Leadership courses that inspire and empower top talent
Mastering the Unnatural Act of Leadership
Executive coach and author of From Start-Up to Grown-Up
Mastering the Unnatural Act of Leadership / Lead yourself, your team, and your business
Strong leaders confront their insecurities, work to improve their capabilities, and pass the resulting confidence onto their teams. Mastering the Unnatural Act of Leadership is designed to help learners begin that process.
- Radical Self-Examination
- Creating Psychological Safety
- The Art of Feedback
- Achieving Business Objectives
- Leading in a Digital Age
- Practice radical self-examination
- Create a sense of psychological safety for yourself and your team
- Give and receive effective feedback
- Set measurable goals and communicate them to your team
- Lead in today’s virtual environments
Emotional Intelligence for Leaders / Influencing others begins with EQ
Influencing others begins with EQ. This leadership course explores the domains of emotional intelligence, starting with awareness of self and others, and ending with how to manage relationships.
- Self-Awareness for Leaders
- Foundations in Self-Management for Leaders
- Social Awareness for Leaders
- Advanced Social Awareness for Leaders (Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion)
- Relationship Management for Leaders
- Build awareness of your strengths, your limitations, and the values that define you.
- Explore ways to create space between yourself and your thoughts and emotions to help boost self-control.
- Develop awareness of how people see the world differently based on individual preferences as well as social and environmental factors.
- Use awareness of self and others to work toward collaboration, innovation, and mutually beneficial relationships.
The Leader’s Handbook / Unlocking the secrets of values-based leadership
True leaders aren’t born — they’re made. The Leader’s Handbook serves as a primer for emerging leaders and helps them unlock the power of values-based leadership.
- Becoming an Authentic Leader
- Developing High-Trust Organizations
- The Leadership Challenge
- Imagining It Forward
- Managing Risk
- Lead yourself by cultivating authenticity
- Lead others by building trust
- Lead your business by improving your business acumen
- Develop innovation strategies by thinking offensively
- Mitigate risk by thinking defensively
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How leadership courses can strengthen your leadership pipeline
Leadership courses can play a pivotal role in developing the next generation of leaders, but their impact extends far beyond the individual learner. Developing leaders can improve team-wide productivity, collaboration, and innovation. At the organizational level, leadership has a direct impact on employee engagement and corporate culture.
Investments in leadership development send a strong message to employees that they’re valued and that their professional success is important to the organization. This can mean the difference between losing promising talent and gaining a reputation as a great place to work.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS), around three to four million employees quit their jobs each month in the U.S. But research shows that the vast majority of today’s workers would remain with their current employer if the employer were to invest in their long-term learning. Offering leadership courses can help increase retention and reduce the costs of recruiting, onboarding, and training new employees.
A recipe for successful leadership courses
Leadership development opportunities often come in the form of a one-time training that is over in a matter of hours, with no appreciable reinforcement or follow-up. Such events require a disproportionate time and cost commitment for the amount of growth that occurs. Organizations can see more sustainable growth from ongoing initiatives, such as offering always-on leadership courses that consist of a series of lessons.
The ability to pick and choose courses that meet both individual and organizational needs helps as well. Leadership courses exist on a continuum ranging from the skills a newly minted supervisor needs to know, to the knowledge needed to operate effectively in the highest positions in an organization. Skills such as conducting meetings and project planning, for example, are essential for new managers to develop.
But what sets the best leaders apart is not how well they manage processes. Below are several critical soft skills employees should develop to become highly effective leaders.
The most successful leaders practice radical self-examination on a regular basis. Their self-awareness contributes to a high level of emotional intelligence, and they have the humility to listen, learn, and improve. In doing so, they earn the respect of others for their authenticity and willingness to acknowledge their mistakes.
Emotionally intelligent leaders can pick up on how others think and use that information to adapt their communication style for mutually beneficial interactions. That doesn’t happen because they’re naturally intuitive people, but because they’ve learned to listen actively, with purpose and patience, and to recognize the needs behind others’ words.
Effective leaders can cast a vision and inspire others to work toward it, but it takes trust. Team members desire to follow leaders they trust and respect — leaders who model character and competence. These qualities are essential to building collaborative and innovative organizations.
Additionally, when leaders are effective storytellers, they can inspire employees to rise to tough challenges. They can persuade them, if necessary, to stand behind a new organizational direction. Both storytelling techniques and trust-building can be learned in leadership courses.
The ability to bounce back from adversity is a mindset. In leadership courses, employees can establish this mindset by learning how to fail constructively, grow from their mistakes, and manage failure. Rather than adding stress to their teams, they can learn to model positive thinking.
Highly effective leaders can also take practical steps to build resilience into their strategy, with strong financial planning and talent acquisition focused on future staffing needs. Learning how to perform ongoing SWOT analyses (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) helps reduce the chances of being caught flat-footed in the face of unexpected adversity.
Cultivating an environment of psychological safety empowers team members to experiment without fear of negative repercussions if things don’t work out as expected. They feel free to ask for help and discuss obstacles, and they feel valued for their contributions and input.
This requires leaders to set a climate of respect on their teams. Additionally, leaders must learn how to intentionally express empathy for their direct reports’ well-being, instead of focusing all of their time and energy strictly on the bottom line.
The best leaders possess the humility and confidence to acknowledge that they don’t have a monopoly on good ideas. In leadership courses, they can learn to appreciate diversity of thought, encourage alternate voices, and recognize potential.
Learning how to lead an organization in times of economic uncertainty and a changing competitive landscape is a necessity. This kind of strategic leadership requires a data-receptive, evidence-based mindset. It means anticipating and recognizing market shifts, as well as managing risk.
Some might argue that these abilities are character traits, innate aspects of one’s personality. Many effective leaders, however, have developed these skills through leadership courses, training, and coaching. Effective leadership is all about a mindset that is evinced in behaviors. Mindsets can be developed and behaviors can be learned.
Where to start
Building a leadership pipeline begins with identifying high-potential individuals and creating a development pathway for them. Often, leadership development initiatives target employees already occupying positions with some degree of management responsibilities. However, a leadership pipeline should provide an entry point for individual contributors. Leaders can emerge at any level of an organization. The question is whether their potential is recognized, nurtured, and developed for the value it can add now and in the future.
Leadership courses can also benefit line-level managers who are making the transition from managing their own work to managing others, as well as mid-level managers who desire to move from a tactical to a more strategic focus. Even for senior leaders, learning should be an ongoing pursuit. A study by the Corporate Executive Board (CEB) found that 50 to 70% of executives fail within 18 months of assuming their role.
There will never be a shortage of employees who could benefit from participating in leadership development. However, finding the right leadership training can be a challenge. The best leadership courses promulgate the wisdom of the best leaders — wisdom acquired through personal successes, failures, and observations.
Leadership courses taught by experienced and credible leaders engender trust. Their expertise and ideas motivate learners to reflect on and strengthen their own leadership skills. At Big Think+, we bring together the world’s most influential experts across a variety of fields to offer premium leadership content. Request a demo today to learn more.