Develop Leadership Skills and Advance Your Career
Study leadership skills as a way to improve your leadership of groups in business, education, sports and more. In this course, you'll learn about different theories and styles of leadership, the principles of communication, and how to be influential and assertive. You'll also study body language and how to work well with teams.
Course Duration: 100 hours
There are 7 lessons in this course.
- Introduction to Leadership (nature and scope of leadership)
- Defining Leadership.
- Leadership and Group Culture.
- Leadership and Accountability.
- Theories of Leadership.
- Leadership Styles.
- Situational Leadership.
- Contingency Theories.
- Style Theories.
- Informal Leadership.
- Inspirational Leadership.
- Path Goal Theory.
- Instrumental Theories.
- Four Framework Leadership Model.
- Scope of Leadership.
- Leader Responsibilities.
- Sources of Power for a Leader.
- Professional Leadership.
- Leadership Characteristics/Qualities
- Good Leader Characteristics.
- Leadership Potential.
- Emotionally Intelligent Leadership.
- Cognitive Barriers to Leadership.
- Nature v. Nurture: Leader Qualities.
- Self Assessment.
- Interpersonal Relationships
- Interpersonal Skills.
- Influencing Others.
- Self Knowledge.
- The Thought, Feeling, Action Cycle.
- Developing Self Awareness.
- Self Disclosure.
- Communication Skills
- The Communication Process.
- Body Language.
- Basic Principles of Communication.
- Factors Affecting Effective Communication.
- Providing Feedback.
- Reflective Responses.
- Preventing Ineffective Listening.
- Open Questions.
- Communication Barriers.
- Team Building
- Benefits of Teams.
- Elements of a Team.
- Establishing a Team.
- Types of Team Members (Collaborators, Communicators, Challengers, Contributors).
- Team Leadership.
- Team Leader Responsibilities.
- Decision Making in Teams.
- Systematic and Lateral Thinking
- Perception Formation.
- Bases for Perception.
- Information and Perception Formation.
- Gestalt Theory & Patterns of Perception.
- Perception Formation Implications for a Leader.
- Lateral Thinking.
- Win-Win Negotiation.
- Systematic Thinking.
- Legal Liability.
- Explain the significance of leadership for a specific project or event.
- Identify the role and tasks of leadership, in the same project.
- Integrate factual information with theoretical information to derive a sensible solution to a leadership problem in a sensible time-frame in the same project.
- Plan the development and building of the team to achieve these aims in the same project.
- Plan actions for sustaining and motivating the team to achieve the aims.
- Provide information on the plan of action to organize the event.
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What is a leader?
Conservative definitions focus on the leader’s authority and ability to get things done – the leader as:
- Authority: a person with the acknowledged power to direct and control others.
- Achiever: a person who uses their power to set and achieve goals.
- Manager: a person who directs others to achieve established goals.
- Anyone who emerges as a leader and is accepted as such by the group, formally or informally.
Popular current concepts of leadership define the leader as:
- An enabler : a person who enables others to experience or achieve something).
- A motivator: a person who aspires to goals or ideals and inspires others to achieve them.
- An innovator: a person who inspires others to adapt, change directions, try new ideas, take risks.
Where do you find leaders?
Leaders can be found in all walks of life, and they include leaders who are in formal leadership positions, leaders who impose themselves as leaders, leaders who step forward to lead when the situation requires or in a crisis, and those who lead by example (who may or may not consider themselves leaders). The leadership requirements of different fields may vary, but overall, leaders in all field of activity share common tasks and responsibilities, though the ways in which these are carried out may differ, and accountability to stakeholders (persons or groups with a vested interest in the leaders’ activities and successes) may vary.
Leaders in the workplace can include a great range of individuals: managers, supervisors, team leaders, trainers, recreation leaders, sports leaders, human resources leaders, heads of departments, leaders in science, education or the arts, union leaders, leaders of cooperatives or market groups, and so on. These are more involved in the planning and application of policies, strategies and plans to promote the interests or a workplace and ensure worker productivity and cooperation. Workplace leaders are usually accountable to business managers or to executives in the organisation, and to a degree, to government which regulates such factors as safety and equity.
These can be people in high positions in industry, those who establish industry trends and standards, and heads of professional bodies, societies, institutes or guilds. They may be innovators promoting visions for their area of interest, influencing the economic goals and actions of a region or country, establishing goals and policies or and overseeing practices in a particular industry.
Military persons of any rank can be leaders, including captains, lieutenants, generals, sergeants and commanders in chief, as can be mess hall managers, perceived heroes, role models and chaplains. Functions can range from establishing defence or preventive military strategies, meeting political goals, managing and motivating personnel, assisting in times of crisis.
These include all kinds of political office holders from mayors to presidents, as well as leaders of political support or activist groups and individual activists such as Nelson Mandela or Helen Caldecott. Political leaders include persons involved in communicating and promoting visions and ideals for society, implementing regional or national policies, managing resources, meeting the country’s or city’s basic needs.
