Graduate Programs at the Raymond A. Mason School of Business set student expectations based on the following questions:

  1. What is a great organization?
  2. What makes an organization great?

We believe that a great organization is one that achieves substantially more than its individual members could on their own, and empowers each unique member to achieve more than he or she could without the organization. It inspires. Making an organization great requires a combination of mutual respect, personal responsibility, accountability and fun.

Mutual Respect

The key to unleashing the potential of any organization is to nurture the energy, drive, commitment, effort and collaboration of everyone involved in the enterprise, because any organization is composed of individuals of different talents, interests, ambitions, and life experiences.  If these unique assets can be shared across the organization, the synergies are unbelievable… and that sharing enriches everyone in the organization.

The only way to get there is to respect – and cherish – those individual differences and the individuals behind them, as well as actively demonstrating that appreciation.  A big part of this is simple courtesy: treating others politely, living up to one’s own obligations, and thinking about the implications of one’s words and actions on others.

Mutual respect does not necessarily mean agreement: in fact, sometimes the most respectful thing you can do is to tell the truth as you see it – including your differences of opinion – in a considerate manner.  That’s the only way you learn from one another.

The so-called Golden Rule – “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” – is a great guide here.  Before acting or speaking, ask this simple question: “how would I respond if I were the recipient instead of the sender?”

Personal Responsibility and Accountability

It’s not about what was done to or for you, it’s about what you do with it.  You’re responsible and accountable for your own behavior; that’s all you can control, so that’s all you can fix.  If you blame others, you resign yourself to be a victim.  Sadly, a lot of people live this way, taking comfort in the belief that their unsatisfying lives are someone else’s fault.  It might provide some solace, but it won’t make your life better, and it won’t make your organization more effective.

In any organization, is it your employer’s or co-worker’s responsibility to make you successful, or is it yours?  Successful individuals – and great managers – recognize that “who’s to blame?” and “what can I do to make this work?” are completely different questions.  Focus on the second question rather than the first and you’ll find answers that will be more satisfying for both you and your organization.


Great organizations delight in what they do, and try to make a delightful experience for their stakeholders – employees, customers, stockholders.  In the same way, great managers delight in their jobs, and try to make the daily experience of their constituents delightful as well.  School is no different.  Having fun is a lot easier if you take care of the first two conditions of a great organization: treating those around you with mutual respect, and both owning and living your personal responsibility and accountability.

Your workload at the Business School will be intense, but it will be manageable if you develop good study skills.  Buckle down and work when you need to work, but do make time to play.  Get to know other members of the Mason community on a social basis.  If you do, you’ll establish relationships for life, and it will lighten the burden.