12 Reasons Why MBA Admissions Is More Than Retail Therapy

“And she’s buying a stairway to heaven…”

Applying to business school is a major decision. MBA Admissions is not just about buying a stairway to heaven nor is it this seasons IT bag. It is an exercise and commitment to career development. To make the grade to step up your career is an intense exercise in personal branding, obtaining strong GMAT scores, getting great recommendations, and the ability to sell your achievements. Add a healthy dose of strategic marketing and you can get accepted just about anywhere.

Here are 12 key career counseling tips to get you started:

Tip No.1: Get A Strategy
MBA Admissions requires an actionable career management and application strategy. Career planning is your first step. Target and evaluate the business schools to which you would like to apply. Visit the institutions when possible. Discuss your objectives with alumni. Make a check list to see that your career aspirations and qualifications match the MBA Admissions criteria.

Tip No.2: MBA Admissions is not a cake walk. It is a snake pit. It is advisable to get professional help from someone who can give you the tools to succeed. Getting To Yes should be your career call to action. Tackle the challenges with a sound methodology.

Tip No.3: Exploit Your Personal Brand
Start by building a personal SWOT analysis. This is a cornerstone to personal branding. There is a universal principle at play here: MBA Admissions results are created twice. First, the result is created in your mind. Then, it is generated through systematic work. As in all career management initiatives, persistence pays dividends.


Tip No.4: Success starts with commitment. You must give the MBA Admissions process 100% commitment. Do not worry about who else is applying. You can only sell your own achievements. At the end of the day, it comes down to fostering a positive attitude.

Tip No.5: Make the right choice. The leading business schools recruit from a global elite. Hence, the MBA Admissions Committees are spoiled for choice. Make sure that you apply to those business schools best suited to your professional goals. Forget the business school rankings. They are no more than a glorified beauty contest. Any top MBA will deliver an outstanding education.

Tip No.6: Do not apply just to the usual suspects. Consider other programs. Most candidates apply to a minimum of four programs. There is no magical number.

Tip No.7: Examine Business School Attributes
Examine the language a school uses to “sell” its attributes. Harvard Business School is a case and point: “We encourage candidates who can benefit from — and contribute to — a transformative education in which students challenge and learn from each other as they test their growing leadership abilities.

To create a dynamic environment that mirrors the breadth and depth of our world economy, we seek diversity. Each fall, we welcome 900 students representing more than seventy countries and a wide range of interests and backgrounds. While our students’ lives and experiences vary greatly, they all share a demonstrated capacity for leadership and a desire to effect positive change. For the right person, now is the right time to apply.”

Tip No.8: Notice the stress on leadership. Most MBA candidates simply do not have this focus. If you do, make sure that you can justify genuine leadership roles. MBA Admissions Committees know that the emergence of an individual’s leadership talent does not follow a pre-determined schedule.

Tip No.9: Take Note: age, social, gender, ethnic profiling matter
All schools look for diversity. According to this logic, the more different you are, the better your candidacy looks on paper. Although there are no official quotas, political correctness plays a role in the admissions process.

Top MBAs are constantly recalibrating age profiles for class intakes. Some schools desire +3 years of work experience. Others do not. Which program are you better suited to: MBA or EMBA? Traditionally, MBA programs recruited candidates 25-28 years old. Today, the age has dropped. If you are +30, does this matter to you? If it does, perhaps European MBAs are a better fit. EMBA candidates are typically +35.

Tip No. 10: The Financials Influence Choice
Another key point: Carefully review the MBA Admissions and Financial Aid sections before you apply. Begin with their Admission Criteria pages. Take advantage of any MBA Admissions events in your area and network with alumni.

“When getting accepted to a top MBA makes you sprezzy…”

Tip No.11: Which MBA is best for me
Choosing the appropriate school is like a marriage. I recommend the following schools for serious consideration. They are not listed in any particular order. Please note that European MBA programs are more transparent when it comes to counseling potential MBAs.

They also recruit more mature and seasoned candidates. If you have deep experience, you will find these programs better value for money. They provide excellent networks. If you plan to live and work in Europe, they can serve your career aspirations with more intimacy.

Tip No.12: European v. American MBAs
In our opinion, the leading programs are: INSEAD, London Business School, IMD, IE Business School, IESE Business School, HEC-Paris, Said Business School at Oxford, and Judge School of Business at Cambridge. Are there others? You bet there are! As George Orwell might have stated, “Some MBAs are more equal than others”. My only counsel is to choose wisely. It is not necessary to go to the USA as it once was.

In addition, please note that there are outstanding MBA programs all over the world. It depends on you, what you really want, and how much this degree really is worth to you. An MBA is a major investment in time, money, and sweat equity.

In the USA, American business schools market their programs like tupperwear parties. The usual suspects in this category are for the most part household names. Depending on the source, ranking criteria bring up similar names but not necessary in the same order.

The MBA top 10 wish list include: Harvard Business School, Stanford GSB, Wharton Business School, Columbia Business School, Tuck at Dartmouth, Yale School of Management, Stern at NYU, Anderson at UCLA, Haas at UC-Berkely, University of Chicago-Booth, and Kellogg at Northwestern. Are there others?

Of course there are. MIT-Sloan comes immediately to mind. US News publishes a comprehensive catalog worth consulting. In the States, there are literally thousands of schools from which to choose. Americans do not choose their MBAs with the same criteria as non-American MBA applicants.

Although top MBAs are more international in their outlook, many others are still very provincial. If you are not an American and you want to do an MBA in the States, think the process carefully through. For example, do you really want to be in Ann Arbor, Michigan?

Ross might offer an excellent education, but if you are from a cosmopolitan city, you might find yourself out of place. We had one client the other year, who did and regretted her choice. Don’t make the same mistake.

An MBA has the potential to dramatically alter the course of your career. Despite criticism in the media on MBAs, this form of education has the power to act as a career catalyst. Although an MBA is not for everyone, it can be a transformational experience if properly exploited. To give yourself the best chance to get accepted, your application merits feedback from an objective and knowledgeable source.

Join The Conversation. Let us know what you think.

About The Author
Andrew Scharf shares enchanting stuff on the topics of marketing, innovation, talent development, coaching, enchantment, and craftsmanship. He is also the head Koi at CAREO, a career management consultancy under the WCW Group brand, building one success story at a time.

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Why Mentorship Must Embody Human Values

“She sells seashells at the seashore…”

Mentorship is the path of true business leadership. It’s like opening the window and letting the light enter the human heart. Acting as a mentor is a responsibility many shirk. Either they feel they can’t spare the time or they feel there is no return on investment. If this is how you feel? However, reflect on how you are where you are today? It’s a no-brainer. You become the leader you are because others selflessly took the time to counsel and help you grow, stretch, and reach out of your comfort zone. Now is the time to give back. Not because you must, but because you want to. This feeling doesn’t originate in the head. It comes from the heart and is the true hallmark of business leadership.

Contrary to the popular view that most people are inherently selfish, self-centered and narcissistic, there are many who hold the opposite view. To succeed in any field, we all require role models. These unique personalities inspire us to do more, be more, and share more. Think of that great sage from Arunachala Mountain, Ramana Maharishi. He rarely spoke. He taught from the depths of silence because he understood the nature of mentorship.

“When you cherish the words of wisdom in silence…”

This is particularly true in business education and career management. People in these fields have the power to help shape the destiny of another individual’s life. Remember, “A life is a terrible thing to waste.

Acting as a mentor or coach is not about bottom lines. Leave this to the humorless accountants who would outsource every person’s job to God knows where on behalf of their soulless masters. Mentorship is about building relationships, authenticity, and recognizing that we belong to one family, the human family. When you see each individual as part of your Self, how can you turn someone away? This is why many societies are in meltdown mode. They were brought up to believe that only the Darwinians survive. They have forgotten that zero sum games have only losers. The rest of us were inspired by respected and successful people, who helped change our corner of the world.

The Beauty Of Mentorship
There is nothing more beautiful than watching some else succeed when you facilitate a growth environment. Sharing your expertise and experience is not just a way to leave an invisible legacy. It challenges you to use your knowledge in a creative and dynamic format.

