Leadership classes give you valuable training to be a manager, an executive, or simply a leader of men. While leaders tend to have vision, energy, and a commanding presence, you can learn about the traits of leadership in a classroom and develop leadership traits even when you weren’t born with natural charisma. If you’ve been given authority, you can use the techniques learned to use your authority to lead groups and organizations in the direction they need to go.
Of course, the number of skills and abilities an effective leader needs are legion. You’ll want to be focused on the objective, knowledgeable about your field, positive when it comes time to inspire, skilled at evaluating performance and capable of discerning your assets from your liabilities, able to deal with bad employees and problem members of the team, all the while maintaining your original vision. The reason the most effective kings and emperors are given the title “The Great” is because good leadership is rare. Most projects and organizations fail because their leadership fails, so take some free online college courses to build the leadership skills you need to be a success.
Literature, Ethics, and Authority discusses the relationship between leadership and ethics. This free online college course covers a lot of ground, from an overview of race and gender equality in the workplace to coping with the human cost of warfare. Much of the points are highlighted with selected culture, including readings of short stories, novels, and non-fiction works, as well as exposure to movies and plays on the subject of leadership. Care has been taken by the faculty to have these selections represent many different nationalities and cultures.
Leading Organizations II is an interactive program for teaching leadership skills. The teachers use readings, lectures, learning tasks, and group work to teach their lessons. Each of these lesson plans are available to online distance learners for download. This course is from the Sloan School of Management at MIT.
Building and Leading Effective Teams discusses the “Universe Within” for the lone leader. What thoughts and experiences are common to all leaders? That’s a big focus of this free online course, though you’ll also study developing individual skills, team skills, and supportive relationships. Leading a group is about building a sense of organization and teamwork, as well as finding the right person for a task. Without a group of followers who can be led, no amount of skill at leadership can produce. But if you can build a team of effective followers, you can become the leader you always wanted to be.
Leadership Lab is an OpenCourseWare class which has a three-phase approach to teaching. The first observational phrase, you’ll see some of the most effective leaders in the country talk about their organization practices and the challenges they faced. In the sense-making second phase, they attend a dinner party with leaders for dinner conversation on the subject (likely not available for distance learners). In the third creative phase of the course, you’ll form teams, brainstorm ideas, and develop innovations for your local community.
Practical Leadership offers a student a chance to get constructive feedback on their own leadership skills. You’ll also be asked to engage in reflection and self-assessment about your own leadership qualities. This free online leadership course isn’t so much about theories and concepts of leadership as it’s about looking in a mirror and seeing whether you measure up to the standards you set for a good leader.