Last Saturday, I joined Smith MBA Basketball Team for Georgetown Ultimate Four Tournament. This tournament is one of the most recognizable basketball competitions for MBA schools. 13 MBA schools participated this year. School like Chicago Booth and Duke traveled for a decent amount of distance to Washington DC.
Our Smith MBA team fight for every second in each game. We beat Georgetown 1, but lose Georgetown 2, Chicago Booth, and Duke. Chicago and Duke won champion and runner up. Their teams are the combinations of size, talent, and teamworks. We lost the game but won their respect.
Meanwhile, I also play intramural basketball game in Maryland University. I am the captain of the team, in charge of the team management. The experience of managing the team associates me with the case discussion I have in the Implementing Strategy Course. The course adopts case study method and has a group of MBA students share opinions about the key issues organizations were encountered. Each case serves for a particular purpose of discussion. Topics are often relevant to leaders and organization structure.
Managing an organization and managing a team have something in common, both needs a strategy (game plan), employee management (team management), and organizational structure management (tactics and player offense priorities ). The takeaway of the course is that leaders with different personalities led to different results for organization and for himself. Many times challenges or failures had nothing to do with the leader’s capabilities, but with their approaches to the problem and their soft skills to key stakeholders or key decision makers. A subtle decision could make a drastic difference, and successful organizations (winning teams) know this better than anyone else does.