More Than Money

Questions Every MBA Needs to Answer

More Than Money

A consciousness-raising book rather than a how-to, More Than Money encourages MBA students to give themselves permission to be who they really want to be and find their path of service.

* Inspires MBA students, graduates and those considering the degree to rethink their usual risk-reward career calculations and create their own career destiny plan.

* Uses anecdotes from the author's own life, as well as stories he has gathered while speaking to tens of thousands of MBAs as the cofounder of Net Impact, the largest MBA network in the world

* Written by a former MBA student and Harvard Business School professor who is also the author of the New York Times bestseller Making a Life Making a Living

What are you going to do with your lucky lottery ticket? That's a question every MBA faces. A lot of time and money has been invested in you, and once you graduate you're supposed to cash that ticket in for as much money and status as you can. Your parents and peers expect it. And you may feel that there's really no other choice. You can't risk wasting that expensive education. It's the safe thing to do. Isn't it?

Not necessarily. Mark Albion doesn't pretend to have all the answers, but his unique perspective can help you find yours. There are other ways to look at potential risks and rewards, even when you have thousands of dollars of student loans to pay back. Money is important but it's not the key to fulfillment. The "safe" choice, the most monetarily rewarding one, can carry enormous psychological and spiritual pain. As Ralph Waldo Emerson put it, "Sometimes money costs too much."

In More Than Money, Albion redefines the typical way the risk/reward equation is written, using his own life story and those of the many entrepreneurs, executives and MBAs he's met as both cautionary and inspirational tales. He introduces a framework of four crucial questions to consider when thinking about your career choices, as well as "lifelines," principles that can help you answer these questions and guide you to construct your personal, strategic destiny plan.

A consciousness-raising book as well as a career guide, More Than Money encourages MBA students to give themselves permission to be who they really want to be and find their path of service. For, as Albion says, in the end "we won't remember you for the size of your wallet as much as the size of your heart."




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Overview

A consciousness-raising book rather than a how-to, More Than Money encourages MBA students to give themselves permission to be who they really want to be and find their path of service.

* Inspires MBA students, graduates and those considering the degree to rethink their usual risk-reward career calculations and create their own career destiny plan.

* Uses anecdotes from the author's own life, as well as stories he has gathered while speaking to tens of thousands of MBAs as the cofounder of Net Impact, the largest MBA network in the world

* Written by a former MBA student and Harvard Business School professor who is also the author of the New York Times bestseller Making a Life Making a Living

What are you going to do with your lucky lottery ticket? That's a question every MBA faces. A lot of time and money has been invested in you, and once you graduate you're supposed to cash that ticket in for as much money and status as you can. Your parents and peers expect it. And you may feel that there's really no other choice. You can't risk wasting that expensive education. It's the safe thing to do. Isn't it?

Not necessarily. Mark Albion doesn't pretend to have all the answers, but his unique perspective can help you find yours. There are other ways to look at potential risks and rewards, even when you have thousands of dollars of student loans to pay back. Money is important but it's not the key to fulfillment. The "safe" choice, the most monetarily rewarding one, can carry enormous psychological and spiritual pain. As Ralph Waldo Emerson put it, "Sometimes money costs too much."

In More Than Money, Albion redefines the typical way the risk/reward equation is written, using his own life story and those of the many entrepreneurs, executives and MBAs he's met as both cautionary and inspirational tales. He introduces a framework of four crucial questions to consider when thinking about your career choices, as well as "lifelines," principles that can help you answer these questions and guide you to construct your personal, strategic destiny plan.

A consciousness-raising book as well as a career guide, More Than Money encourages MBA students to give themselves permission to be who they really want to be and find their path of service. For, as Albion says, in the end "we won't remember you for the size of your wallet as much as the size of your heart."




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Meet the Author


Visit Author Page - Mark Albion


Mark Albion spent 18 years as a student and professor at Harvard University and its Business School. A seven-time social entrepreneur, he left Harvard to develop a community of service-minded MBAs, co-founding Net Impact in 1993. He is the author of the New York Times bestseller Making a Life, Making a Living (2000), CD-Series Finding Work That Matters (2002), True to Yourself: Leading a Values-Based Business (2006), all at www.makingalife.com, and More Than Money: Questions Every MBA Needs to Answer (2009), at www.more-than-money.org, along with the animated movie, ""The Good Life: An MBA Meets a Fisherman."" Profiled on 60 Minutes, his work praised by leaders as diverse as Ronald Reagan and Mother Teresa, Dr. Albion has spoken at more than 125 business schools on five continents, for which Business Week magazine dubbed him “the savior of B-school souls."" Known to his two daughters and silver-anniversary wife as the man who rode across Afghanistan on horseback, Mark's 2008 video interview in Ukraine explains his philosophy.