Although you may have no wish to become the Dalai Lama, the mentoring experience will deepen your sense of humility and appreciation of everything around you. In this sense, we act as bridges across cultures, diversity, and even generations. Each of us was born with a sense of uniqueness within set communities. It is when we step beyond these frontiers and confront what is different do we optimize our potential and see that once superficialities are stripped away, we are indeed all the same.

“Because one size doesn’t fit all scenarios…”

This is a particularly useful skill set if we manage people. Managing people is not about giving orders like a drill Sargent having a bad hair day. It’s leading by example. Some individuals believe that a title empowers them to use authority and control to manipulate, humiliate, and intimidate. This is what one of my colleagues refers to as the France Telecom mentality. This is a casebook example on how not to manage or lead teams. Coercive leadership corrodes the heart and soul of the organization. It is a destructive path, which leads to negative outcomes and unproductive scenarios. Mentorship cannot flourish under these conditions.

A Question Of Balance
Mentorship requires an open heart. Having an open heart does not imply as Cole Porter wrote, “anything goes”. It demands honest criticism, which enhances the role of the protégé through guidance. Putting somebody down is not criticism. It is an exercise in bad behavior and at best stupidity. Demonstrate to junior colleagues that improvement comes through determination and the willingness to adjust by being pragmatic.

“Because nobody lives on Gilligan’s Island…”

Fostering and retaining talent in any group demands a light hand not a hammer blow to an individual’s head. By providing a support network, careful planning, and implementation systems establish a series of reachable benchmarks. When you walk this path, you are building confidence. Remember that line in Skyfall: “Youth is no guarantee of innovation; Age is no guarantee of wisdom.” What is required is balance as the Buddha would say.

When people reach out, they help one another. Ultimately the path of mentorship gives satisfaction to everyone. Changing somebody’s life by providing them with the tools to build a successful future is beautiful indeed.

Article Title: Why Mentorship Must Embody Human Values
Photographs: curated by ES

About The Author
Andrew Scharf shares enchanting stuff on the topics of marketing, innovation, talent development, coaching, enchantment, and craftsmanship. He is also the head Koi at CAREO, a career management consultancy under the WCW Group brand.

For further inspiration
Visit CAREO: Building One Success Story At A Time

Business Success: When Is The Best Time To Apply For An MBA

“Because you ready to make the leap…”

If you are serious about an MBA, then our advice is do it. There are excellent choices. Depending on your status, there are a host of programs to match your aspirations. Don’t just consider the usual suspects. Think outside the box. Top European business schools are world class. Whether you want to study in Europe is another issue. Australia and Asia also have excellent options.

“Gather round MBA candidates from across the land…”

Here are a few keys to consider:
* Eleven of the top 100 programmes cost +$100k in the USA. European programs are a bargain in comparison.

* In India and China, many MBA candidates prefer to stay at home. Cost is one factor. Recent MBA grads testify that the Asia-Pacific region offers the best job opportunities. Is it any wonder that non-Asians are looking for alternative solutions?

The traditional MBA degree program still dominates the North American market. Part of this is historical. Schools continue to recalibrate the age groups they want to attract. Young and recent undergrads are solicited to apply sooner. If you are 27-30, do you want to study with 21-22 year olds? Most don’t. Simply put, they prefer to be with their peers.

In Europe, there have also been drastic shifts. Pre-experience Masters in Management degrees still dominate. However, change is afoot. This has more to do with how the business education system is built rather than a degree preference. For example in France, business school students within the “Grandes Ecoles” system are all awarded a Masters degree.

“Because we’ve got you covered…”

Is this the equivalent of an “American” masters? Clearly it is not. However, the Europeans have blended the undergrad curriculum with the masters. Some students therefore, do not feel the immediate need to do an MBA.

First, when they graduate they are older than their North American counterparts. Secondly, these programs have required internship components built into their education cursus. Some benefit from Erasmus exchange programs. European partnerships with leading Asian institutions have also created a two-way traffic, giving students exposure and internships in constituent countries.

Europeans who do decide to pursue an MBA have a different professional requirements. They tend to be +26 and know where they want to push their careers. They do not want nor need a 2-year program. Schools such as INSEAD, IMD, and IE Business School offer one-year accelerated programs to meet this demand. Some Europeans wait until their thirties before seeking an MBA. These candidates opt for an EMBA.

Asian MBAs
Although the Americans invented the MBA curriculum, global audiences are looking for different variants of program delivery. Take ISB (Hyderabad) and Ceibs (China) for example. The Indian School of Management in Hydrabad offers a great education, placing grads in leading firms from Mumbai to Bangalore.

Ceibs is clearly the business school beacon in China. If you really want to capitalise on doing business in China, then perhaps you should be here.

These changes are forcing more American business schools to start changing their business models. The Dean of Columbia Business School in New York was quoted stating: “I think people may want to get an MBA in a slightly different way”. Clearly the dean was referring to another trend, which is gathering steam: blending classroom-based learning with online teaching.

Online Options
Kenan-Flagler at UNC launched MBA@UNC in 2011. Is it successful? Ask UNC for direct feedback. Online learning is not for everyone. Another key issue the business schools are grappling with deals with culture. What impact does culture have on teaching business? As one analyst puts it, “business schools will need to move from content to the context in which the business operates”.

There is much food for thought here.

“Because you want to take this challenge in stride…”

Up Close & Personal
The current dean at Stanford GSB, Garth Saloner, who was appointed in 2009 has been responsible for instituting sweeping reforms and changes. The key term here is his personalized approach. This is something many business schools still don’t get. If you create a factory, you get factory workers. A personalized approach to education delivers people who are innovative, creative, and go on to do amazing things.

Just to prove my point, Stanford GSB has the smallest class size of any American MBA: 397. That’s less than half the class size of either Harvard or Wharton. Their career services department is outstanding with facilities second to none. Perhaps, Stanford will become the business education template of what a business school can become if it puts its mind into generating real business leadership.

Just think, a revolutionary course delivery system has left the Stanford entrepreneurial incubator. Tom Freidman of the New York Times waxed lyrically over Coursera, which is an NGO dedicated to delivering free classes online.

That’s right folks: F-R-E-E!

The catch is that there is no credit or pedigree. However, the plus side is quite impressive. We stand on the cusp of a complete rethink on the value of education and its delivery to those who do not possess the financial means to buy their pedigree.

Join the conversation. Let us know if you are applying for an MBA. Better still, send us an email. We can help you meet your MBA targets.

Article Title: Business Success: When Is The Best Time To Apply For An MBA
Photographs curated by ES

About The Author
Andrew Scharf shares enchanting stuff on the topics of marketing, innovation, talent development, coaching, enchantment, and craftsmanship. He is also the head Koi at CAREO, a career management consultancy under the WCW Group brand.

For further inspiration
Visit CAREO: Building One Success Story At A Time

Even Goethe Had Elective Affinities

“The mirror only reflects our image not our true nature…”

Choosing your elective affinities is the first step towards career empowerment. You never know when a storm can crop up on the horizon. Best to be prepared. Identifying your career choices will also determine your opportunities. They can be simple or complex such as pushing you to do a top MBA, rebuild your CV, or work on your personal brand. Although these forms of career change are a positive form of engagement, they are not elective affinities.

Understanding the source of elective affinities take us into the deeper reaches of career management. Coming to terms with career change determines more than career enhancement. Before we get hot ‘n bothered, a word of caution:

“Much of our planning is like waiting to swim in a dry ravine”.

Paltrul Rinpoche uttered these wise words. He has a keen sense of elective affinities. Paltrul Rinpoche states that managing change starts with managing your self. Let’s start at the beginning. One day you decide your career has lost traction. You take the decision to do a top MBA. Everybody is doing a top MBA or so it seems. You do not want to stagnate or be left behind. Is this choice the right choice?

Sometimes, we are blind as bats when it comes to career management choices. Our senses contribute to this lack of understanding. For example, the mind bases its assumptions on preconceived information. An ignorant mind does not question. It takes facts at face value. For example, if the FT ranks the top MBAs, then clearly it seems obvious to which schools we must apply.

