Whether one is born a leader or not, I have no doubt that leadership can be taught. And, most importantly, it can be learned.
Many business schools tend to jump right to organizational leadership and focus on strategy. Very seldom do business schools get personal with their students and really help them take a hard look at who they are and why they’re leading. You can only lead somebody else, a team or an organization, if you have your own act together–effective leadership starts on the inside. -Ken Blanchard, Forbes, October, 2007
More and more of the most successful and well-known business leaders are beginning to see that our present approach to leadership development; one that focuses on organizational strategy, and leadership tips and techniques; does not get at the heart of what it takes to lead others effectively.
Successful EMBA programs begin with lessons on self-leadership. Once students understand themselves and develop their own leadership point of view, the next phase of their transformational journey should be leading others.
When you look at yourself, you gain perspective. When you learn to lead another person, you learn about building trust. Without trust, it is impossible for an organization to function effectively. Trust between leaders and their people is essential for working together. As leaders develop a trusting relationship with people in the one-on-one arena, they become trustworthy. This is great preparation for managing a team. Leading a group is more complicated than leading an individual, because the focus becomes building a community. -Ken Blanchard, Forbes, October, 200
In order to develop the leadership we need to transform education we are going to need amazing leaders at all levels. If we continue to develop leaders by focusing on everything external, organizational strategy, and tips and techniques; not much will change.
The emerging approach to leadership development described by Ken Blanchard is one I invite each of us to take seriously. We can’t continue doing leadership development the same way and expect different results. By looking within we have the opportunity to strengthen our own leadership abilities. It takes an authentic leader to build the trust needed to lead others. This is the foundation on which most successful organizational transformations stand.
If we are committed to educational transformation, then we need to develop the leadership attributes that are within us.