For many years now, an MBA degree has been considered an ideal proof of excellent leadership skills and top-notch business education. If you were going to build a career as a high-rank manager or executive, getting an MBA could open many doors.
Each year, hundreds of thousands of students across the world complete a business school program expecting a career boost. And yet, very few become successful leaders of large corporations, their smaller competitors, or at least departments. Furthermore, many employers no longer see an MBA degree as undeniable evidence of a person’s qualification and leadership skills and tend to choose candidates based on fair and equal competition.
We decided to take a closer look at the problem. Is MBA that good in making you a leader? Or it’s not worth wasting your time? See what we found out!
How MBA Can Make You a Better Leader?
There are many skills and abilities required for a good leader. It’s not enough to simply know your subject. Becoming an executive requires a broader competence in many fields such as marketing, economics, law, and many other areas of knowledge any business consists of. An MBA education can give you a set of necessary hard skills required to navigate and blossom in a business environment.
In an MBA school, you’re likely to study with people from different walks of life, of different ethnicities, views, and orientations. It can help you develop tolerance, empathy, emotional flexibility, and a non-discriminatory attitude towards your colleagues and employees – the qualities any good leader should have.
Furthermore, any good leader must know how to lead a team and be a team player to pursue the same goal. And MBA school is a great opportunity to train your teamwork skills in a mixed environment with people of different tempers and cultures and polish your leadership skills.
Any leader is likely to have a whole team of creative minds that would brainstorm ideas. However, choosing the right path is always the leader’s responsibility. Among others, an MBA education isn’t about cramming random information. One of the goals is to teach students to think out of the box and see the solutions, which are not evident. All of this helps future MBA graduates to be open-minded, persistent, see different perspectives of the problem, and seek creative solutions.
Why Does Having an MBA Degree Doesn’t Necessarily Make You a Good Leader?
Then why do so many MBA graduates never become leaders? Is it because business schools don’t offer a decent level of training? (Rumors say that students can buy a persuasive essay or pay someone to do their project for them.) Or is it because MBA training no longer meets the requirements of the present?
While a business school has lots of advantages and can give you an undeniable edge over other candidates, just having an MBA degree isn’t enough to become a good leader. Leadership skills are not something that can be learned in an isolated classroom environment. They can only be acquired through practice, hard work, and getting out of your comfort zone.
An MBA school can teach you the rules and practices of conflict management. However, only going through numerous conflicts and solving them successfully over and over again can give you the necessary level of comfort and confidence.
You can learn many stress management techniques through your business studies. However, only by implementing them in real stressful situations can you adapt to working and dealing with the pressure any leader has to face.
Furthermore, making strong-willed decisions in a classroom where you risk only with your grades and perhaps, a student reputation, and in the company that can go bankrupt because of your mistakes are completely different things. A good leader must know the cost of their decisions and be ready to take the responsibility for the mistakes.
Finally, being a leader means establishing the right relationships with the people. It includes educating, mentoring, motivating them, as well as holding them accountable for their decisions and actions. Although MBA seems to provide the necessary training, in reality, there are many psychological obstacles that come with our natural desire to make a positive impression and get approval. No matter how hard it may be, a good leader must have the gut to be tough and unshakeable when the circumstances require.
Moreover, there’s no place for insecurity and fears when you hold a leadership position. Rather than jittering for someone may go over their head, a good leader must challenge their people to help them grow and become better both professionally and personally.
Unfortunately, these are the skills and abilities that can be acquired and trained only in a real business environment.
No doubt, getting an MBA degree is a worthy investment. No other degree can give you such a comprehensive set of skills and knowledge required to prosper in any business environment.
However, getting a degree isn’t enough to become a successful leader in a company. Leadership skills can only be obtained through lots of fail-and-fix situations where you show the strength of will, excellent stress and conflict management skills, decisiveness, and strategic thinking.