National rankings of MBA programs are indeed valuable, but to a point. In the end, each individual has to define what they PERSONALLY want from an MBA program. For some people, it's a brand name, for others it's simply not working for two years (a very expensive two years). Indeed, there are various realms in between. One aspect of academia that is often overlooked is the professor and I am not referring to the professor who is quoted in newspapers or writes cases and books. It's the professor who genuinely has an interest in your well being and success. That is the type of professor who teaches at Darden. Our faculty has an "open door" policy. As in, if they are in their office, their door is always open, to discuss anything that may be on your mind. Given my Q1 interaction with a handful of professors, it doesn't surprise me that Darden profs are ranked number 1 for the the second year in a row by Princeton Review. However, here is where it hit home; my roommate shared some slides from Jim Clawson, her Leading Organization professor on takeaways from her class. These takeaways resonate with me and remind me why the faculty are Darden is so incredible. Check them out:
What I’ve Come to Believe
Jim Clawson, Darden 2008
1. People tend to be creatures of habit.
2. The rare minority are willing and able to change.
3. Change begins with self.
4. People can change, it’s just that most won’t.
5. Effective leadership requires enormous self confidence, conviction, and courage.
6. Most people tend to live more outside-in than they think.
7. Combinations of openness, candor, and compassion are as rare as diamonds.
8. People cannot act (L1) beyond their conceptions (L2) and values (L3). To change, re-examine those.
9. Most people act on short term, self serving values and this is often dysfunctional for the community.
10. Work for what you want: the hard part is figuring out what you want.
11. Find, invest in, and enjoy your resonance – what makes you smile in the morning?
12. Help Others find their resonance.
13. Continue to read—or have nothing to say.
14. Three well done are better than six half baked—make every project your best.
15. Tell the truth: share your heart, be transparent. We are all brothers and sisters. Live inside out.
16. Live today. Respect the past, plan for future, but LIVE today.
17. Find the “and/also’s.” Respect the rights and views of others. Lose your “buts.”
18. Clean as you go—personally, professionally, leave your campsite, including the earth, cleaner than you found it.
19. Expect the opposite—life will surprise you.
20. Give something back—share your prosperity.
21. Yield to love—it’s the only thing that keeps you warm at night.
"It's not the critic who counts. It's not the man who points out where the grown man stumbles, or how the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who actually is in the arena, who strives violently, who errs and comes up short again and again, who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause, who if he wins knows the triumph of high achievement, but who if he fails, fails while daring greatly, so his place will never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat."
Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of the United States