Can an MBA Make You a Powerful Leader?

They say leaders are born, not made. But a whole lot of them sure go to business school. According to an article published on, about 40 percent of S&P 500 CEOs have an MBA in any given year. An MBA is, by far, the degree with the most representation among these executives.

So, if you think there’s a leader inside of you that needs a bit of grooming or you often wonder how to develop leadership skills, an MBA might just be the answer for you. Here are a few ways in which an MBA develops strong leadership skills among graduates:

By offering a customized curriculum

MBA programs are known for their rigorous curriculum. While there’s a lot of focus on developing the academic and technical skills of the students, there’s equal if not more focus on molding them into great leaders. Students are expected to get involved in leadership development activities that are part of their coursework and designed to maximize their leadership potential.

By providing real world exposure

Most students who enroll in an MBA program already have some professional experience under their belt. But through their coursework, they are often expected to apply the principles of management they learn in school to real life situations. This practical, hands-on experience helps them assume leadership roles more confidently.

By kindling their creative thinking abilities

The leaders of today work in a highly competitive environment. Never before has the Darwinian theory of “survival of the fittest” rung so true. An MBA program cultivates leaders who don’t just have sharp business acumen, but can also think out of the box to provide innovative solutions and lead their organizations to success.

By honing their problem-solving skills

One of the most important qualities of an effective leader is their problem-solving skills, hence almost all MBA programs give a lot of weight to developing this particular skill among graduates. Students’ problem solving skills are put to test time and again through their team projects, classroom discussions, or course assignments.

By teaching them to work in teams

As someone famously said, there’s no ‘I’ in team and no one lives more by that principle than true leaders. They consider teamwork as an essential ingredient to success. A business school education provides students various opportunities to work in an environment of collaboration and develop their teamwork skills.

By training them to look at the larger picture

True leaders are able to look beyond their own ambition. They should be able to consider themselves a part of the system, not above it. They empathize instead of control, guide instead of command, and inspire instead of manage. Going to a business school helps graduates learn these nuances of leadership.

By teaching them social responsibility

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) has become an important part of running a business. Businesses are keen to be seen as responsible entities willing to make a contribution to the society. To achieve this goal, they need conscientious leaders. Many MBA programs introduce graduates to the concept of CSR and also include modules on responsible leadership.

By turning them into passionate professionals

Even though passion is an innate quality that an individual is usually born with, going to a business school helps stoke it. Leaders usually have a passion to change the course of their organization, while establishing a line of trust with their employees and customers.

The purpose of this post is to answer once and for all the question of how to develop leadership competencies. If it has managed to successfully achieve this goal, the next step for you is to start the journey of finding your inner leader.

At Concordia University Texas, we offer an online Master of Business Administration program designed to prepare students to be exceptional, energetic, and effective leaders. Browse through our MBA program or request more information now.

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