Community leaders, social activists, actors, authors, academics, media personalities, teachers, parents, charity and volunteer worker, club leaders can all fall under this category. Their work can include inspiring social change, helping society understand itself or individuals function more effectively in society, forming and influencing social norms and vales, contributing to social and individual wellbeing and addressing social concerns.
These include bishops, vicars, priests, imams, rabbis, spiritualists, religious school teachers, religious writers and role models like Mother Theresa, anyone involved in establishing or promoting value systems or sets of belief about our relationship with the divine or sacred, or in providing spiritual or practical support, or in inspiring and guiding spiritual growth.
Leadership and Group Behaviour
Leaders need followers and so are naturally a product of groups. In the animal kingdom, most social animals have hierarchies with a leader at the helm; typically, an alpha male. If you think about any group you have ever belonged to; whether social, recreational, work-orientated, or family - there is nearly always one individual who has more power than the others.
Functions of Leadership
There is no universal opinion as to the functions of leadership. Detailing the functions of leadership does really depend on your own concept of leadership. Leadership functions generally relate to the achievement of a goal or the maintenance or strengthening of a group. The main function of any leadership is therefore to contribute to the group’s achievement and to hold the group together. The leader cannot achieve the group goals alone or help it maintain strength and solidarity without support.
Leadership is not an individual activity. By its very definition, leadership means leading others, so it should not be viewed as a solitary activity. In larger organisations, no one person may have all leadership functions, leadership may be spread among different individuals, with different individuals responsible for different areas of leadership. There may be leaders at different levels in a hierarchy. A leader of a large organisation may simply be a symbolic leader or spokesman, or a supreme coordinator.
Whether a person assumes leadership or not will depend on the rewards and costs to the person of what is expected by their followers.
A leader may gain rewards through:
- Successful accomplishment of tasks.
- Rewards from the leadership activity itself, such as - need for dominance over others; social-emotional needs; need for achievement itself.
But there are also costs for leaders, such as:
- The drain on their time and energy.
- Fear of failure.
- Blame for failure.
- Reduced popularity.
- Lost friends and/or family.
Followers may recognise that without a leader that their goals may not be achieved. Also, the followers escape a fear of failure and blame, as they do not take the overall responsibility that the leader does. But even though it benefits the followers to follow the leader, they may also view the leader in a different way, which affects their social relationship with him/her and how they view him.
Leadership and Motivation
Not everyone is motivated to become a leader. Even in situations in which a particular individual might seem like the natural choice to take on the role of leader, they may not wish to become the leader. So, what are the individual differences which can underlie leadership motivation?
Need for Achievement
As we mentioned in the previous section, leaders may have a need for achievement. They may want the status, power, money, and so on that they receive with leadership. They may seek leadership as a way to meet their need for achievement. This achievement can be in a range of ways or fields, for example, a leader in sport may be the fastest 100 metre runner. A leader in business may be someone who sets up a very profitable fast growing company.
Need for Affiliation
The need for affiliation is the need to be linked to others, to become members with others. So a leader may feel that need, that need to belong to a group, to be a member of a group. But obviously with the need for affiliation, they will also have other needs and skills through which to become a leader of the group they are affiliated with.
Need for Social Respect
Some leaders may feel that leadership gives them social respect. They are known as a leader, respected, viewed as someone to follow.
Need for Positive Regard
Some leaders may also feel that being a leader is a way for them to receive positive regard, positive feelings from others. Obviously, this is not always the case, some leaders may not receive positive regard all of the time/some of the time. Even leaders who are viewed as positive and good leaders may not be well viewed/liked as people.
Abraham Maslow’s developed a humanistic theory. Although he conceded that theories based upon homoeostasis (the maintenance of equilibrium) were useful, he felt that more focus was necessary on the individual’s tendency to grow on all levels, including the spiritual. In his own words: "more and more psychologists have found themselves compelled to postulate some tendency of growth or self perfection to supplement the concepts of equilibrium, homoeostasis, tension reduction ..."
Thus, Maslow developed his concept of a "hierarchy of needs". Maslow’s needs are innate, but not exclusively biological, and they are modified by learning patterns and cultural demands. Maslow distinguished between seven groups of needs:
- Physiological needs, which are the most basic (e.g. food and shelter).
- Security needs which involve the need for order and stability, money, shelter, consistent protection from family or parents.
- The need for love, which involves reciprocity, that is, give and take, physical and emotional intimacy.
- The need for self esteem, which involves respect and appreciation from others, and from one self; the establishment of a positive sense of self worth and confidence.
- Cognitive needs; that is, need to know, understand, and explore.
- Aesthetic needs; that is, to enjoy harmonious or beautiful sensory or sensuous impressions.
- The need for self actualisation, which involves the capacity to develop morally, intellectually and spiritually.
These needs are arranged in a hierarchy in order of primacy. The individual progresses upwards through the hierarchy as each group of needs is met.