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Foreword by Liz Cutler Maw

Preface

Introduction: The MBA Trap

Chapter 1: Who Are You?

Chapter 2: What Do You Want?

Chapter 3: What Can You Do?

Chapter 4: Where Are You Going?

Conclusion: From Success to Significance

Resource: The Challenge of Money, Elliot Hoffman

Acknowledgments
Index
The Author

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MORE THAN MONEY

■ ■ ■ ■ ■ INTRODUCTION: THE MBA TRAP

Money sometimes costs too much.

Ralph Waldo Emerson, poet


MBAs are focused, driven, thoughtful people who typically choose one of two career paths. The first, the more common, is the one I took. I call it the conflicted achiever path, expressed as “I’ll make some money now, pay off my debts, build a little nest egg, and then… who knows? But business school will give me the skills and cachet I need to change careers, move up, and make more money, after which I’ll do what I’m passionate about and contribute to society.”

The other path is the passionate striver path: “I want to do something meaningful now. I already know the kind of work that I find fulfilling. Business school will give me the skills I need to be more effective in my work and a network to draw on for help along the way so that I can advance faster in my career.” Both paths are fine as long as you don’t get stuck in the wrong job or see your passion frustrated and fade.

The reality is that most MBAs take jobs in management consulting or investment banking. After all, that’s what business school does best: train students to be market or financial analysts. Nothing wrong with that. Just remember that few of you grew up dreaming of selling another strategic plan or making another business deal.

The challenge is to use that job in ways that will help you seek and find your unique contribution—which may very well be in consulting or banking. Those professions have also evolved with your interests in mind, offering MBAs work in nonprofit divisions of the most respected consulting firms as others work in “bottom of the pyramid” microfinance at top-tier investment banking companies.

MBAs want to make a contribution through their work, whether it’s in the workplace, the marketplace, or the community. This was not as true in my day, but today it’s true of the vast majority. You’re different, and the world you’re inhabiting is different. Even my venerable school, staid Harvard Business School, changed its mission in the twenty-first century to “educating leaders who make a difference in the world.”

What I’ve seen at the business schools is, as I like to say, “You’ve got the religion. You just don’t know how to get to church.” Regardless of which of the two initial career paths you choose—or some combination of the two—the work of this book is to help you get to a place where you’re appreciated and can make a contribution to others that’s worth more than money.

In that spirit, the book’s central argument is that if you put contribution — crucial to a meaningful life—on an equal footing with money, what you perceive as your safest career choices may actually be your riskiest, and vice versa. That is, if you assess risk with the career goal of a meaningful life (which includes making money), you’ll make different choices or at least be more aware of the risk-reward trade-offs of your choices and choose a job that is more likely to be on your destiny path.

Whether you are searching more for money or meaning initially, each path has its negative externalities. However, you often recognize the externalities of choosing more satisfying work but overlook them when you choose the employer who shows you the money.

That’s the MBA trap: improperly assessing the risk-reward ratio in your career choices by not including all the externalities. This trap occurs when you measure success just by money rather than including the desire to make a contribution as part of a meaningful life. With a meaningful life as your goal instead of money, your definitions of safe and risky change: you now recognize that a “safe” job choice is one that you believe is on your destiny path, and a “risky” choice is one that is not.

To explain, I’d like to share a parable that resonates with MBAs more than any other story I know. I believe it gets you to reconsider what constitutes a successful life.


The Good Life: A Parable

The career perspective of the MBA environment may be best expressed in a parable you won’t find in business school. It has received the most responses from MBAs in all my years of writing. I first published it over a decade ago after returning from an idyllic week on an island of just seventy people. I spent my days diving with local dive master Ollie Bean and imagined what it would be like if he met up with the Harvard Business School student in me.

My purpose is to show how your higher education and the values and expectations that often go with it might lead you away from a life path that is enjoyable, rewarding, and contributory. With minor editing,1 here’s “The Good Life”:

An American businessman was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with a lone fisherman docked. Inside the boat were several large yellowfin tuna. He complimented the fisherman on the quality of fish and asked how long it took to catch them. “Only a little while,” the fisherman replied.

The businessman then asked why didn’t he stay out longer and catch more fish. The fisherman said he had enough to support his family’s needs. The businessman asked, “What do you do with the rest of your time?” The fisherman said, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siesta with my wife, Maria, and then teach children how to fish before I stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my friends. I have a full and busy life.”

The businessman laughed at him. “I am an MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds buy a bigger boat. With the proceeds from the bigger boat you could buy several boats. Eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor. Eventually you could open your own cannery. You would control the product, processing, and distribution.”

“And then what would I do?” the fisherman wondered.

“You would then, of course, need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then probably Los Angeles, and eventually locate in New York City, where you would run your expanding enterprise.”

The fisherman asked, “How long will this all take?” “Ten to fifteen years,” the MBA replied. “But what then, señor?” The MBA laughed, saying that’s the best part: “When the time is right, you would announce an IPO [initial public offering] and sell your company stock to the public. You would become very rich, making millions of dollars.”

“Millions? Then what?”

The MBA businessman concluded, “Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siesta with your wife, and then teach children how to fish before you stroll into the village each evening where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your friends.”

A simple parable worth reading again, “The Good Life” is about values often taken for granted as the material world and its partner “greed” pull you away from yourself, magnified in most business school settings.


Your Business School Environment

Business schools have a culture that narrows your perceived options and can often direct your behavior as a businessperson, at least early in your career, by the values espoused. What are those values? 2

In the 1970s, the elite business schools were organized around the goal of producing general managers. The CEO as enlightened corporate statesman was still of interest, although it would fade in the 1980s with the emergence of investor capitalism and its takeover wave.

By 1980, business experts wrote that countries like Japan were turning out better managers. American managers needed to learn how to manage more effectively toward one goal: maximization of corporate value. Shareholder primacy became the new mantra. The New York Times duly noted that the new model of corporate “goodness… eschews loyalty to workers, products, corporate structures, businesses, factories, communities, even the nation.” The new flood of corporate takeovers meant that only “maximizing stock price can be allowed to matter.” This maxim would dominate the culture of most business schools.

These arguments led to aligning managers’ incentives with those of shareholders. The executive option market flourished, one of the most disastrous developments in the history capitalism. It exacerbated the fixation on short-term profit regardless of longer-term cost. The same ethos would dominate the culture of business schools.

The era can be summed up by an early-1990s televised comment by a large insurance company CEO who resigned soon after the interview. He had agreed to come on the show to discuss the company’s new innovative employee assistance programs for minimum-wage workers. But the interviewer focused on the just released quarterly results, which were one penny below expectations. The CEO’s comment: “Now I get it. If you want to do something that serves the interests of society, the environment, the community, or the poor, and it costs your shareholders one penny, it is immoral.”

In October 1993, Net Impact (known until 1999 as Students for Responsible Business) was created to build a community of MBAs that believed that the responsibility of a corporation is not just to shareholders but to all stakeholders. Managing Director Daniel O’Connor best expressed Net Impact’s business philosophy in a 1999 speech at the University of Michigan. Daniel explained that the purpose of business is to create value for its society. Through a mission-driven network of emerging business leaders united by a shared commitment to use the power of their careers, Net Impact would create a better world for all.

In the 1990s, the majority of business schools saw Net Impact as a fringe group primarily consisting of liberal “tree-huggers” and “do-gooders.” But as the twenty-first century dawned, the new global economy transformed the cost-benefit parameters of business through the market realities of climate change, the price of oil, and the demand for young talent who often have social and environmental interests. Net Impact began to grow rapidly as a network for emerging progressive business leaders.

As I write, Net Impact has over 190 business school and professional chapters and is growing rapidly worldwide, with its first European office and chapters in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. At many business schools, Net Impact is the largest student group. Net Impact and its local chapters have also been instrumental in changing business school curriculum while unleashing an energy best seen at the annual conference, which hosts two thousand attendees.

This decade has seen the rising prominence of Aspen Institute’s Beyond Grey Pinstripes school rankings. The biennial rankings are based on how well business schools integrate social and environmental stewardship into their curriculum and research. Students are demanding that curriculum more closely reflect their values, and business schools are accommodating those changes. Green business courses were available at nearly two-thirds of business schools surveyed in 2007, twice as many as in 2001.

