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"Who is your Leadership Skills course aimed at?"
That is the most common question we get asked about leadership training.
Anybody who wants to lead in their organisation, from team members up to C-level executives and business owners.
It is a common misconception that leadership is only important for positions of authority.
I think that's wrong and in this post I'm going to explain why leadership is important at all levels of an organisation.
I've also put together some highly simplified graphics to show why I think that leadership at the bottom can often lead to highest level of organisational change.
Leading from the Top
The balance between passivity and aggressiveness can sometimes be a difficult thing to find.
Many find themselves being too passive in a situation which demands a more direct and confident approach, whilst others, in an effort to correct this, are too aggressive and domineering.
On our Assertiveness Training Course, we show you how to maintain this perfect balance and become more confident in your approach.
Assertiveness is neither being passive or aggressive but rather making your opinions be heard, recognised and respected.
It is the ability to withstand outside pressure and bias and stay true to what you know is right.
True leaders lead whether they've been given an official position of power or not.
On our Leadership Training Course, you'll learn that it takes more than just a title to be a leader; it takes courage, passion, empathy, confidence and a whole lot more.
Being able to lead effectively when you're not a designated leader is tough.
It's a fine line to tread between being helpful and being arrogant or egotistical, and this is especially the case with how your boss or superior will react to you taking some of the reigns.
With that in mind, I thought we'd take a look at how to lead upwards, without encroaching on your manager's territory.
This is the sort of advanced people management skill that will really give your career a boost in the long-term.
Analyse your skills
If you're aware of where your strengths and weaknesses lie, you'll be better equipped to deal with others, and dealing with others is the fundamental goal of leadership.
Is communication something you're comfortable with or does it need working on? Are you a confident talker or a thoughtful listener (or both)? Do you lead with charisma or are you reserved?
Asking these questions, and others, of yourself will allow you to get to grips with who you are in a professional capacity, and only then can you begin to lead others.
In this post, our leadership trainer Matt runs through what it means to be charismatic and why it is such an important trait for great leaders. Confidence plays a big role in having charisma; something we emphasise on our Confidence and Assertiveness Course.
It’s always interesting when you are running a leadership course and the subject of charisma comes up.
When I ask the question “what is the difference between leadership and management?” you can pretty much guarantee that someone will say “managers don’t need charisma, but leaders must have it”.
I often then ask delegates who their examples of people with charisma are, and this is where it gets intriguing. You get such a wide variety of suggestions.
Amongst the choices people have put forward have been: President Obama (a popular choice), Simon Cowell, Sir David Attenborough (he seems to be universally admired), Karren Brady and Richard Branson. It’s also very touching when people name previous teachers or managers as examples.
What I think is notable is that often one person’s choice will surprise other delegates and sometimes will elicit fierce debate.
'He was a wise man who invented (management)'!
It might not seem apparent at first, but Management and Philosophy go together like Kant and the Categorical Imperative.
Management, among other things, seeks to provide a structure to get the best from people, to understand business and make people (customers, staff, bosses) happy.
Philosophy, among other things, seeks to provide a structure to get the best from life, to understand the world and make people (society, individuals) happy.
So can managers learn anything from the great philosophers? Certainly.
If you'd like to learn how to be a great manager, why not try our Management Skills Courses?
This post will be part of a series called 'Management Lessons From Philosophy' we'll start with the ideas of the ancient philosophers from Greece and work our way up to the modern thinkers, exploring everything that can be applied to management along the way.
This week we begin with the man who started it all: Plato.
"The Unexamined Life is not Worth Living"
The Godfather of everything philosophical, Plato is the man when it comes to wise one-liners that make you re-evaluate, well, everything!
With this quote he is arguing that to make the most of life, one really needs to inquire and seek knowledge, both about the world and oneself.