A good leader can engage in a debate frankly and thoroughly, knowing that at the end he and the other side must be closer, and thus emerge stronger. You don’t have that idea when you are arrogant, superficial, and uninformed – Nelson Mandela
Leadership is one of the murkiest, yet vital factors in our society. We know we need great leaders, but why are so many of them so terrible, selfish and ineffective? How can we change this?
A central problem of leadership in our society, government, and businesses often promote a specific kind of leader. Whether they’re overly aggressive, have family connections, or a lack of scruples, the results are all around us: we aren’t getting the leadership we need from those in charge.
Everyone has met people they instantly recognized as natural leaders. When you ask people what they think makes effective leaders, they’ll likely talk about their innate qualities like their kindness and care for others, and what they spark in the people around them. They might mention their authoritative and magnetic presence, or that people followed the example they set without them even trying. Being an excellent leader means different things to different people, but there are some core tenets that successful ones have in common.
Anyone can be placed in a position of leadership. If you have authority over others, you’re a de facto leader. But that doesn’t mean you’ll be successful. Great leaders take into account the feelings of those they lead. Leader and team cooperation and the results they achieve together are how businesses value leadership, and leadership is an essential part of every functioning business or organization.
You might not see yourself as a successful leader thus far in your life, but chances are you’ve taken a leadership role at some point. And, if you possess doubt, self-awareness, and empathy, you’ve got an enormous head start on most of the people occupying leadership positions in organizations across the country.
What’s most important for successful leaders is the way others perceive them, and how people in positions of power treat those beneath them. The best leaders don’t brutally command others. Instead, people follow someone because they think it will improve their own lives. Not everyone is a born leader, and many forged themselves into one through hard work, utilization of their leadership strengths, and mitigation of their weaknesses.
Excellent leaders are:
- Great Communicators: leadership is a function of communication, which is a two-way street. When the people you lead are respected and their opinions carefully considered you’ll build trust that gets far better results than one-way communication can ever produce.
- Empathetic: great leaders understand how the people they lead feel, and demonstrate their care about those feelings even in the face of extreme challenges and stresses.
- Detail Oriented: successful leaders are able to juggle myriad responsibilities, personnel, and minuscule interconnected facets of projects, people, clients, and much more.
- Hard Working: you’ll need to set an example through your labor. No one wants to follow a lazy person, and they certainly don’t want to give them their best work.
- Team Builders: often leadership comes from placing people together, developing talent, and cultivating cooperation. Strong leadership can be measured in many ways, but chief among them is what those you lead accomplish together with your guidance.
- Excel at What They Do: to inspire others to reach their potentials you’ll have to be superb at the tasks you’re responsible for. Great leaders earn respect by getting results that galvanize those they lead.
So how do you become a better leader? How can you get marketable skills while building your leadership abilities? One excellent option is an MBA program.
People earn MBA’s because they offer an advanced business education and the salary and career options that are commensurate with that training. However, not all MBA programs are created equal. While an MBA education features leadership training, some programs make it a focus, offering specialized MBA’s in leadership.
These leadership MBA’s can set you apart from your peers and showcase your skills and specific training that applies to achieving upper-level, supervisory positions at many different businesses, governmental agencies, and other organizations.
By becoming the best leader you can through graduate training, you can help create better leadership and better results for yourself and others.
In this guide we’ll explore leadership MBA’s, what they entail, and show you some of the work we’ve done to help you find the best MBA program for you. We’ll also look at how to consider MBA programs and examine how to get into them, and more.
With that in mind:
What is a Leadership MBA?
A Leadership MBA is a mixture of traditional graduate business courses with a focus in leadership through classes and experiences in team building, skills building, heading organizations, crisis challenges, management of diverse groups, communications, ethics, and much more. An MBA curriculum will always feature leadership training, but when you select an MBA with a specialization in leadership you’ll go above and beyond the standard training MBA students receive.
Top MBA leadership programs will offer access to extensive networking opportunities, field work, coveted internships, and extensive hands-on leadership and team training exercises.
Because these are MBA’s you’ll take graduate business courses in areas like:
- Business ethics
- Supply chains
- Business laws
- Human resources
- And much more.
In this part of your MBA curriculum you’ll come to understand the common problems that impact businesses, and what separates successful organizations from floundering ones. These courses will naturally set up leadership classes in:
- Leading Teams
- Critical Thinking for Business Leaders
- Leadership Fellowships
- Nonprofit Governance and Leadership
- Politics in Organizations
- Organizational Management
- Strategic Change
- Among many other potential courses.