Still, how much have the schools themselves really changed? Schools have opened institutes, some jointly with other university departments, and many offer elective courses in sustainable business, microfinance, corporate social responsibility, and social enterprise. Yet there remain no tenured or tenure-track professors in these fields, indicating that the values espoused by these courses are still not central to most business schools.

Business schools remain driven by rankings and fundraising (helped by higher rankings). Rankings are determined in part by the starting salaries of graduates, not whether they like their jobs or can express their values at work. Where can MBA graduates get the highest starting salaries? See your options narrowing?

For the most part, the bottom line remains the same. As reported in “A Growth Industry” in the April 14, 2008, issue of Newsweek, business schools are adopting the philosophy “make a bunch of green by going green”; indeed, the article’s subtitle states, “business schools are teaching entrepreneurs how to get rich helping to save the environment.”

Interest in a “triple bottom line” can be accommodated as long as the financial bottom line is satisfied. Like Wal-Mart and Toyota, two companies invested in “greening” their companies, environmental responsibility is a business calculation of innovative ways to save and make money.

One student at Aspen’s top-ranked school, Stanford University, said it best. A twenty-nine-year old with an engineering background, he spent two years studying environmentally sustainable business. Is he doing this because of his values? “The honest answer is no. It makes good business sense to be sustainable.” He hopes to be working at a private-equity fund upon graduation.

Whether curriculum change leads to cultural change remains to be seen. Business schools reflect the interests of the surrounding business community, particularly their alums. As green business opportunities in clean technology have grown, curricula have grown in these areas, too. There are now a handful of new schools like Presidio School of Management and Bainbridge Graduate Institute, where sustainable business practices are not a calculation but a commitment to social justice and environmental responsibility as much as financial results.

To conclude, business school remains focused on your financial growth, not personal growth. I believe you get at best only marginal help in business school at understanding your values and what is important to you in your career.

If you don’t know exactly what you want to get out of business school, then the business school’s curriculum and culture will do little to help you clarify your purpose, awaken your passion, and realize your potential. Just look at the pressures and challenges the typical MBA faces.


A Mirror on MBA Decision Making

With the pressure of job interviews starting in early September (in my day, none were allowed until March), the driving determinant for most students remains money. You take time from work and pay tuition for which you expect a good return, a hefty ROI (return on investment).

Much has changed during my thirty-five years with MBAs, but career decision making has not changed measurably. Synthesizing what you’ve told me over the past five years in conversations and e-mails, your decisions are primarily driven by six factors:


  • MBAs often don’t consider their own values very high on the list of motivations in making a career decision.
  • MBAs are not usually encouraged to consult a personal compass to direct their goals when making career decisions.
  • MBAs feel peer pressure to earn a lot of money when they enter the working world after graduation.
  • MBAs are expected to measure success in money and public recognition rather than in personal fulfillment.
  • MBAs are risk-averse, so they often choose to make career decisions that they’re supposed to make rather than the decisions their hearts would have them make.
  • MBAs fear that taking a job that fulfills their heart’s desires will not provide enough money to live on.

You may not see yourself in this description of the “typical” MBA. Good for you! But most business schools reinforce this stereotype. To remain atypical, you need to be clear about your answers to the four chapter questions and stick to them. The questions and lifelines can help reaffirm your thinking and existing career goals and aspirations and turn them into a plan of action for your future, your personal destiny plan.

Let me illustrate these six factors in three pairs with examples to help deepen your understanding of how this kind of decision making can limit your options and pull you away from your destiny path.


  • MBAs often don’t consider their own values very high on the list of motivations in making a career decision and are not usually encouraged to consult a personal compass to direct their goals when making career decisions.

MBA graduates have often told me that one of the most important determinants of their happiness and career success has been making the right choice of where they want to live and then looking at job possibilities. Finding the right place to live and work, however, is often considered a low priority in the business school environment.

Recruiters see most MBAs heading to corporate America, working as long as they can stand it, and then striking out for the “small time.” Small time? Why not start there? Why not stay with the good life, like the Mexican fisherman? Why not focus on achieving a life of working and living in a place you belong, doing work that matters with people you care about?

