Motivating teams, providing business direction, guiding outcomes and ensuring the organisation’s goals and vision are met — these are just some of the reasons why leaders play an important role in any organisation. Understanding what it takes to be a great leader and developing the required leadership skills will help you become the high-performing leader you want to be.

Here, we discover the MBA leadership skills you’ll harness with the proper postgraduate qualification. More importantly, we’ll discover how an MBA prepares you for leadership and applying these skills, now and in the future of work.

Team leadership skills and styles

A leader is an integral part of any organisation. However, no single type of leader or team leadership skill is more effective than another. Instead, a good leader understands that the team — and situation — should shape their leadership style.

Diana Arlett is a transformational coach, public policy specialist and MBA graduate. In her experience, influential leaders aren’t the ones who believe they’re superior to their team.

“The best leaders are the ones who listen to their team carefully, taking the information into account,” she says. “They are open to learning about other people’s perspectives.”

Team leadership skills — like those earned with an MBA — can be applied to all leadership styles. These are just a few examples of modern approaches and why adaptable skills are critical.

  • Servant leadership: These leaders prioritise and support the needs and interests of their staff above their own.
  • Democratic leadership: Also known as participative leadership, these leaders guide while encouraging feedback and input from their team.
  • Transactional leadership: In a style that involves reward and punishment, these leaders provide goals for the team and offer something in return if they achieve them.
  • Authoritative leadership: Leading with authority and assertiveness, these managers demand obedience from their team and subordinates.

Regardless of style or approach, having a broad understanding of people management is essential for effective leadership. This understanding is exactly what you can get with an MBA.

Leadership and MBA: why the qualification counts

When combined with real-world experience, a postgraduate qualification in business can prepare you for any leadership position. An MBA is ideal for those seeking to strengthen their business skills, access better job opportunities and position themselves as a preferred candidate. Notably, many MBA programs focus on leadership and management skills.

“I learned a lot about leaders through my MBA,” Arlett says. “It provided another layer of depth and confidence to my leadership. You can look at the different styles and realise which is the most effective way to lead.”

An MBA also provides valuable skills you can apply in other positions, not just leadership.
“As well as learning how to lead teams, it taught me how to play a better role as part of a team,” Arlett adds. “I learned about the complexity of decisions made by management, the factors that come into play to inform decision-making, and how to share information with others.”

Other competencies covered in a general MBA include strategic thinking, communication and interpersonal skills, risk management, innovation, finance, marketing and more.

Completing an MBA — and mastering these development areas for leaders — reveals a world of new possibilities for graduates.

What can I do with an MBA in leadership?

Armed with the knowledge an MBA provides, graduates will feel confident about meeting the challenges — and opportunities — that leaders face. Whether exploring a career in project management, general management, or a C-suite executive role, MBA leadership skills from these programs can help.

  • Victoria University’s MBA offers a unit on performance management and rewards. As a leader, motivating your team and helping them overcome challenges is one of the most significant aspects of your role.
  • James Cook University’s Management and Leadership Skills unit provides a broad overview for leaders in today’s business world.
  • Southern Cross University’s MBA program can be studied as a general business degree or by following the Management and Leading People specialisation. This pathway includes two elective units designed to strengthen people-leading skills.
  • RMIT Online’s MBA allows students to focus their degree on leadership, with units including Personal Brand and Authentic Leadership and Leading in the Age of Digital Disruption.

With a postgraduate qualification in business, your leadership style can adapt to your organisation’s needs. Moreover, a commitment to continuing education ensures your leadership skills remain relevant well into the future.

Lead effectively with an MBA

Ready to progress your career and embrace the challenges of a leadership role? An MBA can help take you there. Speak to MBA Discovery’s Student Enrolment Advisor about the possibilities.

Speak to a Student Enrolment Advisor

Whether you’re ready to enrol, or just have a quick question, simply fill out the enquiry form below to speak directly to the university’s enrolment team. They will be able to guide you through:

Course eligibility and recognition of prior learning

Course structure and what you will study

Next intakes and how to apply

Fees and time commitments