Business schools at premier universities say they are training leaders, developing leadership in students and teaching students how to take on great leadership roles upon graduation. But do they? Can leadership be taught to someone who has never managed, let alone led a group?
I work with teams across the country and within minutes I know who the leaders are in the group, not because of their title but because of their ability to connect with others. Leaders are authentic, they enthusiastically represent the shared values of an organization.
Managers may be great at managing workload, clients, personnel and all the other components of running a business but that does not make them leaders. Every organization can develop future leaders by creating an atmosphere that allows the people to learn, grow, experience and develop their skills.
In my leadership courses we focus on the skills that effective leaders must possess, like integrity, vision and yes, a sense of humor. We work on ways to inspire creativity in themselves and others. And I encourage everyone to use networking skills to help them step up and step out as a leader. Not everyone gets it, not everyone is meant to lead a group or a company. But everyone can benefit from the opportunity to explore and expand their skills.