5 Reasons CEOs Should Consider an EMBA

You have the title: CEO. So why should you consider earning an Executive MBA (EMBA)?
Here are five reasons:

1. Improve your skillsets so you can make the best decisions for the future of your company—and your employees.

2. Learn valuable techniques you can put to use immediately in the workplace—well before you earn your degree and throughout your career.

3. Gain new approaches to management and leadership that will help you to be more effective.

4. Expand your network of business leaders, to gain an inexhaustible resource to tap and a door to future opportunities.

5. Demonstrate the value of lifelong learning and inspire your employees.

The final reason was key in spurring CEO Kelly Fox to earn his EMBA online from Washington State University (WSU) in 2016.

“When I decided to attend the EMBA program, it was in part to show my employees that, even at the top, learning can never stop,” says Fox.

Fox’s Path to an EMBA

Growing up, Fox dreamed of becoming a park ranger, but while in college, entrepreneurial interests prompted him to leave school to focus on developing a small business.

Fox started a transportation company before taking a position at his father-in-law’s lumberyard in 2001. Although he wasn’t initially interested, he soon grew to like the people and the hard work.

Over the next 12 years, his responsibilities grew, and Fox became the manager of Dunn Lumber, a prominent firm in Seattle. In 2013, he was named CEO of Lumber Traders, Inc.

Just one year after being named CEO of Lumber Traders, Inc., Fox he returned to the classroom, earning a bachelor’s in business administration in 2014. In 2016, while fulfilling his CEO role at the parent company of Angeles Millwork & Lumber Company and Hartnagel Building Supply in Port Angeles, Washington, he completed an online EMBA.

Why Return for an EMBA?

As a CEO, Fox knew having an EMBA wasn’t going to change his career path. But fear, he admits, was a strong motivator to pursuing the advanced degree from WSU.

“Being trusted with the retirement savings of the employee owners scared me,” Fox said. “Earning the WSU EMBA was really about improving my skillset to make the best choices for my employees’ future.”

From Classroom to Workplace

Fox discovered that his EMBA course work was valuable—and transferrable—to the workplace. That was especially true for one of his most challenging classes: Marketing Assessment for Revenue Enhancement (MARE).

“Once I figured it out, I used it repeatedly,” Fox says. “Every time we look at a new product offering or want to expand part of our business, we use the MARE model to separate the great ideas from the good ones.”

EMBA Confidence

Through his EMBA, Fox said he gained the confidence to push his own boundaries. Over the next decade, he wants to grow Lumber Traders into a regional powerhouse, and one day, he would like to lead a Fortune 100 company.

As for that dream of becoming a park ranger? It’s still there. Fox plans to pursue it after he retires.

Want more information on EMBA programs? Check out EMBA Buzz for trends, insights and stories for prospective EMBA students.