Instead, many MBAs may be destined to be ruled by the “Paul Principle.” Akin to the Peter Principle (“You are promoted until you reach a job at which you are incompetent”), it states, “You are promoted until your job is no longer fun.” Feel free to substitute career or life for job. And you can substitute moved (geographically) for promoted.

I take the recruiters’ insight personally. After just my first term teaching at Harvard Business School, I knew I was in the wrong place. I was not on my path and felt I had to leave my values at home. (it took me six more years to leave.) I was stunned. After all, I’d dreamed of a job like this. My income shot up well into the six figures; my time was my own; I had no direct boss and was surrounded by brilliant, diligent colleagues and students. The Harvard name opened every door imaginable, and the senior faculty could not have treated me better.

I found it hard to get out of bed each day and make it to school, but I persevered. I figured there was something wrong with me. And the results were obvious. My teaching was average at best, and my research stumbled along, though I received more credit than I deserved. I was blessed with the “appearance” of a Harvard Business School professor, the “carriage” of those times. I was afforded every advantage possible—to no avail.

I needed permission to reframe my thinking about what is important in life and how to measure success. I needed to use my personal compass. Instead, I had taken what I considered to be the safest path, the one with the most money and status, and yet I almost lost myself in it. Being a Harvard professor was a great job that offered me a great career. But it wasn’t the right one for me. I would eventually be supported by business students I met through Net Impact to rethink my career and the role of business.


  • MBAs feel peer pressure to earn a lot of money when they enter the working world after graduation and are expected to measure success in money and public recognition rather than in personal fulfillment.

Most of you will feel that peer pressure to achieve a certain level of “success,” which includes a high salary but not necessarily happiness and fulfillment. And the business world reinforces it. For example, during her job search, Maureen Gilbert, a twenty-six-year old INSEAD MBA, wrote me about the “soul price” of financially remunerative work you don’t really like:

The more in touch your job is with your soul, the less your wage matters to you. Talk to anyone that isn’t happy with his or her job or that secretly dreams of doing something else and nine times out of ten, money will be the reason why they don’t leave. So, what is your soul price? How much do you need to be paid to do a job you really don’t love? [her italics].

Maybe you think you won’t make it without a “safety net.” Maybe you feel the timing isn’t right. It’s always more comfortable to go the “safe” route. But what if you never get on that other route?

You know that life is about more than making money and spending it. But on a practical daily basis, you can forget too easily, especially in business school. The result is that you make your alma mater (and possibly parents) happy by selling your soul to the highest bidder. There’s a price to be paid, however; a price perhaps unrecognized at first, to be paid years later. As the years increase, so does the soul price. Why do you sell your soul so easily, so cheaply, to the highest bidder without knowledge of the price?


  • MBAs are risk-averse, so they often choose to make career decisions that they’re supposed to make rather than the decisions their hearts would have them make. MBAs fear that taking a job that fulfills their heart’s desires will not provide enough money to live on.

When I left Harvard to help MBAs find their path of service, I was concerned about my drop in income. I did well enough for years, but the last few years, my pro bono work has been out of balance.

When I was speaking to MBAs at Portland State in 2006, I heard a question that has yet to leave me. It was in response to a student’s statement about the need to make money first and then find fulfillment—if for no other reason than to pay off school loans. Work that was closer to his heart would clearly be sacrificed. Another student responded by asking him and the audience, “How far are you from the gutter?”

Think about that. You have many ways to get by: friends and family who will help you and work you could do if necessary. You need to let go of that excuse for not taking the road less traveled—your road, the road that’s made to fit one person at a time.


Your Safest Choices May Be Your Riskiest

To repeat my definition of safe and risky career choices:

A “safe” job choice is one that you believe is on your destiny path. A “risky” choice is one that is not.

I don’t know whether your “safe” choice will be a high-paying, high-prestige job, an entrepreneurial launch, or the distribution of relief services in Darfur. I know that what you need to do to stay on your path will vary over the course of your life. And I know that whatever it is, it will be meaningful to you and of service to others. Is money important? Of course it is, in balance with contribution to others.

What are the “riskiest” choices? Those that don’t allow you to become the person you want to be, to live your life full measure. Survey results of the general population confirm that people’s biggest fear is neither death (which ranks third) nor public speaking (second) but “failing to live a meaningful life.” That’s our greatest fear, our biggest risk. And it all begins with not living your life.

