Can leadership be taught?
Daniel Quinn Mills is the Albert J. Weatherhead, Jr. Professor of Business Administration, Emeritus. His tenure at Harvard lasted from 1976 to 2007. He consults with major corporations and governments and lectures about management, leadership, strategy, economics and geopolitics. He is an expert on the differences between Asian and Western leadership styles. An American, Mills is also a member of the Innovation Council of Malaysia, a ministry level council chaired by the Prime Minister.
Mills has been interested in early stage businesses and as a director and investor has helped develop several firms. He has been a director of a publicly listed company, chairing its audit committee for several years. A thought leader, Mills has written books on leadership, geo-politics, investments, capital markets, business strategy, network organizations, demographics, marketing, empowerment, and union relations. His most recent book is Master of Illusions: Presidential Leadership, Strategic Independence and America’s Public Culture, published in 2007 by Cambridge University Press. The book explores America’s role in the world in the aftermath of the second Iraqi War.
Widely and often quoted as well as seen in the national media, Mills has appeared on NBC’s Today Show, and been quoted in articles in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, and Business Week. He is a fellow of the National Academy of Human Resources.
Question: Can leadership be taught?
D. Quinn Mills: Yes, leadership can be taught, very definite it can taught. Leadership for most of it is a role. It is one of the things we do in life. Many of us very afraid of and so we do not do much of it, but it is something that we can learn to do well or, and we can also do quite badly. It can definitely be taught. Now, the best people have a natural affinity for it, and that can’t be taught, but people who think they cannot be leaders at all can learn to do it in a very effective way, not everybody can be the head of the government or the head of the great corporation or the head of the great university, but everybody can provide leadership effectively and they can learn how to do that.
Recorded on: 9/27/07
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