What makes an Online MBA different from other postgraduate degrees? The structure. An MBA curriculum is designed to enhance your personal and professional growth and prepare you for the world of work. Academic activities such as collaborative work, networking events, presentations, projects and real-life case studies help set you up to succeed in leadership roles.
An Online MBA experience will give you the tools you need to become a workplace leader. How you get the most use out of these tools depends on you. This article will discuss how an accredited MBA will positively impact your growth. We will discuss five aspects of personal development that you stand to experience during your degree:
- Enhanced Communication Skills
- Effective Leadership Skills
- Innovative Thinking
- Heightened Cultural Awareness
Enhanced Communication Skills
“Communication works for those who work at it.” — John Powell.
Business communication is not just about what you say; it’s also about how you say it. The MBA’s unique structure of practical knowledge, group work and presentations will teach you how to frame your thoughts in a way your peers can understand. Knowing how to communicate effectively matters in leadership roles and will impact how you function in a business environment.
Through your work experience, you’ll realize that communication is prevalent at every level of an organization. The workplace requires you to communicate effectively, whether delegating a task, discussing an issue, brainstorming ideas or something as simple as asking for a cup of coffee. An MBA and some fast-track alternatives will give you a platform to improve your communication skills to get the most out of your workplace interactions.
If you can get your ideas across effectively, you’ll have the opportunity to:
- Work in cross-functional roles –You’ll often have to work with departments other than your own. Understanding others and conveying your ideas in a way they would understand would be an asset for you. This can lead to further opportunities to work with other departments on projects, which will amplify your skillset and experience.
- Delegate tasks – How you delegate work to your team will profoundly impact their output. You’ll need to ensure that the instructions for the work assigned to them are clear, that there is a clear line of communication for help and feedback and that they feel their work is valued and essential to the organization’s functioning and growth.
- Achieve personal and organizational goals – When you lead a team, you must meet specific organizational targets. While your overall focus will be on the organization’s goals, you and your team members will also have personal goals, such as promotions and awards. Clearly communicating organizational, team and individual goals, as well as the ways by which they can be achieved, will go a long way in realizing the objectives you’ve set out for yourself.
Effective Leadership Skills
“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” — John Quincy Adams.
Good leaders are crucial to the success of any organization. As you explore your strengths and weaknesses, you will enhance the leadership qualities you possess and identify focus areas you need to work on. A good B-school will give you theoretical leadership training and help develop your leadership style in a real-world context. MBA alternatives can also help you develop these skills faster. As you begin to develop a leadership style, you will discover how you want to approach leadership. You may create your own way of doing things or you might emulate someone you know and admire.
If you’re emulating someone, you should observe how they manage their teams to see what makes them great leaders. It’s not necessary to copy someone else’s style, but inspiration is always a powerful tool.
An MBA enables you to become an effective leader by enhancing the following qualities, among others:
- Problem-solving – An MBA’s experiential learning approach will give you plenty of opportunities to tackle real-world challenges. You’ll learn how to become solution-oriented and deal with high-pressure solutions calmly and collectedly.
- Perseverance – The consistent challenges, real-world case studies and projects will teach you about perseverance – a prominent quality in every successful leader. When you’re managing a team, you will face adversities and often feel like nothing is going your way. You’ll learn how to tackle these situations and not give up when the going gets tough.
- Team Building – What is a leader without a team? You’ll learn crucial team-building skills to ensure you are an asset to any organization you work in. Collaboration, time management, critical thinking and communication are some of the skills you’ll work on. Learning these crucial skills will help you become an impactful leader.
“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” – Steve Jobs.
Impactful leaders champion innovation to help their organizations grow, maximize revenue and gain a long-term competitive advantage in the marketplace. Whether it’s day-to-day operations, long-term strategizing, bringing a new product to the market or streamlining the structure of an organization, innovation leads to sustainable growth in an unpredictable business environment.
