Developing Stars in Business

I recently heard an old story about mid-term grades being given back to students in their first undergraduate accounting course.

The professor said to the class, “Those of you who scored badly on the midterm should not be accounting majors.  Those of you that got a ‘C’ can expect to do well in the course, if you work hard for the rest of the semester. Those of you who did well on this exam should become accounting majors.”

This story was told to me by someone who did well on the exam and realized she enjoyed accounting.  So, she took the professor’s advice.  Today, that student is a successful banker.

Wouldn’t it be nice if all of our professional development decisions were as clear as that professor’s words?  Taking charge of our own development is often the last thing we think of.  However, given the competitive environment, within your organization and outside, self-directed development is essential.

To support the professionals in our EMBA and PMBA programs, a course on Emotional Intelligence guides professionals through self-directed learning and improving their Emotional Intelligence.  The best MBA programs require rigorous study of specific business topics.  However, emotional intelligence is what will give individuals the ability to support their path to business “stardom”.

Through a 360 assessment, students’ strengths and weaknesses are evaluated and personal learning plans are developed.

So what exactly is Emotional Intelligence? I believe it’s what sets great leaders apart. According to author Daniel Goleman, “Emotional intelligence refers to the capacity for recognizing our own feelings and those of others, for motivating ourselves, and for managing emotions well in ourselves and in our relationships.”

There are 6 core competencies of emotional intelligence: self-awareness, self-management, self-control, confidence, empathy, and influence.

Within our programs at UB, our goal is to develop stars. Hearing testimonials from some of our alums, I think it’s safe to say that we do:

Donna McKinney, Class of 2009, is a senior business advisor for Kaleida Health. “Working in health and human services, it’s all about emotional intelligence in every decision you make. You need to know how your decisions are going to affect other people and how they are going to respond,” she says.

Dottie Gallagher-Cohen, Class of 2007, is president and CEO of Visit Buffalo Niagara. “As a result of EI, I learned how to better motivate and communicate with people who have profiles and leadership styles that are different than my own,” she says. ” I have a greater awareness of how other people operate.”

How would you describe your ability to be emotionally intelligent? Take part in our LinkedIn poll and we’ll share information on how to develop yourself in the areas you are most interested in.


2 responses to “Developing Stars in Business

  1. Never too late to learn — how does one who is not in the EMBA or PMBA program earn an opportunity to learn more about it?

    • Good question! Go to the Executive or Professional MBA group page on LinkedIn and answer the quick poll. We will give developmental tips for those competencies that people are most interested in developing. Courtney

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