Is a Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership for Me? Five Reasons It Could Be

By Ellie Walburg on July 31, 2019

"If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader." —John Quincy Adams

What does leadership mean to you?

A leader can be the one who makes decisions, assigns responsibilities, sets the example, encourages the team and contributes to the trajectory of an organization.

Most often, effective, inspiring leaders are those who are in tune with the organizational behavior and culture of its team members and stakeholders. And with the opportunity to grow in your knowledge, skills and experiences in leadership, you can enhance your ability to lead well and make a difference in your community.

Yes, a graduate degree spurs on your professional development, but how are you to know if the Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership is the right path for you? To help, we share five reasons how this degree can set you up for leadership success in achieving your goals:

1. Be Equipped to Lead and Serve Others

For many leaders, a goal of theirs is to make a difference and bring sustainable change in their unique environment. Whether at a for-profit or non-profit organization, growing in leadership training can empower you to meet the needs of the community and help those around you to thrive.

Through fields such as human resources, operations, planning and administration positions, you can follow your passion for empowering others in their lives and work. Your employees and clients matter. Grow in your passion for people with a degree catered to match your personal and professional pursuits of contributing to your community.

Is it for me? Ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I have a passion to meet the needs of team members around me?
  • Am I convinced leadership can be an act of service?
  • Does developing leadership skills within a virtue-based foundation intrigue me?

2. Enhance Team Relationships

Employees go to work for various reasons, and with varying motivation levels. With enhanced leadership, you can help to motivate, inspire and encourage team members.

By gaining experience in identifying and growing a positive company culture that gives employees a clear purpose of why they do what they do, you can add overall value to your organization. Higher employee engagement can lead to more profitable results.

By engaging in courses focusing on topics such as maximizing diversity, conflict management and human resource management, you'll develop the frameworks and skills in addressing and providing sustainable solutions in enhancing relationships in your organization.

For example, the final capstone course of the M.A. in Organizational Leadership program incorporates a focus on identifying your emotional intelligence level and opportunities for growth. Your Emotional Quotient (EQ) contributes to effective leadership in perceiving potential issues and solving problems with a human element. Measures of EQ such as empathy, self-assessment, discipline and managing relationships can all be grown through the practical course work and experience.

Is it for me? Ask yourself these questions:

  • Am I interested in developing my understanding of motivation and organizational behavior?
  • Does identifying my emotional intelligence intrigue me in growing in leadership?
  • Do I believe a leader has a responsibility for cultivating a thriving company culture?

3. Develop Skills In Demand

Paper boats arranged on a table

Whether you want to grow in your current career trajectory or are waiting and preparing for that new opportunity, developing your leadership and management potential can help you get there.

And it's not just you who wants to be an experienced and equipped leader. Organizations want that perspective, too.

Employers want to see personnel with management and leadership skills. In fact, according to a study by Emsi, management was the most in-demand skill at both Fortune 500's top companies and nationwide. Other skills, such as leadership, communications, operations and problem solving are also highly ranked by Fortune's top companies. These skills, termed "soft skills" can be developed and enhanced through a master's in leadership program.

Develop skills that will set you up for success and that will appeal to your current or aspired organization with a graduate program.

Is it for me? Ask yourself these questions:

  • Am I currently in or aspire to be in a leadership position?
  • Do I desire to grow in skills that are in demand for top companies?
  • Am I interested in developing a range of skills that can be easily applied to my work?

4. Apply Leadership Theory In Your Real World

There is no shortage of leadership books on bookstore shelves. With titles like "7 Habits of Highly Effective People," "Grit," "Leaders Eat Last," "Start With Why" and thousands more, it's tempting to think that all we need to know about leadership can be found in a book.

These books are great and can certainly set a helpful foundation of knowledge. But experience, conversation and theory is essential in effectively leading in organizations. In a degree program, you can gain insight from today's leaders that help you put that book learning into your real world. Pair that leadership experience with book knowledge and learn how to practically implement sustainable solutions through a degree program. The applicable nature of the curriculum emphasizes the need to take what you learn in class and apply it to the real world.

This theory-informed curriculum with practical application makes what you learn applicable in a variety of work, community and even home settings. For example, the negotiation and conflict resolution tactics you gain can be used in a tough conversation between employees at work or in approaching a discussion about curfews with your teenager.

Go beyond book learning and engage in practical case studies and discussions within a supportive learning environment to grow in your ability to influence your work, home, community and beyond.

Is it for me? Ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I aspire to extend beyond book learning to incorporate both theory and experience?
  • Am I interested in matching my theoretical knowledge with practical experiences?
  • Does the opportunity to apply what I learn to all of my roles and circles interest me?

5. Lead in Tomorrow's Workplace

Female writing on a whiteboard in a conference room

Today's workforce looks much different than what it did decades ago. The typical 9-5 desk job is no longer the only norm. The incoming wave of Millennials and Generation Z and the retirement of Baby Boomers is expected to greatly influence future workforce trends alongside these generational characteristics. The Millennial population, for example, has grown in the freelance platform, desiring greater freedom and flexibility in their work. As a leader in this workforce landscape, it's important to pay attention to these changes.

Gain theoretical frameworks you can apply to the unique population you work with in setting a strategic and thriving direction for your team and organization. So as these generational and cultural shifts occur, you'll be ready to thrive in empowering your teams.

Is it for me? Ask yourself these questions:

  • Am I ready to address the changing workforce landscape?
  • Am I interested in learning how to relate to others based on their unique characteristics?
  • Do I desire to be equipped for whatever the future holds in regards to leadership?

Discover a M.A. Program Designed For You

How will you be better equipped in advancing your opportunities to lead and serve others? With the practical knowledge, skills and experience gained through a Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership degree program, you can grow your experience in providing direction and solutions for a thriving organization. And in a degree program at PGS, you can establish that valuable foundation in a convenient format that's designed for the busy working adult.

Follow your passion to lead by joining the upcoming program in our supportive Kalamazoo community on Sept. 9, 2019! Connect with Patti Ticknor by calling 269.353.6535 or emailing patti.ticknor@cornerstone.edu to get started!

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Category: Leadership