Can Leadership be Learned?

The more I read about leadership, the more unique characteristics come to the forefront. Good leaders are rarely equated with those who can effectively draft a strategic plan, create a vision statement, or can balance a budget. Instead, good leaders are consistently described as humble, enthusiastic, caring, etc.

I’m not convinced that such characteristics can be learned in a leadership program. Instead, these characteristics are cultivated over a very long period of time. Perhaps leadership development should be less about strategy and more about philosophy, less about praxis and more about meditation.

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4 Responses to Can Leadership be Learned?

  1. I think you may be on to something, given your the leadership traits you described. I think one possible distinction is thinking about leadership as a position/title vs. one’s capacity to help others improve.

    When I think about ed. leadership graduate programs, I see them geared towards positions (i.e. principal or special education director) which may be a slightly different direction than your implied definition of leadership (capacity). Does that make any sense?

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    • jerridkruse says:

      It does make sense, but maybe leaders (& leadership programs) should focus less on the position. ;-)

      That said, I know there are practical realities to consider as well as licensure requirements. So, it’s a balancing act, like all things.

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  2. Liz N says:

    When I think about what I do in my current role and where I feel effective, I fall back to things that I learned about effective teaching in my MAT program and not the leadership things I learned through my leadership classes. I would argue that I’ve learned more about leadership by watching effective and ineffective leaders in their roles.

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