A leadership MBA should take you one to three years to earn, depending on what format you choose to take.
Now let’s take a look at some of the common questions and considerations you should apply in your search for a Leadership MBA program:
What to Consider When Searching for a Leadership MBA
- What’s the highest degree level you’ve reached? You’ll need a Bachelor’s degree to apply to a Leadership MBA program.
- What’s your career experience? How has it prepared and galvanized you to study and work in leadership.?
- If you have leadership experience, you’ll be able to expand it in these programs, and also work on yourself.
- How much can you afford in tuition for your Leadership MBA and how much would you have to take out in loans to pay for one? Carefully scrutinize any loan options and interest rates you consider accepting. It’s always best practice to take out public over private loans, and whenever possible to choose programs you can afford.
- Depending on your current employment status, your employer might (at least partially) sponsor the costs of your Leadership MBA.
- How much time can you commit to a Leadership MBA daily, weekly, and overall before you graduate from it?
- The delivery format you choose will heavily influence what you get out of your Leadership MBA degree. Do you want a full-time program, part-time, traditional on-campus programs, online programs, or a combination of both traditional, in-person, and online study?
- What job or career track do you want? Are there specific businesses, government agencies, economic sectors or non-profits you’d like to work for? What do different MBA’s in Leadership offer that can help you get closer to these goals?
- What are your career goals in the immediate future? How would a Leadership MBA help you reach them?
- Where would you like to live and work during and after earning your MBA?
- Certain programs can plug you into regional networks that will help you find specific job opportunities in different parts of the country.
Let’s look at some of your other MBA options:
Leadership MBAs vs Related Degrees
Leadership MBA programs are designed for students who will go on to earn top management level positions inside various fields of business. While all MBA programs will give their students a strong background in economics, ethics, and communication, Leadership MBA programs can take students to the next level by honing specific skills that will give them the skills needed motivate and manage a team. Existing companies and institutions covet leadership MBA graduates, but they will also be able to take an entrepreneurial route and open their own business. Some degrees that are similar to Leadership MBA programs, but differ in emphasis are:
- Business Management MBA
- Operations Management MBA
- Human Resources Management MBA
- Master of Science in Organizational Leadership (MSOL)
Why should I choose a Leadership MBA degree program over one of these related degrees?
If you are a motivated professional with a charismatic personality that makes you a natural manager, boss, or chief officer, a Leadership MBA degree will accentuate your gifts and propel you to the top of your field of business. The curriculum in a Leadership MBA program will focus on academic subjects such as accounting, psychology, and communications, which are combined with experiential learning opportunities such as professional practicums, to allow students to apply their knowledge to real-world business practices.
Many of the most lucrative job opportunities in the world are leadership roles at major institutions, corporations, and companies. Leadership MBA programs are meant to turn motivated students into the world’s business leaders. While other types of MBA programs will build a similar skill set, if you want to obtain a position at the top of the business world, a Leadership MBA program is the best choice.
How Can We Help You Get a Leadership MBA?
There is a wide range of options when it comes to MBA programs, and Leadership MBA programs have become some of the most popular MBA specializations in academia. Therefore, the number of options available for prospective students can feel overwhelming. Fortunately, here at MBACentral, we have compiled a wide range of resources and materials that are organized to help you navigate the ocean of higher education statistics and information so that you can find the degree program that best matches your professional and academic expectations. Some of our resources that could be helpful to you on your search for a Leadership MBA program include:
- The 10 Best Online Leadership Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) Programs
- Pathways to the Top: How to Become a CEO
- The 30 Best Online MBA Degree Programs – Ranking for 2019
- The 10 Best Online PhD’s in Leadership Degree Programs
- The Top 20 Online Human Resources MBA Degree Programs
- The Social CEO: CEOs and the Use of Social Media
- The History of the MBA
- The 20 Best MBA Alternatives
Be sure to check back at MBACentral for new information and resources, as we consistently update our website with the latest MBA news and developments. If you find a school that piques your interest while looking through our resources, you should follow the links to their school website and ask for more information about their specific program offerings.
Can You Get a Leadership MBA Online?
