Can Leadership Be Taught - Pragati Leadership

Can Leadership Be Taught?

By Vikas Bhatia

One of the funny things you see in children is how they mimic some of their parent’s actions. When they are small and innocent, it appears funny. However, habits accumulated through such imitation often end up defining the personality of the child.  However, most of the inculcation happens without any formal teaching. These behaviours seem to have been caught by the child. Now transport this to work place and ask how good leadership traits get inculcated into the organization? This significant question has always been asked around and debated in many leadership summits and forum.

Can leadership, a vital skill to steer oneself and organizations, be transmitted through leadership traininalone? What factors would be significant for people to lead to exhibit leadership behaviours? The mind-set of a leader is often an inspiration derived from within but ignited through the inspirational force of another leader.

Can Leadership Be Taught - Pragati Leadership

It is often said

Leadership is better caught than taught.

Simply said, Inspiration is Caught or acquired by admiring at your role models, by observing great leaders and adopting their traits, by actively pursuing habits that a true leader follows.

There’s a growing fear and myth globally that leadership development programs don’t work; that even after investing millions, great and inspiring leaders are in short supply. 85% managers and mid-level executives are still apprehensive and insecure in their leadership capabilities.

If the leadership development programs are not working to the desired extent, what should be the right approach to create a healthy pipeline of leaders? How can leadership qualities be caught by more employees?

The answer is simple – demonstrate it by your actions!!  As the popular saying goes “Actions speak louder than words”. All great leaders have led more by their actions than anything else. The influence they wield is attributable to the exemplary actions they have taken.

As Theodore Roosevelt said “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care

What you care about becomes visible to others and if they resonate with your ideology and approach, they are more likely to follow your actions.

Being a role model is not easy. One has to be mindful and aware of one’s actions, howsoever insignificant they might appear. This builds the leader’s personal power and integrity.  The character leaders display is more likely to influence the people around them rather the advice. Values such as patience, integrity, compassion and positivity are not just soft values which can be taught in classrooms. They are the essential building blocks of your character and it is that character which will be inspiring and caught. The rest is mere semantics.

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5 thoughts on “Can Leadership Be Taught?

  1. DO says:

    Leadership and learning starts from day one imagine your childhood when your parents teaches the lesson of honesty and integrity if anything goes wrong come and tell us as we are your parents to ensure we guide you what is right and wrong while the essence doesn’t change few values gets replaced with business as what’s the ROI whats the profitability and so and so forth hence use AI as its artificial but world is real be honest and hold your integrity challenge and hold the fort till you can but don’t loose your fort till can or your make another choice.

  2. Kunal says:

    Extremely well written Vikas. Its really true. While we lay a lot of emphasis on learning at the workplace- on the job/classroom/online- and that will always be the case, the foundation is laid way before an individual is even eligible to enter the workplace!

  3. Santosh Chakraborty says:

    Excellent and connecting leadership to childhood is a great correlations. My few cents:

    Why do we make leadership so flashy that we only understand it by an aura
    Why can not we understand leadership as “ doing our job dutifully and right all the time “

    Do we really need a tag called “leadership skills” or it is like our blood sugar medicine where goal post shifts based on business needs. Just a disruptive thought. No offence if I was not polite enough. .

  4. Nirmal Rao says:

    Cannot have leaders without these leaders having followers

    And these followers will definitel be attracted to a bigger set of values/behaviours better seen in this leader than the rest

    So the answer is yes, Leadeship can be taught provided we are able to teach what is that bigger set of values/behaviours which attracts these followers to their leaders

    There is right now an organisation with a leader always behind the shadows literally manipulating the lives of countless youth across the world, this is leadership too however despicable it might actually be

  5. Geeta says:

    Yes. True. Very well stated, Vikas. Leadership is not about the flamboyance or oratory skills alone that are espoused by media. It’s about so many qualities that actually go towards making a good leader. And leading by example is the key. And for this, learning by observation and example is the primary tool…. Whether it is parents or neighbors as children, or teachers or mentors at school, or colleagues and seniors at work. Of course, we need to be open to learn! In the same way, we need to realise that we are being observed too all the time. And if our behaviours are exemplary, then all those around us will emulate the good things too, or else, unfortunately, the not so good things! But even if concepts are taught in the classroom, they need to be reinforced by the encumbent having an opportunity to practice them. Though notwithstanding, what one has imbibed over extended periods in life is what becomes second nature, and like the Birbal story in whichb water is poured on the scholar, it will be that side which is more likely to get exposed in periods of stress which the business environment is rife with!

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