Three Benefits of the MBA Beyond the Boardroom

If you’re reading this, it’s likely you’re familiar with the case for studying an MBA. The business world is united in its appetite for successful MBA graduates to join their organisations, with the 2017 GMAC Corporate Recruiters Survey Report finding that nine out of 10 employers across the Asia-Pacific region will seek to hire MBA graduates. [1]

So, what is it that makes MBA graduates such an attractive employment prospect for leading companies? Is it the real-world business intelligence that the graduates display? Perhaps it’s their ability to apply sharp problem-solving skills to a business environment, challenging assumptions and finding solutions.

The benefits of a Master of Business Administration have the potential to extend beyond life at the office. Here, we profile three key areas integral to business success, that are developed through the academic rigor of undertaking an MBA.

Emotional intelligence

Modern organisations value EQ (emotional intelligence) as much as the better-known IQ. Emotional Intelligence is defined by the Institute of Health & Human Potential as the ability to:

  • Recognise, understand and manage our own emotions
  • Recognise, understand and influence the emotions of others

This powerful combination of self-awareness and social awareness can be a winning formula for managing a team effectively. Often, it’s the leaders with a high EQ who are trusted and supported most in the workplace – researchers have found that 90% of high performers possess a high EQ.

Anyone who has managed a team can see the clear benefits of nurturing these abilities. Many of us are aware of the importance of communication skills. In a business setting, unrecognised or misunderstood emotions can derail any effort to achieve or compete. It takes a skillful leader to navigate their own emotional landscape while communicating effectively with a team.

Adaptability & agility

An adaptable leader is an effective leader – that’s the reality of business in the 21st century and the depths of the digital age. Technology is rapidly shifting the way we communicate, collaborate and innovate at work. That’s why modern leaders don’t have the luxury of getting comfortable with the status quo.

The MBA is the perfect course to sharpen your adaptability and agility for business. It’s especially crucial in these times of unpredictability and widespread chaos and can truly set you apart in a recruitment or promotion setting. You’re likely to find your strengthened adaptability makes you more resilient in life beyond the boardroom too. Strong adaptability has been linked with resilience and your ability to build your interpersonal relationships.

Leadership & self-management

MBA graduates often hold senior and leadership positions at organisations – and for good reason. The MBA is the ideal training ground to build the advanced business skills required of great leaders. But leadership and management aren’t one and the same. To be a leader requires values and qualities that can’t typically be found on a job description; qualities such as integrity and endurance.

This means challenging your assumptions, and putting your communication skills to the test through in-depth conversations with staff who are only too happy to impart their hard-earned wisdom.

Self-management is also critical to your success in business. Being able to make decisions, evaluate options, manage your workload, plan and prioritise while keeping your creative and analytical edge is not something that always comes naturally. Working through the demands of an MBA hones these skills (and more).

Online study the solution for busy, working students

Many people want to study their MBA, but need a flexible solution that fits in with the demands of their busy life. Studying a 100% online MBA not only develops the above key areas – but sets you up for success with the knowledge and leadership skills to successfully carry out management roles – with everything you learn directly applicable to your career.

Paul Betts, an online MBA graduate from Southern Cross University explains, “One of the great things about the SCU course is almost immediately, a number of things that I learnt I was able to apply directly at work. It gave me the opportunity to build on the skills I already had without having to leave the workplace.”

What are some other skills you think make for a great business leader?

 

[1] Percentage of employers who responded the survey

 

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