To innovate, you need to think – a lot. An MBA will teach you how to become a better thinker. The collaborative activities you participate in during your MBA teach you how to think outside the box. You can also learn to innovate through focused online learning that will teach you the essentials. Applying new perspectives and ideas to problems will lead to new and impactful solutions. However, your experience is not just limited to the academic side of an MBA. Your personal experience and mindset will also significantly shape how you think.
Leading through innovation will allow you to:
- Solve complex problems – A theoretical understanding of business is excellent, but innovating will lead to better solutions. You might face issues with finances, employee performance or compliance, among others. Adapting to any scenario and coming up with solutions is a massive asset to any leader.
- Give your organization a competitive advantage – Imagine that your organization’s product isn’t doing well in the market. You could resort to conventional methods to market your product but might not get the desired results. Innovation will lead to new ideas, which can lead to significant growth over your competition.
- Bring your unique style to the table – Every leader has their style of leadership. Through your MBA, you will learn your style based on your strengths, weaknesses and mindset. You can bring your unique perspective and innovative solutions to handle any business problem.
Heightened Cultural Awareness
Tolerance, inter-cultural dialogue and respect for diversity are more essential than ever in a world where peoples are becoming more and more closely interconnected.” — Kofi Annan.
International businesses rely on cross-cultural cooperation to function. Corporate giants like Coca Cola, McDonald’s, Samsung and Apple operate in hundreds of countries at thousands of locations. What makes them so successful? They understand the different cultures of each market.
An MBA is an excellent opportunity to understand different cultures. Interacting with people from diverse industries and backgrounds will give you fresh perspectives and evolve your thought process. If your B-school has study abroad partnerships with other institutions, you may have the chance to interact with individuals from different countries.
An Online MBA and its alternatives also have diverse cohorts that cross geographical boundaries. Due to this, you’ll be able to gain an even deeper understanding of how people and organizations function all over the world.
Two things will happen as your cultural awareness increases:
- Deeper Understanding – You’ll understand yourself better as you comprehend the values and thoughts that drive others. A deeper understanding leads to better decisions. Making decisions that are in the best interests of everyone will make you an asset to any organization.
- Empathy – The more you understand people and their cultures, the more you’ll realize how to get the best out of your team as a leader. As you lead with empathy, it will help your individual growth and that of your team and organization.
- Inclusivity –Inclusive work environments are more productive. Understanding each team member and creating a safe environment for them will lead to ideas and thoughts being communicated freely, leading to higher productivity. According to a McKinsey study, diverse and inclusive organizations are “35% more likely to outperform their competitors.” source:Instride
“The first and best victory is to conquer self.” – Plato.
The rigorous curriculum of an MBA will help you develop one of the most critical skills — self-discipline. To do well in an MBA, you must steer clear of distractions, prioritize tasks and manage your time well. This will automatically lead to developing the discipline you need to succeed in any business environment.
As a leader, you must emanate discipline through everything you do. How else will your team follow your example? Self-discipline is crucial during projects, new ventures and day-to-day operations. Mastering this transferable skill will prepare you for a leadership role in any organization.
Once you gain the ability to manage yourself, you’ll have the most powerful tool you need to achieve any goal – personal or professional.
You will experience a variety of personal and professional changes during your degree. An MBA is an opportunity to experience self-understanding and personal growth while preparing yourself for professional success. Over the two years, you will experience the five aspects of personal development highlighted in this article.
Do you want to experience the same development of an MBA in only a fraction of the time? Consider applying to Harappa School of Leadership’s Accelerated Management Program (AMP). This six-month program’s unique curriculum will help you to grow personally and professionally in a 100% live environment.
The AMP will enhance your leadership skills while also enhancing the most sought-after skills in any industry — product management, data analytics and marketing. The program also has guaranteed placements for in-demand roles in India’s top organizations.
Are you ready to fast-track your career? Learn more about the AMP here – https://hsol.education/accelerated-management-program/
Vaikunthe Banerjee has been a lecturer, team leader, writer, and photographer before joining Harappa. He enjoys writing about personal development and effective communication to help learners make significant career strides.