An Applied MBA Provides Practical Skills to Business Leaders


Business woman looking at camera with coworkers


The greatest asset in any organization is its people, like you. With the new MBA program at the Lyons School of Transformational Business, WGU brings its Wright Performative Education model to a human-centered, applied master’s in business administration.

This applied, experiential MBA is based on its founders’ observation that people learn business by doing business, and the best MBA program, if it’s not applied, will only serve as good background knowledge.

Founding benefactor Rich Lyons credits his Wright education with a transformational shift in his business trajectory. The award-winning digital and global commerce service company he founded, Lyons Consulting Group (LYONSCG), was acquired by French multinational consulting firm Capgemini.

“Since the sale of my company, people often ask me, ‘What is the one thing that has led to your success?’ I always respond by saying, “There isn’t one thing. But my secret weapon is the social and emotional intelligence education I received from the Wright Foundation.”


The Emotional Intelligence MBA Approach

The MBA at the Lyons School of Transformational Business combines this proven social emotional intelligence (SEI) curriculum with the core transformational leadership and coaching curriculum of Wright Graduate University. Business technical knowledge and skills weave throughout this integrative course of study, including the uniquely empowering operations model known as Open Book Management and Wright’s own business development curriculum.

“This degree responds to a need for SEI skill development in business leaders,” says COO Kate Sudarsan. “Employers are catching on to the critical importance of these skills and even testing for them in the hiring process, but by and large, graduate programs don’t know how to help people develop these learnable skills.”

MBA programs largely emphasize the same skill sets they did in the 1910s when they were invented to serve the needs of industry. A recent op-ed from The New York Times argued although many MBA programs are trying to be “not your grandfather’s MBA,” most still miss the mark:

At a time when society needs managers who can grapple with uncertainty and operate in a culture divided over basic questions of justice and human flourishing, most business schools still emphasize specialized skills and quantitative methods, the seductive simplicity of economic and social scientific models. They often reduce the weirdness of human organizations to the tidy pedagogy of the case method, in which Harvard Business School students discuss 15- to 20-page accounts of how an individual or a corporation handled some task or crisis.


A Fresh Approach to an MBA Curriculum

The Wright Integrative model fills this gap in MBA education where students use a yearning-based learning approach to apply the scholarship and methods they study immediately in daily life to their own most pressing business and leadership challenges, effectively becoming their own living case studies and experiments. “WGU students experience what they are studying, study what they are experiencing, and learn and apply the skills as they go,” says Chief Academic Officer Dr. Judith Wright.


WGU Offers a Range of Accredited Business Programs

Wright Graduate University’s business programs have received specialized accreditation through the IACBE, the International Accreditation Council for Business Education (see member status page.)

Since 2008 professionals who were already technically skilled in their industries – medicine, education, hospitality, finance, technology, consulting, and more – including some with prior MBAs, have sought out WGU’s leadership and coaching curriculum to hone the people skills that would take them to their next level of career success. With the Lyons MBA, technical skill and true leadership development from the inside out is now possible in one degree program.

“The best leaders invest in the greatest asset of the company—their people—and growing their full leadership potential,” Rich says. “We are excited to create more socially and emotionally intelligent leaders, who lead principle-based companies, with cultures that inspire and strive to positively change the world.”

Program of Interest:
Please select one
  • Please select one
  • Master of Business Administration
  • Doctor Of Education in Transformational Leadership and Coaching
  • Graduate Certificate in Emotional Intelligence for Leadership and Coaching
  • Graduate Certificate in Social Intelligence for Leadership and Coaching
  • Graduate Certificate in Transformational Coaching
  • Graduate Certificate in Transformational Leadership
  • Master of Arts in Transformational Leadership and Coaching
  • Unknown
How Did You Hear About Us:
Please select one
  • Please select one
  • High school diploma or less
  • Some College
  • Currently enrolled in post-secondary coursework or trade school
  • Completed post-secondary coursework or trade school
  • Associate's degree
  • Bachelor's degree
  • Post-graduate coursework
  • Master's degree
  • Doctoral degree

Request More Information:

Accreditation: Wright Graduate University is accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission, an accrediting agency recognized by the US Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education (CHEA). Wright Graduate University business programs have received specialized accreditation through the International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE). See complete accreditation and recognition details here.