Sunday, January 10, 2010

To Counsel Leaders, It Helps To Understand Leadership

I spent about 20 years searching for a master's degree program that would meet my needs as a public relations professional. Having worked in PR all my life, I wasn't interested in a straight PR or communication graduate program, and an MBA just didn't seem quite right for me either.

One day, I discovered Seton Hall University's Master of Arts in Strategic Communication and Leadership (MASCL) online program. The university has delivered this program to 25 Learning Teams in just over 10 years, and Seton Hall's experience in providing a rich and rigorous learning experience really shows. For me, it represented the perfect combination of strategic communication, leadership, organizational change, and a host of other disciplines that are so crucial to my clients' success. Now that I've completed the program and serve as one of its instructors, I would without hesitation recommend MASCL as an ideal master's program for the professional communicator, regardless of industry sector.

That said, I'm a firm believer that you can't be at your best counseling leaders if you don't understand the dynamics of leadership and the many challenges they face today. Since I've declared 2010 The Year of Client Service Excellence here at CSI, I thought: What better place to start than to explore what each of us can do to raise our respective games? How can we take our skills up a notch so that we can provide an even higher level of client service excellence in the year(s) ahead?

The best news is that you don't have to wait. Check out the MASCL link and learn how you can be part of the next Learning Team. I also invite alums to share their experiences with MASCL and for others to share programs they would recommend as well! A prosperous 2010 will begin with you!

13 comments:

  1. Denise Buchman (aka Bunny)January 11, 2010 at 8:56 AM

    Just wanted to add my enthusiastic suppport of the MASCL program. It is very well structured, fit my schedule perfectly, and the programming itself is superb. I agree with Leo's assessment that it is a program for the professional who isn't interested in an MBA, but is interested in a master's program; I had more than 20 years of leadership experience when I began this program, and I learned many things I sure could have used in all those years!!

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  2. With a BBA as an undergraduate degree, I was looking for a master's program that took me beyond the typical MBA. Besides, I was finding that many of the online MBAs were basic cookie cutter programs...and there is a plethora of them as well. What I found in MASCL was the ability to move to the next level of academic studies by engaging in strategic (stakeholders) communication. Many of my cohort members came to the program with degrees in English, communication and social sciences; however, what I discovered was that MASCL was an idea program for those of us that came from a business degree background. I always thought, and was told, that from a BBA you move to a MBA. I didn't take that advice, and now I'm glad that I have furthered my knowledge by moving into the learning arena of the social sciences. It broadened my perspectives and understanding of leadership and strategic management...something that is often missed in the MBA programs.

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  3. Leo and others have said it: MASCL is magic. I was in LT15 and have used my learning there as a platform for ongoing learning. I followed up with completion of my PhD. I have learned in it and taught in it and it is great.
    Tim

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  4. I completed the MASCL program in 2008. I loved it! The combination of residencies and rigorous online education worked perfectly for me. I worked with folks from the US armed forces, Fortune 500 companies, and independent consultants--a widely diverse group that likely would not be found in a MBA program. The rigor of a Catholic education coupled with both full-time and adjunct/practitioner faculty served me very well. The combination of PR concepts with OD theory is brilliant and unique. I highly recommend Seton Hall's MASCL program.

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  5. I completed MASCL in early 2009. The quality of professors, relevant material and student interaction was second to none. I highly recommend the program to anyone within the Comm/PR field, or to managers who value the importance of communication in their leadership strategy. In talking to colleagues who have also earned graduate degrees, I do not often run into the same enthusiasm as is exhibited by MASCL graduates.

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  6. The MASCL education is enormously helpful to me professionally, and it set the table perfectly for my work as part of Pepperdine's Organizational Leadership Doctoral Program. I continue to be intrigued by the comparison to MBA programs. I don't believe it's overstating the case at all to think of MASCL as the MBA for professional communicators!

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  7. MASCL is simply the most well-rounded degree for communications professionals. I had reached a level in my career where obtaining a Master's degree wold not have made a big difference in terms of compensation so I wanted more than just an excellent educational program, I wanted a life-enhancing EXPERIENCE. MASCL provided that and so much more through a real world curriculum, exceptional peer interactions, and "best in class" instructional staff. This program didn't just raise my professional game, it helped enrich my personal life as well. Because of MASCL, I'm better at everything I do!!

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  8. Robert M Maguire DDSJanuary 12, 2010 at 11:17 AM

    I completed the MASCL program in 2008. The experience changed how I viewed the world around me. Simply, I gained an ability to see increased opportunities in situations and in others. I am a better dentist, husband, and father because of the skills I learned from MASCL. I am happier and more confident speaking to others. I've learned that the greatest gift I can bring to others is a listening ear. The program helped improve my ability to "seek first to understand before being understood." It also made me more aware of the power of assumptions, both positive and negative. In summary, MASCL will equip you to be your best, to tackle the challenges of everyday life, and make a difference in the lives of the people you are privileged to serve.

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  9. One only has to look at the current economic environment of our society to see that spreadsheets and computer technology cannot shape the landscape of tomorrow; it is being accomplished through the real leadership of today.
    MBA programs, while they do have exceptional value and worth, do not leverage human capital with the balance of innovation, vision and inspiration like the MASCL experience. Leo got it right by saying MASCL is the MBA for professional communicators.
    All of us professionals manipulate spreadsheets and massage data all day; all the while the real capital can be lost amongst the columns and volumes of data. Inspired team work unifies everyone to collecting the data, analyzing the results, but MASCL really connects it to the output of getting stakeholders to own it, and use it to create the changes needed to keep up with these econiomic times.
    I highly recommend this program, especially to those with an MBA. One will learn how the vision completes the mission by using innovation and inspiration to achieve the strategic objectives of the company. This is done with a spirited, fully engaged, and highly motivated work force that will drive the results on a daily basis. What more can one say? MASCL.

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  10. The "MASCL voice" is palpable in your respective comments. As you've mentioned, the program is transformative both personally and professionally, and with the emphasis on leadership gaining momentum in all sectors, our education and training could not be more relevant.

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  11. I was delighted when I found Seton Hall's MASCL program. Initially, I was leery of online courses because I thought they wouldn't have the same learning experience as a traditional classroom environment. I was wrong! The residencies made it possible to actually know who my classmates were. We interacted DAILY on the discussion boards. No doubt, MASCL is intense -- it takes commitment and determination. I highly recommend MASCL for communicators who want to take on the challenge of leadership!

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  12. I had the privilege of attending Seton Hall University and graduated from the MASCL program in 2008. To say that I am delighted to have traveled this journey would be an understatement. I always enjoyed the concept of leadership but have found that it has become one of my life's passions. I also had the privilege of learning from both great instructors and classmates. It was both challenging and invigorating and opened numerous pathways to the way I view world issues. I am indeed grateful for the opportunity!

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  13. I could not agree more. I am a 2004 Seton Hall University MASCL graduate who has been signing the praises of this program from the first day. I am a much better communicator as a result of this program because it broadened my perspective beyond the verbal and the written elements of communication. Since graduating I've been able to expand into the consulting arena and am loving every moment. My clients respect the knowledge and skills I bring to the table and have accepted me as part of their team. While the MASCL program was one of the most challenging experiences of my life, it was well worth the effort and commitment it takes to complete the program.

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