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The Best Leadership Development Programs by MBA Employers

Leadership Development Programs provide individuals with the opportunities, training, and experiences for them to be effective leaders in their organisation. After graduating with an MBA and joining a company’s leadership development program can be a shrewd way to fast-track a post-MBA career into the leadership ranks.

For years, organizations have lavished time and money on improving the capabilities of managers and on nurturing new leaders. Corporate leadership development programs can be a company’s top tool to maintain a visionary, strong leadership team.


Leadership development programs are offered by a wide range of MBA employers, in almost all the major sectors such as healthcare, technology, finance, consumer goods and many more. Structured, intense and often rotational, they are designed to groom and propel those who show potential into leadership roles within an organization.

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In the earliest stages of planning a leadership initiative, companies should ask themselves a simple question: what, precisely, is this program for? As many yearn to posses business leaders, the selection criteria are often rigorous and recruitment for this program becomes highly competitive.

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A new list put together, based on the views collected between April 16,2016 and April 15,2017, of 214,059 MBA students from more than 100 business schools put together by MBA-Exchange.com aims to identify the world’s best leadership development programs. A total of 537 programs for MBA are ranked and the top 10 is shown below.

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The Best Leadership Development Programs by MBA Employers

AB InBev, the global brewing giant responsible for big-name brands such as BudweiserBeck’s and Quilmes, tops the list based on views of MBA students. It offers a one-year leadership scheme that hires MBA students into specific business areas, yet gives them the potential to move cross-functionally and geographically throughout their careers.

Amazon’s follows AB InBev and stands at second position through its ‘Retail Leadership Development Program’. This is three-year scheme, which rotates MBAs through different parts of the company, with the goal of providing a five-to-seven-year pathway to leadership roles. Amazon another program, the ‘Pathway Operations Manager’, also placed in the top 10 list. That program, ranked seventh, is also three year long program and recruits specifically for the company’s fulfilment centers and customer service sites.

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The UK pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK)’s ‘Esprit Commercial Program’ is third on the list. It runs for four years and rotates MBAs through roles in the traditional pharmaceutical side of its business as well as those in areas that deal with vaccines or consumer healthcare.

Top Leadership Development Internships

An internship can be a good route into a coveted leadership development scheme.  IBM, AB InBev and Deutsche Bank as having the best leadership development internships ranked by MBA-Exchange.com for technology companies.

The Best Leadership Development Programs by MBA Employers

Develop Characteristics for those Seeking Leadership Roles

The best Company leadership development programs are personalized to the contexts of participants – their unique individual, business and market challenges. It has long been known that employers value MBAs for their leadership skills.

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US companies alone spend almost $14 billion annually on leadership development. Colleges and universities offer hundreds of degree courses on leadership, and the cost of customized leadership-development offerings from a top business school can reach $150,000 a person.

Ingrid Jensen, senior associate director for leadership programs at Cornell’s Johnson Graduate School of Management, says that one way to stand out is to take on leadership roles within a student club. “Students get hands-on experience of being a leader, which will serve them well, long past their time at business school,” she says.

Corporate leadership development programs draw upon cutting-edge business research and global case studies to investigate means of identifying and exploiting novel opportunities in an ever-changing marketplace. Jensen adds that there are certain leadership characteristics that MBA students and graduates should aim to develop – competence; character; compassion; and courage.

“MBAs should ask: ‘Can you lead diverse teams? Can you think critically and strategically? Are you able to create environments that foster creativity and innovation? Can you influence others and negotiate on behalf of your team and organization? Can you coach and mentor your employees?’ These are behaviors that are prerequisites for today’s modern business leader.”

Companies can avoid the most common mistakes in leadership development and increase the odds of success by matching specific leadership skills and traits to the context at hand; embedding leadership development in real work; fearlessly investigating the mind-sets that underpin behavior; and monitoring the impact so as to make improvements over time.

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Ranking Source: MBA-Exchange.com


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