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African MBA Graduate on values before profit

My Michael Moment came right at the beginning. As a South African MBA student the program was approximately R[Redacted]. That was a lot of money and equal to 25% of the yearly cost of my MBA program.

It was a lot of money! It is a lot of money! It will always be a lot of money.

I had applied late in the cycle and given the sum involved, I would need about 3 to 4 weeks to beg, borrow and squeeze it out of my parents – who thought I was certifiably insane to spend so much money on this program.

The moment occurred when I wrote to Michael and asked if we could start before the payment was made. I knew it would be a no but thought I should ask. Michael’s response is pasted below and it is the reason I am such a strong believer in his views – well, that and I did get into MBB!

Dear [redacted]

We understand the funding challenges. We would be able to start the program before payment is made. We select clients heavily on values and ethics, and if there was any doubt you would not pay us, then you would not be a good candidate for this program and you would not have been granted a place.

Entering our program is not a function of your ability to make the payment. It is a function of your potential and values.

Michael

That blew me away to think Michael was so serious about values that he places revenue on the line to prove it. I have come to to find that Michael is probably the most ethical person I have ever met in my entire life.

You can kid around with Michael about anything, just don’t kid around about values. You are asking for trouble.

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