Step back for a moment. Although the list is tops, are these the best schools for your development. Are there other options? Am I better off starting my own company? Take a breath. Conscious choice should go beyond received wisdom. Understanding your own elective affinities implies the ability to grapple with statements such as this one:

“Because you like a good detective story…”

“If this is not true, then what could possibly be true?”

Sounds like quite a mouthful. At this instant, your mind is in neutral. Understand that elective affinities aren’t value judgements. Your career choices for the moment are either attractive or unattractive. It is your mind, which decides on the bias of desire. Notice, our neutrality disappears. We believe in our choice and claim ownership. The deeper our sense of possession becomes the more risks we run.

Career management therefore, can be a tricky business. Understanding our real nature makes choosing easier. So what are elective affinities? Understanding what makes you tick. Without this understanding, we move from awareness to misconception. Ignorance can exaggerate any situation. What we don’t want is to be trapped, making the same mistakes like a ferret running round a wheel thinking we will arrive at our destination if we run faster. All we get for our efforts is fatigue.

We have the power to get off the wheel and instigate change. All we need to do is alter our approach. We do so by giving ourselves the capacity to be present. Feel your body breath through every pore. Watch the source from where your choices arise. Ignorance dwells in afflictive emotions. Once you overcome this tendency, you’re on track to discover your elective affinities, which will put your career back on track.

“So you want to be a designer…”

To help yourself focus, recognize that every choice has limitations. You can also conclude that choice attributes are intrinsic to the choice. False beliefs are internal. If you get a splinter in your foot, you can pull it out with a tweezers. However, to get rid of an internal attitude, you must see the beliefs on which they are based. The Buddha once remarked, “whatever changes is unreal. Why carry unnecessary baggage?”

Food for thought.

Article Title: Even Goethe Had Elective Affinities
Photographs: curated by ES

About The Author
Andrew Scharf shares enchanting stuff on the topics of marketing, innovation, talent development, coaching, enchantment, and craftsmanship. He is also the head Koi at CAREO, a career management consultancy under the WCW Group brand.

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How To Gain A New Sense Of Harmonics

“Because choosing the right cocktail is not enough…”

According to the New York Times, more MBA candidates are hiring coaches in order to learn to be audacious. Rather than creating a more level playing field, the advantage has shifted to those MBA candidates savvy enough to engage professional assistance. So what should you do? Perhaps the time has come to contact MBA coaching Paris: CAREO.

It is no longer enough to have an excellent track record. This has become a sine quo non. Bog standard won’t get you accepted. You will need to be audacious. You will need to know how to differentiate your profile. So we’ve decided to cut out some of the guesswork and give you a leg up. Start by following the steps listed below Get inspired, and your MBA application will stand out like a diamond in the window of Cartier.

| Step 1: Choosing The Best Business Schools|
Choosing the best business schools is easier said than done. We advise consulting the rankings such as those cited in the FT, US News, and BusinessWeek. Recognize that rankings are essentially beauty contests. However, the rankings are a good place to start and identify where you think you might want to be. Some candidates prefer a one year program and others prefer a two year program.

Identity between 4-6 MBA programs geared to your professional objectives. Sometimes, the usual suspects are not necessarily the best fit. Besides investigating online, which is relatively an easy affair, try to visit the campuses you hope to enroll in. MBA campus culture varies at each business school. Get beyond the cocktail-marketing brochures. Get in touch with real alumni. Contact the school and ask to speak either with admissions officers or the school administration. Feel out your prospects. You are about to embark on a marketing offensive in a highly competitive and saturated market.

| Step 2: Analyze Your Profile |
Conduct a type of SWOT Analysis of your profile. Identify your strengths both inside and outside the workplace. Try to list points that make your candidacy shine. Be clear in your mind as to what you hope to achieve. List your real developmental needs. What do you really want to gain from an MBA aside from acquiring another diploma? You will need to build a strong case as to why the schools should accept you rather than someone else with a similar profile.

“When you’re still undecided…”

| Step 3: Handling The Entrance Exams |
Make yourself a study agenda for the required entrance exams, which concern you. For the majority of MBA candidates, this means tackling the GMAT & TOEFL. The number of schools, which will accept your profile without these exams, is extremely limited. Test prep should be taken seriously. Plan on taking the exams more than once. Most people do.

| Step 4: How To Study |
Determine whether you can prepare by yourself or need help. Most people enroll in organized Test Prep centers where large group classes are the norm. Some organizations are better than others. Look at the results of the organization you wish to enroll. The quality of the teachers coupled to your own sweat equity will determine your test prep success. The key here is practice, practice, and yes, practice. Average GMAT scores at the top MBAs are +680 (GMAT) & +105 (TOEFL).

| Step 5: Learn To Build Persuasive Essays |
Once the GMAT & TOEFL are out of the way, the time has come to tackle the MBA essays. The essays must engage. Think storyline. Build the type of content, which makes your profile stand apart. Everyone of us is unique. However, as George Orwell might have said, “Some of us are more unique than others”. Differentiators will set your MBA application apart from the pack.

With so many applicants, the schools are spoiled for choice. Make sure that your professional objectives are clear and concise. One way to convince the Admissions Committee is to go outside the box with subjects on non-work related activities, which demonstrate your vision, achievements, and skills.

Most schools field different questions. This is done on purpose so that you do not copy and paste. Getting the essays right is not just about writing. Essay writing is really an exercise in strategic marketing to a highly targeted constituent audience. The MBA Admissions Committees will give you no slack. Therefore, you must be persuasive.

| Step 6: How To Train For Your Interview |
Interviews are not required for every MBA applicant. However, most of the top schools have made this part of the MBA application process. The point is to meet the person behind the written word. To go to an interview unprepared is sudden death. We advise serious training with someone in person. Practice until you are comfortable and can manage the unexpected.

| Step 7: Find A Unique Sense Of Purpose |
For inspiration, take Mohammed Ali’s advice: “Float like a butterfly and sting like a bee.

Although you can sting, you should prefer to float like a butterfly. Manifest your own beatitude. Believe that you can give joy to many. By doing so, you will show that you have the perception to think beyond your own sand box. A butterfly serves its purpose with a fruitful and productive life. You can too. It is just a question of direction and will. As human beings, we feel the need to do more than just drive to the office in the morning doing the same old, same old.

“When you’re looking for a whole new sense of harmonics…”

Many of us are truly blessed and do not lack a sense of prosperity. Wealth is such an open-ended term. It is not about bags of gold. It is about health, humour, and love. As they say in social media: share the wealth. Prosperity is about the privilege to access opportunity. Harvest the resources at our command. It does not mean living in a dwelling so large that you need a GPS to find you’re way from room to room.

There is a beautiful verse in Sanskrit, which will give you a whole new sense of harmonics. It is from the Gunaratna of Bhavabhuti:

“For the wicked, knowledge is used for conflict or war, wealth is for pride and vanity, and strength and power are used to oppress or torture others. For a noble person, it is completely different: Education is for knowledge to make everything better, wealth is for charity, and strength or power is solely for protection.”

There is much food for thought here.

I therefore urge you, if you are planning to do an MBA: Become audacious. Jump and be free of the expectations of others. Find your true fulfilment and a transformational educational experience in the bargain. If you have wealth or resources, then share them with those in real need. If you are strong and have a sense of purpose, then use your strengths in the service of your community. By doing so, you hold the keys to business leadership in the real meaning of the term.

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Article Title: How To Gain A New Sense Of Harmonics
Photographs: curated by ES

About The Author
Andrew Scharf shares enchanting stuff on the topics of marketing, innovation, talent development, coaching, enchantment, and craftsmanship. He is also the head Koi at CAREO, a career management consultancy under the WCW Group brand.

For further inspiration
Visit CAREO:

An MBA Coach’s Content Strategist Playbook

“Building one success story at a time…”

In recent conversations at an impromptu forum, I found myself challenged by several professionals contemplating the use of MBA Admissions consultants. It was interesting what they said.

One flannel suited chap blithely stated, “MBA Admissions consultants are for losers. I have no interest. Besides, they’re costly and make promises they cannot fulfill.

Another Chanel suited figure added, “You would think that. However, I have it on good authority that a great consultant can give you a leg up. Given the intense competition to get accepted, I want the best shot I can get.

