tough and driven enough to learn from the failure and continue to lead in a confident and firm manner. At the end of the day, not everyone in our society can or wants to take on the responsibility and the associated accountability of being a leader.
The ideal that a leader should maintain an unblemished image to preserve their position of power has proven to frequently to result in cover-up strategies, which then become scandals if they ever becomes public. Hence, I think future leaders will be smart enough to recognize the benefit of admitting small mistakes and avoiding building huge complex problems through elaborate cover-up strategies. As a true leader is not afraid of losing power and this self -confidence and -trust in themselves will set them apart from the rest.
You may be saying to yourself that my idea of a leader is one that could only exist in a dream world, but there I say, no, not true! We at EBS should all be aspiring to be leaders of top quality and pure excellence. On the flip side, while we may have to be followers at one time or another, we should still hold our leaders to the same high expectations, so that my idea of a leader is not merely one in a dream world but rather the leader of the future.
In this week’s blog entry I will be putting a few perspectives out there on the concept of Energy Efficiency. Energy as we all know is becoming ever more topical and important from both a business and societal perspective. The demand for energy is only increasing and the supply is struggling to keep up. So it is high time that we begin using the energy we have wisely and efficiently!
Energy efficiency; many people talk about it, fewer practice it, and those that do don’t always do it very well! You may be asking yourselves, “Energy efficiency, isn’t that where you install a few sensors to switch devices on and off and where you put in a few energy saving light bulbs to lower your electricity bill?”
“Jein” would be the answer, as energy efficiency is a whole lot more, much bigger! You need to adopt a big picture outlook or in management speak a so called holistic view on the topic. Don’t get the wrong idea; I am not going to be writing about how we are going to save the world in the following paragraphs.
Energy is used everywhere in our society to produce, transport and provide products and services. A holistic approach to energy efficiency involves thinking about how much energy you consume not only directly but indirectly as well. Considering direct consumption of energy is easy; lights, T.V., stereo, heating, air conditioning, transportation and computers. Considering indirect is quite difficult and not always given much thought; unnecessary consumption of products and services, wastefulness, purchasing exotic products that have been transported a great distance, and don’t forget datacenters which support all our online activities.
How are we going to get there?
A mind shift is currently slowly in progress, due to all the energy hype! Trying to not waste energy by switching devices off and installing energy efficient devices is part of the solution. But the really difficult task for all of us is trying not to buy products that we do not really need! Moreover the biggest impact will only be seen when there is wide spread installation of measurement devices that can tell us each individually how much energy we consume and what precise impact that will have on our wallet, community, society and environment.
Thought is key in becoming more energy efficient, and we students, as educated thinkers and the future leaders of industry in this world should think in a more sustainable manner and be careful of not conducting ourselves in a fleeting and thoughtless consumption-orientated manner. It is this adjustment in our own and others behaviors which will help us not only become energy efficient and sustainable but by doing so will ensure that the human race inhabits this world longer than the dinosaurs did.
Hello again. This week I am going to tell you a little about my specialization Strategy and Organization. This specialization is really the reason that I came to this school. I had my first experiences dealing with strategy in my bachelor studies as my capstone class was based upon strategic management. I discovered that I really liked the topic and decided later to expand more into the subject by doing an internship in strategy consulting with Arthur D. Little. Out of all of the experience that I had before I have to say that I rank the time there as the best experience that I have had till then. So needless to say I was excited when I saw that the European Business School was offering a specialization in strategy and organization.
Now that I have begun the semester and have seen where the specialization is headed as far as course content is concerned I must say that I am not disappointed. The literature that we are working with is top of its class, and there is even a real live consulting project integrated into the course. The module is actually broken into four sections: a seminar paper, the field study, a strategy class, and an organization and governance class. The range of the classes is definitely going to make this specialization a challenging but rewarding program which I expect to take a lot from.
The professors of the classes are very knowledgeable about the subjects and are able to effectively utilize real world situations and content to convey the theoretical concepts and principles. They foster a class atmosphere that stimulates productive topic discussions and debates, which really contributes to the learning process. The thing I probably like the best about the class is the level of interactivity in addition to the discussion topics. I would definitely recommend the specialization and the teachers to prospective students especially if they are interested in the area of consulting. See you next week.
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- Chinesisch für Anfänger - Part 1
- Chinesisch für Anfänger - Part 2
- Wochenrückblick: Die Unkalkulierbarkeit des Lebens eines Juristen als Wettervorhersage
- Chinesisch für Anfänger - Part 3
- Chinesisch für Anfänger - Part 4
- Wochenrückblick: Einen Moment, bitte
- Langeweile? Fremdwort!
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- A few thoughts on searching for a specific Internship
- Die lieben "Tauschies"
- Buch? Skript? Bib? Wikipedia?
- Der typische Tag eines EBSlers I - die brutale Variante :)
- Der ganz (un-)normale Wahnsinn
- Der typische Tag eines EBSlers II - die „gechillte“ Variante :)
- Citi Group Business Knigge Seminar
- Hey everyone!
- "Woohoo, I'm there!"
- My first exposure to: the Cradle to Cradle design concept
- Introducing myself …
- The Amazing “New Philanthropy”
- Monday, Jan. 10th
- Dance 4 life …
- Tuesday, Jan. 11th
- Wednesday, Jan. 12th
- Ms. Orzala Ahshraf Nemat – More than a Leader
- Thursday, Jan. 13th
- Friday, Jan. 14th
- Back to business ...
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- Business as usual
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- Die erste nächtliche Arbeitssitzung an der EBS
- Getting ready for the middle country
- My Thoughts on Ethics
- Studentenalltag in Oestrich-Winkel
- „Pourquoi avez-vous choisi le Françasis?“
- Erste Vorlesungen und Company Presentation
- Introduction: Der Neue
- Das EBS Symposium 2010
- Reges Treiben auf dem Campus
- Synergizing Networking and Time-management
- Die Angebot des Symposiums
- Final Countdown
- Ein optimaler Start
- Networking Barbeque
- Die Sonne scheint!
- König Fußball
- Der argentinische Vize-Präsident und ich ...
- Opportunity Costs
- Symposium - unser „Erstes“
- The Turkish Night
- Imposanter Morgen
- Souveräner Schlusspunkt
- Gedanken zum EBS-Symposium (aus „Quietschie“-Sicht)
- Ein glückliches Team
- Reflections on my Master’s Thesis
- Career Forum
- Alltag @ EBS?
- Starting in China
- Class Composition
- What is “Green” in 200 words?
- First impressions
- Karlsruhe Business Masters Challenge 2009: Part I
- In Focus: Incentives
- Internship Hunting
- Karlsruhe Business Masters Challenge 2009: Part II
- EBS Bachelor Blogger: Maike
- Supply Chain Management at EBS
- The Path of a Leader
- Funding Options
- Karlsruhe Business Masters Challenge 2009: Part III
- Why I Chose to Study Abroad in Spain
- Getting Organized
- My First Week in Spain
- Strategy and Organization