I fear not living my life. I fear looking in the mirror and not liking what I see. I fear not having the right regrets. I fear not being the best me, of dying with my music still inside. Whenever I ask myself, “If I do this, what’s the worst that could happen?” it’s rarely worse than not living my life out loud.

I realize that in the business school environment, these are not the standard definitions of safety and risk. I realize that you are given a narrow range of career options to choose from, unless you want to search outside the traditional recruiting opportunities. And I realize the challenge of being highly risk-averse with all the pressure and expectations of what you will do with that great opportunity of an MBA. You’re also very good at putting pressure on yourself.

I was concerned about how I’d honor all the sacrifices my parents had made to get me through school. But as a parent, I now realize that whereas I might not understand my children at first, what I most want is for them to be happy and contribute to society. I also want them to reframe the voices of judgment they will hear that may pull them away from their destiny path.

The next four chapters will help you reframe and redefine your notion of the risk-reward trade-off in a way that works for you. It’s a way you always knew but have forgotten. Once there, you’ll see that the riskiest outcomes for the head are often the least risky for the heart. What seemed like the safest choice in your current environment may preclude happiness and fulfillment down the road. Or at least, slow you down a bit.

One statistic stunned me into rethinking my career, how I spent my time, and how I did or did not live my values. I learned several years ago that the country of Tanzania, with its twenty-five million people, had a gross domestic product that year less than what a well-known investment bank made and shared among its 161 partners. Now, don’t go rushing to that investment bank for a job just yet! That wasn’t my point. My point is, aren’t these truths today that should not be truths tomorrow?

I know that in the time it took you to read the preceding paragraph (twenty seconds), one hundred children died of starvation. I know that over four billion people don’t have enough to eat. I don’t let these facts paralyze me, nor am I going off to live like Mother Teresa. But I do know that those realities make me think more deeply about what I can do to make a difference through the most powerful force on the planet (no, it’s not compound interest): business.

A decade ago, I was asked in front of four hundred University of Michigan alums to describe in one sentence what is a good business. I was caught off guard and had little time to think. Normally, my response would have been about serving all the stakeholders. Instead, what came out of me was this: “A good business uplifts the human spirit and helps alleviate poverty and suffering on the planet.”

After I said it, you could have heard a pin drop in the room! “I heard mumblings like, Are we at the Divinity School or the Business School?” For the next ninety minutes, however, the questions all had a different tone. That evening, we looked at the business world and our careers from the perspective of my definition. I’ve since used that expression as my personal North Star. You’ll find your star by working through Chapters 1 and 2 and then applying what you learn there in Chapters 3 and 4.


Destiny Plan Questions

  • Which career path is more in line with your thinking: (1) make some money first and then focus more on what you are passionate about, or (2) focus on what you are passionate about right away? What are the risks and rewards of each?
  • What do you see as a “safe” job choice and as a “risky” job choice? Why?
  • What do or did you expect to get out of business school? Did the school experience meet your expectations?
  • What is the purpose of business?

1 I’ve since seen this parable in many forms to which my monthly e-newsletter readers have directed my attention, so it is clear that others have written similar stories. The earliest I have found is “Anekdote von der Senkung der Arbettsmoral” (“Anecdote to Reduce the WorkEthic”), written in 1963 by the German Nobel Prize laureate Heinrich Boll, nearly identical but used differently A similar tale apparently also appears in a Buddhist story and in Russian folklore.

2The next three paragraphs are based on Rakhesh Khurana, From Higher Aims to Hired Hands: The Social Transformation of American Business Schools and the Unfulfilled Promise of Management Education (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2007).

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Endorsements



"More than a Master of Business Administration, Mark Albion offers his readers an advanced degree in the meaning of life. His MBA is a Master of Blessed Attitude -- and it suggests a course of personal development that will give everyone more than money -- it will give them purpose, direction, and hope."

— Alan M. Webber, former editorial director and managing editor, Harvard Business Review


"Why do we need to suffer before finding our way? I wish I had read this book before I graduated. An excellent support for MBAs looking for their next step. Now I'm in the process of going back towards my passions."

— Chiara Rinaldi, MBA SDA Bocconi (Italy), 2005

"We have all heard stories of business school graduates who took decades to realize the careers they chose right out of school were the wrong ones for them. Benefit from the teachings in this book and start building yourself a sustainable career now, so you don't have to undo your mistakes later."

