Home


MBA Applicants: 7 Leadership Qualities you Should have

Leadership Traits MBA ApplicationLeadership traits cannot be learned from manuals and textbooks. It consists of behavioral patterns and traits that are organically evolved in people. Some traits are inherited and others, acquired, but the important ones are acquired by overcoming challenges.

For instance, choice between ethics and inflated profits is a clear test of the leader’s moral compass. The best decisions, maintain a balance between good ethics and healthy profits. If an ethical dilemma prevails, then leaders should rely more on hindsight and less on intuition. It is not easy to judge leadership potential, but most MBA AdCom agrees that applicants with leadership potential show most of the following qualities.

1. Self-regulation

Self-regulation determines the manner in which leaders behave in the workplace. The leaders who do not keep emotions in check, would likely put off people; and the ones who do, gains amiable support from peers. Before enforcing rules and regulations in business, leaders should ensure complete adherence from their part. One of the ways to gauge this trait among MBA applicants is to look at past records – both academic and professional. A simple phone conversation with one of the supervisors or professors and some probing would reveal key characteristics of the applicant. They might not give you a complete picture, but helps in classifying “the good from “the bad’ to the “terribly awful.”

2. Promoting Teamwork

Teamwork is an often-measured trait in MBA Application. Leaders are the last to take credit for the team’s success and first to take responsibility of the team’s failure. This is not a learned skill. It comes naturally to the leader. If you read MBA Application essays of top performers, this trend becomes visible.

In addition to taking the ownership of the team, leaders are generous when it comes to praising team members in public, and private with criticism. The story about team member’s journey from an amateur to a professional becomes folklore and motivates newcomers to give their best for the company.

3. Catalyst for change  

What distinguishes Managers from leaders is this key skill. Managers have limited motivating capacity when it comes to triggering change. They are narrowly focused on the output without understanding how they can contribute towards changing the company culture or team’s effectiveness. Although MBAs are designed to create Managers, the top programs focus heavily on creating leaders who are honest with feedbacks, and proactive with corrective steps. The new breed of leaders demonstrates courage, authenticity, passion, and collaboration.

4. Empathy

Although great leaders are honest with feedback, their advice on improving key functional and soft skills are conveyed with empathy. This trait is partly a learned skill, developed through experience working with diverse team members with different expertise, functional skills, and temperament.  Leaders have learned that tactical diplomacy works better for the team than coercive force. Before making any major change in an organization structure or project schedule, leaders evaluate the repercussions of the change from the team’s perspective first before taking into consideration the impact on the bottom line. This strategy works in the long-term, as experts cite the lack of empathy as number one cause for attrition – a cost that impacts the bottom line more than any failure on deliverables.

5. Problem Solving

Leaders make sure that they are surrounded by functional experts. The advice from a diverse group makes for an engaging for and against argument on every decision. This avoids ineffective decisions resulting from confirmation biases. Solving problem requires contextual knowledge, and it comes only through daily interaction with experts. Although leaders have expertise in one or two areas, they rely mostly on understanding trends in each industry, and experience of key advisors.

In modern business where information spreads fast with high-end technology, defining problems have become tougher. Leaders have to gather, allocate and integrate vital business information in time; and frame feasible business solutions. Problem solving demand an inherent cognitive skill in leaders. John Kotter defined this cognition as “above average intelligence” and “Keen Mind”. It is different from the functional problem solving skills that require narrow focus and limited expertise. Leadership decisions can be made only through a broader understanding of how various Business elements interoperate and how demand-supply cycles influence strategic decisions.

6. Salesmanship

MBA AdCom hates salesmanship when the story is one sided, but they enjoy a good story from a salesman where he had to overcome many failures. Good Leaders are great salespersons. They are passionate about their product, and lead the client presentation. There are no task delegations when it comes to product launch. They are good at owning the presentation, and motivating stakeholders towards a vision that might seem far-fetched in current reality. A leader is closely involved in client meetings, team meetings, product launch, seminars, and conferences. She is the face of the company.

