Welcome to the course on Effective Leadership, where we will learn the concept of leadership. What is leadership? How to be a leader in real life? What is a leader’s routine and how to execute it as efficiently as possible? In this course, we will cover the fundamentals of leadership that takes up to 80% of the routine of all managers.
Hello there, everyone! My name is Ivan Chagas and I have a long history with leadership. Just to give a quick example here: for 4 years I participated in AIESEC, an NGO that works with youth leadership development. At that time, I saw a lot of theory about what is leadership, I participated in many training sessions and took on some leadership roles. I even had a team of 13 people, including coordinators.
At that time, from 2011 to 2014, there was in Brazil this line of thought of working with what you like; find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never have to work a day in your life, those things. Those were motivational times, so to speak. So the concept of leadership preached was very participatory and servant – and I think it’s great to talk about it.
But since then, I have worked for small and medium-sized companies, learning from different styles of leadership. From that distant manager, who only shows up to give orders. Even a leader who cared a lot about her employees and was very firm when following up on tasks. I also had that leader who just asked me how I was doing, without asking about deadlines. There was also a very special case of a manager who was learning how to perform his role, he clearly did not feel comfortable in it, but he was very open to learning.
This is why I created the course My First Leadership Role. There are almost 10 hours of content, the longest course I created, just to talk about the daily routine. It’s very complete and practical.
What is leadership: nobody is born ready.
Here is what happens: for me, nobody is born knowing how to be a leader and what is leadership. From what I’ve observed, those people that you perceive are more natural and know how to execute effective leadership, or they are very good at mediating people because they have already been exposed to many situations, even if not in formal positions. Or because they are very confident people and then they are able to say clearly and firmly what needs to be done.
Over the years, I have hired and trained many people in their first leadership positions. As the companies at which I worked in managerial positions had no more than 50 employees, it was common for us to open new leadership job positions for new areas and I had to give instruction to people. In this last company I was with, we went from 12 people to 47 people – my area was broken down into smaller areas several times.
What we’ll see in this Effective Leadership course:
The biggest pains I’ve seen people face is that they start courses on leadership and management – but there’s a lot, a lot of content, and there’s no way you can apply everything in the first week, not even in the first month. So I thought about creating something that covers the concept of leadership, focusing on the essentials.
First-time leaders are in general excellent people technically – excellent customer services, salespeople or communicators, but they do not understand management and are lost when running meetings, making decisions and participating in the tactical and strategic part of leadership.
So, I set up this course on Effective Leadership, a series of 10 lessons, with three goals in mind:
1) To teach the 20% of the content from the best leadership courses that take on 80% of your routine, what is leadership on a daily basis. There are a number of tasks you will need to perform, if not every day, every week.
2) To cover some management and business concepts so that you can feel more confident in making decisions and causing your leadership to make changes.
3) Last on the list, but certainly not least: how to be a leader that people enjoy working with.
What is effective leadership? Let’s take a quick look at what the world is saying about what makes effective leadership.
Let’s draw the big picture here:
We will review more about the concept of leadership in terms of routine in the next lesson, but I want us to cover the big picture first here.
Starting with a survey by the Forbes Council, a Forbes exclusive community of successful business men and women. For them, there are 16 skills of a leader, but I highlight four here: Fearless agility, Earning Respect, Steadiness While Remaining Adaptable and Cultural intelligence. I mention these because they are the ones that stand out the most, since the others you find in other listings. Be sure to read the full article on Forbes.
Another survey conducted with some US elite schools involving 20,000 executives identified six skills. They are: ability to anticipate, to challenge, to interpret, to decide, to align and to learn. Much like the PDCA cycle that we will learn later in this course. This research was published on Harvard Business Review in 2013.
Now on to two specialization programs that I have done to revisit the theories on leadership for this course. The first program is called Strategic Leadership and Management, from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. They divide the leadership into three moments: Individual Decision Making, Group Decision Making and Managing Motivation. We will cover these tasks in the next lesson.
The second program, Inspirational Leadership, from HEC Paris, focuses the leadership role on relationship building and interaction between people. This program is very centred in a skill called relational intelligence, defined as the ability to connect with others and establish mutual trust.
This Effective Leadership course will draw heavily from these sources. We will address these critical skills and tasks of leaders. In the last lesson of it, we’ll cover these skills in more detail.
This was a quick overview of the literature. Okay, let’s go to practice.
The concept of leadership: there is no such thing as leadership or manager.
Before we start, I would like to say that maybe I have some kinda specific views on leadership. I don’t like to say that leaders have to be cute, that they only exist to inspire. Or even that leaders are superior beings to managers. These things. Most of the courses I’ve watched and taken put it like this: either you are a leader, or you are a manager – as if you had to walk away from one to become the other.
For me, leadership has a lot to do with your influence, but we cannot rule out that it has a lot to do with your title, yes. If you are in a leadership position, you do have influence because of the power that a title automatically emanates. Do not overlook this.
Learning about the concept of leadership is knowing how to play both roles.
Your role in the organization changes. If you worked as a salesperson, attendant or developer, now your colleagues are no longer your peers. Another posture will be expected from you. In the short term, you can be head of your team and be a friend to them. But it will affect your decision-making in the near future. It is unconscious – this is called cognitive bias. You don’t weigh a friend’s future in the same way that you reflect on another person’s.
Unless you plan to be a leader for just 6 months, you will have to become a manager as well.
So, I’ve already mentioned before there is no such dichotomy between leaders versus managers. Although I do understand the intention behind these posts. It’s to discard that traditional idea of an authoritarian leader and to paint this vision that leaders can achieve much better results by engaging their direct reports with the company’s culture, social activities, empathy and those things.
But I can’t help but notice that it ends up being distorted when many people start to idealize a leadership that does not have to manage and control, in the administrative sense of the word, their team members. And you have to
Knowing the structure of our course on Effective Leadership:
Awesome! Now let’s understand a little bit about how this course on Effective Leadership was built.
In this first lesson, I wanted to define some general views on what is leadership, the concept of leadership and which way we are heading to. We discussed the things you’ll do the most often. To understand your team and make decisions. Then, in the second lesson, on the routine of a leader, we will cover the three most repetitive tasks of a leader and tips on how to do them well.
In the third lesson, we will cover the concept of stages of Team Formation. This theory talks about what are the steps that every team goes through to reach high performance. This will serve as the basis for our fourth lesson, where we will talk about the biggest problems of the team: what will hinder your success.
In the fifth lesson, we will go through the concepts of management that I believe are fundamental to leaders: project planning and execution cycle, the PDCA cycle. This is basic management. In the sixth lesson, we will cover effective communication, major communication mistakes between leaders and their members and the Diagram of Communication . A visual model for you to understand how people interact.
In the final lessons of this course, we will tackle task delegation in more efficient ways, how to run meetings and, lastly, we will unravel the skills of leaders, ending with a framework for self-assessment of your leadership.
Cool? I’m really excited to have you on this journey. I enjoy a lot talking about people and the concept of leadership. I started very early, I had the perspectives of different people and different paths and I will be the most honest. This course is full of examples and my experiences. It’s going to be very cool.
If you are in your first leadership position, or about to take on your first role, this course will be a toolbox that you will use, I promise you, on your very first day. The course will also be great for people who are proud of their career paths and who would like to take the next step and apply for a leadership position.
As we say in my hometown: better than that, just twice that.
Now that we understand the basics of what is leadership and the concept of leadership, we will see in the first lesson, Routine of a leader, the three main tasks for a leader to perform, those that occupy 80% of his routine and that, if you master them, you will stand out and feel more confident for the rest of your journey.
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Always look both ways. See you in the future.