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What is Organizational Leadership?

Florida is a state with a lot to offer. It may seem small, but it is an industry leader in most of its top sectors. Of its top ten industries, most are in the top five nationwide, and only one falls out of the top ten. This makes Florida a real contender with states like California. In fact, like California, Florida's top industry is real estate. This may be attributed to the fact that the state is the world's largest tourist destination, a place where condos are continually rented by visitors. Plus, retirees are constantly buying and selling homes and condos for their southern migration.

The #2 spot in the Floridian economy is held by professional and business services, which rakes in over $136 billion per year, thus ranking it #4 nationwide. This means that Florida is more than resorts and sunny beaches; it’s also a state for serious business. Meanwhile, Florida's third largest sector is social services including healthcare, education, and social assistance. This may be attributed, in part, to the state's popularity among geriatric retirees who commonly need more assistance.

The fourth and fifth positions in Florida's economy are held by retail and wholesale trade, respectively. This may be a result of the throngs of tourists who flood Florida's shops and restaurants all year long. After all, they need to buy t-shirts, golf balls, and sunscreen by the gallon.

Given Florida's strength as an industrial juggernaut, it needs strong leaders to ensure that every business runs to its maximum efficiency. This means that the state's colleges and universities need to continually produce highly qualified managers and organizational leaders. The state assists Florida's institutions of higher education with funds that support these efforts. They allocate enough tax dollars to Florida's business colleges and management departments so that faculties can continue to grow and develop.

An organizational leader is somewhat akin to a manager, but the approach is nuanced. Where managers are often concerned with daily operations, administering items such as payroll and scheduling, organizational leaders see the bigger picture. In fact, an organizational leader may hardly interact with the workers in their firm. Rather, an organizational leader is focused on the organization as a whole. They may work to inspire and motivate employees while leaving daily details to management.

Organizational leaders also look to create long-term changes and address macro issues. While they may be called to work on short-term matters, they mostly try to prepare their firm for trends that are still over the horizon. An organizational leader then needs to have a strong command of economics, leadership, and business management to be as effective as possible. In fact, many CEOs may be considered organizational leaders, though lower-level executives may also employ the methods and outlooks of an organizational leader.

Online Leadership Education in Florida

Faculty leaders then recruit the very best academic talent they can find. Since Florida is an attractive destination for the world's population, it's usually easy to attract top talent. Florida's academic community also seeks talent from the local economy. They look for organizational leadership experts who have the credentials needed to teach at the post-secondary level.

A well-balanced faculty will include not only top academic talent who are at the vanguard of academic thought on the topic of organizational leadership, but also leaders who have intimate knowledge of how to do business in Florida. After all, Florida's economy is unique in the nation, both in terms of its industrial make-up but its tax structure. When organizational leadership professors can bring insightful anecdotes to the classroom, students will gain greater insight into the economy they are about to join.

Students interested in successful completion of an organizational leadership program in a great school offering leadership studies will want to perform a thorough school search of Florida schools. Your educational experience can teach you problem solving, how to affect group dynamics, how to control a complex system, and more, allowing students greater access to career opportunities all over the state. Whether students learn in person or through an online degree program, there are options across the state that prepare graduates to effectively lead. You will want to choose a school that is a regionally accredited institution and will provide students leadership skills, critical thinking, practical understanding of leadership theories, and excellent financial aid options. Even those who do not complete graduate programs will have a better chance of success in management occupations if they attend a local school for their professional development. Schools in Florida include well-known options like Florida Tech, as well as private options like Barry University or Keiser University.

Online Associate Degree in Leadership (AS)

An associate organizational leadership degree is a great introduction to many key business concepts. A two-year associate degree from a Florida community college will help students achieve a stronger grasp of the big-picture issues that businesses face all the time. Students will surely also be steeped in key economic topics that help them learn to identify and predict trends in their markets.

While an associate degree may not land a student in such a position with a local firm, it will certainly help them start their business career. An associate organizational leadership degree can help them land an entry-level position or be hired into a management training program. To become considered an organizational leader, students will likely need to complete a bachelor’s degree and then a Master of Business Administration, perhaps with a concentration in organizational leadership.

Online Bachelor's Degree in Leadership (BS)

A four-year bachelor’s organizational leadership degree is a terrific way to launch a successful business career. The curriculum for a bachelor’s degree dives deep into the topic, especially once a student reaches their third and fourth years. A full undergraduate degree also offers students the time and opportunity to explore complementary topics that can inform their careers in organizational leadership. For instance, students who study economics or sociology along with their work in a business curriculum will have the broad-minded view of a true organizational leader.

A bachelor’s degree is also vital to success in that it's required for admission to a master’s degree program. In fact, undergraduate students should start planning their approach to graduate school as soon as they can. Florida has many top MS and MBA programs that students can evaluate even before they graduate with their bachelor’s business degree.

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Online Master's Degree in Leadership (MS)

Most organizational leadership positions will likely require at least a master’s degree. Another popular option is a Master of Business Administration with a concentration in organizational leadership. Either choice is likely enough to earn the student a raise and promotion. However, given the broad-based nature of the field of organizational leadership, students may want to consider another option: a dual MBA.