—Erika Haas, Stanford Business School, 1998


"This book should be required for all MBA's after their first semester to allow them to reexamine why they attended business school in the first place and to remind them to follow their own passions and dreams. Many MBA students get caught up in the whirlwind of financial distress, peer pressure, and the natural force of running with the masses. Dr. Albion reminds MBAs to take a step back. In particular, the lifelines provide a guideline to critically think about one's career path. I have shared the lifelines with my Dean and fellow classmates who all find them to be really powerful. I highly recommend that all MBA's read this book, as it gives you an opportunity to critically analyze your choices in business school and beyond.

— Ishita Deshmukh, Yale School of Management MBA 2009

"More Than Money sheds much-needed light on our motivations for attaining an MBA and encourages us to set higher, more genuine goals for ourselves than just money and professional success. Dr. Mark effectively guides us to discover that we are more than business robots with an MBA -- we are human beings with a heart and a desire to do good. This is a refreshing, inspirational book for any business professional without being "touchy feely" or unrealistic. Read this book and you will uncover your passion in life!"

— Kristina Päster, Presidio School of Management MBA 2008

"Dr. Albion has developed the tools for helping us find our way in our professional lives. While this book is written for MBAs, it will speak to anyone who has struggled to find more meaning in his or her career. A compelling writer, Dr. Albion is open about himself, admits his mistakes, and through his own telling of how he learned from them, teaches us how to recognize ours and change the course of our lives for the better. Learn the 12 Lifelines and revisit them often."

— Phoebe Higgins, Dominican University of California MBA 2007

"More Than Money reaffirms that as human beings we first need to love and be loved, before we are MBAs. Our MBA degrees, our positions, money, and assets are tools that can help us to love. For when all is said and done, on our death beds, love is the only thing that will have mattered. Thank you Dr Mark for being that voice that speaks to our spirits, not just our heads.

— Tolulope Ilesanmi, McGill MBA 2005

"Mark Albion hits it home again. Life isn't just about money. It's about fulfillment and true impact. Don't miss this book - it's worth every penny to take the time to find your own destiny."

— Sarah E. Endline, Harvard Business School MBA 2001

"More Than Money works! It works primarily because it makes you think. This book has me thinking in a very serious way about my life, my place in the world, and how my strengths and talents can be of service. It has me remembering the best times at work, and how good it felt to be working together toward common objectives, with common purpose, and with passion. I’d like to find that again. More Than Money is really going to help me focus on doing so."

— Douglas Hammer, New York University (Stern) MBA 1999

"The basic messages of the book summon up, and resonate with, my own experiences as an MBA student and I realize that I would have been one of the people this book was intended for, if you'd caught me in time. In fact, I still am. I'm reminded of some of the lessons I've learned the hard way since leaving my MBA program, and was starting to lose sight of some of the things that are important to me. Not only do you invite us to question how success is really best measured, but you also offer some practical tools for finding a more holistic return on an MBA investment."

— David Wood, Fisher Graduate School, Monterey Institute, MBA 1993

"More Than Money is really needed. When I was at Stanford, there was no place for these kinds of discussions. Business school taught me much about the HOW of making money and growing a business, but WHY questions were mostly off-limits. You engage us in deeper, more integral questions – ones that are more likely to lead us to a meaningful, fulfilled, and joyful life."

— Ken Saxon, Stanford Business School MBA 1988

"More Than Money describes risk and reward in terms that fit the decisions of every person fortunate and driven enough to pursue an MBA. If you seek a life of value and wealth that run deep and true, you need to read this book."

— Aaron James, University of Michigan (Ross) rising MBA 2010

"Before getting an MBA, read More Than Money. This book revolutionizes business school education and will help any MBA student get more out of school. In his special way, Dr. Mark leads you to define first what you want to do with your life. He does so by guiding you not with answers but crucial questions that help you connect with who you are and what you wanted as a child but deemed impossible. Now it is possible."

— Anton Arapetyan, Lviv (Ukraine) University Masters 2006, Lviv Business School rising MBA

"As a 49 year old getting an Executive MBA, I have run businesses, worked for bosses and have scars of cynicism to prove it. That is why it is so refreshing to read the words of Mark Albion. His insights and reflections reinforce the truly important things in life. This book is for those who want much more out of life."

— Hank Jones, Duke Executive MBA 2008


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