Leading Beyond the Title: Flores MBA Students Learn the Foundations of Effective Leadership

November 01, 2022

As workplace culture continues to evolve rapidly, it’s now more important than ever to know what it takes to be a great leader. One of the most important lessons the Flores MBA Program teaches its students is that leadership means much more than a title or hierarchy in a company. This lesson is at the core of the program’s Leadership Essentials course taught by faculty member Rebecca Burdette.

Burdette believes that true leadership comes from promoting a sense of collaboration and communication among a team. Throughout her Leadership Essentials course, she works with students on how to lead and communicate effectively in the workplace. Outside of the classroom, Burdette has spent time working with executives and teams on strategic planning and communication for a variety of public and private organizations across industries, helping them deliver high-impact results for their companies, which allows her to bring a unique perspective to our students.  
Rebecca Burdette

Flores MBA faculty member Rebecca Burdette

“Our Flores MBA students are incredibly talented and poised to make great contributions to society. My 20+ year career as a practitioner, researcher, and leader has been focused on the people and processes that make (and break) organizations. My own gift/talent is coaching professionals on these topics, which is what brought me to LSU Flores MBA Program,” commented Burdette. In her course, Burdette strives to continuously challenge MBA students to think deeply about their own aspirations and values, helping them to develop the skills of leadership communication vital to life beyond the classroom.   

According to Burdette, the business and societal challenges we face today are complex, so to solve them, we  must collaborate across fields, sectors, and all the other traditional boundaries. Beyond specific areas of expertise, we are all dynamic individuals who think and behave differently, which means we approach problem-solving from different perspectives and lenses—a critical ingredient to solving complex challenges. On the other hand, Burdette adds that these differences also make it difficult for us to effectively listen, connect, understand, and communicate with each other. This is where real leadership comes into play. Leaders must continuously work to hone their skills in collaboration and communication so that they can best serve their teams, colleagues, clients, and their organizations.  

Burdette also teaches MBA students that, as leaders, once they grow and learn in their careers, it is essential to continuously evolve their leadership styles, with the goal of developing into facilitative leaders.

“Facilitative leadership is about revealing and maximizing the collective talents and resources of an organization, internally and externally, to ‘do the right things right.”

Facilitative leadership is about revealing and maximizing the collective talents and resources of an organization, internally and externally, to ‘do the right things right.’ It is a collaborative and highly communicative style that requires courage, intentionality, awareness, and authenticity. It is truly a human skill and one that will be challenging for AI to replicate. Yet, facilitative leadership is key to organizational success, particularly given the complex business challenges we are facing today,” said Burdette.

Rebecca Burdette classroom

Rebecca Burdette teaches full-time and one-year Flores MBA students the essentials of leadership.

In preparation for entering the workforce, Burdette urges her students to seek out information beyond the classroom from a blend of resources. As an avid reader, she believes books, articles, and podcasts are great resources, as are professional development seminars, leadership coaching, and formal education programs like the LSU Flores MBA Program. “A combination of these sources is really needed to flourish, but more importantly, you cannot just be a passive consumer of information. You must commit to deeply processing what you are learning, thinking through how it applies to your own context and journey, and how you can incorporate it into your daily practice as a leader irrespective of your title,” commented Burdette. 

All in all, effective leadership is not an easy thing to master; if it were, everyone would be doing it well already. Although, through collaboration and communication in her classroom, Burdette makes sure students leave the Flores MBA Program knowing what it truly means to be an effective leader.   


About the Flores MBA Program

The mission of the LSU Flores MBA Program is to remain competitive in the national and regional markets while fostering learning, leadership, and networking in a global business environment. Full-time, executive, and online tracks are offered and provide schedule flexibility for those wishing to pursue their MBA from a nationally recognized program. For more information, visit the Flores MBA Program or call 225-578-8867.