How do I Choose the Best Leadership Class?

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  • Written By: Carol Francois
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 17 February 2018
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The best leadership class provides clear learning expectations, is focused on a specific aspect of leadership and is led by a well-qualified instructor. Leadership is a huge field of study and research in academic circles. There is a broad range of theories on leadership that vary over time, forming cyclical patterns and trends. When selecting a leadership course, research the leadership theory to identify if this course is focused on well-researched concepts or simply the latest fad.

Leadership is defined as the skills and practices used to encourage people to follow in a specific direction. Leaders are found in almost all groups of people. Some organizations have a formal hierarchical structure, with various leadership positions. Others have a flatter structure, with leadership responsibilities delegated to a wider range of people in non-management positions.

People who are interested in a leadership class can be divided into two general categories: future and experienced managers. Future mangers are looking for a leadership class that explains the basics of managing people, creating a strategic vision and resolving problems. Experienced managers often take a leadership class to address a specific need or to update their skills.

The most effective way to select a leadership class is to make a list of the specific skills that are needed. Look at the course descriptions that are published in the syllabus or course catalog. These catalogs are published at least once a year by all schools offering educational programs. The learning outcomes often are published in point form in the catalog and should be reviewed on the first day of class.

Avoid general leadership classes that provide a broad overview of leadership strategies. Select courses that focus on a very specific aspect of leadership. For example, a course in creating a mission statement or leading organizational change might be much more effective than general management theory.

Review the qualifications of the instructor, using information provided in his or her biography. Instructors should have a combination of academic credentials in management and significant work experience in a similar role. Look for publications by the instructor in management journals, magazines and popular media. This type of work is very common and a great way to gain insight into the instructors' theories on management and leadership.

Most students who are interested in leadership classes have completed a undergraduate degree or diploma from a recognized post-secondary institution. You can find these types of classes from most colleges or universities. They often are available evenings, weekends and online.



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