Although famous politicians are only remembered for their contributions to the country or lack thereof, a good number of them were running successful businesses of varying size beforehand. Politics and business are so closely related to each other, that one might even go as far as to state that they are two sides of the same coin. Here we are going to concentrate on why getting a business degree such as an MBA might be the best decision for those of us who with a politician’s career in mind.
Politics Started with Business for a Number of Famous Politicians
A career in politics doesn’t necessarily have to begin and end with a degree in political science and a purely political background, because it can and often does start with a strong business background, as it turns out! Famous politicians such as Peter Cruddas, Ross Perot, and Mitt Romney were all successful businessmen first, politicians later. Now, the leadership of Donald Trump may or may not be to your liking, but he is the current President of the United States and a billionaire business tycoon at the same time.
A Leadership MBA Degree will Help You Become a Better Leader in Both Politics and Business
Wasting no time like a good politician shouldn’t, we will get straight to the heart of the advantage here – a leadership-oriented MBA degree can and will help you become a leader, or improve as one in general. In case you are thinking that this applies to business scenarios, then you are right of course, but the skills acquired while completing a leadership program are not exclusively applicable to industrial scenarios.
Let’s consider the Organisational Development path as an example, which is one of the many MBA courses offered at schools like Aston University Online, which is ranked 12th in CEO magazine, but it’s the most relevant path to take if you have politics on your mind. The following are some of the main things you will learn when studying an MBA in Organisational Development, which relate naturally to your future career as a politician:
- Identification of organisation bottlenecks, which is just as useful in running a business as it is in running state
- Planning and plotting to make changes in the organisational setup to remove those bottlenecks, be it for your company, or your party
- OD is by default, a long term process, and so is politics
- Action research is the first stage of problem-solving in real business scenarios, and problem-solving is an intricate part of pretty much everything, especially in politics
- After the planning stage is over, it’s time to implement solutions swiftly, which is just as effective in business as it would be in a politician’s career
- Efficient man management, team building and facilitating collaborations across all levels are bricks of OD leadership and politics
Building trust & gaining popularity, opening lines of communication, feedback, developing organisational culture, managing and facing confrontations, conflict resolution, and more; it doesn’t get more politically apt than an MBA in OD.
You Can Still Complete Your MBA Even If You Join Politics Early
Those were the main reasons as to why an aspiring politician has much to gain from completing an MBA, but what about present politicians? What if you are already into politics? Do the business degree benefits apply to you then? The real question here is, why not? Why won’t the same advantages of becoming a better leader, from every possible aspect, apply to you after you have joined politics? Well, there are actually a few caveats here:
Problem: In order to pursue an accredited MBA program, you do need corporate experience
Solution: Get a BBA for the time being
If you do not have at least some experience of working in a corporate environment, getting into a quality MBA program might not be possible for the most part. However, completing a BBA will at least introduce you to the concepts of business management and administration, which can only help.
In case you do have a background in the corporate world, but just haven’t managed to start your MBA yet, there’s more hope here of course, but it still can present an active politician or local party leader with the following predicaments:
- Their work may not give them enough time to pursue higher education via the traditional means
- They might already be holding down a job, even if they are not paid by the people yet!
The solution is simple – study online! There are quite a few MBA degrees available these days over the internet that go hand-in-hand with the politics. Just be careful while choosing your MBA program; make sure they are fully accredited, and you will be able to enjoy the following benefits of pursuing an online MBA and an active career in politics simultaneously:
- Online courses can be completed in your own time to an extent, especially when it’s a professional course like the MBA, for instance
- You will not lose time in a commute to and from the university
- You will not need to consider the accommodation costs of staying nearby
- You can pursue a degree in political science/international relations/Public Relations/Public policy simultaneously with your MBA
An important, but often forgotten point, is that nobody has to enter politics at an early age. Not that the experience and contacts cannot help, but chances are that your experience in the corporate world will likely be a lot more effective later on to boost your political career. Politicians and businessmen work closely with each other, and the higher you go up the rung in either, the more powerful those connections become. Start a career in business today, and chances are that a decade down the line, it may have already made you the politician you wanted to be, in more ways than one. All you need to do is change a few exterior factors, and many of the same principles of business are just as applicable in politics.