By their very nature, business schools are academic institutions that tend to focus on delivering business know-how.
Yet, the growing importance of responsible leadership has forced business schools to rethink their curricula and put more emphasis on ethics and values, according to Daniel Weninger, head of leadership development within the MBA programs at WHU Otto Beisheim School of Management based in Germany.
“In an increasingly complex world, senior executives sense that being a good executive requires integrity, character, a clear sense of their own purpose in life and a clear set of guiding principles,” Weninger says.
“Business schools are beginning to understand that this needs to be emphasized in future management education.”
The changing demands of management education also impact the job market. Just as business schools must differentiate their offering, every CV needs a unique selling point to make it stand out from the crowd.
While business know-how, illustrated by successful professional accomplishments, is still a crucial on a CV, soft skills such as great communication, intercultural sensitivity, creativity, good character, corporate social responsibility and team leadership have now taken priority and are expected skills for future leaders to possess.
You can combine the two – business understanding and sought-after skills – with a structured Executive MBA program. “Many executives get caught in their company culture, meetings with clients, customer calls – the urgent things of daily operations,” adds Weninger.
“Without a structured framework, many executives simply won’t have the time to think about the deep stuff and their personal leadership development. A structured executive MBA program can provide such a framework and ‘force’ somebody to escape for a limited amount of time from the corporate machinery and daily routine.”
The Kellogg-WHU Executive MBA Program is proud to be one of the leading Executive MBA Programs in the world, equipped with the understanding that EMBA-students no longer want to be lectured solely in the art of business administration. Personal growth and leadership development are of increasing importance.
So how can a school train students to develop true implementation and leadership skills? How can students internalize principles of responsible leadership and have a clear set of morally accepted values?
Firstly, Kellogg-WHU students are given the space to reflect with a set of guiding questions regarding their learning goals, a personal profile with follow-up coaching – and a calm environment to focus on personal leadership development.
‘‘A company needs to differentiate its products throughout the product lifecycle in order to succeed in a challenging environment,” says Sharam Sadeghi, Kellogg-WHU alumnus 2012 and now Head of Consumer Marketing – Home Access at Vodafone, Germany.
“In the same way, I truly believe, that as a manager, you need to distinguish yourself throughout your professional lifecycle for a sustainable and successful managerial path.’’
Secondly, Kellogg-WHU students meet substantial challenges in teams comprised of peers from very diverse and international backgrounds. They are required to develop emotional intelligence in order to utilize their team resources and be able to accomplish a given task within a limited time.
“The Kellogg-WHU Executive MBA Program has allowed me to reflect on myself, and to develop personally. The program encouraged us to realize all our potential in society as well as in the corporate world,” says Bruno Barcelos, Kellogg-WHU alumni 2009 and now General Manager, Pharmaceutical BU, TEVA Laboratoires, France.
“I now see the glass half full more often than before, I judge much less quickly, and look for win-win situations with much more enthusiasm. This program has not changed reality, but the way I perceive it.”