Monday, August 20, 2012

A Leadership Question For You

 Leadership noun \ˈlē-dər-ˌship\
Our definition: The ability to influence and inspire people to achieve the goals of a shared vision.


One of our major goals at SLPA is to talk about leadership and promote how important it is to the success of organizations. As Marcus Buckingham wrote in one his books - "Great organizations require great leaders. In all the studies of organizational excellence, excellence was impossible to explain without factoring the role of the leader." If I may add to that, great organizations also require great leaders at every level, not just at C-suite positions.

One of the questions we get asked every day as we talk to people about leadership is - 'what can a degree in leadership do for me?'. The question is usually being asked by someone looking to make a difference in their career, and they are trying to decide whether a leadership degree is the right fit for them. Or someone who is curious about leadership, and wonders just what it means.

It occurs to me that the people with the best answer to this question is our alumni.  We know that you are out there working hard in every industry and leading by example.  Not all of you have the authority that goes with an official title, but it doesn't stop you from leading and influencing people on a daily basis.

So, I would like you to draw on your experience and answer the question in the comments section below:   

What has our degree in leadership done for you?


Please feel free to leave at least your first name at the end of your comment (I like to attribute great comments to their owners).

27 comments:

  1. Having the degree provided more avenues for employment. The one drawback is explaining what the letters BSPS mean. Most people get the BS, but PS is a little harder to relate to.

    ReplyDelete
  2. My Masters degree in Leadership and Business Ethics gave me a transformative educational experience. The classes encouraged me to be self reflective regarding my strengths and weaknesses, and realize that I could challenge myself and I would have the knowledge and tools I needed to succeed. I learned that leadership skills can and should be developed by people at all levels of an organization, and that leadership can take many different forms depending on the strengths of the individual and the needs of the organization.

    I've also advanced in my organization to a higher level management position. People have commented to me that I've evolved over the years and acquired keen political and interpersonal skills. I attribute that to the curriculum and experiences I encountered in my Duquesne master's degree program.

    ReplyDelete
  3. At this point, I have not received any job offers within the company I work. I have 17 years in this company and I hate to pick up move to another company. I'm very frustrated because I thought that this would open up avenues for me but it hasn't yet. People tell me to give it time since I only graduated in August of 2011.

    ReplyDelete
  4. The Business Ethics and Leadership Degree I obtained from Duquesne University School of Leadership and Professional Advancement, gave more marketability to my skill set as a transitioned from a layoff. I work for a well known university and when the School of Business was downsizing, I was able to show my transferrable skills and it successfully landed me a position in the School of Education. If you are debating whether or not to go back to school, leadership is one skill that will be in demand for years to come! Leadership is an action word.

    ReplyDelete
  5. MLLS 1979 First graduating class of the program.
    The program transformed my life. For the first time ever I took the time to reflect on my life, the limitations I placed on myself and all the options the world had to offer. Self reflection, meaningful discourse and a challenging curriculum gave me the tools and the mindset to understand the world (corporate and personal) was not a tight box with black and white answers. I came to understand and appreciate "grey". The ability to think freely, reflect deeply and frame thoughts went a long way to enhance my career. I became engaged and was enabled to create and lead great teams. I was a supervisor when I attended the program - from there I progressed eventually attaining a position as VP CIO of Crayola, a position I held for eight years before retuning to a general management position as the Director of the School of Information Sciences. My experience at Duquesne played a significant part in my deciding to move to academia as a career.
    I would encourage anyone in the program or considering it to do so with a desire for transformational change and challenge yourself to not look at the program as boxes to check off for a degree but for an experience that can transform you - if you are not questioning yourself or challenging your beliefs then you are/will be shortchanging yourself of the intrinsic benefits of the experience and your potential as a leader.
    Sandra Brandon, Class of 1997

    ReplyDelete
  6. I think it can do for you whatever you want it to. A lot of what I took away is that it is incumbent upon me to take it where I want to. This could mean creating my own establishment to lead in a fashion that is congruent with I gained. It has allowed me to think bigger and given me such a feeling of accomplishment; as a masters degree was a personal goal of mine. Much of the time, I find that it is more about what things do for you inside that allows you to attract whatever you need on the outside, be it a new job, advancement in your current career or an all new career altogether. It really is up to you what YOU DO WITH IT because it is just a piece of paper within itself but what you've gained is what you have to work with. If you can't change what you are looking at than change the way you look at it. Its not the arrival that is the most fun but the journey.....or at least that is how I see it. :)

    Mike

    ReplyDelete
  7. The MLLS program gave me the confidence to pursue leadership opportunities in my field. I am confident in my ability to lead and mentor the future leaders of my field.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Completing my MLLS degree was a wonderful experience; I have grown intellectually, emotionally and spiritually. However, I still have not been able to advance in my organization. The best educational receipe for success here is a BS in chemistry or chemical engineering and an MBA (not a BS in Business and an MLLS). As I approach 45 years with my company, I have reached the point of acceptance that I will not advance and thankfulness for my life-long, good-paying job with a successful company.

