Leadership is a skill that needs to be developed and honed early on. After all, many leaders are people who have a great impact around the world.
Yet it is astounding how scarce leadership skills are among people. According to an HRPA report, 63 percent of millennials think that their organizations are not developing their leadership skills. This is despite the fact that US companies alone spend over 160 billion dollars on Employee Training and Education, as per the Harvard Business Review.
Does this mean that most of us can never develop effective leadership skills? No. In fact, your organization isn’t the only place you can learn how to become a leader. It provides the final touches to your already developed self. Instead, your leadership development should begin during your years of schooling.
Your schooling has an integral role to play in developing effective leadership skills.
1. Putting You in Controlled Life-like Situations
According to the Global Employability University Survey, leadership skills continue to be a top priority of employers. This can be further broken down into people management, problem-solving, high emotional intelligence, and the capability to coordinate with your team members.
Schooling helps in developing each of these skills, and hence leadership by extension. How? By putting its students in a controlled yet life-like situation. Most schools and universities require students to work in a group to solve problems.
In healthy group discussions, whether you intend to or not, leaders do emerge who take the lead to solve the problem at hand and minimize conflict. Therefore, by the mere mechanics of schooling, leaders are identified, and their skills are worked upon.
2. Teaching Perseverance
It is necessary to fail early on in life. This is because none of us are invincible. The real world is full of failure and rejection. Those of us who are brought up in the bubble of success find it hard to deal with failure.
Your school is the first place where you learn how to deal with failure. Whether it be a poor grade or a lost match, the chances are that most students experience disappointment in one form or another. While it may hurt at that time, such experiences help in teaching perseverance.
And handling failure and rejection is a skill vital for leaders. This is because, in the corporate world, it is almost impossible to constantly succeed. Hurdles and obstacles are bound to come. This is when your ability to persevere will come in handy.
3. Ensuring Confidence
To be an effective leader, confidence is one of the most basic traits you need. And schooling is the best place to hone this skill.
Between giving presentations for different subjects and participating in extracurricular activities in your school, most students end up being the best and most confident version of themselves.
However, it is essential to note that willingness to participate and take ownership plays a role in governing whether students become confident or not. Introverts might find themselves shying away from the limelight. Here, quality schools and good teachers must take the initiative to polish the skills of such students.
4. Boosting Your Emotional Intelligence
A leader isn’t just someone who gives orders and ensures that they are followed. The leader of today must have high emotional intelligence. This includes being aware of your own emotions, as well as the feelings of others.
Schooling can help boost emotional intelligence. Whether you are in high school or university, one thing that remains consistent throughout the education model is the need for socializing. Students find themselves surrounded by diverse people.
The more people you are exposed to, the more life perspectives you understand. This is why a quality education allows you to understand the art of mingling among people. This helps reduce social anxiety and boosts the feeling of being a part of a community.
By improving the emotional intelligence of its students and teaching them to be tolerant of others, schooling helps develop effective leadership skills among the masses. Once out in the real world, this can help in creating a positive corporate culture.
5. Offering the Right Courses
Even though schools are usually designed to develop leadership skills, it is essential to note that the structure is biased toward those who are more inclined to be leaders. For instance, in every group project, it is common to see the same person emerge as the leader while the others become followers.
Quality schooling is necessary but not a sufficient condition to ensure effective leadership skills. Then how can you make sure that you learn to take charge? Well, your school can provide you with as much help as you allow it to.
This is where your career path and choice of courses in your university life come in. You have to make the right decision during your college years if you actively wish to develop leadership skills. Opting for an MBA in Entrepreneurship is one way to help boost this skill.
After all, in today’s world, entrepreneurship is considered to be the next big thing. There are over 582 million entrepreneurs in the world, as per The Hill. And according to Guidant Financial, 33 percent of these entrepreneurs have at least a high-school degree.
It is interesting to note that not as many people with graduate degrees are opting to be entrepreneurs. However, keeping in mind how difficult it is increasingly becoming to get a job as the number of employable workforce increases, many think that starting your own business, once you have the right skills and tools, will be the best way to succeed in today’s world.
Leaders Are Born in Schools
All in all, a good leader is usually identified and developed in schools and universities. The world of academia is crafted to ensure that students gain effective leadership skills. Take the initiative from the get-go to benefit from the system.
How Does School Develop Your Leadership?
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More importantly, I teach resilience, grit, maintaining a vision and mission statement, setting SMART Goals and a Plan of Action to complete goals – a must have element.