7. Adherence to Ethics and Law

What might seem a rather inconsequential decision, involve ethics and morality, usually hide unforeseen consequences.  Most Business Schools include instances of ethical decision making in one of prompts in essays, interviews, or recommendation letter. Reputation of the company is influenced by the decisions taken by its top management. With a vigilante group of journalist, and free flow of information through social media, unethical decisions taken by the management can no longer be hidden through a consolidated network of private broadcasters. Information is flowing freely, and by admitting candidates with low tolerance for unethical decision-making, AdCom have realized that the next generation of top Management would be filled with professionals who value fair competition and strategy over greed, and unethical shortcuts.

More Essay Tips

F1GMAT's Winning MBA Essay guide will teach you how to transform your essay to an epic life journey with trials and tribulations that will move the admission team.

Read Winning MBA Essay Guide


Sample Essays + Essay Writing, Review & Editing Tips + 15 School-Specific Tips = Winning MBA Essay Guide

"Pressed against the deadline, I ordered F1GMAT's Winning MBA Essay Guide as their blogs always had something interesting to say. It was by far one of the best decisions I have made in my life. Going through the Essay Guide, I learned the art of storytelling, using various ploys mentioned in the book. Most important one being the “W pattern,” a strategy of information sharing that creates a sense of excitement in the mind of the reader." -
MIT Sloan MBA Candidate

Only 1 in 900 gains admission to Harvard MBA program. If you write your essay focused only on your achievements, post-MBA goals, and your pre-MBA experience, you will be among the 899 rejected applicants.

ATTENTION is the secret ingredient. How will you get the attention of the essay reviewer?

You know why parables shared 1000 years ago are still shared among us?

Storytelling!

Yes, the art of storytelling has won presidency for Obama, transformed Apple from an unknown start-up to a brand synonymous with Quality, and gained admission for the average MBA Applicant.

F1GMAT's Winning MBA Essay guide will teach you how to transform your essay to an epic life journey with trials and tribulations that will move the admission team.

Who Should Buy The Winning MBA Essay Guide?

If your essay looks too bland, our Winning MBA Essay Guide will show you, with examples, on how to use the elements of Storytelling like Incorporating "The Struggle", Using Emotional connectors, narrating the Journey and the use of Chronology, Vividness and Active Verbs to transform your essays.

If you are stuck in the Writing process, our Winning MBA Essay Guide will show you how to silence the Analytic Mind and overcome mental blocks.

If you feel that the essays are not persuasive, our Winning MBA Essay Guide will teach you how to use the W-Pattern narrative, Contexts, Turning Points and "The Show Don't Tell Approach" to write a Winning MBA Essay.

If you don't have enough leadership experience, our Winning MBA Essay Guide will show you how to highlight non-obvious qualities like Trust, Focus, Listening Skills, Personal Responsibility, Humility, Self-Knowledge, and other secondary traits to prove your leadership.

If you don't know how to review your essays, our Winning MBA Essay Guide will demonstrate how to improve readability with the power of iteration, and maintain your original voice by removing review biases.

Pages: 666

Winning MBA Essay Guide Includes
+Harvard MBA Essay Tips (2019 Entering Class)
    Sample MBA Essay – Gratitude & Giving Back (319 Words)   
    Sample MBA Essay – Entrepreneurship (Influence of Childhood) (401 Words)   
    Sample Harvard MBA Essay - Volunteering (Mental Health Awareness)   (774 Words)   
+
Stanford
MBA Essay Tips (2019 Entering Class)
    Sample Why Stanford MBA Essay (Consulting)(399 words)  
    Sample Why Stanford MBA Essay (Tech Entrepreneur) (390 words)  

    Sample Why Stanford MBA: Career Switch(Finance to Green Energy Consulting)(394 Words)
    Sample Essay A: What matters most to you, and why? (740 Words)
+ Chicago Booth MBA Essay Tips (2019 Entering Class)
    Sample Booth MBA Essay #1: Oil & Gas to Consulting (475 Words)
     Sample Booth MBA Essay #1: Social IMPACT to Marketing (478 Words)   
     Sample Booth MBA Essay #2: Leadership experience (Father’s Restaurant Business)(493 Words)   
     Sample Booth MBA Essay #2: Leadership experience (Teach for America)(640 Words)