    My advice to those with only 17 years in is see what opportunities are out there for you. Landing one and presenting it to your current employer could help your cause. Change can be difficult, but also rewarding.

    ReplyDelete
  9. My leadership degree from Duquesne has helped propel me into an executive position as Senior Vice President within my company, and as been helpful in complementing my personal life as well. Specifically, I felt that the curriculum helped develop my critical thinking skills and my confidence that prepared me to more effectively interact and work with people and complex situations, regardless of the specific circumstances that I faced. It is a degree that can enhance your business, social, and personal life.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I received my leadership degree from Duquesne in 2001 and since then I have seen drastic improvements in not only my business life but social and personal as well.

    I decided to enroll for this degree after I had closed a struggling business. I felt that there was something in my management style that was missing and felt I needed some guidance.

    I was pleasantly surprised at the curriculum and subjects that we covered and feel that I still reference many a subject to this day in my job. If its understanding why someone does what they do, handling conflict, personal communication or project management there is always a good reference point to look back on.

    To this day, I recommend this program to anyone who is willing to listen! And will continue to!

    ReplyDelete
  11. The MSLBE has afforded me the opportunity to give back. I have progressed in my career, supervisor to VP since I earned my Masters at D.U. I have shared with others obtaining the degree does not equal a promotion what it does is give one the tools to increase one's value. For example, once you have the knowledge/tools it is imperative to use those new tools to become proficient. There are endless opportunities to learn your craft. Take those new found tools and use them in other arenas, i.e. civic, non-profit, church wherever you chose to get involved your leadership skills can be utilized for the greater good of the organization. You will find that the better you become using those tools, (leadership, conflict resolution, talent assessment, stakeholder assessment, etc.) you will find new opportunities. Do not confine yourself to the organization that you are currently working. Duquesne gave you new skills now it is up to you to find opportunities to give back. I will close with never expect anything not even a thank you... and when it does come your way it is that much sweeter. Good luck past, current and future grads. God Bless ... Cliff

    ReplyDelete
  12. My degree from Duquesne has assisted me in my career tremendously. I was an assistant wrestling coach at a small college while earning my degree of Master of Science in Sports Leadership. Since then, I have moved into athletic administration and have moved up to be the interim director of athletics at an NCAA Division II Institution. 2008 Graduate.

    ReplyDelete
  13. My Masters degree in Leadership not only made me to know and practice what leadership entails, it has transformed me into a better thinking-being, a better decision maker and problem solver, both in my personal life, in the life of others, and in issues relating to my religious order; a courageous fellow, who has the ability to develop a positive connectivity with the people around me, irrespective of whether I am the leader or not in that group. With my concentration in Liberal Studies, I discovered my inherent leadership values which includes, responsibility, integrity, truth and honesty; justice and fairness, hard-work and high self-esteem. These have been influencing my actions and relationships. With my experience, a degree in leadership, in addition to academic qualification, is for personal enrichment, for a positive social interaction, and for organizational efficiency, productivity, and excellence.

    Sr. Caroline


    ReplyDelete
  14. Completing my degree as an adult awoke my desire for learning, so much so that I went on to earn my Master's. I would not have the wonderful job I have today if it were not for my education.

    ReplyDelete
  15. My BSPS has allowed me to grow in my career. Having the degree on my resume has opened doors that were not previously open. Employers are encouraged by the fact that someone is willing to go the extra mile for continuing education. Duquesne is a fantastic school and the intimacy of a small program like SLPA is invaluable.

    ReplyDelete
  16. The MLLS degree set the foundation upon which I was able to earn a doctorate in leadership. I am able to apply my knowledge and understanding of leadership theory into everyday practical situations. knowing the type of leadership style to use in an environment made up of individuals with diverse educational backgrounds as well as diverse cultural backgrounds has proven to be invaluable. The degree has also given me the ability to identify the leadership potential of others and help them to become critical thinkers and in tune with the environment in which they working from a leaders perspective.


    Mark

    ReplyDelete
  17. Do you guys think human nature is compatible with Transformational Leadership? Looking at all of the corporate and banking scandals of the past leads me to think that leadership is something corporate leaders do when everybody is watching, then it's back to business as normal. As this article from the Economist puts it:

    ...The economics of crime prevention starts with a depressing assumption: executives simply weigh up all their options, including the illegal ones. Given a risk-free opportunity to mis-sell a product, or form a cartel, they will grab it. Most businesspeople are not this calculating, of course, but the assumption of harsh rationality is a useful way to work out how to deter rule-breakers...In an influential 1968 paper on the economics of crime, Gary Becker of the University of Chicago set out a framework in which criminals weigh up the expected costs and benefits of breaking the law. The expected cost of lawless behaviour is the product of two things: the chance of being caught and the severity of the punishment if caught. This framework can be used to examine the appropriate level of fines, and to see if there are ever reasons to exempt companies from fines...

    http://www.economist.com/node/21559315?fsrc=scn/gn_ec/fine_and_punishment

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Interesting article. I think that what we have here are bad leaders who are also unethical. They are driven to succeed at any cost, so of course they weigh the legal and illegal options when making a decision. Newspapers tend to highlight them when they are caught, but I don't think that they represent leadership in the corporate world. At least, I hope not. I believe the majority of leaders in the corporate world are at most ethical and have a value system that is compatible with transformational leadership. Of course, when I say most leaders, I'm referring to leaders at all levels in the organization, not just at the C-suite.

