Learning to be a better business leader and advisor

Nearly 16 weeks ago, I embarked on a grueling plan to make myself a better business leader and better advisor to my clients through the Goldman Sachs 10KSB program developed by Babson College (the nation’s top-ranked school for entrepreneurship).  The program is one specially designed for small business owners seeking to grow their business.  Prior to applying, I understood the program to be something of an intensive MBA program for business owners.  I quickly learned that it was so much more.  While an MBA is certainly a worthwhile pursuit that imparts valuable knowledge, the Goldman Sachs 10KSB program skips over the hypothetical in favor of real-world application of concepts directly to MY business. 

The experience has been transformational.  After the 8-hour orientation, I came home feeling numb from what felt like drinking from a fire hose.  After the first full day, I went home and straight to bed much to the dismay of my MBA-holding husband dying to hear all about it.  After the second session, I was able to put the experience into words: this feels like cutting your head wide open, pulling your brains out, laying them on a table to examine and re-organize them, then trying to put your brains back into your head.  Yes – every single thought I’d ever had about my business and my clients’ business were discussed, dissected, and evaluated.  It didn’t stop there, as now these learnings had to be developed into something real and actionable.  Whoa. 

Our sessions have been made up of learning “modules” and deep-dive clinics, including:

  • Identifying growth opportunities
  • Vision & Strategy
  • Financial statements
  • Money & Metrics
  • Leadership
  • Management & Hiring
  • Negotiations and negotiations clinic
  • Legal clinic
  • Marketing & Selling
  • Digital Marketing
  • Operations & Processes
  • Being bankable
  • Action for Growth

While I’m busily wrapping up my assignments for graduation and finishing my growth plan, I must remark on how far I’ve come.  I started this process feeling afraid and inadequate, but will hopefully emerge strong and more capable than ever.   

Stay tuned over the coming weeks, as I share more specifics of what I’ve learned through the Goldman Sachs 10KSB program.

Suzanne P. Leckert, Managing Partner

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