Executive Education

These Soft Skills Will Separate Leaders From the Rest

The choice to pursue an Executive MBA is meant to strengthen one’s executive skill set and earning potential, and foster new innovations for your existing role. However, in today’s world, with uncertainty and an ongoing pandemic creating challenges, an EMBA should focus on leadership skills that can anticipate and manage drastic changes. In this regard, the London Business School Executive MBA and the Global Americas EMBA which is conducted by LBS in partnership with Columbia University, offer ideas for the new working world. While the pandemic has changed business practices and goals worldwide, an EMBA education can combine both standard executive knowledge and new ways of doing business in the future. These skills are by no means limited, but rather, foundational building blocks for your executive acumen.

Networking Skills

The Global Americas EMBA (a partnership between London Business School and Columbia University) provides a serious global education, with dual hubs in London and New York City. The program is internationally ranked, with dramatic post-degree earning potential, and an emphasis on international business and cultures. A Global Americas EMBA combines both practical education with an immediate international network.

EMBA student Monica Domingues reflects on her education, noting the program’s helping her with data analytics and leadership skills, but also its emphasis on creating better networks. “Leadership is essential in any job and the course led me to reflect on my management style and helped me identify areas that I could improve on so that I could be a better manager and a teammate to those around me.”

Networking and people skills trickle throughout any aspect of your executive work in our new global world. Communication and connections not only open doors for you and your business, but also strengthen morale among your peers and direct reports.

Innovation Skills 

London Business School fosters a mindset that gives executives tools to manage challenging business climates, especially during a pandemic, and in future times of economic uncertainty. There are business fundamentals that never go out of style, and can be adapted to unknown times ahead.

The EMBA program trains executives to create companies that fuel innovations, even if every innovation or idea isn’t successful. Even though leaders create the culture within a company, times like these require collaboration among teams. Communication is key; don’t be afraid to listen to ideas and concerns from all levels of your company.

Mistakes can happen. Executives are human, and their teams are also dealing with unknowns and instability in these times. Acknowledging one’s mistakes, not making assumptions, and putting emphasis on employee well-being are crucial elements to creating successful companies. Even when the pandemic is over, this executive culture will only strengthen engagement, and create a blueprint to tackling future economic disruptions.

While there’s sometimes a disconnect between people who believe innovation can be taught  and those who believe it comes more naturally to others, at least understanding risk and providing room for your team to innovate is an excellent starting point. Play to the talent of your team. Don’t be afraid to take chances, within reason. At the bare minimum, this skill can be mastered to empower your company to innovate both small and large ideas. Even the smallest company changes for the better can allow your team to think openly and suggest potential changes in more increasingly visible ways.

Global Education Skills 

An education from The Global Americas and Europe EMBA is meant to give leaders a balance of business education from an international standpoint. However, while the degree opens up your knowledge and networks, it gives you the opportunity to see business practices in various global economies, with a globally diverse peer group. While some business ideas are universal, an international education can give you tools to implement in your current field. Ideas and people come from all over within the program, and collaboration within your network will only grow your outlook and ability to navigate challenges and upheaval.

We don’t know what the future looks like, whether the pandemic will end soon, or if a new global challenge will arise. With an executive education that has a strong foundation alongside a willingness to adapt and improvise, leaders can confidently navigate and plan for anything that lies ahead, and come out stronger, both financially and with an inspired team.

About the Author

For over 100 years, Columbia Business School has been perfecting the art of blending scholarly research and practical approaches, solidifying its place at the forefront of innovation. Subscribe to Columbia Business School’s Executive thought leadership or explore the School’s business school offerings.