Shakespeare's Lessons in Leadership: Macbeth

ccochran

Southern Gentleman
#1
Hello, all!

Hope you're doing well. Okay, here's the inaugeral reading room submission: Leadership and Macbeth. This is similar to the other article I wrote on Hamlet and leadership. In writing the Macbeth piece, I began to realize that Lady Macbeth is probably the more compelling leadership character. At any rate, I would enjoy hearing your thoughts and feedback on this.

I'm trying to write a fictionalized account of Lady Macbeth right now. It has nothing whatsoever to do with quality, management, ISO 9001, or anything else, but it might be entertaining. I'm hoping to recruit Roxane to do the audio version.

Craig
 

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Jen Kirley

Quality and Auditing Expert
Staff member
Admin
#2
I liked this piece, :applause: just as I liked the book Elizabeth I, CEO by Alan Axelrod.

I sometimes read in BusinessWeek about leadership, and more recently the magazine featured articles regarding the lack of good leadership training in many MBA programs.

It occured to me that, of all places, wouldn't business school want to train in leadership--does not doing so mean they are more or less turning out technicians?

Yes, it is a good time for this kind of article. Now how can we get you out on the major talk circuit, hmmm? :tg:

Jennifer
 

Jim Wynne

Staff member
Admin
#3
Jennifer Kirley said:
It occured to me that, of all places, wouldn't business school want to train in leadership--does not doing so mean they are more or less turning out technicians?
Jennifer
Blaming business schools for managers who evince no leadership is like blaming my high school music teacher for the fact that I can't sing.
 

ccochran

Southern Gentleman
#4
Jennifer,

Thanks for taking a look at the article. I appreciate your kind comments. I agree that leadership and ethics don't really get addressed much in business schools. Back when I was working on my MBA, there was one elective course on leadership (a very good one, in fact) and no courses on ethics.

JSW05,

Of course schools can't be blamed for the behavior of individuals. You're exactly right about that. Graduate business schools can and should shape their students, though. Most business schools have only recently started down that path of leadership development and ethics. The curriculum has always revolved around short term accounting numbers and how managers can influence them. With that kind of education, it's no wonder that people like Bernard Ebbers are going to jail. (I hope it's a long jail term, too.) Ironically, I don't think Bernard Ebbers ever went to business school.

Craig
 

Jim Wynne

Staff member
Admin
#5
Nice article, by the way:agree1:

ccochran said:
Of course schools can't be blamed for the behavior of individuals

My suggestion was that business schools can't be blamed for the talents (or lack thereof) of their students.

ccochran said:
Graduate business schools can and should shape their students, though.
I don't think I like the sound of this. I don't think schools should be involved in "shaping" anyone, if by shaping you mean indoctrinating into a predetermined mode--I'm sorry, paradigm--of behavior and thought.

ccochran said:
Most business schools have only recently started down that path of leadership development and ethics.
I think that teaching about leadership development and ethics are both good things, but both have inherent limitations. I think you might get a different ethics class at a religious university than you would get at a public school, for instance. And I think we need to be careful of the idea that hapless mopes can be turned into leaders by motivational speakers.

ccochran said:
The curriculum has always revolved around short term accounting numbers and how managers can influence them..
Becasue that's what executives have always been expected to be concerned with. The job of business schools, imo, is to prepare people for reality, not some pollyanna, pie-in-the-sky vision of what some questionably-credentialled academic (present company excluded, of course) thinks things should be. Business schools will always teach the skills needed in the marketplace (or they should, anyway).

ccochran said:
With that kind of education, it's no wonder that people like Bernard Ebbers are going to jail. (I hope it's a long jail term, too.) Ironically, I don't think Bernard Ebbers ever went to business school.
Bernie and his lawyers wanted us to believe that he accumulated $1 billion in net worth but didn't know how to count it. :bonk:
 

Jen Kirley

Quality and Auditing Expert
Staff member
Admin
#7
JSWO5 makes some good, insighful points.

Interestingly, I do quite feel as though our public school system is being charged to do this very thing: shape our children as both thinkers and good citizens. We provide services of a scope unmatched in history. We are now the sum of the missing social services.

We are being blamed if they do not learn to be good workers, as well as able to calculate and write coherently; the recent criticism from businesses and colleges is that the kids can't take criticism, can't deal with "No" or "You have failed in this".

I hasten to add that there is a misunderstanding overall in that education is being viewed as a pay-and-receive service. You pay, we deliver or else.

This is a misunderstanding. Education is probably THE greatest example of a service where the customer has an equal opportunity, and responsibility, for a successful outcome. Critics forget that every day.

I mention leadership in management schools because their graduates very often go on to lead groups, then departments, then companies. It makes sense to teach what that involves. People skills. Business is about far more than numbers, marketing, etc.

And yes, some schools are beginning to offer that now.

Same goes for ethics classes. No, we can't teach people to think morally as in a spiritual sense,(that should have been done in the family--but aren't we doing this when teaching citizenship to kids?) but we can, and should point out the various consequences that good and poor decisions render. The devil-may-care attitude shown by our scandalized business leaders--a minority, to be fair--shows an opportunity to point out to up and comers that all deeds have some consequence. They can do case studies and decide for themselves what kind of people to be. That's all we can do, and I think we should.
 
#8
Ok, read it. Very interesting piece, Craig.

A leader posesses courage. Yes, a leader does need courage, and leading from the front is considered a virtue, but wait... Did I hear someone say delegate? Sometimes it takes courage to let go, to delegate things to people better suited or with more time for the task at hand. After all, a good leader also knows that he cannot do everything himself.

A leader is never manipulated. Manipulated, no... But a good leader must be prepared to make decisions based on fact. It is therefore sometimes necessary to let yourself be persuaded to change your course of action.

A leader maintains a sense of humility. Yes... Without a sense of humility you will surely fail the two things mentioned above and probably others as well.

Er... [font=&quot]"[/font][font=&quot]The witches each greet Hamlet in turn[/font][font=&quot]" (page 1)?

All in all: Great job, Craig. keep them coming. :agree1:

/Claes
[/font][font=&quot][/font][font=&quot][/font]
 

Jim Wynne

Staff member
Admin
#9
Claes Gefvenberg said:
A leader maintains a sense of humility. Yes... Without a sense of humility you will surely fail the two things mentioned above and probably others as well.
"If I only had a sense of humility, I'd be perfect."
Ted Turner
 

ccochran

Southern Gentleman
#10
Claes,

Sorry for the slow response. Thanks for the feedback on the Macbeth article. You made some excellent points, as always. And thanks especially for catching the cameo (and unintended) appearance of Hamlet on page 1! These characters have a way of floating around in my head and popping in where they're not supposed to.

JSW05,

Ted Turner is a local Atlantan, so I enjoyed the reference to him. Yes, humility is not exactly his strength.

Hope all is well,
Craig
 
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