After I completed my MBA, other aspirants used to frequently ask me about the value I got from my MBA. I usually answered with a smile – “The biggest gain is that when someone now bulls**ts me, I can confidently bulls**t back”. That answer would have probably applied to the outcome of my engineering degree too, just in a slightly different context.

But in reality, I was only half joking. I believe that an MBA and for that matter, almost any education, first and foremost equips one to communicate better. A formal qualification is not always needed to make you an engineer or a manager or yet another professional. Watch “Catch me if you can”, a movie made around a  true story about Frank Abagnale Jr. who, before his 19th birthday, successfully conned millions of dollars’ worth of checks as a Pan Am pilot, doctor, and legal prosecutor. Obviously, none of that with formal qualifications.

But that is not to say you have wasted good money and time in the years you have spent picking up those degrees. I have personally gained quite a lot.

But one of the things my experience has reinforced in me is what I call the Basic Rules for good management. Call it common sense, if you will. It is just the ability to recognize that there are some fundamentals that you can measure decisions against. And if you can apply them to the context you are in, that will help you significantly with your decision making.

Rules or guides such as “Matter can neither be created nor destroyed” or “No pain, no gain” apply very well to management decision making. But more on those in future blog posts.