360-Degree feedback about Managers and leadership rarely offer an in-depth review of what is lacking in a leader. In such a scenario, knowing about oneself is limited to the opinions of the close network, majority of whom depends on the leader’s evaluation for promotion and other benefits. When the balance of power is blatantly one-sided, leaders live in a bubble. The grandiose self-image comes from the exaggerations of sycophants.
If you had the opportunity to lead a team, what was the biggest criticism that was hurled against you? Find out how to showcase your leadership by downloading our Essay Guide.
Most 360-degree feedback offers token criticism like “too much control” and praises hidden as criticism like “non-negotiable deadlines.” The most obvious criticism in such an environment is “lack of inspiration”.
When was the last time you sat with a team member, and asked her to list five areas where you can improve? It takes a strong leader to invite criticism, especially from team members who work under you. “Lack of Empathy” is a common criticism. Agreed - leadership is not a popularity contest but leaders have the ability to reach out to the team. When you focus on motivating the team members, you become a cheerleader but when you infuse a purpose, team members look beyond the shallow goals of ‘Completing a task’ or ‘Meeting the deadlines’. They make sure that their authority on the subject matter is expressed through the output. Quality guidelines are met, and expectations exceeded. They don’t see you as someone motivating just to get thing done but values your feedback beyond the project. You transition from a leader to a mentor.
Cite examples were you asked for feedback from team members in private. What criticism did you face? How did you transition from a taskmaster to an inspiring leader? What steps did you take?
MBA Admission committee wants to know how you perceive yourself, and the effort you took to learn about your weaknesses. Only a mature leader can think of self-improvement on a regular basis. The egoist leader looks at his style as sacred; that needs no tweaking. Business Schools hesitate to accept applicants with brilliant leadership but terrible people’s skills. These applicants might excel outside the classroom environment, but MBA is about collaboration, and admission team takes extra effort to ensure that the class is balanced in competence and temperament.
It’s rare to see applicants accepting limitations – both in skills and personal traits. If you are an introvert, MBA cannot transform you into a people’s person but very few applicants accept their limitations. If you are not good at selling but great at planning, or crunching numbers, so be it. Did you try to become a better sales person? The effort is important here. We can make sweeping generalizing about our skills and talents, but finding limitations takes looking at our effort in an unbiased manner.
When you have worked in a job function for 6 months to 1 year, and couldn’t excel above the average performance, it proves your limitations. Perhaps, you looked at an MBA, after accepting your limitations. It takes courage and self-knowledge to understand your limitations, and take actions to rectify it. Correcting the limitations does not mean to persist at a mediocre competence level but finding avenues where you can leverage your true talents. Most career switchers fail to mention their limitations in MBA Application essays, missing a great opportunity to show their leadership trait.
Clarity of Values
Another element of self-knowledge is ‘Clarity of Values’. If you believe in rewarding hard work, and not favoring a team member based on ‘personal’ friendship, how did you demonstrate the value through your actions? It’s easy to speak & write about values. Cite an example where you took a tough decision that was in alignment with your values, but was discomforting.
Maybe you replaced a team member, who was your friend, but incompetent to complete the goals. What moral dilemma did you face? How did you stick to your decision? How did you communicate the decision? How did it impact your friendship? MBA Admission committee wants to know to what extent you will stick to your values. Will you risk it against personal relationships?
What are your values?
What is your passion?
What is non-negotiable in your work and life?
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?
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.
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 Booth MBA Essay #2: Leadership experience (Teach for America)(640 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 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
Sample LBS MBA Essay (A Career Switcher from Hospitality to Consulting) (499 Words)
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)
5 Examples with Images
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)
+ 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