Now, please understand I am not trying to change people’s minds. I’d rather discuss why strategic planning can make your career aspirations happen. In my experience, I found that the terms of engagement must be personalized and well thought out. Were I an MBA candidate, I would relish an actionable step-by-step roadmap to eliminate the guesswork and the anxiety.

How To Choose
There is not one road to get accepted to a top MBA. The more savvy MBA candidate realizes that the MBA Admissions game has changed. Professional counsel can deliver quantifiable results when you know what you are buying. The best advice I can give to someone shopping around for help is to choose an organization you feel comfortable partnering with.

Many firms on the market peddling services are just coaching factories. Is this what you want? Or do you prefer the counsel of professionals who really care about you?

The Value Proposition
Fees vary among service providers, but the variations are negligible. Some firms offer packages. Others charge by the hour. Packages appear to be the best deal with their all inclusive features. However, sometimes an hourly rate is more appropriate. Why pay for something you won’t take advantage of?

“Because everyone needs a personalized game plan…”

To the uninitiated, the entire MBA application process appears as an exercise in witchcraft. The magic is hard work. To not loose time, work with people who understand how the admissions process actually works. Working with a former admissions officer is not guarantee that you will be accepted at Harvard or Stanford. What you really need is content strategist familiar with the science of personal brand management.

So what should an MBA Admissions consultant provide?
Outstanding knowledge of the business education industry. Secondly, they should match your aspirations with your career objectives. Sometimes, there is no point to just applying to the top 4 business schools unless your credentials are exceptional. Choosing the most appropriate target schools is the first key step to success.

This is where content marketing can help you make the sale. An expert can position your pitch on the basis of what you’ve actually done. Most essays or personal statements submitted to the leading MBA programs read like they were written by an admissions consultant. Don’t fall into this trap. Avoid cliches and flamboyant prose.

Some of us are advised by friends or family. This may work for you. Our advice is to choose professional counsel with discretion. Make sure that the firm you work with actually cares about you and your ambitions. Service must be personalized to be effective. Otherwise, it is bog standard and a waste of time and resources.

“Yes, I’d like to book an appointment…”

Where most MBA candidates make mistakes is when they try to cut corners. So, they write their own essays. Afterward, they approach an MBA Admissions consultant, asking for a quick edit. Why pay someone when you have a spelling & grammar check on your computer? What you really need is powerful feedback that generates original ideas to brand your MBA application.

Considering the cost of an MBA, don’t you think it is worth the investment to go all in? We do. For that reason, we’ve listed below a few suggestions to get you started:

7 Pointers From The Content Strategist Playbook
1. Assessment
Assess your strengths and weaknesses. List the key attributes which makes your profile distinctive. To be successful, you will need to highlight your UQ (uniqueness quotient). Each one of us is distinctive. However, as George Orwell might have stipulated, some of us are more unique than others.

2. Strategic Plan
Outline a strategy, confirm your call to action, scalability, and opportunities. Start with a professional evaluation from your current employer. Next draw up a target list of desirable business schools. Keep abreast of deadlines, the financials, recommenders to be selected and contacted.

3. Personal Brand DevelopmentHave you identified the DNA of your personal brand? If not, find someone who can assist you. It will make your essays personal as well as professional. The business schools are seeking a well rounded and cultured audience. To learn more, study the culture and the curriculum. By doing so, you will better understand your target market audience.

4. Lay An Appropriate Foundation
It’s not enough to simply put up your name on essays someone wrote on your behalf and call it a day! Make your working relationship with an MBA Admissions consultant a partnership.

5.Stand Out
Apply strategies, which make your profile stand out. Evangelizing your personal brand is only part of the picture. You will need a compelling storyline to make your profile stand out from the crowd.

“Because we’ve got you covered…”

6. Contact Alumni
Speak with alumni. The more recent the alum, the more valuable their insight will be on how the school currently operates. It is always wise to visit the campus and attend an information session when feasible.

7. The Interview
When you are invited to an interview, you are almost there. Leave nothing to chance. Train with an communications specialist used to handling the press. If they’ve trained CEOs, they can certainly train you. Remember, this is when you must seal the deal.

If you have questions, contact CAREO for a free professional evaluation.

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Article Title: MBA Coaching: The Ultimate Content Strategist Playbook
Photographs: curated by ES

About The Author
Andrew Scharf shares enchanting stuff on the topics of marketing, innovation, talent development, coaching, enchantment, and craftsmanship. He is also the head Koi at CAREO, a career management consultancy under the WCW Group brand.

For further inspiration
Visit CAREO: Life In The Fast Lane

Leadership: How To Tackle Authenticity

“Who ever heard the sound of one hand clapping…”

The best leaders are free from compulsive instincts. They see their career as a mountain stream. Man or woman, they have transformed their need for applause. They roam in the world as lions of self control. They take pleasure in thunder and rain because according to fortune cookie wisdom, the true sound of leadership is silence.

To really exercise leadership, it is best to be authentic. Take for example, a master chef I know. He works at Wo Fat’s Cantonese kitchen and is know by the name of Mencius. He could speak volumes on leadership. However, he is more at home selecting the finest ingredients from the market. Wok hay drives him crazy. That’s what you would expect from a Taoist leader, who favors the meditative breath of fire.

On the other side of the world, Socrates taught another path to leadership. He too was obsessed with self-mastery. He understood that diligence and astute planning took place in silence. To settle his mind, he would stroll the streets of Plaka. Although the tavernas and cafes are filled with rhetoricians, he would go for insight elsewhere.

“Captain, I’ve spotted Isle della Muerta…”

Simply put, Socrates preferred to watch the fisherman. He’d contemplate their banter and salty songs. He loved to watch them tenderize the evening’s octopus on the rocks. Performing humble tasks emptied his mind. In this emptiness, he found the meaning of all things. Perhaps, we should do likewise.

Emptiness is often confused with ignorance. Ignorance however, is more than a lack of knowledge. A lack can be sensibly remedied. It is a question of training. Real ignorance is the misapprehension of all things. Take the case of the Buddha. Although not a sailor, he desired more than a career sea change. He desired smooth sailing.

“When your reflection is just a fleeting fantasy…”

Determined to achieve this state of being, he sat under a fig tree, legs crossed in a full lotus position. He was resolved not to budge until he was filled with clarity. By learning this lesson, he saw leadership was a question of equilibrium. The mind is a close friend of ignorance and this is the trap. Give the mind conundrums, and it will smile and spin in a vortex of relentless aggravation.

On the other hand, you could give the mind something nobler to consider such as the following Taoist proverb: “The sound of water is silence.”


Article Title: Leadership: How To Tackle Authenticity
Photographs: (1)manofthemmnt (2)curated by ES (3)stayfr-sh

About The Author
Andrew Scharf shares enchanting stuff on the topics of marketing, innovation, talent development, coaching, enchantment, and craftsmanship. He is also the head Koi at CAREO, a career management consultancy under the WCW Group brand.

For further inspiration
Visit Whitefield Consulting Worldwide


MBA Admissions: Getting Started? Fast Track Your MBA !

“With our MBA Admissions Consulting services, you can be on easy street…”

Years ago, we pioneered a series of MBA Admissions strategies to fast track any MBA candidate’s applications to the top business schools. By doing so, we removed the guesswork and counseled MBA wannabes to foster their personal brand. I reasoned that successful branding strategies used in the corporate world could work just as well for an individual. When I launched CAREO, I was pleased to see our clients empowered with the opportunity to fulfill their professional MBA aspirations.

As a boutique MBA Admissions consultancy, we specialize in personalized attention. Why loose time or make mistakes? Our holistic approach will maximize your an MBA admissions with a positive outcome. I have outlined below the advantages of partnering with us as your personal brand and MBA admissions evangelists.

“Why leave your future to chance…”

1. Personalized Service
We start by helping you harmonize your professional aspirations with your personal goals. Our holistic approach to MBA admissions begins by getting to know you. We help you target the most appropriate MBA programs. With a workable timeline and actionable plan, you are ready to take on the world.

2. Establishing An Action Plan
With our comprehensive approach to business school admissions, why not take advantage of services we pioneered. Once you sign-up, we plan your strategy, create a PowerCV, give you feedback, and offer suggestions on what to include in your essays.