+ Columbia MBA Essay Tips (2019 Entering Class)
   Sample Columbia MBA Essay 1: Enterprise to Consumer Marketing (495 Words)  

    Sample Columbia MBA Essay 2:  New York for Marketing Professionals (244 Words)  
    Sample Columbia MBA Essay #3 - Team Failure (Marketing Lead) (242 Words)  
    Sample Columbia MBA Essay #3 - Team Failure (Technology) (248 Words)  
    Sample Columbia MBA Essay #3 - Team Failure (Pharma) (244 Words)  

+ MIT Sloan MBA Essay Tips (2019 Entering Class)
     Personality Type (Accepted MIT Sloan Students)   
     Cover Letter Checklist   

     Sample Cover Letter – Technology Consulting (286 Words)
     Sample Cover Letter – Healthcare Entrepreneurship (296 Words)
+ Kellogg MBA Essay Tips (2019 Entering Class)
    Sample Essay 1: Demonstrated Leadership (Marketing) (449 Words)
     Sample Essay 2: Demonstrated Leadership (Technology) (449 Words)   
     Sample Essay 3: MBA as a Catalyst for Growth (Technology) (438 Words)
     Sample Essay 4: MBA as a Catalyst for Growth (Non-Profit to Consulting) (442 Words)
+ INSEAD MBA Essay Tips (2019 Entering Class)
   Sample Essay 1: Candid Description, Strengths & Weaknesses
    Sample Essay 2: Achievements and Failures

    Sample Essay 3: Extra-Curricular and How enriched you are
+
Haas
MBA Essay Tips (2018 Entering Class)
     Sample MBA Essay: Non-Profit   
     Sample MBA Essay: Technology   
     Sample MBA Essay: Marketing   
     Sample MBA Essay: Getting Fired   
     Sample MBA Essay: Diverse and Inclusive Culture   
     Sample MBA Essay: Leadership   
     Sample MBA Essay: Post-MBA Goal & How Pre-MBA Experience will help  
 
+ Yale SOM MBA Essay Tips (2019 Entering Class)
    
Sample Yale SOM MBA Essay: Business Development (Mobile Start-Up)(486 Words)
     Sample Yale SOM MBA Essay: Investment Banking (IB)(404 Words)
     Sample Yale SOM MBA Essay: Consulting (442 Words)   
     Sample Yale SOM MBA Essay: Technology (452 Words)   
     Sample Yale SOM MBA Essay: Marketing (492 Words)
     Sample Yale SOM MBA Essay: Entrepreneurship (497 Words)
 
 
+ Ross MBA Essay Tips (2019 Entering Class)
    Sample MBA Essay: Finance Professional who was a former member of a rock band (96 Words)   
   Sample MBA Essay: Marketing Professional with a hidden talent to do Impression (100 Words)   
   Sample MBA Essay: Life Philosophy through the prism of an Entrepreneurial failure (94 Words)   
   Sample MBA Essay: Consulting for a Pharma Giant (Made a Difference) (91 Words)   
   Sample MBA Essay: Three-Level Sanitation Campaign (100 Words)   
   Sample MBA Essay: Water Conservation Kit (99 Words)   
   Sample MBA Essay: Losing client (100 Words)   
   Sample MBA Essay: Misreading Market Conditions (93 Words)   
   Sample MBA Essay: Strategic Planning vs. Tactical Dominance in Chess (97 Words)   
   Sample MBA Essay: Out of my comfort zone(extra-curricular) (93 Words)   
   Sample MBA Essay: Out of my comfort zone (Daily Science Show) (99 Words)   
   Sample MBA Essay: Simplifying Operations for Manufacturing (extra-curricular) (90 Words)   
   Sample MBA Essay: I am aware that I am different (Leadership and Culture) (98 Words)   
   Sample MBA Essay: I am aware that I am different (Technology Project and Last-minute change) (98 Words)   
   Sample MBA Essay: I am aware that I am different (Making Business metrics relevant to a Creative team) (91 Words)   
   Sample MBA Essay: I find it Challenging when People (Timidity)(98 Words)   
   Sample MBA Essay: I find it Challenging when People (Laziness)(100 Words)   
   Sample MBA Essay: I find it Challenging when People (Pessimism) (96 Words)   
   Sample Essay – Short-term Goals and why the goal is the right choice for you (Technology to Marketing)(299 Words)   
+ London Business School MBA Essay Tips (2019 Entering Class)
    London as the Financial Hub   
    London as the Technology Hub   
    London as the Consulting Hub   

