Can leadership be taught?
Thomas F. Cooley is the Richard R. West Dean and the Paganelli-Bull Professor of Economics at New York University Stern School of Business, as well as a Professor of Economics in the NYU Faculty of Arts and Science. He was appointed Dean of NYU Stern in 2002.
The former President of the Society for Economic Dynamics and a Fellow of the Econometric Society, Dean Cooley has received numerous awards for his teaching and is recognized as a national leader in both macroeconomic theory and business education. He is a widely published scholar in the areas of macroeconomic theory, monetary theory and policy and the financial behavior of firms.
Before joining NYU Stern, Dean Cooley was a Professor of Economics at the University of Rochester, University of Pennsylvania, and UC Santa Barbara. Prior to his academic career, Dean Cooley was a systems engineer for IBM Corporation. Dean Cooley received his BS from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and his MA and PhD from the University of Pennsylvania. He also holds a doctorem honoris causa from the Stockholm School of Economics.
Question: Can leadership be taught?
Thomas Cooley: Well, I think there are lots of things that can be taught. So, you know, the ultimate-- it's a very good question. But, what is true is that in the world of business, fairly quickly people find themselves in a leadership position, in the sense that they're responsible for a group or they're responsible for a team and for managing that team, motivating it,getting people to follow a path to achieve some common objectives. So there are techniques that you can teach that help people to better understand what's involved and motivating teams and groups of people, and I think it's an ongoing process. But there are lots of people that believe that leadership can be taught and lots of corporations that take it very seriously. Corporations like General Electric, which have, you know, made a reputation for developing business leaders.
Question: What are those techniques?
Thomas Cooley: Well, I think how to function, getting people to understand better how to function in teams, how to work together, how to set goals, how to organize activities in ways that lead you to achieve the common objectives of the team.
Thomas Cooley: You know, be willing to embrace the goals, articulate your goals, to understand how to make-- you know, lots of techniques of good leaders are really far more subtle being able to make and support an argument, being able to communicate well, understanding how you interact with other people and how other people perceive you. These are very subtle things, but they're all things that you can discuss.
Dean Thomas Cooley discusses leadership techniques.
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