Course Overview

In today’s increasingly complex organizations, leaders must create environments where positive things happen and people are inspired to contribute at their highest levels. Leaders not only serve as change agents who guide, transform, and bring out the best in their employees to achieve extraordinary results, they also understand the importance of self-reflection and challenging their own assumptions. Leaders can be developed at all organizational levels by cultivating, nurturing, expressing and mastering a set of practices designed to enhance leadership skills and competencies.

The focus of this course is on developing leadership capability in oneself and in others. The core premise is that leadership is a learnable set of practices that can be deciphered, understood and incorporated. Leadership is not reserved for the very few, nor is it based on a particular gene or on being born into the right family circle. Developing leadership potential is about acquiring proficiencies in key areas that leverage pre-existing skills and expertise. It is about raising personal awareness, developing personal understanding, and learning new ways to do things at work. Leadership is about change mastery—and the first steps begin with challenging and changing the learner’s own perceptions.

Course Concepts

  • Develop a greater awareness of different leadership styles and preferences.
  • Explore and understand own current leadership strengths and areas of challenge.
  • Challenge their own leadership assumptions and develop new leadership skills and insights.
  • Discuss the importance of leadership in the workplace context.
  • Define Leadership: Although there are many different definitions of leadership, the one used in this course is the art of mobilizing others to want to struggle for shared aspiration.
  • New realities in today’s business world.
  • The four stages in learning to lead.
  • Inner leadership: understanding how to develop sound, positive self-leadership thoughts.
  • Leaders now need to sell rather than just tell followers what to do.
  • Ways to derail your leadership journey.
  • Developing and leading successful work teams.
  • Handling conflict: developing good conflict-management skills in order to channel the positive facets of conflict while negating its caustic aspects.
  • Inspiring others: developing the capability to energize followers in a common cause by generating a compelling vision that changes the way people look at the world around them.
  • Exploring power and authority in organizations: legitimate power, reward power, coercive power, expert power, and referent power.
  • Influence tactics: interacting with others (reciprocity, commitment and consistency, social proof, liking, authority, and scarcity).
  • Decision making and framing: Leaders are paid to make decisions; it is hoped that most of them will be good ones.
  • Organizational culture: understanding how it affects important outcomes such as productivity, performance, commitment, self-confidence, and ethical behaviour.
  • Turning knowledge into action: developing a plan for the future.

Course Outline

This course is delivered in three parts.

The first part of the course consists of three weeks of online work that begins the exploration of individual leadership potential and prepares for the in-residence week.  In these three weeks, students will be assigned readings, specific online discussions, develop a team charter and finally complete a self-assessment for reflective work during the course.

In the second part of the course, students meet in residence to continue their personal leadership development journey.  In addition to personal development, students will be challenged to consider how they can assist with leadership development in others. Topics covered during the in residence week will include many areas for leadership development, such as: interpretation of self-assessments, developing emotional intelligence, communicating more effectively, coaching, motivating, inspiring, building trust, collaborating, dealing with stress, conducting honest conversations, understanding and encouraging cultural diversity, problem solving, creativity, teaching, and accountability.

In the final four weeks of the course, students will complete an individual assignment, the details of which will be provided at the outset of the in-residence week.