Leadership is a word that is used for many different and sometimes opposing things. When people try to agree on a definition, there is a general tendency to turn to the heroic model of leadership, of a man with special characteristics and in a managerial position who convinces others to follow him towards his vision. This model is attractive, but limited and obsolete for most of the challenges we face today. The "heroic model" is usually very useful to solve problems that do not require changes in the people involved in solving them, but it is less useful or even feasible to make progress in solving problems that are difficult to define, in situations where there is a lot of uncertainty, and when an important part of the problem is the decisions, habits and fears of the very people (you included) who need to work to reach the solution.
>In this course we are going to ask ourselves what concept of leadership and what kind of skills are useful for the complex and changing world we live in, How do you learn these skills, what kind of challenges do you need leadership for, what resources of power and forms of authority are part of leadership and what are not, what risks does leadership practice have, how do you protect yourself? We are going to invite you to acquire a powerful perspective in the virtual space and in your real life, some "Effective Glasses" to look at the complex world you live in, diagnose the challenges you care about and plan interventions to advance them. In other words, the course accompanies you in the process of owning a methodology of diagnosis and intervention, which we call Conscious Leadership Spiral, which will help you identify and characterize:
1. The challenges and opportunities you face to reach them3. The technical aspects of these challenges/opportunities, which have to do with rules, money, knowledge, experts and formal authorities4. The human and systemic aspects of these challenges/opportunities: which have to do with the people interested and affected, their values, fears, the factions they form and sometimes fight among themselves, the probability that they are allies or detractors5. Your formal and informal resources (and internal challenges) that affect the issue you want to move forward, and the leadership risks you are likely to face - all of which help you plan interventions and experiments to move forward, and reflect on how to protect yourself (thinking about the system, making alliances, reflecting on action, listening to factions, managing your emotions, etc)
>We will also invite you to observe and deepen your ability to be present and to reflect and learn before, during and after making any intervention aimed at improving your personal or group results. In other words, we are going to accompany you to deepen in three tools that we call "I am here"; "Going up to the balcony" and "Stop to breathe" that have to do with meta-observation of the world, yourself in the world and your inner world and find the answer to questions like: how do you feel when you are intensely present in an activity (or in a system in which you want to intervene to change the results), which are the mechanisms by which your attention is dispersed and the justifications that you give to yourself to stop being present? what´s going on in the external world? These learning objectives imply that the course you are about to enter is not designed in a conventional way, like master classes in which an expert "teaches" you concepts, but the role of the teachers in this course is to design learning opportunities for you, and to accompany you in your reflections on them.
"Leadership Styles: Options for Advancing in Complex Challenges" (https://www.coursera.org/learn/estilos-liderazgo/home/welcome) is the first of four courses that make up the specialized program in "Effective Leadership for the 21st Century" (https://www.coursera.org/specializations/liderazgo-efectivo). The other three courses are: "Self-Leadership and Emotion Management to Advance in Complex Challenges"; "Communication, Experimentation and Learning in Leadership"; and "Leadership for the 21st Century". You can take all the courses separately or just one of them, however we recommend that you register and participate in all four, hopefully in the order we propose.
In general, the whole program is aimed at anyone interested in connecting with their purposes and deepen their skills to progress in very complex personal and collective challenges. It is especially useful for people in middle and high positions in public, private and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Also for community leaders, activists and in general people who work with people and need to develop or deepen skills and tools to create, from groups with diverse opinions and interests, communities that work together to advance the issues that matter to them. It will also be useful for people interested in learning how to improve the results they see in their most personal sphere of life.