Careers in Management and Leadership: Moving Business ForwardCareers in Management and Leadership: Moving Business ForwardCareers in Management and Leadership: Moving Business Forward

Managers are leaders in action. They are subject matter experts, excellent communicators, and possess cross-functional knowledge that keeps organizations ― and employees ― moving in the right direction. From being critical thinkers to problem solvers, these leaders exhibit characteristics that set them apart as role models. Companies are always looking for such individuals to lead their businesses.

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Whether you are an established professional or want to expand your career, Maryville University’s online Master of Arts in Management and Leadership program can provide the proficiencies you need to qualify for impactful roles across industries.

The Importance of Leadership in Business

Leadership is an integral aspect of all management careers. Since individuals can use various approaches to inspire people to work toward an organization’s goals and influence a company’s culture, it’s important for managers to understand what leadership style works best for any given situation. A few common leadership styles are transactional,  affiliative, participative,  pacesetting, and coaching.

  • When managers focus on the results their employees achieve, it’s called a transactional leadership style. To drive sales and generate revenue, managers provide monetary incentives or some form of recognition for employees who work hard and meet their quotas.
  • Many managers tend to lean more toward collaborative leadership styles, such as an affiliative or participative leadership, in which managers and employees work together as a team. Successful careers in management and leadership capitalize on a manager’s ability to collaborate with employees, communicate effectively, and devise and employ strategies to improve.
  • Managers of startup companies or smaller businesses often implement a pacesetting leadership style in which they serve as models for what they want their employees to do.
  • When managers invest in employee training and development, preparing them for their long-term careers, they implement a coaching leadership style.

From CEOs at large finance organizations to managers of advertising companies, careers in management and leadership depend on a manager’s ability to cultivate a productive work environment. Business managers can usually establish effective work environments by articulating their vision for their company, working diligently to see it carried out, while entrusting aspects of the business to reliable individuals.

The Skills and Characteristics Behind Quality  Leadership

Several core competencies are considered essential for effective, engaged leadership in a business setting. It’s good for those pursuing careers in management and leadership to develop these skills and characteristics early on in their careers:

  • Some specific skills, such as analytical and critical thinking, are integral to the role of leaders and managers, who constantly make important decisions affecting the entire company.
  • Communication is also one of the most important skills leaders use throughout their careers, whether in conversations with individuals in the company, members of the public, or leaders of other companies.
  • Leaders should be comfortable with public speaking across multiple audiences and mediums, whether it’s coordinating meeting rhythms with direct employees or vendors, sharing fiscal year earnings reports, or communicating strategic plans with shareholders.
  • To cultivate the trust and respect of employees, leaders and managers should demonstrate excellent active listening skills.
  • Leaders should also be culturally aware, expressing sensitivity and intelligence when it comes to workplace diversity.
  • Different personal characteristics, such as charisma, humility, and empathy, can be critical to leadership effectiveness. Even though leaders and managers carry a heavier weight of responsibility than their employees, they should still be personable and approachable.
  • Managers do more than supervise others; many of these professionals also direct projects, develop policies, create and implement key programs, and use data to make smart, informed decisions. Those with a command of the technical and soft skills of leadership management can position themselves to be key drivers of organizational efficiency.

An advanced degree can help students and professionals refine the skills needed to be effective leaders. Students who have already earned a bachelor’s degree in management or professionals who are looking to further their careers in management can earn an online Master of Arts in Management and Leadership degree.

What Careers Can Leaders Pursue?

While salaries can vary based on factors like experience and location, individuals can pursue many different career paths once they earn an advanced degree in leadership. Each career has different responsibilities and requires different skills, but all rely on a professional who exhibits leadership qualities. Students and professionals in the field can consider pursuing the following careers in management and leadership:

Advertising Manager

Advertising managers create and develop advertising campaigns to promote a specific product or service. Professional advertising managers work with clients as well as a marketing team to establish how best to reach a target audience. More experienced advertising managers earned a median annual salary of $132,620 in 2018, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Employment of advertising managers is projected to grow by 8% between 2018 and 2028.

Health Services Manager

Health services managers serve their facilities by preparing and managing budgets, creating schedules, training staff members, monitoring regulations and policies, managing patient fees, and ensuring quality care for patients. Professionals with experience earned a median annual salary of $99,730 in 2018, according to the BLS. Employment of health services managers is projected to grow by 18% between 2018 and 2028.

Public Relations Manager

Public relations managers are responsible for developing the public image of a company or client who hires them. They also have the responsibility of tracking and monitoring fundraisers. Besides managing the public relations staff members who work under their leadership, public relations managers share information with the media and develop press releases. Public relations managers who have experience in the field earned a median annual salary of $114,800 in 2018, according to the BLS. Employment for this role is projected to grow by 8% between 2018 and 2028.

Computer and Information Systems Manager

Computer and information systems managers work alongside information technology (IT) experts in their companies to ensure the security of their networks and data, as well as manage the installation of new software and technology. It’s the responsibility of computer and information systems managers to stay up to date on trends in technology, information security, software, and IT strategies. Professionals in this position can work as chief information officers, chief technology officers, IT directors, and IT security managers. They earned a median annual salary of $142,530 in 2018, according to the BLS. Employment of computer and information systems managers is projected to grow by 11% between 2018 and 2028.

Training and Development Manager

Another option for those considering careers in management and leadership is the role of training and development manager. Training and development managers oversee the training of staff members, assessing the areas in which employees can further develop skills and enhance their knowledge. These professionals work with others in management to identify the goals of an organization and then develop and implement training programs to help employees build their skills and competencies to achieve those organizational goals. Training and development managers earned a median annual salary of $111,340 in 2018, according to the BLS. Employment of training and development managers is projected to grow by 8% between 2018 and 2028.

Prepare to Advance Your Career as a Leader

Whether you’re looking to pursue a management role in the field of business, finance, healthcare, marketing, insurance, or public relations, you can benefit by developing a strong foundation in management and leadership. Students and professionals looking to enhance their knowledge and skill set can look into Maryville University’s online Master of Arts in Management and Leadership program.

With courses designed to facilitate students’ effective communication, critical thinking, decision-making, and problem-solving skills, students gain a competitive edge in the field. If you’re interested in pursuing a career in management and leadership, explore how Maryville University’s online Master of Arts in Management and Leadership can help you attain your professional goals.

Recommended Reading

A Guide to Corporate Wellness Programs: Why Employee Health Matters

How to Become an Executive

Soft Skills: Why Businesses Crave Them 


Forbes, “8 Essential Qualities That Define Great Leadership”

Forbes, “16 Essential Leadership Skills for the Workplace of Tomorrow”

Forbes, “10 Ways Leaders Influence Organizational Culture”

Houston Chronicle, “6 Leadership Styles”

Houston Chronicle, “Role of a Public Relations Manager in an Organization”

Houston Chronicle, “Skills You Need for an Advertising Manager”

Investopedia, “Operation Management in Healthcare”

National Center for State Courts: Information Technology: Manager of Information Systems

Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, Career Map: Training and Development Manager

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing Managers

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Computer and Information Systems Managers

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Medical and Health Services Managers

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Public Relations and Fundraising Managers

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Training and Development Managers

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