Lead, Follow or Get-out-of-the-way. Which will it be for you?

The pandemic is forcing leaders around the world to fundamentally re-think almost every aspect of our economy and society. From issues like where products are manufactured, to how people will consume in the future, to the balance between energy supply and global climate issues, to the social safety net for citizens, smart people are redefining all of these aspects of society.

Many of these people have MBA’s. Why MBA’s? Because it is the one degree that forces a person to think both in terms of an interdisciplinary, holistic system AND in very practical terms of needing to get things done. Do you want to simply observe the coming changes? Do you want to passively accept whatever those changes are and go along with the herd? Or do you want to be part of the leadership designing the changes and making them happen. If it’s the latter, an MBA is a ticket to participate.

The coming discussion around re-designing our economy will be chock full of concepts you learn about in an MBA program. How do we optimize the resources to bring value to an enterprise? What is the current definition of “value” and how will that change to accommodate a broader set of social needs? What aspects of an enterprise are truly “strategic” and must be performed by a core team versus what is less strategic and therefore outsourceable? How can machine learning and artificial intelligence gauge demand and use automated systems to stimulate it? Does the value created by continually monitoring peoples’ behavior through social media platforms outweigh the loss of privacy for individuals? How do we measure the costs and benefits of moving to renewable energy sources against the future growth of economies?

All of these issues are at the forefront of the debate around restructuring our world in the post-pandemic era. The answers require the kind of analysis that an MBA teaches. Whether it is restructuring operations and supply chains, automating marketing and sales through AI, or managing remote workforces for productivity and happiness, the MBA curriculum is uniquely suited to prepare one for this new world. Those with an MBA also enjoy higher income and greater employment opportunities. Data from the Graduate Management Admission Council show the median starting salary for MBA’s is double the median starting salary for bachelor’s holders, and 84% of graduates of the Argyros School of Business had accepted new jobs within three months of graduation.

The kind of issues at play do not lend themselves to simple, multiple-choice educational training you probably have experienced in the past. They all require critical thinking and extensive discussion between students and professors and real-world managers. So, where you study for your MBA is as important a decision as having one at all. Chapman University foments the kind of small class and interactive discussion environment that benefits you most in studying these issues. The training you receive at Chapman will provide you with a ticket to participate in the arena as a leader, rather than as a follower. It will teach you how to team with other smart leaders to add value to the debate and how to create credible action plans that can move the world forward.