How To Get Ahead In Business (Without An MBA)

Humorist and longtime Fortune columnist Stanley Bing says, “forget the MBA.” He’s got the low-down on what you really need to master in business. Plus: the sky-high state of executive salaries.

Harvard Business School is one of the top-ranked MBA programs in the country. Our guest today suggests those kinds of degrees aren't necessary for business success. (HBS / Facebook)

Harvard Business School is one of the top-ranked MBA programs in the country. Our guest today suggests those kinds of degrees aren’t necessary for business success. (HBS / Facebook)

In the job desert of the Great Recession, a lot of Americans went off to grad school.  A lot to business school.  “B-school.”  For the MBA.  Master of Business Administration.  Fortune magazine columnist, business commentator and humorist Stanley Bing says “not necessary.”  Don’t go.  You’ll have a diploma – the “sheepskin” – but all you really need is drive, common sense, and a few basic insights.  B-school deans may disagree, but Bing says he’s got the formula.  On power, performance, mojo, and town car management.  This hour On Point:  Stanley Bing on going for the brass ring, without B-school.

– Tom Ashbrook


Stanley Bing (a.k.a. Gil Schwartz), writer, humorist and columnist for Fortune magazine. Author of “The Curriculum: Everything You Need To Know To Be A Master of Business Arts.” Also author of “Crazy Bosses” and “Executricks: How To Retire While You’re Still Working.” Also senior executive vice president and chief communications officer for the CBS Corporation. (@thebingblog)

From Tom’s Reading List

The Wall Street JournalThe New ABCs of Business — “Words may mean different things in the workplace than they do elsewhere. (Business thrives on imprecision when it suits the occasion.) This makes defining terminology particularly crucial: One must understand what is being obscured as well as what is being said. Here is a partial listing of some especially helpful words to know. The general study of business verbiage, however slippery and challenging, is extremely rewarding for those who believe that it is sometimes important to understand what other people are saying.”

Quartz: If MBAs Are Obsolete, We All Are In Trouble — “While creating a product and starting a company have never been easier, building and sustaining a business have never been harder. And lean is not everything. That means business education has never been more important. But first, both b-schools and companies need to learn some new tricks. ”

Bloomberg Businessweek: Dear Mom and Dad: Please Send Cash for MBA –“Parents will kick in 15 percent of the cost of business school on average, up from 12 percent in 2009, the survey says. That means mom and dad will help cover a decrease in the amount students expect to receive in scholarships, grants, and fellowships, which fell to 18 percent in 2013 from 20 percent in 2009.”

Read an Excerpt From “The Curriculum” By Stanley Bing

Executive Compensation In America

Lynn Stout, distinguished professor of corporate and business law at the John G. Clarke Business Law Institute at Cornell Law School.

New York Times: Executive Pay: Invasion of the Supersalaries — “Economists have long known that high executive pay has contributed to the widening gap between the very rich and everyone else. But the role of executive compensation may be far larger than previously realized.”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
Oct 9, 2015
A manhole begins to spill over with floodwaters as high tide approaches at Dorchester Road at Sawmill Branch Canal in Summerville, S.C., Thursday, Oct. 8, 2015.  (AP)

Russia goes big in Syria. The US hits a hospital in Kunduz. Hillary flips on the TPP. An epic flood in South Carolina. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Oct 9, 2015
In this Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2015, photo, Devlin D'Zmura, a tending news manager at DraftKings, a daily fantasy sports company, works on his laptop at the company's offices in Boston. (AP)

Fantasy football scandal, and the wild, booming betting world of fantasy sports.

Oct 8, 2015
US singer Patti Smith performs during the Way Out West music festival in Gothenburg, Sweden, Saturday, Aug.15, 2015.  (AP)

Iconic rocker, poet of punk, and National Book Award-winning author Patti Smith joins us to talk about her new memoir, “M Train”.

Oct 8, 2015
In this Aug. 2, 2012 file photo, local newspapers show stories about the controversial strategy to bail the government out of a financial hole, at a restaurant along Seven Mile Beach on the outskirts of George Town on the Cayman Islands. The Cayman Islands have lost some of their allure by abruptly proposing what amounts to an income tax on expatriate workers who have helped build the territory into one of the most famous or, for some people, notorious offshore banking centers that have tax advantages for foreign investment operations. (AP)

Trillions of dollars are now stashed in protected tax havens around the world, leaving societies’ bills to those at home. We’ll dig in.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Rep. Daniel Webster: ‘I’m Gonna Sell This Message’
Tuesday, Oct 6, 2015

When House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) announced his retirement and resignation from his position last month, it surprised both his Party and the Washington political establishment.

More »
Our Week In The Web: October 2, 2015
Friday, Oct 2, 2015

We say hello again to our email address (since so many of you did this week) and goodbye to the Log Lady.

More »
Interview With Sen. Bernie Sanders: ‘Count Me As A Radical’
Thursday, Oct 1, 2015

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is making waves in the 2016 Presidential race, and he joined us today from the US Capitol to explain how his campaign message is connecting with voters around the country.

More »