Once your target MBA programs are selected, we examine the details and attack the requirements. With guidance each step of the way, success lies in your hands.

3. MBA Essay Analysis
Don’t kid yourself. You can have a brilliant track record and a great GMAT and still be rejected. Your MBA essays must be powerful and persuasive. We’ll show you how to write compelling stories to make your essays stand out. Constructive feedback guarantees that what you submit will portray your candidacy in the best light.

A word of caution: Do not worry about the competition. It is pointless. What you can do however, is to manage the assets you have on your side. Having a strong personal brand will mark out your profile for serious consideration. Let our keen marketing strategists show you how. The sweat equity is on us.

4. MBA Application Procedures
Application creation also demands a well-crafted CV, selecting and preparing the ideal recommenders corresponding to your MBA targets. Rely on us to empower your CV, navigate your essay drafts, whilst polishing them like the diamonds you can see at Cartier. Getting a ‘yes’ on your MBA Admissions is so much easier.

5. The Final Touches
Just when you think the process is over, there is always one last thing to do. Count on our feedback sessions and interview training. When you are called to interview, you will have the confidence to shine like a star.

Getting Started? Fast Track Your MBA Admissions!
Let’s Talk. Email us directly and submit your contact details. Let’s discuss your requirements. We offer both package rates and hourly fees. Choose the option best suited to your schedule.


For further tips and inspiration: http://www.whitefieldconsulting.com

READ MY LIPS: How To Craft A Great Resume

“Opportunities like this, only commence in a great while…

Build a drop dead resume and you are one step closer to gaining that coveted interview. Although learning to grab the recruiters attention is not rocket science, it does require a keen sense of personal brand management. Recruiters are tough birds and hold to a tight brief. Based on their first glance, they decide whether to take the process further. The amount of time they initially spend on an unsolicited resume is too short for words. Some people claim it is between 6-12 seconds. That is not much time to sell your profile. Clearly, a distinctive personal brand management strategy is in order.

So what should you do to avoid classic resume writing pitfalls?

Start by building a targeted resume platform. This type of resume should be proactive and not a mere list of skills and accomplishments. Also recognize that different cultures require specific CV formats. If you choose to “break” the cultural rules of the work environment in which you intend to position your candidacy make sure the tactics you choose are effective.

When decisions are made to go forward on a resume, it is because the recruiters found their essential wish-list scanning your document. Recruiters do not read a CV unless they have a compelling reason to do so. Therefore, it is necessary to underscore key points to guide the recruiters eyes.

“What do you say…”

Attracting The Recruiters Attention
Some studies on the subject refer to this process as building a CV heat map. It is similar to constructing a web page. Grab somebody’s attention, and they go further. Failure to attract and your resume is toast.

To fine-tune your CV, you will need to establish a clear visual hierarchy. Use only relevant information relating to the job you want to apply for. Do not use a shotgun technique. It will go nowhere. Pointers under job positions should bullet MBOs, i.e. management by objectives. This means use active verb forms to accentuate sought after skill sets.

Use terms such as “managed, led, created, analyzed”, and so forth. The verbs you choose need to be allied to skill sets you possess, matching the job requirements. Research the position you are looking for. If you build the match, you should in theory, be called to interview. Then you get the joy of “selling” the product you created in person.

What not to put on the resume is as important as what to put. As previously mentioned this can be dictated by culture and expectations. In France, recruiters look for photographs, gender, driver’s license, nationality, and even age.

In the Anglo-Saxon world these points are deleted from a resume unless specially asked for. Why? They are considered discriminatory. Does this mean that Anglo-Saxon recruiters don’t discriminate? No, it does not. They just do so in more discrete ways.

10 Essential Resume Writing Tips
1) Do not list an objective unless asked to do so. Save this for the cover letter.

2) Drop all irrelevant work experience
Deciding what is irrelevant can be a bit tricky. It is determined by your age and experience to date. When someone is in his or her 20s, they want to highlight everything they have done, which can include previous “small” jobs or clubs. Be careful, which ones you list. Most are unsuitable. We have all done small jobs. My father referred these as “character” builders. These positions include babysitting, head of the glee club, or waiting tables at Rosie’s Diner.

“Everyone needs a great resume to start with…”

3) Personal Information
At the interview, you will undoubtedly can be required to divulge age, marital status, and other personal details. Initially, they have no place on a resume because they do prejudice judgment. Whether you are married or not is immaterial. Neither does it matter if you have a dog or fish license.

Depending where you live and where you want to work, you could be asked whether you have a valid work permit. If you want to work in the UK or within the European Union, this is certainly a key point. You can put this detail in your cover letter. Let it be understood that you have the appropriate working papers.

4) CV Length
There are various schools of thought here. One school holds to the one-page resume format. The other school favors a two-page CV. Judgment here is crucial. For most people, a one-page CV is sufficient.

Make your professional “story” short and concise. Once again, only describe and list essential points. They must be relevant. For example, if you are applying for a position in finance, and you describe a marketing related experience this can send mixed signals. If it is irrelevant, alter or drop the description. Secondly, I cannot stress enough using bullets and MBOs.

5) Outside Interests
This category gets people every time. In France, everyone wants to know your “passions”. However, they have no place on the resume unless directly tied to managerial or leadership functions. For example, if you engage in community service work, this could add + points to your profile if handled adroitly. On the other hand, the fact that you play polo, go skydiving, or collect rare butterflies is irrelevant.

6) Questions of Age
Age cuts two ways. We have all been through this. Either you are too young or too old. It seems that you can never win on this. On no account list your age. At an interview, you will have to face this.

For handling this delicate question, there is another strategy. This issue is of particular importance when it comes to listing graduation dates. Under the education category list essentials. Do not add a dozen training programs or workshops. If you list too much, someone might think that you are over qualified for a job. Use your judgment. We had a client last week where this issue was of paramount importance. We advised weeding out of certain details so that a future employer was not distracted from the essentials.

7) Which “voice” should the resume be in?
The issue of voice concerns writing in either the third or first person. Avoid third person because it will put into question, who has written the CV. Having stated this, avoid using sentences such as “I manage a team of X”. This detail should be written as follows: Managed a team of X on the Y project

8) References & Recommendations
It used to be that people would list “references” and either list names or state “to be given upon request”. Put neither. If someone wants references or recommendations, they will ask at your interview. Remember, references cut two ways. You want to be sure that the person, who recommends you is aware of the fact that they will be contacted.

9) Issues of Email
Email addresses should be simple and straightforward. Please do not list batman@hotmail.com Use a legitimate address whether it is Google, Yahoo or Bing.

10) Concerning Telephone Numbers
We suggest listing only one. Put the country code in parenthesis if you are applying outside your home base. The choice of landline or mobile is up to you. If you use a mobile, be sure when you answer you are not in a crowded place. Offer to return the call at a more suitable time. Otherwise, let them leave a message.

Do not list current business contacts. If you list a current business contact number, you risk being called at work. This can be most embarrassing for reasons I will not insult your intelligence. All professional environments monitor incoming email and phone calls.

For A Free Professional Evaluation

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Article Title: READ MY LIPS: How To Write A Great Resume
Photographs: curated by ES

About The Author
Andrew Scharf shares enchanting stuff on the topics of marketing, innovation, talent development, coaching, enchantment, and craftsmanship. He is also the head Koi at CAREO, a career management consultancy under the WCW Group brand.

For further inspiration
Visit CAREO: Life In The Fast Lane

Close Encounters Of Personal Branding

“Because you have a touch of class…”

Now a DJ might very well save your life if you’re a big music fan. However, personal branding is more than finding the right sound track. Because career management matters, you need to master the tricks of the trade. The question is how to grab someone’s attention. Your birthday suit might turn heads at the Pamplone beach in Saint Tropez, but is this the type of attention you really want?

Let’s start by changing your approach to personal branding. Start with a cup of Jamaican Blue Mountain. The smell alone of this roast will show you why personal branding is most feasible when we are clear-headed.

In our view, personal branding has several components. This includes a well-written CV, updated social media profiles, and paying attention to your appearance. Think of personal branding as an exercise in product management. It constitutes the sales pitch and raises the bar of your attractiveness quotient. Is your profile engaging to an anonymous reader? If it isn’t, then a serious rethink is in order. Perhaps, you should start by deleting those Facebook photos of that lost weekend in Capri.