Dual MBA programs combine a second master’s degree with the MBA. One popular option is to pair a law degree (JD) with a business degree. However, for organizational leadership, a good choice might be economics or even sociology, though students may have their own ideal pair in mind. Students who can graduate with the ability to tackle both micro and macro issues that impact their firm are sure to be a hot-ticket item.

It should be noted that a dual MBA program will likely require that students stop work for their graduate studies. However, the trade-off is that they can graduate with two master’s degrees in only three years. Further, this approach is often far more affordable than pursuing the degrees independently.

Online PhD Degree in Leadership (PhD)

A PhD in organizational leadership is a terrific choice for those with specific goals in mind. Many firms aren't necessarily looking for a PhD to join their team, but a consulting firm may be eager to hire a doctoral student or graduate to their team. This is more the case with organizational leadership than traditional management because organizational leadership is a broad-based and academic field. In fact, it's likely that firms are more apt to hire a consultant with at least a master’s degree and then even more excited to contract with a PhD who can assess their leadership and business.

A consultant with an organizational leadership degree may be asked to work on-site with a client in order to review its operations, finances, and staffing situation. They can then apply their fresh, objective view to the firm and thus help it move forward with confidence.

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Become an Organizational Leadership Professional in Florida

Organizational leadership is a field that is somewhat new in the business community. Given the objective nature of the field, many people may feel like organizational leaders when they read a company's history or evaluate them from an academic, third-party vantage point. Thus, the notion of pursuing a career in organizational leadership may be a bit confusing. Indeed, there is no one perfect way to become an organizational leader because Florida does not license people in this position, nor do firms have any hard and fast rules for hiring organizational leaders.

Students who aspire to organizational leadership can get started on their careers as early as high school. They can begin to take courses and have experiences that will inform their later lives in corporate leadership. One first step is to focus on taking as many mathematics courses as possible. High schoolers may be able to complete at least Calculus I during their four years, and they are encouraged to take any accounting or statistics courses their school offers. Students should look for a high school that focuses on STEM subjects.

High schoolers should also look to attain any leadership positions available to them. They might become the captain of their sports team, or they could be the president of the student council. It's also a good idea to take a summer job in a business that works in an industry they're drawn to.

When it comes time to start looking for colleges, at least by the midpoint of their third high school year, certain standards should be applied. Not only should their ideal college offer organizational leadership, but it should carry credentials that validate its degrees. Accreditation is a key component that every college degree program should have. The minimum standard is a CHEA-approved regional accreditation, which all of Florida's public community colleges, four-year colleges, and universities should have. Even better is a program that holds program specific accreditation from AACSB, ACBSP, or IACBE. These national accreditation agencies certify the very best business leadership programs and a student with a degree from one of them is sure to go far indeed.

Potential Careers for Leadership Graduates

  • Politician
    Public leaders often come from the legal field, but that is not always the case. Politicians can start as teachers, business leaders, or scientists, along with a full range of other career options. To become a politician, leaders need to earn the public's trust and their votes. Most start with political office in their local town, but others run for state office. Those who have a high enough profile can often receive the backing necessary to run for national office in their first foray in the political arena.
  • Chief Information Officer
    These business leaders are typically seasoned in the information technology field and have many years of experience in management. CIOs typically will have a master’s degree with an MBA being a first choice. A CIO will need to have their finger on the pulse of the information technology sector so that they can keep their IT teams ahead of the trends that so many try to predict.
  • Management Analyst
    This is a position that is often found in a consulting firm. A management analyst needs to have at least a master’s degree in management or an MBA with a concentration in management or leadership. On the job, a management analyst will conduct audits of the management teams in their purview while also reviewing new trends in management that come from academia and the business sector.
  • Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
    Most CEOs position themselves as organizational leaders. Their job is to manage an entire firm, so it's unlikely that they can have a hands-on approach with all their firm's moving parts. To earn this position, you’ll need to hold an MBA and have a resume that reflects many years of success. Those who are aiming specifically at a CEO position might choose leadership or organizational leadership for their MBA concentration.
  • Supply Chain Manager/Logistician
    A supply chain manager, aka logistician, is a business professional who monitors supply chain networks for their firm. This field can include operations managers who oversee how products are created but more often involves professionals who oversee shipments. During the COVID pandemic, the term supply chain was used more than perhaps ever before when the disease impacted our ability to find items such as toilet paper on store shelves. Supply chain managers need to be very analytical and may even need a computer science or data science background.
  • Technology and IT Director
    This is a top-level IT position that is often placed above IT management but below a CIO position. IT directors may oversee a specific region covered by their firm and then report their work to the CIO above them. IT directors thus rise from work as an IT specialist, into IT management, and finally to their position as director. These professionals typically hold a master’s information technology degree or an MBA with an IT concentration.
  • Business Consultant
    This profession comes in many variations. Some business consultants focus on their client's IT infrastructure while others evaluate a firm from a purely financial perspective. Consultants are often brought in to help a firm go through a merger or acquisition and others help a firm make a public equity offering.

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