July 6, 2015 — Many of us believe that leadership is an intrinsic attribute which every leader possesses at birth. But the truth is that while one may be born with certain qualities, everyone can learn to improve her or his leadership skills.
Everyone has unique skills and abilities—and specific experiences in which they’re revealed. Sometimes experiencing tyranny and oppression can reveal who you really are. Nelson Mandela is a hero of mine because he was sent to jail for almost 30 years for fighting for his countrymen and their rights. He is now known as a founder of democracy in South Africa and around the world.
Most of us are not tested like Nelson Mandela. But we can all follow his example within our own lives. Catalyst’s Inclusive Leadership Course taught me a great deal about everyday leadership. Before I took this course I thought that leadership couldn’t be taught; now I know I was wrong.
This course showed me the true meaning of inclusion. Just one example from my personal life: I was involved in a number of societies and NGOs during my university days, and have been site leader for a number of events. I used to command my team like a dictator, but after taking this course I was able to better understand my team and became more comfortable listening to my fellow team members. In the end, listening to other points of view has made me a much more effective leader.
Another tool that helped me become a better leader was Catalyst’s EACH formula. “E” taught me to empower myself and my team members by showing that I trust them. “A” showed me to take accountability—and hold others accountable—and now my team members work with more zeal. “C” taught me to show courage in my own judgment and faith in my team members. And “H” taught me to inspire my team members by modeling humility in the face of my own mistakes. Overall this formula empowered me and my team to work with more passion, courage, respect, and efficiency.
I’m so glad I had the opportunity to take this course, and I am grateful to Catalyst for offering it. Besides showing me that great leadership is something you can learn and practice, and not just a trait you are or are not born with, it has made me a much more effective leader than I was before.
In case you missed Catalyst’s groundbreaking edX course the first time, it’s being offered again on July 7th. The first iteration of this course attracted more than 40,000 learners from over 200 countries. Registration is open now so sign up today! The class itself is FREE; a Verified Certificate costs $50.