It is common to think of personal leadership growth as department-specific. One could assume that, given strong performance and a length of time at an organization, you may achieve promotions and move up the ranks of your department. You have a certain area of expertise, and the longer you camp out in Sales, Marketing, Accounting, or Human Resources, the more apt you’ll be to gain recognition and bend the ear of decision-makers. Right? Well, it’s not wrong, but it is a narrow-field view of the myriad opportunities that could be available if you think outside of your silo. Patience is certainly a virtue, and good things do come to those who wait, but this does not mean that you should limit yourself! Take the blinders off and consider what other forms of vertical career growth might be available to you.
One of the most spectacular things you can do for your career is to become more diverse. Here is the key: the difference between managers and leaders is range of perspective. Accomplished managers are extremely good at what they do, and in fact, this is what they are valued for. However, the ceiling above the head of a manager who is satisfied in their walled niche, is lower than over a manager who envisions themselves more holistically positioned on the horizon of their organization. For instance, engage with these thought exercises:
- What if you started to think about all team members in different departments as part of your own team?
- How you might change your attitude towards fellow managers, coordinators, and specialists if you knew that one day you might be their boss?
An employee who has visionary aspirations, who is not dismayed by a slight bit of risk, or shy to take on accountability, has the makings of a great leader. In fact, one Forbes writer suggests that, “Until you experience discomfort, real growth and development do not exist.” The author’s suggestions for aspiring risk-takers are as follows. Start with small risks before progressing to big ones, remember to assess and adjust your actions along the way, and don’t be afraid to fail! Building these characteristics will serve you well if you intend to achieve an executive leadership position.
Ok. Now you probably see how a simple shift in thinking could have a huge impact on your career. So, do you want to move from a Director role to Executive Leader? Besides changing your outlook on who you are within your organization and who you could be, you’ll also benefit from gaining some technical next-level leadership skills. Earning a master’s degree that focuses on executive leadership training is one smart way to rise to the top—quickly. A Master’s in Organizational Leadership (MSOL) expands your commitment to leadership with valuable curriculum, including:
- Data-Driven Decision-Making for Executives – Learn how to use metrics to improve performance across the organization.
- Negotiating and Conflict Response – Leaders are given the trickiest situations to handle. In this course, you’ll learn negotiation techniques and the dynamics of conflict, in order to guide your organization out of even the stickiest of quicksand.
- Talent and Performance Management – You’ve heard it before but it bears repeating. An organization’s greatest assets are its people! Learn how to develop talent at yours, and reap the benefits.
You might be surprised to learn that valuable classes like these can be found both fully online or in a hybrid format of online plus in-person learning, at Goodwin University. Studying part-time, you can affordably achieve your master’s executive leadership training in as few as 20 months, and walk away with a 30-credit master’s degree. Goodwin University takes flexibility seriously, because we know you take your career seriously.
With all this talk about growth, let’s not forget about the external (and often uncontrollable) factors that can impact business, like, say, the extended effects of an international pandemic. If 2020 has been trying, 2021 is going to bring brand new trials at every level of business. Now, all organizations have been impacted by COVID-19, but some are better equipped for adaptation than others. This has a lot to do with leadership, and as an aspiring executive, this is something not to be ignored. Perhaps no other course is as important right now as:
- Leading Organizational Change – Both a science and an art, leading change is a challenging skill that is essential to your executive leadership training.
Thankfully, this education is offered by Goodwin University’s MSOL program. As the Harvard Business Review notes in their comprehensive 2018 guide, The Culture Factor, a company’s culture that is built to receive change with innovation and flexibility is ultimately more resilient. When forced into change, do you hope that your organization will be primed for flexibility? As you consider your leadership style, take this moment to consider how you will positively influence your organization’s culture, as an executive.
Have more questions about what a MSOL might do for your career? We would love to hear from you and discuss your professional goals. Request information, or get in touch today, by calling 800-889-3282.
Goodwin University is a nonprofit institution of higher education and is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), formerly known as the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). Goodwin University was founded in 1999, with the goal of serving a diverse student population with career-focused degree programs that lead to strong employment outcomes.