Executive Leadership: How Learning to Plan Unlocks C-Suite Potential

Executive Leadership: How Learning to Plan Unlocks C-Suite Potential
Executive Leadership: How Learning to Plan Unlocks C-Suite Potential

How does someone become an expert in planning? It sounds like too nebulous a thing to master, more reliant on an understanding of the particulars of a situation than a set of transferable skills. But if you think about the kind of work that chief executives and business consultants do, you’ll note that planning corporate growth and strategic development is at the core of their responsibilities. These are very much teachable skills, learned in the classroom and honed at work every day.

Reaching the upper echelon of business requires a strong grasp of the principles of executive leadership. Let’s explore what executive leadership means, and what kind of return on investment you can expect from dedicating yourself to its study.

What is Executive Leadership?

Executive or strategic leadership has been defined as “the ability to influence others to voluntarily make decisions that enhance the prospects for the organization's long-term success while maintaining long-term financial stability.”

That last part about long-term success and stability is the most significant. Martin Shkreli, the unethical hedge fund manager who got very rich very quickly by lying to his stakeholders,

will likely be forgotten before he finishes his current prison sentence, but the name of inventor Thomas Edison, who died nearly 100 years ago, still graces a dozen companies. Visionaries last as long as their particular vision carries, and great executive leadership is about creating sustainable structures.

You will generally hear the term “executive leadership” used most frequently by business schools, as they teach students how to apply the more general theory of strategic organizational management to a C-Suite context. This leadership context comes with numerous responsibilities, including:

  • Optimizing material and human resource deployment
  • Preparing for and adapting to change (technological, social, economic, environmental)
  • Accounting for analytical and human dimensions of decision-making
  • Building a winning team of senior managers to advance corporate goals
  • Risk assessment and analysis

There are also numerous different possible approaches, from servant leadership to paternalistic leadership. Deciding which style will work best in a given situation is dependent on the personal characteristics of a given executive, the makeup of their team and the context of the market. Strong executive leadership must always be focused on accountability, communication, problem-solving, empathy and developing policy that benefits all shareholders.

What is the ROI of Earning an MBA With an Executive Leadership Concentration?

Executive leadership programs are typically offered by business schools at the master’s level, often as a focus or specialization of an MBA program. Studying executive leadership has numerous immediate benefits, such as:

  • Demonstrating to employers that you have an interest and burgeoning expertise in the field of corporate growth and strategic development.
  • Opening a path toward C-suite executive salaries, which can range from $80,000 to $145,000 USD per year.
  • Unlocking your potential quickly through programs which offer one-year accelerated track options.
  • Putting you in a position to effect real change in the world, in a corporate, governmental or nonprofit sphere.

Program graduates typically experience a significant bump in salary compared to their prior earnings within one to three years of completing their programs.

Spring Arbor University’s Gainey School of Business offers one of the top-rated MBA programs in Michigan, and offers a concentration in Executive Leadership. With a curriculum reflective of the latest thinking in business studies and informed by a Christian ethical worldview, SAU seeks to develop a new generation of leaders ready to make a difference in a challenging yet opportune era for American business.

Contact us today for program information.