To become a great leader, can you just take a course?
No, I don’t think you can.
Leadership is one of those things that does seem to come natural to the great leaders. You cannot ‘learn’ charisma, decisiveness or integrity if it is not in you (at least a little bit).
You CAN study being a better leader. You can learn about new instruments to make you a more effective leader. You can improve your knowledge on situations in which you are the best leader (or a bad leader). So, yes, joining a leadership course can definitely help optimize your leadership skills and help you asking for help on the things you feel you need to be better at.
Most importantly, working through this Do It Yourself online course in leadership can help you reflect on your talents as a leader.
To prepare, discuss these questions with a ‘sparring partner’ (someone you trust and who knows you well). Reflect on the feedback you receive. Now write down your answers.
1. a. What, do you think, are the skills you possess to be able to act as a leader?
b. Think of a situation in which you feel you showed great leadership.
Describe the context, situation and your actions and thoughts. What was the result? What was the outcome? What did the other stakeholders think? Was this situation suitable in displaying these skills? What elements were essential?
These are two first steps that may help you identify your own capacity as a leader.
Be honest: do you actually like being a leader?
If not. Stop reading. If so. Let’s move on.
Take a step back and then leap forward
2. What would not only make you an ok leader, but turn you into a great leader?
a. Write down the skills you think are essential to a good leader.
b. What do you consider to be your best capacities to make you a great leader?
Again, identify situations that are suitable to displaying these skills. What is required of other stakeholders or your team? What is the context that facilitates your being considered a great leader?
Compliments to you! You have just gone from being just your average leader to finding out how you could be a great leader.
Let’s tempt fate and take you forward to excellence.
3. What do you think you need to be a brilliant leader?
a. What skills or knowledge would I like to acquire to be even better?
b. How can I help myself in building these skills or finding this knowledge?
(Maybe your sparring partner has something to add?)
Try and put this down in a personal development plan and discuss it with someone that can help you move forward with this plan (your boss, your family and/or a coach or a teacher that you trust).
The first thing about leadership is getting to know yourself.
What energizes you? What roles are you good at? What setting works for you?
And if leadership turns out to not be your thing, don’t worry!
(In the end, the only way leaders can lead is by having followers that can follow 😊)