Never has our future required smarter custodianship. The technological, political, and social progress – and turmoil - of recent years has positioned our culture on the brink of an unknowable tomorrow.
What we do know is that we need our business leaders to be wise, innovative, and compassionate in the decades to come – but there are many definitions of leadership. Which one fits you?
Some leaders put the emphasis on just that: leading the way, establishing a clear vision of where the group is at and where it’s going. They provide both knowledge and inspiration.
Some lead by example, while others are great rousers, marvelous speakers. Others still take more of a coaching role, a hands-on approach to helping each team member to fulfill their potential. ‘Affiliative’ and ‘democratic’ leadership emphasizes trust, collaboration, and mutual responsibility.
And some business leaders see themselves foremost as strategists; military-style game-players who frown upon mistakes.
There’s space for all of these leader types in the world of tomorrow – what’s most important is to get a balance between your own skills and character, and the needs of the environment in which you’re boss. But there are a handful of essential values that are necessary across the board – and which you can begin to develop in an educational setting.
The need for communication and honesty
“Communication is the key to solving many misunderstandings in the work environment,’ says Inna Metzler, a student at EuroMBA. ‘A healthy degree of communication helps enormously to create a productive work environment and strengthen the employees in their actions. At the same time, a positive attitude of the leader is important.’
It flows both ways. Leaders should speak, write, and act with openness and clarity – but colleagues must feel they have a channel to respond, and that the workplace is a realm of constructive dialogue.
Metzler has put these lessons into action as Head of Enterprise Services at for BwFuhrparkService GmbH, the mobility service provider for the Federal Defence Forces of Germany:
‘As in real life, honesty plays an important role in the employment relationship. The employees will respect and follow their superiors, only if they can trust him. Honesty is the most important foundation in building a relationship of trust between the employee and his superior.”
Be open to changes
More than ever, adaptability is an invaluable part of the business leader’s toolkit. Technology is changing business, is changing the way we work – the ability to assess, re-strategize and communicate in moments of flux is indispensable.
‘A modern business leader also understands the world is changing, and you can't stop that,’ says Marlène Morin, who became a Marketing and Communication Manager after studying at EuroMBA. She currently handles a sales territory in the USA while managing the Marketing Department of a new division for her company.
‘This is someone who is open to try new things but can still jump in to stop when he/she feels this is going in the wrong direction,’ Morin continues. ‘A modern business leader builds and gives a vision and drives her/his team to accomplish it.’
Knowing the leadership manual back-to-front will only get you so far. The difference between management and leadership is passion.
Passion gives you confidence in what you're trying to achieve and how you're going about doing so – and this passion and determination rubs off on others. It provides a unifying force beyond the black-and-white mechanics of your team's business workflow.
Ettore Rizzo – a biomedical engineer, with a Ph.D. in bioinformatics who is midway through his studies at EuroMBA – has discovered this firsthand: ‘A business leader has to be comfortable being rejected hundreds of time from investors without losing hope. Passion first, personal achievement will follow only if such precondition is met.’
EuroMBA is the school that will train you to be one of these leaders. The unique combination of online management courses and six thematic face-to-face residential weeks you will complete alongside your regular work schedule allows the theory and practice to flourish together.
As Rizzo puts it: ‘EuroMBA is giving me the opportunity to study the managerial aspects related to a business. Idea first, but implementation right after. In order to implement a business idea you need to have structure, being prepared with the economic, operational and marketing aspects.’
It’s a blend of independent study and engaged, group learning that will prepare you for the collaborative nature of modern leadership.
‘You can't be an expert in everything,’ continues Morin, ‘so get the right people around you to get the best team.
‘Always read and learn about what's happening out there, the world is changing so fast. This is your duty as a leader to stay aware about the trends.
‘And rely on others, trust the people around you and build a network because they will be the key to your success.’
Identifying tomorrow’s leaders
Developing your management skills among the next intake of Morins, Rizzos, and Metzers is a precious opportunity to rub shoulders with the next generation of business leaders. And it’s a welcome opportunity to pop your periscope above water and get an advanced look at tomorrow’s ideas and the cultures from which they’re springing.
‘The EuroMBA experience showed me how to see the world from a different perspective,’ agrees Metzer.
‘Of course, you learn a lot of theory during your studies. But the most important part is that the program gives you the chance to gain hands-on experience of working with other cultures, as well as sharing your professional experience with young leaders like you.’