When it comes to shortages in leadership amongst companies and organizations, the lack of effective leaders often results in continued lack of leadership. Without a steady pipeline of mentors, leadership candidates fail to receive the proper training they need.
One cause contributing to the growing leadership gap are organization’s lack of onsite leadership training facilities. Sure, it may be cost effective to hold leadership training in the conference room, but this can lead to low quality training. In this article we'll explore a three different masters programs and four alternative leadership training solutions designed specifically to prepare you for a leadership role within your organization.
Offsite Leadership Development Programs
Studies show that leaders participating in onsite training programs are more likely to get distracted or be pulled away by their daily responsibilities. A common solution to these issues is turning to various offsite programs that are designed to fortify future leaders. Many of these programs can be completed in a traditional classroom environment, as an online program, or a hybrid of the two.
Executive Master of Leadership (EML)
For those looking to make a splash in the Government, Public, Private, Nonprofit, Law Enforcement, or Emergency and Safety sectors an Executive Master of Leadership (EML) is a great option. With an emphasis on leadership, this 14-24 month, hybrid degree program is completed through intensive on-campus workshops and supplemental online learning.
The EML program contains four core courses focus on discovering your leadership competencies and core values through leadership inventories and self-assessment tools, leading individuals and teams, strategic leadership for organizations, and leading transformations.
These courses are designed to:
- Elevate your capacity to lead complex organizations through disruptive change across organizations, sectors, and industries.
- Enhance the way you understand, inspire and influence multi-generational and diverse team members, stakeholders, and communities.
- Connect with influential leaders, build lifelong friendships with peers, and establish yourself as a thought-leader within your niche.
Executive Master of Leadership programs are intended for mid and senior-level managers looking to move into greater leadership roles. Admissions require a minimum of five years of work experience, although many applicants enter with 8-15 years of experience.
Master of Business Administration (MBA)
Individuals looking to take their career to the next level while helping increase their company’s bottom line can benefit from earning a Master of Business Administration. If you're currently working in either the Private, Public, or Nonprofit sectors a 20-24 month MBA program can be attained either full-time, as an online MBA, or as an Executive MBA.
Core courses within the MBA program include understanding the role of manager, the fundamentals of business, managing inside and outside the firm, and business leadership. These courses are designed to develop personal strengths such as leading with integrity, gain knowledge and skills in the key functional areas of business enterprises, and building high performing teams that achieve results across all organizational levels.
A typical MBA program can be pursued with as little as two years of work experience and is intended for those looking to improve themselves as effective managers. Like the Executive Master of Leadership (EML) an Executive MBA requires more professional experience. EMBA students usually start a program with 10 - 15 years of experience.
Master of Public Administration (MPA)
If you're the type of person who feels it is important that your career have a positive effect on your community or the global good, a Master of Public Administration (MPA) may be the right program for you to pursue. This 24-36 month program can be attained as either a traditional, on-campus MPA degree or as an online MPA degree.
What sets the MPA program apart from an MBA is its rigorous attention to public service and creating positive global change. Core courses for the MPA program include leadership applied to management and public governance, contributing to the public policy process, the public service perspective, and productive interactions with a diverse workforce and global citizenry.
These fundamental courses prepare students for leading organizations that serve the global good, working fluidly across public, nonprofit, and business sectors, and advancing knowledge in governance and management of public and nonprofit organizations.
An MPA program can be pursued with as little as two years of work experience and is intended for those looking to make a real social and global difference. Emphasis is placed on sustainability and the environment, healthcare reform, immigration, infrastructure, urban development, social planning and policy and affordable housing and governance.
Four Alternate Leadership Training Solutions
If pursuing a masters degree doesn't fit your schedule or budget at the moment, there are plenty of alternatives that can be helpful. Here are a few ways you can groom yourself as a future leader.
1. Leadership Workshops and Seminars
Leadership training workshops have come a long way in the past decade. What you'll find are seminars that don’t exist in a vacuum and simply teach how to manage individual tasks. Top-level training workshops move beyond abstract learning to align what they’re doing with key business objectives, and determine your personal leadership goals and style.
2. Online Leadership Training Courses
Made for those with a busy schedule, online leadership training can be an effective tool. Resources such as Lynda and Udemy will give you a feel for what graduate level courses are like if and when you decide to pursue an Executive Master of Leadership, EMBA, or MPA. What online leadership training courses benefit from in terms of accessibility, they can lack in rigor and deep, personal transformation.
3. Leadership Coaching
One of the challenges when facing a lack of leadership is finding great mentors. When internal mentors are difficult to find it may be necessary to seek an external consultant to help with your leadership development. When seeking an executive coach, find a prospect that has already had success in the area you wish to succeed. Your coach should also reflect the type of leadership style you wish to achieve. There is no one size fits all, and past achievements alone does not always make the perfect coach.
4. Attend Leadership Conferences
Getting out of the office to attend a leadership conference is a great way to gain experience without the everyday distractions of training onsite. It can also give you a taste of what leadership training is without fully committing to an extended program. Find a conference near you and start your path towards leadership today.
Is an Executive Master of Leadership Right for You?
Have you been considering going back to school to earn your master's degree? Are you unsure which program is right for you? Take five minutes and take our self-assessment to determine if our program is a good fit for you.