Strategic Leadership - MSL vs MBA

Traditional MBA Focus

Traditional MBA’s have largely focused on managing business processes. As a result, their efforts have been largely directed at building comprehension around the tactical components of finance, marketing, accounting, etc., as well as the strategic integration of these elements. Contemporary MBA’s have also begun to emphasize the technological processes that enhance these business processes. A quick review of their course descriptions usually confirms this focus.

MSL Differentiation & Focus

In contrast, while the MSL program also covers these core business processes and addresses the socio-technical aspects of strategy, it also adds a third area of critical emphasis – the people development strategies. After all, the best brands, products and services come from people. In a very real sense, organizations are only as effective as their human assets. Now more than ever, building and sustaining a competitive advantage requires a strategic imperative focused on leadership in selecting, integrating, developing and renewing this talent. While management skills enhance the degree of predictability, organization and efficiency, it is the leadership skills that provide the direction, motivation and courage necessary for shaping favorable future outcomes.

“The Master’s in Strategic Leadership program at Roberts Wesleyan College is unique in its ability to produce graduates with an understanding of “real” leadership, not just management skills. Leading organizations today has never been more challenging and requires, as never before, character, integrity, and strategic insight. Changes that used to take a lifetime now happen in a single business cycle. Agility and adaptability are the hallmarks of success; most of all, leaders today need to have a strong sense of self. The MSL program at Roberts gives graduates all the tools they will need and ignites the courage to lead others in a way few academic programs can.”

Mark S. Peterson, CFRE, President & CEO, Greater Rochester Enterprise

The MSL Approach to Learning

Our priority is on teaching our students how to lead people, integrate the areas of focus depicted by these circles and facilitate the strategic process, rather than being restricted to the traditional emphasis on the management of people and business processes. To accomplish this we utilize an emphasis on building strategic leadership competencies (applied knowledge, skills, abilities) through andragogy (e.g. adult learning), rather than a focus on imparting knowledge through lecture and testing (often referred to as traditional pedagogy). The best practitioners understand that knowledge does not necessarily translate into practical ability and the MSL focus is therefore on applied learning. This focus is an essential differentiator for our scholar practitioners. It is our belief that this contemporary approach to building leadership competencies accelerates the learning and equips our students to execute, manage and lead in a manner that creates value in the organizations they serve in throughout their careers. This is what our customers tell us they need…this is what we hold our faculty and students accountable for…and this is what we deliver.

As a result, this program changes lives and delivers unique results.

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