Supervisory Leadership

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What courses should you take if you want to be a business leader?

One of the cruel myths of leadership is that you can learn it from a course someplace. Not true. Coursework and help give you a framework, or ideas to try, but you learn about leadership on the job and you keep learning for a lifetime. That said, here's some advice for students who think they might want to lead a company some day.

Seek out opportunities where you become responsible for the performance of a group. They can be in school, in extra-curricular activities, in your internship or on a job. You'll learn two things.

You'll learn whether or not that kind of responsibility is for you. It isn't for everyone and it's not something you learn to like. You'll also learn something about how you lead and what areas you need to develop.

Take courses that help you develop important skills. Take every opportunity you can to develop your written and oral communications skills. Take courses that help you analyze complex situations and make decisions.

Seek out great leaders. They're the ones who produce both great results and great morale. Watch what they do. They can be role models. Ask them questions. They can become mentors.

Develop a habit of reading the things leaders read. Most of the books will turn out to be biography or history. Read business periodicals religiously so you understand the climate, the language and the challenges.


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