When you earn a degree in organizational leadership, the skills you can transfer to your job are obvious. Most people seek the degree so that they can further their careers, generally. With coursework in leadership theory and application, decision making and problem solving, strategic planning and the financial aspects of leadership, earning a degree in this area equips you to lead almost any organization and move into a well-paying (and satisfying) position.
However, what many leadership students fail to recognize (at least at first) is that the skills they gain in an organizational leadership program transfer into their non-working life as well. The leadership training that they receive in the academic setting actually helps them manage their families and personal lives effectively.
Some of the skills that transfer include:
Leadership. Leadership is more than just telling people what to do. Being an effective leader requires setting goals, creating plans and, perhaps most importantly, serving as an example to those who follow you. As a parent, spouse, friend, volunteer and community member, the leadership skills you gain in school can easily transfer. In fact, many students who complete organizational leadership programs take on leadership positions in their communities in addition to their career. For example, the goal-setting skills you learn in leadership courses are immediately transferrable to your work with a community or church organization. You’ll also learn to identify problems in your home and volunteer organizations, and use your leadership and team-building skills to correct those problems.
Decision Making. When leadership programs teach decision making, they are talking about more than just what to have for dinner or what color to paint the bedroom. As a manager, you’re often expected to make complex, course-altering decisions. Most leadership programs include coursework or practical training demonstrating how to make complex decisions. Families often have to make major decisions as well. Do we add on to the house or move instead? If we decide to move, where to? Should we open a business? Do I take this job or that one? The skills that you learn in organizational leadership courses provide the skills you need to make these complex decisions and feel confident that you’re making the right choices for you and your family.
Problem Solving. Let’s face it: not every problem is earth-shattering nor do they all potentially affect the bottom line of an organization. But as any parent will tell you, sometimes you are faced with problems – sibling disputes, behavioral issues, and the like – that need to be solved in order for the family to continue functioning normally. With training in problem solving techniques, you’ll be better equipped to handle the everyday problems that come your way and create solutions that are beneficial to everyone involved.
Financial Management. Most organizational leadership programs include some sort of practical training in financial management, whether it’s an overview of financial applications in organizations or more specific, practical training in accounting or finance. No matter what type of training your specific program provides, the skills you learn can help you better manage your own personal finances.
Communication. The ability to communicate is one of the most fundamental skills that can ensure your career success. It’s also a valuable skill to have outside the office. Effective communication skills can improve your relationships with your spouse, children, friends and people that you encounter every day. In organizational leadership programs, you’ll learn skills that will help you effectively communicate in a variety of situations, including listening skills that will ensure that whatever you are trying to say gets across.
As you can see, earning a Masters degree in organizational leadership provides benefits well beyond the working world. In fact, an organizational leadership degree is one of the few degrees that provide practical skills that are useful in every aspect of your life and that you will use every single day.
If you want to be a more effective leader both at home and at work, then consider pursuing a degree in organizational leadership. The coursework you complete will provide valuable skills and knowledge that’s immediately applicable – and can set you on the path to a satisfying and well-rounded life, as well as career.
This article was written by Justin Davis who has been pursuing an online MBA degree for the past three years. He expects to have his degree by next year.