    How to Cite the Curriculum (Example)
    Sample LBS MBA Essay (A Career Switcher from Technology to Consulting for FinTech) (489 Words)
    Sample LBS MBA Essay (A Career Switcher from Hospitality to Consulting) (499 Words)
+ Duke Fuqua MBA Essay Tips (2019 Entering Class)
    Framework for Answering the Duke Fuqua Short-Answer Essay Questions   
    Sample Short-term Goals Essay – Technology to Consulting (100 Words)   
    Sample Long-term Goals Essay – Consulting for Government (100 Words)   
    Sample Long-term Goals Essay – Plan B (89 Words)   
    Framework for Answering the Duke Fuqua 25 Random Things   
    Sample Duke Fuqua Essay: The Fuqua community and you (Max 2 Pages)  
+ NYU Stern MBA Essay Tips (2019 Entering Class)
     Sample NYU Stern Essay 1: Goals (498 Words) (Finance)
     Sample NYU Stern Essay 1: Goals (494 Words) (Consulting)
     Essay 3:  Personal Expression (a.k.a. "Pick Six")    
     5 Examples with Images

+ Darden MBA Essay Tips (2019 Entering Class)
    Sample Darden MBA Essay – About yourself (100 Words) (Near Death Experience)
     Sample Darden MBA Essay – About yourself (100 Words) (Networking and Job Offer at an Unlikely place)   
     Sample Darden MBA Essay – About yourself (100 Words) (Mountaineering)
     Sample Darden MBA Essay – Where you want to go with Darden (47 Words)
     Sample Darden MBA Essay – Evolving Leadership Style (198 Words)
     Sample Darden MBA Essay – Meaningful IMPACT (200 Words)
     Sample Darden MBA Essay: Short-term Post-MBA career goal (149 words)
+ Wharton MBA Essay Tips (2019 Entering Class)
    7 Professional Gains
    Sample Wharton MBA Essay 1: Gain professionally from the Wharton MBA? (473 words)   
    Sample Wharton MBA Essay #2: Math Tutoring and Experimental music’s value (388 Words)

+ Sample Essays

+ The Art of Storytelling 
+ Leadership Narratives
+ Review Tips
+ Persuasion Strategies
+ The Secret to "unleashing" your unique voice
+ How to write about your Strengths
+ How to write about your Weaknesses

Download Winning MBA Essay Guide (2019 Entering Class)




Navigate F1GMAT


F1GMAT Services (MBA Applicants) 


MBA Research

MBA Salary(Latest Salary Data)
 
MBA Admission Interview Tips

Funding 

Deadlines

MBA Application Essays

GMAT Tutorials


GMAT Question Bank

Top MBA Programs


Get F1GMAT's Newsletters (Best in the Industry)
Included in the Newsletter:

  • Ranking Analysis
  • Post-MBA Salary Trends
  • Post-MBA Job Function & Industry Analysis
  • Post-MBA City Review
  • MBA Application Essay Tips
  • School Specific Essay Tips
  • GMAT Preparation Tips
  • MBA Admission Interview Tips
  • School Specific Interview Tips
  • Funding Guidance and
  • Special Consultation Service (only for Subscribers)

Subscribe to F1GMAT's Newsletter