Take for example, someone I was counseling in the hospitality sector. The first faux pas was a three-page CV. Nobody is going to read this. Measure each word. Tailor your skills and achievements to the type of job you are seeking. If you are required to attach a photograph, make it a pro show.

Using social media today is old hat. Everyone does. The question is how. You can start by studying LinkedIn strategies for sound advice. Otherwise, hire someone to help you harness the power of LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook or any other social media you feel valuable to personal branding.

Dealing With Age
Someone once quipped that “youth was not a guarantee of innovation nor age a sign of wisdom”. Although questions of age are shallow and discriminatory, be prepared. Some firms will not hire people of a certain age. Others value experience. Make sure you demonstrate how indispensable you can be to the organization you desire to join. If you do, you should land an interview.

The Impact Of Physical Appearance
This almost sounds trite. No matter what you might think, first impressions do matter. They counted when you were young and inexperienced; they count even more in today’s youth inspired culture. People are drawn to packaging. If you think of your appearance in this way, you will better understand the necessity of dressing for success. How you dress reflects the inner you. It is not as superficial as you think. This does not mean that you should be a show pony.

“This may not be the attention you wanted to grab…”

If you have questions on what you should wear or how to rebuild your wardrobe with panache, I counsel finding a professional look that suits your personality and the field you are intent on entering. It is as simple as that. Don’t overdress. However, make sure you fit the corporate culture you want to be part of.

According to a survey published in Paris, the stats are revealing on how people are judged. HR pros state that you are judged in the first 30 seconds. A favorable impression sets the tone for the substance to follow.

Look at the breakdown on a scale of 1-10:

  • General Appearance: 8
  • Manners & Speech Articulation: 7
  • What you actually say at the interview: 5
  • Chemistry: 7
  • Now you can state that first impressions are not fair. However, let’s be honest. When has any interview or judgment process been fair?

    HR people have a list of written and unwritten criteria. Offering you a cup of coffee is just good manners. If you pass muster, then you are called back for successive interviews. At this stage your personal branding strategy should shift gears. Focus on your competencies and added value. Dressing well just states, you are one of team.

    In general, women pay closer attention to social indicators than do men. Creating the right style voice depends on the organization. All corporate cultures have a dress code. Dressing well should begin when you are young. Pay attention to color and accessories. The key colours for suits are midnight blue and anthracite grey. Shirts can be white, blue and even stripped. Ties should be sober. Jewellery for women should be discrete and unfussy.

    Hygiene is paramount. This includes hairstyles, nails, teeth and complexion. Your personality is best exhibited by your demeanor. See your clothes as an investment. Get the most flattering cuts for your body morphology.

    The next important factor to getting a “yes” is your attitude. How you feel about yourself will radiate. Be proud of yourself and what you can do. Know your profile attributes. Personal branding means making a sale. Do not put yourself down even to yourself. A positive attitude carries a certain energy vibration. Even the most unspiritual human being will pick up on it. Exude confidence. Every one likes a success story. Do not confuse confidence with arrogance.

    “Because you want your profile to stand out…”

    The real trick to personal branding is to be light on your feet, seize opportunities as they present themselves, and think like an entrepreneur. Some professionals take charge of career change by actually launching their own enterprise. If you choose this path, no one will ever tell you that you are too young or too old. Not a bad option, when all things are considered. Just think, you even get to decide which coffee to drink at the office.

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    Article Title: Close Encounters Of Personal Branding
    Photographs: curated by ES

    About The Author
    Andrew Scharf shares enchanting stuff on the topics of marketing, innovation, talent development, coaching, enchantment, and craftsmanship. He is also the head Koi at CAREO, a career management consultancy under the WCW Group brand.

    For further inspiration
    Visit CAREO: Life In The Fast Lane

    Why Corporate Stewardship Demands Leadership

    “At least dress the part…”

    Stewardship always matters. Corporate stewardship is best summed up by social responsibility and sound business leadership practices. To illustrate this point a rather quaint tale crossed my desk last week. It gets to the heart of stewardship, empowering employees, and continuing a legacy of innovation. It reinforces that stewardship goes beyond numbers. It implies engendering a sane corporate culture, which promotes human values over power and greed.

    Let me give you an example of how one business leader taught his team the principals of sound stewardship. Not far from my office is an innovative IT firm, dealing with social media solutions. The CEO understood the tenants of stewardship. It was his belief that an organization runs like a clock and that succession had to be planned. However, he wanted to make sure that the organization he built was passed on to an appropriate successor.

    The person needed to embody meritocracy, honesty and integrity. So to choose the next head of Wise Guy Media, he devised a small game. He opted for an out-of-the-box approach rather than selecting a high ranking board member. Then, he called the core team to a meeting. Everyone attended and were seated around an impressive mahogany table. The game of stewardship was about to begin.

    Once the throng was settled in with a cup of coffee at everyone’s elbow, he expressed to his colleagues the time had come to organize his departure. He explained his reasons for wanting to leave. His team understood why he desired to shuffle off and start an NGO dedicated to education in rural districts.

    “I have decided to call everyone here today in order to choose the next CEO of our group. Since it has always been the policy within Wise Guy to reward top talent given our flat hierarchical structure, I will select one of you. The game we will play is called stewardship.

    To play this game, I’ve placed a terra-cotta pot in front of each of you. Now, I will walk around the room and hand out a special seed to each of you. Your sole function during the game is to nurture the seed. Do whatever you think it takes. Stewardship is an often tricky game and calls for insight.

    Obviously, to get a seed to grow, you will need to water and fertilize what you have planted. One year from today, I will ask you to return to this office and we shall discover and discuss the strategies you have used. I will give careful consideration to each result and determine what you have harvested. Following my examination of your efforts, I will select the next head of our noble institution. Stewardship, keep in mind, is serious business.”

    “Because the best leaders set an example…”

    All the executives present at the meeting were a bit surprised. They knew their CEO’s penchant for being different. After all, under his stewardship the firm had won many awards for clear thinking and innovative content marketing and advertising campaigns. If he felt that stewardship was so important, then it must be so.

    “He practices yoga”, whispered a pin stripe suit to a charcoal clad marketing expert.

    “Perhaps, it’s all that wheat grass juice, he’s been drinking at lunch”, added a lipsticked financial analyst to the accountant.

    Since the CEO wanted a buy-in to his game of stewardship, he asked everyone present to vote by a show of hands. One by one, they raised their hands in consent.

    Among the team, there was one gentleman present whose real name I won’t disclose. He was nicknamed Sai by his colleagues. He didn’t really get the point about the seed and the pot. However, he thought, if everyone else is going to play this game of stewardship, I will go along.

    After the meeting, like his colleagues, he took the plant home and gave it a prominent place in a sun baked window. Sun he thought would be key. His inquisitive wife thought this was an odd way to choose a successor, but kept her thoughts to herself. She did think that this was another way for Sai to shine since he was a great gardener. Day after day, before going to work, Sai meticulously watered the seed.

    Within three weeks, colleagues started to recount how sprouts were popping up out of their respective pots. Tales varied. Sai, who was valued at the firm for his story telling and wordsmith skills, had nothing to report. As time slipped by, you would think from the communal discussions at the water cooler, this company had became a nursery rather than a communications agency.

    Sai however, shrugged his head when he listened. His seed was taking forever. Still, he watered his pot. Hoping that his seed was just a late bloomer like the Gingko.

    Six months into the stewardship exercise, Sai felt he must have done something wrong. Not only did he not see foliage, he saw zilch. His colleagues on the other hand were exuberant. Some even repotted theirs to accommodate the larger roots. Sai continued to keep calm and put on his best smile every time corporate discussions turned to the stewardship game.

    Finally the year passed. The moment everyone had waited for had arrived. The boardroom was filled with lush growth of countless descriptions. That morning before going to the office, Sai was ready to call in sick. His wife disagreed.

    “Look, there’s no point in bringing in an empty pot. I’ll look ridiculous in front of my peers. Even the CEO will laugh. If I couldn’t get a silly seed to grow, I certainly couldn’t be trusted to run an enterprise. Who knows, I might even get fired.”

    “You did the best you could. Now go.”

    And so Sai, took the pot, put it into the car and drove to work.

    When he showed up there was much commotion. Some plants had flowers and others were small trees. Sai wanted to crawl into a corner. Despite the unpleasantness, he had to see this through. So, he sat in the back hoping nobody would notice him. Then the CEO blew in slapped backs, shook hands all around and gazed at the flora on the huge table in front of him.

    “My my. This is very impressive. You have all been as busy as beavers.” Then his eye spied Sai and the empty pot. He then motioned to Sai to come forward.

    “So what’s this my lad?”

    With all eyes on Sai, he was visibly shaking. There’s nothing for it, he thought. I must have somehow killed the plant. Tell the CEO the truth, and be done with it. So he recounted how he tended the seed, but despite his diligence nothing worked. Sai felt he let down the side, and certainly flunked the game of stewardship. He ended his small discourse with an apology.

    At first, he CEO said nothing and then stood up to address the group of contenders.

    “I hope you’re all listening. I’ve made my choice. Now, congratulate Sai. He is the next CEO.”

    The room was dumbfounded. To break the silence, the CEO started to walk around the table as he continued to address his colleagues.

    “A year ago, we began to play the game of stewardship. I entrusted each one of you with a seed. What none of you knew were that the seeds were boiled. Therefore, nothing can sprout from a dead seed. When you found that your seed would not grow, you substituted another for the one I gave you. Sai was the only one with the courage and honesty to bring me his pot with the actual seed I entrusted him to safeguard. By doing so, he has demonstrated the lessons of stewardship. Therefore, he is the only one among you who is worthy of this office.”

    As the meeting adjourned, the CEO handed out an envelope to each of the participants. This is what the paper inside stated:

    * If you plant honesty, you will reap trust
    * If you plant goodness, you will reap friends
    * If you plant humility, you will reap greatness
    * If you plant perseverance, you will reap contentment
    * If you plant consideration, you will reap perspective
    * If you plant hard work, you will reap success
    * If you plant forgiveness, you will reap reconciliation

    Be careful what you plant now; It will determine what you reap later.

    Join The Conversation. Let us know what you think.

    Article Title: Why Corporate Stewardship Demands Leadership
    Photographs: archival, curated by ES

    About The Author
    Andrew Scharf shares enchanting stuff on the topics of marketing, innovation, talent development, coaching, enchantment, and craftsmanship. He is also the head Koi at CAREO, a career management consultancy under the WCW Group brand.

    For further inspiration
    Visit CAREO: Building one success story at a time

    How Confucius Can Change Your Life

    “When smoke gets in your eyes…”

    Confucius is important to understanding our turbulent times. Nobody tackles how to deal with life situations better than Confucius. When we know how to chart a course of equilibrium, managing problems is easy. Confucius offers us guidance and a cogent alternative to business as usual.

    Now, I know what you are thinking. This guy’s been at the Moo Shu again. Quite the contrary. The teachings of Confucius are perfect tools to tackle complex management issues. Face it, business is a rough and tumble game. There are rules. However, there are players who are happy to break those rules. Open any major newspaper, read the headlines, and you will agree this so. Confucius however, delivers some down to earth answers.

    Let’s explore a snip of Confucius to gain a broader perspective:

    “When happiness, anger, grief and joy are not expressed, this is called the Mean. When they do find expression in a restrained and balanced way, this is called Harmony. The Mean is the root of the world. Harmony is the Way of the world”.

    “More than fortune cookie wisdom…”

    Quite a statement, don’t you think.

    The term harmony concerns balance. It also entails compromise. Forget the gunslinger’s approach. The mechanics of teamwork are subtle. Staff do not have to like one another. They should nevertheless, work together effectively. Do not confuse chemistry and personality with performance. Great teams are built with distinctive individuals. Everyone has unique qualities. Recognizing this truth is the definition of harmony. Confucius did.

    Exercising your judgment can be tricky. Surmounting obstacles is what one of my colleagues calls this “walking on the edge of a razor blade”. Forget failure. The results will take care of themselves when you are balanced.

    Do not be fussed by the methodology either. Use what is appropriate for your situation. Appropriate does not mean committing the “Discourses” of Niccolo Machiavelli to heart. Nor does it mean tattooing his descriptions of conniving and cunning to your chest. It entails avoiding extremes.

    Remember Confucius was not pedantic. He walked the talk. Born a meager, impoverished young boy, he recognized that the way forward was based on values most people hold dear. For this reason, Confucius stressed ethics.

    “Because you love harmony…”

    Confucius also promoted modesty, honesty, and unity through education in action. His fundamental belief was that all individuals are entitled to the same educational rights. Confucius coupled this teaching to the values of community. He was not keen on the dog eat dog approach.

    In theory, education releases a leader’s potential to make the right decisions for the greater good. With his guiding hand, Confucius proved in practice that individuals should create and exploit opportunities. See reality as it is. When favorable or unfavorable outcomes are put aside, this is the Mean. Now you can decide with authority and take action. Tackling these choices is done from a position of rationality and sustainability.

    By understanding the mechanics of your own heart, you are ready for true leadership. Working and guiding others with harmony will be as easy as listening to the gentle sound of the wind through wisteria. After all, Confucius was not adverse to a good cup of Pu-erh.

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    Article Title: How Confucius Can Change Your Life
    Photographs: curated by ES

    About The Author
    Andrew Scharf shares enchanting stuff on the topics of marketing, innovation, talent development, coaching, enchantment, and craftsmanship. He is also the head Koi at RedHerring, a digital communications agency under the WCW Group brand.

    For further inspiration
    Visit RedHerring: Life In The Fast Lane

    How To Choose The Best Business School

    “Because you want to be the top dog…”

    Business Education is more than gaining a degree. Given the designer price tags, many candidates are asking what type of business education is the best investment. If you have the credentials, your choice is extensive. A great business school education gives students a transformational experience. The mediocre ones are just degree factories.

    The corporate world considers business education essential. Think of it as your union card to well-paid employment. Unlike other academic degrees, you can still succeed in business without an MBA. However, you must have drive and determination. If you choose this road, you need to be very savvy, an opportunist and probably an entrepreneur at heart. Perhaps one day, Bill Gates might teach “How To Grab Opportunity” at HBS. Pundits know that real business knowledge is gained in the workplace.

    “Because you don’t want to be an exile on Main Street…”

    A great school will offer you personalized attention and a curriculum tailored to your career aspirations. Secondly, you can tap exclusive networks the smaller fry cannot offer. Mediocre schools simply don’t have the intellectual firepower, financial resources or the prestigious alum networks. “Access to great job offers is the price of MBA admissions”, according to one of my colleagues.

    Evaluating Business School Rankings
    Understand that rankings are glorified beauty contests. They are bolstered by trade fairs and glossy brochures. Each business school attempts to promote leadership, sustainability, ethics, entrepreneurship, and social media. Some schools get it. Others just languish in their own marketing rhetoric.

    The top 25 business schools remain in the same cluster year after year. Appearances are made by other schools periodically. Afterward, they drop back into relative obscurity. From our standpoint, forget the rankings. Focus on post-grad salary projections and job placement.

    “Because a great business education is more than hearts ‘n flowers…”

    Considering European Programs
    Fifteen years ago, France and Spain languished in their own cultural myopia. Today, the landscape is different. Insead in France was always a major player. There are others now worthy of serious consideration: HEC, ESSEC, and ESCP.

    Spain features 3 top business schools, which include IE Business School, Iese, and ESADE. These programs are extremely attractive to Latin Americans. You don’t need to have an ancestral kinship to Iberian culture to benefit. Our counsel has always been to choose a business school in accordance with your needs, budget, and aspirations.

    Meeting Your Expectations
    Not meeting your objectives can cause a wave of negative emotions. This is not the moment to panic. Panic never helped anyone. If action is something you want, there is always a positive solution at hand. The best tactic is not to give in to fear. Fear stems from the insecurity. It generates confusion and prompts us to act rashly.

    Explore your options. Smart business school candidates should make a strategic action plan. Don’t forget to manage your time. Methodically calibrate each step of the application process and you will succeed.

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    Article Title: How To Choose The Best Business School
    Photographs: curated by ES

    About The Author
    Andrew Scharf shares enchanting stuff on the topics of marketing, innovation, talent development, coaching, enchantment, and craftsmanship. He is also the head Koi at RedHerring, a digital communications consultancy under the WCW Group brand.

    For further inspiration
    Visit RedHerring: Life In The Fast Lane

    Career Change: It’s OK To Get Emotional

    “The right attitude is beyond holiday planning…”

    The first thing you should know about career change: It’s OK to get emotional. This does not imply running through the streets shouting, “Godzilla…Godzilla…Godzilla”. Work hard and play hard. If you don’t enjoy your life as it happens nobody else will.

    Career Management Rule No.2
    The second thing you should know about career management: Forget job security. Live in the present, but plan for the future. As Eckhart Tolle has relentlessly stated, “The only time you have is now.” Too many people wish their lives away dreaming for something that will never take place. Be fastidious in your pursuit of career change.

    Don’t worry about vulnerability. Think of it as a badge of honor for. Treat everyone as you wish to be treated. It is an excellent yardstick to live by. Don’t be like some people I know who treat staff like expendable fodder. Acting in this way demonstrates a lack of leadership and moral courage. If you find yourself in a firm with a “France Telecom” mentality, look to foster your career elsewhere. In a globalized world order, career security is dead in the water. Act like an entrepreneur constantly seeking new opportunities to exploit.

    “Because you only live twice…”

    To better manage your career, you need a firm grasp of the reins. Planning change in your professional evolution is fundamental. Real security is having the power to manage your own career. If you do not manage your own career development, nobody else will.

    Take for example, the normally self-confident investment bankers. Even they have their soft spots in their track records and must plan for change. One year you can receive a fabulous bonus, and the next year find yourself looking for Godot. To foster career evolution, experts counsel close stewardship of your personal brand. List your goals. What would you like to do that you haven’t done before? Is further education necessary? Do you want a certificate or a degree program?

    Prioritize your list. Then choose.

    Career Management Rule No.3
    Career management can sometimes seem overwhelming. You think of nothing else. Do remember that you are not your life’s situation. This is something we often loose track of. Career Management rule No.3 is “Don’t fail to enjoy your family and friends”. They won’t live forever and neither will you. Do you want to remembered for being the only one who can recall the sales stats for rhubarb crumble sales in Schleswig-Holstein or for changing the world?

    Career Management Rule No.4
    Don’t forget to smile. Take your search seriously, but don’t loose your sense of humor. Humor is soooooo important because laughter gives us a positive vibe. You don’t always want to be reaching for the Ayahusca.

    We have found that a gentle hand with structured professionalism should do the trick when you seek professional counsel. Life coaches and professional advisors do not dictate; they are there to help you clear the detritus from your mind with positive thinking and an actionable strategic plan. Add a proper espresso made with Hawaiian Kona and you are well on your way to overcoming any hurdle.

    cover_career management
    “Just think, you won’t have to go undercover…”

    Recently, we had a client, who for argument’s sake, I’ll call Captain Barbosa. He was not his usual self. The sparkle was no longer in his eyes. There was lassitude and forlornness. Dropping into his counseling session, I observed what he needed first was first a sympathetic ear. Conversation began with his upcoming week holiday to the island of Ibiza. Immediately, his mood changed. Who wouldn’t want a little R&R off the coast of Barcelona! The water is turquoise and the tourist invasions are far off.

    From his condition of vulnerability, we were able to get him back on track. Establishing a game plan, we then addressed a list a business schools targets. most attraction for him on the basis of what he had done was Columbia Business School. Barbosa felt a bond with the culture of the school, the entrepreneurship program and loved New York City. Some people thrive in this environment and others cannot. It is silly to apply to a business school if you cannot acclimate to the culture of the school or the area in which the school is located.

    Making The Right Choices
    No matter which MBA you decide to apply for, everyone needs to be reassured that they are not making a mistake. Make sure that the right MBA application choices are made when you apply. This might be only a preliminary step but it is also in my view an essential one. The next step is also crucial. Find yourself dignified counsel. Please note that there is no one correct essay answer to any of the MBA application essays.

    Community Service Activities Count
    We had another client, who thought that her work for an NGO in Mauritania was irrelevant. How wrong she was. This experience enabled the MBA coach advising her to accent her leadership and team building skills outside of work to her advantage. It turned out that this NGO experience was her passion. Talk about a way for her to distinguish her file from other MBA candidates, this was perfect.

    Everyone one of us has done something and is interested in a wide breath of activities. You owe it to yourself to learn how to leverage these experiences into finely tuned channeled messages. Another person once asked me where my confidence came from as if I had bought confidence at a store like a Louis Vuitton travel bag. MBA Coaching might seem like an luxury must have, but it is not an it bag.

    Fostering Confidence
    Confidence is innate to us all. However, to foster self-confidence you need to feel good about yourself. Do not chide yourself for things you have not done or mistakes you may have made. Everyone makes mistakes. Once you change your self-awareness about your self, a new vista will open and you will better perceive the opportunities, which lie before you. Imagine the impossible and make the possible happen. By shifting your awareness you can change your career. This is the type of career management that you not only need but also deserve. Aren’t you worth it?

    Article Title: Career Management: It’s OK To Get Emotional
    Photographs: curated by ES

    About The Author
    Andrew Scharf shares enchanting stuff on the topics of marketing, innovation, talent development, coaching, enchantment, and craftsmanship. He is also the head Koi at CAREO, a career management consultancy under the WCW Group brand.

    For further inspiration
    Visit CAREO: Life In The Fast Lane

    Why You Should Cherish Self Respect

    “Because everyone loves to be kissed…”

    Cherish self respect and you are on the road to navigating career insecurity. Without a strong sense of self respect, and you loose the plot. Here are several career options you can pursue.

    Working Overseas
    Projections for Europe look disheartening. However, be courageous. According to L’Express, 25% of new grads cannot find meaningful employment. In Mediterranean countries, the situation is worse.

    L’Express also points out that Generation X is voting with their feet. Key career destinations for European youth are Canada, USA, Australia, and New Zealand. In France, self respect is at an all time low. In a recent WCW micro-survey of 125 college students, 15 were headed to Hong Kong, 13 to Shanghai, 20 to New York, and a clutch to Montreal. Quebec is attractive because young French professionals are more comfortable on cultural grounds. Emigration was the preferred career choice for those we interviewed.

    For Entrepreneurs
    For entrepreneurs, there is good news. Certain countries are soliciting immigrants by giving start-ups financial and fiscal incentives. Canada and Australia offer the most attractive options. If you would like to start up your own venture, investigate the sector and country in which you plan to start. Certain cultures are more entrepreneurially friendly than others.

    “The language of cool has no rules…”

    Further Education
    Another career catalyst is education. Classic choices include doing an MBA, EMBA, PhD, or LLM. Which ever career path you select, make sure your plans are grounded in reality. This is important for your sense of self respect. Take for example, the MBA application process. It is akin to the FA Cup challenge. The competition plays to knock out rounds. Goal scoring is low, and you need to be as keen as mustard. Despite the vicissitudes of prep, be deliberate and calm.

    “If you don’t respect your self, nobody else will…”

    Personal Brand Management
    There comes a time when you must switch off the mental chatter. Get down to business. Do not let yourself be shadowed by doubt. All you need is a state of calm where the mind does not talk to itself incessantly. Sell your personal story as a unique adventure. This lies at the heart of all personal brand management.

    Do not begin by comparing yourself to Nelson Mandela. Start your action plan with an objective assessment. Make a road map. If possible, seek out professional counsel for emotional and intellectual support. Respect your your talent and your self respect will shine forth like the sun breaking through a net of dark clouds.

    OK Aretha, turn up the volume!

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    Article Title: Why You Should Cherish Self-Respect
    Photographs: curated by ES

    About The Author
    Andrew Scharf shares enchanting stuff on the topics of marketing, innovation, talent development, coaching, enchantment, and craftsmanship. He is also the head Koi at CAREO, a career management consultancy under the WCW Group brand.

    For further inspiration
    Visit CAREO: Life In The Fast Lane