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Thread: The Personal MBA

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    just me duncan drennan's Avatar
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    The Personal MBA

    Maybe it is possible to learn everything useful that you would from an MBA course by reading a set of books....at least this is the idea behind The Personal MBA.

    Business schools don’t have a monopoly on worldly wisdom. If you're serious about learning advanced business principles, the Personal MBA can help. The Personal MBA recommended reading list is the tangible result of hundreds of hours of reading and research, and features only the very best books the business press has to offer. So skip the fancy diploma and $150,000 loan - you can get a world-class business education simply by reading these books.
    Having had a bit of a look at it, I think this is quite a cool idea. I think this is my new reading list for the next while....
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    Email problem RKS Computer Solutions's Avatar
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    Duncan, I have no idea where you come across these links, but I reckon you've struck gold with this one...

    It's one of the best link's I've been given in the last 6 months, if not thee best!

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    just me duncan drennan's Avatar
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    Seth Godin linked to it on his blog.
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    Silver Member Eugene's Avatar
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    Great idea! Just wonder if these books are readily available. Any ideas?

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    Quote Originally Posted by dsd View Post
    Maybe it is possible to learn everything useful that you would from an MBA course by reading a set of books....at least this is the idea behind The Personal MBA.
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but the MBAs taught at business schools include practical and mentoring aspects that you simply cannot get from a book. However, I agree that there is probably a lot you can learn from books.

    I remember about two years ago there was a crackdown on South African institutes giving worthless MBAs -- especially those one-week or three-day MBA courses came under fire. Some body now accredits institutes to give MBA, and the number is small (less than 20 if I'm not mistaken).

    Here's what's included in an MBA:
    http://www.mba.co.za/article.aspx?ro...irectoryid=277
    How does this square up with the Personal MBA?
    Last edited by duncan drennan; 16-Aug-07 at 11:29 AM.

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    just me duncan drennan's Avatar
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    I don't think the guy is trying to replace an MBA course, but rather they want to make it more accessible, i.e. low cost. If you go and have a look at the cost of an MBA it is rather high. He goes into some detail comparing what you will get from a formal MBA on the website (read through it, it is an interesting perspective).

    There are obviously some things you won't get, (1) the credentials, (2) exposure to people (one of the big benefits of studying formally), (3) a job as a result of 1 and 2.

    What it claims to allow you to do though, is to get exposure to the core principles of an MBA course. I think that for most business owners the formal qualification and the benefits it brings of itself, are not as big an issue as being better at running their business. If you are looking to get a better job, then a formal MBA is more likely to benefit you.
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    just me duncan drennan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by leuce View Post
    http://www.mba.co.za/article.aspx?rootid=31&subdirectoryid=2
    How does this square up with the Personal MBA?
    I think that link is broken (fixed it).
    Last edited by duncan drennan; 16-Aug-07 at 11:32 AM.
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    Silver Member Graeme's Avatar
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    Performance Anxiety

    An interesting column in Business Day this morning: Brett Steenbarger, professor of psychiatry and behavioural sciences, and speaking in the context of investment traders, says that there seems to be a problem universal to traders, professionals or part-timers; i.e. performance anxiety.

    It occurs, he says, when awareness of the performance - and especially the outcome of the performance - interferes with the actual act of performing. When the performer becomes self-aware and focuses attention on the outcome of the performance, it leads to efforts at conscious control of an otherwise automatic activity which disrupts the performance.

    A good example is the golfer who has a put to win a tournament. Aware of the importance of his shot, he aims the ball carefully, and does not deliver his natural stroke. In the financial world a trader will overthink a trade, missing a great opportunity when it doesn’t set up exactly right.

    What causes performance anxiety? Sometimes all it takes is a single bad outcome. More often, though, it’s a series of bad outcomes that creates a “slump” in the performer’s mind, leading to efforts at correction that only exacerbate the problem. Other times changed circumstances can generate performance anxiety, says Steenbarger.

    Performance anxiety can then become debilitating, not only because it inhibits performance, but because it affects global wellbeing and the accurate assessment of risk and reward. There’s also the problem of secondary anxiety; when a person becomes anxious about being anxious! This generates further anxiety, which in turn becomes even more threatening. Many times, performance anxiety is the result of just such a downward spiral.

    Ring a bell? Whilst not quite talking about the same milieu, proprietors of small businesses have to make seriously important decisions every week, sometimes having to bet the farm on the outcome, and whether it’s a R1bn decision at Anglo American or a R1k decision in a small business, the angst is probably the same.

    What’s the solution? According to Steenbarger there are many effective psychological techniques for mastering performance anxiety, including self hypnosis routines and biofeedback programmes. If that’s too “new age” for you (certainly would be for me), the thing to keep in mind is the overarching objective: to regain perspective and thereby restore confidence, even if that can be achieved through something as simple as avoiding negative self-talk or adopting more realistic expectations.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dsd View Post
    277 is the one.

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    At the very least, this makes an excellent reading list. Whether or not this is more or less than a formal MBA - who knows. I certainly don't. But I do know that regular reading of the right stuff is an important part of any personal continuous education program. And that list seems to be a pretty good place to start.
    Quote Originally Posted by Graeme View Post
    What’s the solution? According to Steenbarger there are many effective psychological techniques for mastering performance anxiety, including self hypnosis routines and biofeedback programmes. If that’s too “new age” for you (certainly would be for me), the thing to keep in mind is the overarching objective: to regain perspective and thereby restore confidence, even if that can be achieved through something as simple as avoiding negative self-talk or adopting more realistic expectations.
    When you really chew on that, you have to pause for a moment and consider the importance of what you focus on when performing any task. The desired outcome, the task itself, or some other objective?
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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