Perspectives on entrepreneurship, MBA-related issues, networking, personal branding, technology, investing, education and more…


What social skills are important for leaders in South Africa?

This article also appeared on Finweek.com on 8-July-2013

“What social skills are important for MBAs in South Africa?” I was recently asked this question in an interview about the MBA space and my business, MBAconnect.net.

MBAs are leaders, or on the path to becoming leaders. So the question could become “What social skills are important for leaders in South Africa?” This is a very important question that we as leaders need to tackle. Especially at a time when our country is crying out for strong, inspirational leaders at the helm, and when Mandela, South Africa’s most iconic leader, isn’t well. Continue reading

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Why do companies get blindsided and how do we stop this happening?

This article also appeared in Finweek Magazine in their 27-June-2013 issue

As leaders, how do we improve our ability to spot what’s happening around us before others do? Vigilant, curious leaders recognise and act on the opportunities, threats, new ideas and novel business models emerging on the periphery of their business.

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Do CEOs with MBAs perform better?

CEO MBA runningThis article also appeared in Finweek Magazine in their 17-Jan-2013 issue

In recent years MBA programmes have received a lot of criticism: teaching flawed financial thinking, ignoring business ethics, hiding from the real world of business and sheltering MBA students in academic theory. And so, as the argument goes, MBA business leaders are ruled by greed and short-term gain. Hence much of the blame for the global financial crisis fell on high-profile MBA alumni like Lehman Brothers’ Richard Fuld (Stern’s MBA of 1973), and Merrill Lynch’s John Thain (Harvard 1979). Let’s not forget Jeff Skilling of Enron, who had an MBA, while Bill Gates and Steve Jobs didn’t even complete university.

With these criticisms in mind, do MBA-degreed CEOs perform better than their non-MBA peers? The effect of a CEO’s MBA (or lack of one) on the business’ performance is very much contested ground, with evidence to support both sides. Continue reading

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Why everyone needs a bad boss


This is a guest post by Dr Gavin Symanowitz of FeedbackRocket.com. It originally appeared in Finweek (21 June 2012 issue).

Everyone should work for a bad boss. I know this seems to be strange advice, especially coming from someone who is dedicated to improving the quality of leadership in organizations. However, working for a bad boss can often have positive effects. Let me explain. Continue reading

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The State of Entrepreneurship in South Africa Through the Eyes of Our Youth

In a recent survey commissioned by the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship, our youth gave their perspectives on the state of entrepreneurship in South Africa. The eye-opening report at http://www.bransoncentre.org/SouthAfrica/young_upstarts_report.pdf shows that this area is in drastic need of improvement!

What can we do to fix this? Entrepreneurial role models and a positive national outlook have a vital role to play.
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Business Schools Teaching Entrepreneurship – is the Paradigm Broken?

Are there flaws in the models that business schools use to teach entrepreneurship? To unpack this question, one needs to go back to the origins of business schools and the MBA.

The first business schools like Wharton were formed in the late 1800’s to teach management. In fact the first MBA degree was offered in 1908. The fundamental challenge they aimed to solve was to train people how to manage a large corporate that needed to implement on a known problem, for example producing more cars. Continue reading

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Hire your alter ego

This article also appeared in Finweek Magazine in their 6-September-2012 issue

Complementary skills are vital for your team to succeed. This sounds like a simple concept, but it’s much harder to get right in practice.

In my experience, I’ve seen that some entrepreneurs are ideas-people who are strong at conceiving ideas, whereas others of us are more operations/implementation-people who get things done. Very few individuals are both. You definitely need both skillsets to make a successful business happen. So if the entrepreneur doesn’t have both, you need to have someone on your team who has the skillset you lack.

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Networking – How To Up Your Game

Gone are the days when hard work alone would get you the career advancement you wanted.  In today’s connected world, everything hinges on networking and relationships. The bigger your network, the more doors to opportunities it can open for you.

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