Can leadership be taught?

132Can leadership be taught? Do you need formal training to be an effective leader?

Or is leadership an Attitude, personality trait, a talent? One that you are born with perhaps.

The jury is out on this! Let’s take a look at what academics and business people say about the issue.

Peter Drucker, a respected business thinker, believes leaders may be born, and also that leadership can be learnt.

Harold S. Geneen an American businessman who was President of the ITT Corporation., says that Leadership cannot be taught, it can only be learned.

Mark Saner, President of Canada’s most prominent social-marketing agency, believes that leadership can be taught, as it is a skill, but is not sure that leadership can be learned.

It would appear that leadership, a rare and highly prized skill amongst employers, is not learned easily or well.

Many people develop the beginnings of leadership skills as they grow up. Maybe through their community taking the lead at social events. Or taking part in sport as team captains, at school or college, or running drama and debating societies.

Historically, Management and Executive education has focused on business skills, and not on Leadership. Executives are shown tools to enable them to Manage, but how can they be offered the chance to learn how to Lead in a classroom situation?

So most executive’s leadership development is on the job, and this can mean that their Leadership skills are honed almost by chance.

Leadership is a combination of talent, ability and character. Leaders must have the courage to create the vision, challenge the establishment, take risks, make and admit mistakes.

Professor Riggio, Ph.D. points out that if you accept that leadership can be learnt, and the most powerful lessons come from experience, then it boils down to how we learn from experience

The ability to learn from experience is in itself a skill. But gaining an understanding of the complex factors that affect leadership give an executive a chance to analyse, understand and deal with their own leadership challenges

So a classroom based course in Leadership probably won’t make you a better leader right away, but understanding the concepts covered in the course can potentially increase the rate you learn from the “on the job” experiences you have during and after the course.

In the next few modules we will look at some leadership theories to help us understand what leadership is. And we will consider what skills a leader has or needs. We will also look at how you can hone and develop those skills. In turn this will help you to improve your leadership skills.


Can leadership be taught? — 99 Comments

  1. so far so in mastering,understanding,and employing the concepts.

    Kind regards

    Thanks a bunch

  2. This Is A Good Lesson Right In My Case.I Believe That Leardership Can Be Taught And Learnt,but Most Importanly An In Born Skill.

  3. leadership A group of people work together for a specific task is called leadership.

  4. I think leadership can be learned, this is because an effective leader comes with experience and this experience comes with engagement through learning

  5. Yes, Leaders Are Born.However, They Can Be Shaped As They Grow To Be Effective Leaders That God Designed Them To Be.Those Who Are Born Leaders Will Not Need Much Training, But Will Need The Experienced To Push Them Ahead.

  6. Thanks very much.

    In my opinion, leadership is a combination of three doses. The first and most important dose of leadership comes from the naturalness of the individual, it is acquired during its development as a human being. the second dose of leadership is acquired through personal learning of one’s socio-cultural and sometimes political environment. the teaching of leadership as a course comes to complete and improve the achievements of the two facets enumerated above and consstitutes the third dose.

  7. This is a great topic that should concern every individual. Leadership could be an in born thing but we need some polishing touches to make it work perfectly.Experience over time comes to play/ bare here.

  8. The leadership can be learned. The education help us to encrease the experience.
    Its the important lesson.

  9. I am thinking out loud here.
    Just doing a course on leadership would not make someone a leader. One has to actually implement the ideas/concepts taught into their own construct. Do we learn if we do not apply? If we were to do a test on this section, we will be able to regurgitate the ideas shared. If the test has some situations/case studies that we can apply what we learn, then that is giving us an opportunity to think like a leader. When we actually have a real-life context in which we apply what we learn then we can see get to practice leadership skills.

  10. Personally, am convinced that leadership can both be taught and learned. Why? Because of this truism:” experience is the greatest teacher”.

  11. Thanks Pauline, I wish I had entered this course earlier enough.
    You’re doing a good job, please keep it up!

  12. I really agree that leadership can be learnt.Even to be a family head/landlady you will your experiences gained from your parents

  13. I agree the leadership can be learnt. As long as you have the right attitude and willing to change your status quo. To create your vision and willing to be challanged and follow your dream.

  14. I feel comfort because of the help that you provide from now we know what leadership is and i guess that the continuity of this course will help us to get many more about leadership

  15. Leadership can be be learn,skills and also depends on personality and talent.
    let us learn from the ant.Thank you

  16. I am delighted with the business program I want to start the lessons because I need to develop better leadership skills coz I work with people use people also use it on farm entrepreneurship jmk