Business School Personal Statement Example 2

Everyone wants to be inspired by their leaders. History provides us with multiple examples of leaders who—for better (i.e., Martin Luther King Jr., Steve Jobs) or for worse (Adolph Hitler)—inspired people to action and promoted change on such a major scale that the globe was forever changed. Although sources of inspiration are diverse, leadership remains a central factor in the extent to which individuals, especially on teams, are inspired to success or driven to failure. I believe that management—effective management—and leadership go hand in hand. Good managers know how to lead people and inspire change. Leadman University’s focus on creating transformational leaders is what attracts me to the School of Management and is one of the reasons why I feel confident that Leadman is the right place for me.

As the president of Future Female Business Leaders of America (FFBLA) at Tulane, my focus was on empowering women to become transformational leaders and translating those leadership skills into success in upper management. I had the opportunity to put the principles I espoused into action and hone my own leadership and management skills when I became one of a handful of female officers in the US Navy upon graduation. While a career in business had always been my academic and professional trajectory, I also knew that I wanted to actively serve my country and lend my skillset to advancing the freedoms of those around the world. I also knew that the experiences I would gain in the Navy would sharpen me in ways that no other experience could, especially as it relates to my ability to effectively manage myself and others. I served as a Ship Serviceman (SH) on the USS Port Royal stationed in Guam for 3 years. In the Navy, I had the opportunity to hone valuable skillsets that I have used over the last 4 years as a lead product manager at 3M. One of the most critical skills I’ve honed is managing (leading) a team.

I understand that the team can literally make or break the success of an operation and that the manager (leader) sets the tone for the team. I believe that this means the manager (leader) shoulders more of the burden for the success or failure of an operation, and real-life situations support this as we see in situations where leaders are scapegoated or blamed for failures or given all the credit for success. My grandfather would always tell me, “To whom much is given, much is required.” I learned later on that these were not his original words, but I still thought my grandfather was the smartest man in the world, and these words have stuck with me throughout the years and fundamentally informed how I approach my responsibilities as a manager (leader).

I think managing is a privilege and should be treated as such. Whether it’s leading a small work group or a whole division of a company, whether the end goal is a product launch or defending a country’s shores, whether the motivation is changing organizational culture or changing a country’s political processes, the ability to lead and set the tone for success is a huge responsibility. I take my responsibilities as a manager seriously and personally. I give the same level of attention to my product development team as I did to my naval work crew. James McGregor Burns, who introduced the concept of transformational leadership in his 1978 book Leadership, describes a transformational leader as someone who “stirs the emotions of people”, “gets people to look beyond their self-interest”, and “inspires people to reach for the improbable”. What powerful ideas! With these goals in mind, the connection between effective management and leadership is undeniable.

To be the best, most effective manager (leader) that I can be, I prioritize continuing self-education on subjects related to business, management, and leadership by attending seminars and conferences where I have the opportunity to attend sessions and interact with other inspiring professionals. I also stay abreast of major trends in the field of business and management (some of my favorites are mentoring and engagement; technological disruption of existing industries; diversity, equity, and inclusion; and change management) through reading and study. I am also the founder of ChangeAgent, a blog and online community with around 10,000 members, that explores diverse topics in business and management. I believe that these involvements make me an ideal candidate for Leadman where the mission is to create global leaders and global scholars.

I have always wanted to attend an institution with a strong legacy of graduating people who have gone on to be major agents of change in their respective organizations and industries. To become a part of a legacy that has produced leaders like Norville Wright, former President and CEO of Wright Automotives who is famous for his unique management style centered on values-centered leadership, and Aishah Muhammad, who founded the Center for Nonprofit Management and Success, would be an honor and one of my biggest accomplishments. Through my naval career, I proved myself to be a leader that people can count on to get the job done with excellence. I believe in empowering all members of a team to take ownership of the task at hand, even if the task is unpopular. Inspiring people to “reach for the improbable” is what Leadman has done for students for since 1897, and I’m sure it will do the same for me. Furthermore, my unique personal and professional experiences will lend a diverse perspective to the institution and program where a focus on better serving the veteran student population is listed as one of the institution’s strategic goals. I will approach my studies at Leadman with the same fervor I approached my responsibilities on my naval ship and my duties at 3M.

Transformational leadership is critical to moving teams, organizations, and nations forward. It is with the goal of becoming the best leader that I can be that I humbly submit my application for Leadman School of Management’s Fall 2018 class. Thank you for your time and consideration.