The MBA and leadership
Without exception, everyone who applies for an MBA either aspires to be, or is already, a leader. The Westminster MBA programme is after all designed for those who wish to move into an executive role. Of course there are many types of leaders and one of the most important things that you can learn from the MBA is which leadership style suits you.
Insights into leadership on the Westminster MBA
Prior to my MBA, I had studied and worked in five cities within three countries, which has enriched my perspective in life. I had previously managed a team of engineers and taken the lead role in projects within retail banking, work safety insurance and a marketing agency. I was already a leader but I believe the MBA helped cement my leaderships skills by introducing me to the theories that underpin leadership styles; identifying best practice; and by allowing me the space to debate with colleagues and classmates what works and what doesn’t.
I became more aware of my capabilities and the then MBA leadership module strengthened my confidence and desire to want to lead and manage people. I also took advantage of my thesis, which widened my leadership knowledge and thinking. Your thesis is your perfect opportunity to explore and learn more about the areas that you are most interested in and for me this was leadership.
Clearly in the years since I graduated, leadership teaching has changed somewhat. Whilst when I took my degree the leadership was entitled “Developing as a Manager”, there are now many more opportunities throughout the programme to support your leadership development. Examples of modules which focus specifically on leadership are: Leading & Managing People (core), and Contemporary Leadership (option); At the same time, the leadership theme permeates through other aspects of the course, whether you’re studying the Personal and Professional Development module or Project Management. You will also have the opportunity to become a Class Representative.
Why I’m keen to use an inclusive/participative approach and what that means to me
Through studying the Westminster MBA I learnt that I had an ‘inclusive’ leadership approach. My leadership style is definitely inclusive/participative and I enjoy empowering others to bring out the best in their performance to build and maintain a strong team. Each of us has different motivational needs and I believe that understanding what motivates my team, clients and suppliers as individuals helps to provide a holistic view of how to lead members of my internal and external team more effectively. Listening is also essential, taking on board what is said and how stakeholders behave will always help shape my view. The tasks, purpose, aims, objectives and business needs will assist the direction we will take. From my years working in consultancy, we always asked, “what are we trying to achieve?”
Since the MBA, I have worked across several industries in a variety of leadership positions and have been fortunate enough to gain a wealth of experience. I’ve always enjoyed making decisions and I really believe the MBA has given me better tools to deliver as a better manager. The MBA has equipped me at looking at situations with a holistic view, something which has helped to strengthen my decision-making processes.
Many thanks to MBA alumna Liza for sharing her experiences on the Westminster MBA. For more information about the course please visit the MBA page. If you would like to speak with someone about the MBA programme, please contact MBA Administrator, Anuradha Acharya at A.Acharya@westminster.ac.uk
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