While Joan and Melissa Rivers commented on Oscar styles, Master Admissions focused on the lessons for leadership, especially for those
thinking about applying to business school, a job, or accepting an international award. Here are five takeaways from the Oscars that will resonate with MBA wannabees.
1. Have a brand, but be humble: The Oscars are known for glitz and glamour, not for authentic emotions. Some say the same for MBAs. So even if the odds are in your favor, like they were for Octavia Spencer, show your humility. It’s a powerful way to command respect.
2. But don’t go overboard on what you show and how you show it: Angelina Jolie didn’t need to strike a pose, and when she did, leg and all, she played the fool. Prospective MBA’s want to know not to act too impressed with their talents.
3. Use your age to your advantage: Christopher Plummer had no apologies about his 82 years and showed the world that he was hardly over the hill. Grace, maturity, and a sense of humor about yourself will always add to the conversation.
4. Give credit where credit is due: Meryl Streep thanked her husband first and her hair and makeup guy second. She showed leadership by broadening the spotlight to include her important teammates. And we loved her for it.
5. When in doubt, go global: Although the Oscars are in Hollywood, the stage was international. Whether from France, Iran, or surprising the audience with fluent German like Sandra Bullock, we all speak the same language. It’s a small world after all.
These lessons are a good reminder that leadership shows up whether you are honored for your accomplishments–or letting the spotlight shine on your colleague. The world is a stage, and let’s face it everyone has a little Hollywood in them.
This post is a condensed version of the March 1 Forbes article.
Betsy Massar is founder of Master Admissions and author of Admitted: An Interactive Workbook for Getting into a Top MBA Program , published by 85 Broads. A graduate of Harvard Business School, she has worked on Wall Street for Goldman Sachs and in the financial markets in the US, Europe, and Asia. In addition, she has been a business journalist and a communications coach at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.