MBAs have become some of the most popular online degrees available. This is because online programs are designed to accommodate working professionals who are looking to advance within their field. Employed students can take the lessons they learn in their program and apply them in real time to their job responsibilities. There are many advantages in earning your MBA degree online, including:
- Location: Online formats allow students to work from anywhere that they have a secure internet connection. This gives students the ability to maintain their 9-5 employment hours and allows them to save on commuting and housing fees that are typically associated with colleges and universities.
- Schedule: Online programs offer versatile scheduling options, such as asynchronous classes that let students attend class and complete work and exams whenever they have free time.
- Price: Online programs streamline information and professional training, skipping many of the bells and whistles that are associated with college and university life. Online programs are for disciplined professionals whose priority is to earn a return on their investment in an expedient manner.
How Do You Get in to a Leadership MBA Program?
Getting into any graduate-level degree program can seem like a daunting task. However, if you take the process one step at a time and focus on completing each task to the best of your abilities, you will find that it is a manageable process. The steps that are required to get into a Leadership MBA program include:
- Complete a Bachelor’s Degree: Before you apply to a graduate-level program, you will have to complete a bachelor’s degree program. If you know you are going to pursue an MBA, it is recommended that you major in a related field, though it is not required. You will also have your undergraduate professors provide letters of recommendation to accompany your MBA applications.
- Take the GMAT: MBA applicants are usually required take the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT), which is a standardized test that tests analytical, writing, and quantitative skills that are applied to business practices. To see more, check out our In-Depth Guide to the GMAT.
- Consider your Priorities: MBA programs require a large investment of time and money, so before applying to programs you should take account of your expectations for your MBA program. If you are concerned about maintaining your current responsibilities and employment while working on your degree, you may want to consider applying to Online MBA programs.
- Research Schools: Once you have a good idea of what you are looking for in an MBA program, you are ready to start researching schools. Here at MBACentral, we have compiled a number of rankings and lists of top MBA degree programs to help you start your search. If any of the schools could be a good match for you, you should follow the links to their website and request more information about their programs.
- Apply: After researching Leadership MBA programs and identifying safety, target, and reach schools; you are ready to apply. It is a good idea to get in contact with professors, academic advisors, and admissions counselors to the schools where you are applying.
What Jobs Can You Get With a Leadership MBA Degree?
Graduates from Leadership MBA degree programs are eligible for some of the most lucrative and stable employment options in the United States. Some of the positions that are available for graduates are:
- Top Executive: Top executives, such as CEOs and COOs, are the highest level administrators at their company. Top executives make an average annual salary of $104,980, and there are currently 2,572,000 positions employed in the United States, with that number expected to increase by 8% over the next decade.
- Financial Manager: Financial managers draft financial reports, investment speculations, and financial strategies to keep their organizations profitable. They make an average annual salary of $127,990, and there are currently 580,400 positions employed in the United States. That’s expected to increase by 19% over the next decade.
- Human Resources Manager: Human resource managers act as negotiators and liaisons between employees and management with responsibilities such as hiring and firing, recruiting, and resolving workplace conflicts. They make an average annual salary of $113,300, and there are currently 136,100 positions employed in the United States. That’s expected to increase by 9% over the next decade.
- Management Analyst: Management analysts are also known as consultants, as they are hired by organizations to analyze workplace efficiency and suggest improvements. They make an average annual salary of $83,610, and there are currently 806,400 positions employed in the United States. That’s expected to increase by 14% over the next decade.
- Administrative Services Manager: Administrative service managers coordinate office facilities and activities such as information archiving and retrieval, and general office upkeep, among other responsibilities. They make an average annual salary of $96,180, and there are currently 281,700 positions employed in the United States. That’s expected to increase by 10% over the next decade.
- Compensation and Benefits Manager: Compensation and benefits managers help employees receive their salaries in a timely and organized manner, pay their taxes, and create retirement plans. They make an average annual salary of $121,010, and there are currently 15,800 positions employed in the United States. That’s expected to increase by 5% over the next decade.
In addition to these stable employment options, graduates from Leadership MBA programs can choose to go their route by becoming entrepreneurs and starting their own business. In our current era, technological startups regularly turn into success stories, but Leadership MBA degrees are extremely versatile and used in all types of business ventures. The amount of professional options for Leadership MBA degree holders is endless, and the world will be your oyster upon graduating.
Leadership MBA’s in Conclusion
We hope you’ve found this guide helpful. Remember, if you find any schools or programs through MBA Central that you feel are a good fit for you and your goals, it will be beneficial to reach out to them directly to request more information and for help in your application process.
Best of luck in your hunt, and for some more resources, please see: