What Tops the List of Lessons Learned by a Recent Master in Management Grad?

Mind Meld

Emotional Intelligence Deemed Critical for Success

“Success rests in having the courage and endurance, and above all, the will to become the person you are.” —George Sheehan

“Was it worth 20 months and $20,000?” This is the question posed in the October 26, 2014, article by Statesman Journal editorial page editor Dick Hughes. As an adjunct instructor who taught Working with Emotional Intelligence to Dick and his cohort, I am happy to report Dick’s answer was an unequivocal “Yes.”

Dick even gave a nod to emotional intelligence as he recounted the lessons he learned during the program: “Technical skills are over-rated in hiring. In most jobs, from teaching to bartending to scientific research to accounting, the typical applicant will have the technical skills required to perform the job functions. What will determine his or her success is work ethic and people skills. Emotional intelligence is at least as important, and often more important, than the technical skills. A corollary is that good leaders are smart, not necessarily brilliant. Leaders need a combination of skills beyond traditional IQ.”

Other high points in Dick’s learning were:

  • Treat others with respect
  • Stay in the moment—understand what is happening in the here and now
  • Understand your ability to motivate others
  • Embrace responsibility—don’t blame
  • Don’t shortcut the process—involve all affected parties
  • Encourage calculated risk taking

However, Dick ruminates, couldn’t he have learned all this and more at various seminars and by reading books and magazines?

“Yes,” he answers. “I did those things. The lessons faded.”

“That was the power of an accelerated, virtually full-time master’s program, even while working full time, being a spouse and parent, and volunteering in the community: The lessons stuck.

“And to make sure it sticks, the Sticky Note on my phone reminds me of one such lesson: MTBOI. Make the Best of It.”

And that’s just what he seems to have done.

Bravo to Dick Hughes and the others in his Southern Oregon University Master in Management cohort. You did it—you joined the 11 percent of the US population with a master’s degree. May your years ahead be enriched by the knowledge you gained and the lessons you learned.

“The quality of a leader is reflected in the standards they set for themselves.” —Ray Kroc

Read the full Statesman Journal opinion piece here. To read Dick’s previous editorial on emotional intelligence, click here.

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