Earlier this week Rose Martinelli, Chicago Booth’s Associate Dean for Student Recruitment and Admissions, weighed in with a blog post about how an applicant can demonstrate leadership even if he or she doesn’t manage people on the job. She had this to say:
First, leadership encompasses much more than managing people. The vast majority of applicants will not likely have had the opportunity to officially manage people yet, but have had opportunities to “lead” ideas, sports teams, student groups, and, of course, make life decisions.Think about how you’ve impacted an organization or decision recently. It’s likely you did not have hierarchical authority, but you were successful because of your influence, effective communication skills, and your ability to motivate people toward a shared goal.
So think broadly about the topic of leadership recognizing that each person has their own unique style. Make sure that you explore your leadership style as you prepare for your MBA experience. It’s one of the biggest developmental challenges you will face throughout your career.
This is very consistent with what we discuss in Your MBA Game Plan — leadership is not merely a title or position that you hold. It’s a set of traits and behaviors that allow you to consistently make a positive impact on those around you, even if you’re not officially their boss. This is also consistent with what Veritas Prep discussed recently in an MBA admissions video on how MBA applicants can demonstrate leadership.