      Delete
    2. How can you play by the rules when these guys do not play by the rules? If you play by the rules and they do not, then you are at a disadvantage to begin with. More on this in the article below:

      Psychopaths on Wall Street - http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2012/03/psy

      I just bought a new book the other day, "The End of Leadership", by Barbara Kellerman. Barbara is a Lecturer at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. Kellerman enumerates the numerous contradictions, inconsistencies, and irrevelancies of what passes for leadership thought and training today:

      http://www.amazon.com/End-Leadership-Barbara-Kellerman/dp/0062069160/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1346058054&sr=1-1&keywords=the+end+of+leadership

      Delete
    3. Wrong link to the first article. Here we go again:

      http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2012/03/psychopaths_on_wall_street.html

      Delete
  18. I received my Leadership and Business Ethics Graduate degree at DUSLPA in 2008, while I was still on active duty. In my last Navy job, in my subsequent job-search and in my current employment, my degree gives me four things: tools, credibility, networking and reachback.

    In my courses, I learned many of the tools that I use every day, whether it’s for me personally, nurturing a team or in personal coaching. Strengthfinders ©, learning styles, political savvy, non-violent communication, to name a few – not to mention the power that self-awareness has given me. Additionally, these tools allow me to “talk” leadership with credibility and authority.

    The ability to network, for leadership growth as well as for job-searching, is fantastic. I was able to use former student colleagues, professors, this blog and the alumni association as a way to expand my job-search. Now, I’m able to reachback to the professors, facilitators and Duquesne University as a whole for solutions and areas for personal & professional growth.

    I now work as an Executive Coach in the Healthcare Industry. I use my DUSLPA knowledge daily. My thanks to the School of Leadership & Professional Advancement.

    Kevin

    http://www.richardsoncoaching.com/home/

    ReplyDelete
  19. Unfortunately, I not only earned a Leadership degree from Duquesne U., but I also moved onto a doctorate degree in Information Systems and Communications from another school, and still have not been able to land a position within a university, college, or corporate America. I have over 50 resumes out there to 50 different schools and public/privately owned companies and haven't received one interview offer. I was told by a head hunter that in today's economy, downsizing is the key factor in every school and business, and that I may have out priced, and over educated myself to fit into corporate America. This seems to be quite true from my standpoint. I would think a company would jump at the opportunity to hire somebody with Leadership, Information Systems and Communications education, and experience in all of these skill sets. If there is anybody out there looking for somebody like me call or email me, and I will forward my resume to you! drjennifermartinvoit@yahoo.com. Maybe I just started to late and in a bad economic time however, try telling that to the student loan people!! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're not the only one. A degree won't get you a job anymore. There's thousands of graduates out there fighting for the same positions. They did what they were supposed to do - studied hard in high school, went to college, graduated, and now they're left with 100k in student loans and a barely-above minimum-wage job.
      Education is great, but what is the return on investment nowadays? Grandparents and parents keep pushing kids to go to college AT ANY COST, thinking it will pay off. It probably paid off 30, 40 years ago when you graduated with a few thousand in school debts. Nowadays, what is the return-on-investment on a Bachelor's Degree in Business worth? Not much.

      Delete
  20. Well, that is unfortunate. But, you have grammatical errors in your brief post and with all the education you have, that does not look good. Maybe that is a problem for you. And, I've never heard of over educating; maybe, you are just overpricing what you believe should be your salary.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I received my undergrad from SLPA and I'm currently enrolled in the graduate program for Global Leadership. I just started a new job in November at Carnegie Mellon University, and I think one of the contributing factors for my offer was the global nature of my educational studies. In fact, when my new supervisor put out a short bio introducing me to the staff community, she mentioned the countries I have worked with and what my degree program was. I honestly think the educational quality of the SLPA program is without peer. While I have had some issues with disengaged professors (especially since Global Leadership is entirely online), I have found for the most part a real commitment to helping us adult students work towards our goals. I have another year left (hope to graduate Dec '13), but I have been extremely happy with my education. It has netted me my future.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Our economy needs women in leadership. When women are more than tokens in leadership – representing over
    30 percent of the team in diverse business specialties – their organizations perform demonstrably better.
    Not only are women naturally good leaders, showing the capacity to balance their leadership styles to
    achieve results even more adeptly than men at times, but they are hard workers and driven to succeed as
    executives as well.



    leadership training
    leadership training Exeter
    leadership training Scotland
    leadership training courses
    leadership skills London

    ReplyDelete
  23. My B.S. from the School of Leadership paved the way for me to earn my Juris Doctor. The faculty and staff at SLPA prepared me for the rigors of law school and I couldn't have finished without this preparation. I still remember my first week at SLPA when I received a call from Pat, just to see how I was settling in at Duquesne University. I will be eternally Grateful!!

    ReplyDelete