April 4, 2017

Business: It’s All About the People

By Shannon Leinen, MBA Program Director | Business

“Consider this: jobs that involve relationships with groups of people, whether customers, employees, partners or otherwise, are rapidly on the increase as more companies build online communities and participate in social environments online to interact for business reasons. They aren’t simply looking for people who know how to use Facebook; they need people who can interact well, understand relationships, and in particular, understand what is not being said, and sense the feel of others. For businesses, these are the roles that make collaboration on the larger scale across the organization happen.”

-Author Rawn Shah, Forbes 2011

The number of professionals who want to add a graduate-level business degree to their resume after working several years in their industry is growing. These professionals may have the “soft skills” and are employed to build relationships daily. However, there is a rising interest in returning to school to add the technical skills and philosophies into their working knowledge.

In higher education, we have seen the interdisciplinary idea of leadership grow exponentially in the last ten years. Although, “leadership” has not replaced the idea of “management” in the business realm, it is important to understand that in an organizational structure, these two concepts can be found working together or separately. Managers in today’s modern and technological workforce are taught how to look at operations, what the various functions of an organization are, and process options for products and services considered needed for efficiency and cost reduction. However, as many self-help authors and academic researchers have found, leaders take the opportunity to inspire their workers in hopes of transforming the workplace productively.

Most individuals have watched enough heartwarming underdog movies to understand how a coach’s inspirational speech move a team to win the entire championship. It may be hard to translate how a leader’s great words can inspire more productivity on the assembly line, monetary growth, or stock increase, but research shows that leadership and management concepts should work together for ideal productivity. Research conducted by Dr. Angela Mouton addresses how performance coaching (i.e. the style of coaching that one would experience in music lesson or from a sports coach) can make a difference in the workplace. The study’s results indicated that those who are receivers of performance coaching in the workplace create an atmosphere of harmony, passion, increased work-flow, and hope within the organization. This does not mean that a leader can only say motivating phrases to the individuals in their workforce—they must put actual work behind their concepts. Yet it is a reminder that social science plays a big part in the business world.

What Does It Mean to Have Business Skills?

The future business leader will need a little social science in their portfolio to be successful. When it comes down to it, the modern businessperson no longer has the privilege of only thinking about the numbers. Successful business people will need to take the responsibility for the people that work with them, work for them, and with whom they network. This is even more important to remember as many jobs are allowing people to work through technologically mediated tools.

If you have been thinking about returning to school to advance your business career, consider the online M.B.A. program at Concordia University, Nebraska. I’d love to tell you more about it today.

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