Why Do We Study Leadership?
Leadership is a trick subject. It often feels like some people are “born leaders” or “natural leaders,” but that is not true. Leadership takes time and practice to perfect. The path to becoming a good leader is full of missteps, mistakes, and oversights. Only when we begin to dedicate energy into learning where our shortcomings are as leaders, will we ever be able to move forward. To learn to identify these moments of error, the study of leadership is essential.
It is essential to study leadership because it makes us better leaders. There are two ways in which the study of leadership prepares us actually to become leaders. Leadership helps us understand ourselves, and leadership helps us understand others.
Leadership Helps Us Understand Ourselves
When we begin to study leadership, it becomes apparent that there are specific characteristics that every good leader has. These characteristics include passion, empathy, humility, and courage.
Once the critical characteristics of a good leader are evident, it is easier to begin to evaluate our behaviors. It is crucial, and a good practice, to ask in what ways one could have applied these traits to contentious situations in our days. Often we find that if we had been able to be just a bit more passionate, empathetic, humble, or courageous, the situation would have turned out differently.
The focus not on the behavior of others but ourselves helps inform the student of leadership about personal shortcomings. Hopefully, we, as students of leadership, can learn from these mistakes and better address similar issues in the future.
Leadership Helps Us Understand Others
Just as studying leadership teaches us about ourselves, it can help us learn about others.
For one, studying leadership helps us understand who around us are good leaders. It might be that the people in leadership positions are not always the best examples of good leader behaviors. Once we are aware of what traits a good leader should have, it is easier to spot when someone is not meeting these criteria. On the flip side, the study of leadership should also give us good role models. Once one knows what a good leader looks like, they become easier to spot.
Learning leadership skills can also improve relationships. Empathy is an essential part of good leadership. Practicing it every day and with everyone can teach us all a lot about the hidden worlds strangers occupy. Through the study and practice of good leadership qualities, we can begin to see the world from others’ perspectives, which teaches invaluable lessons about others that we might otherwise miss.
Leadership is a skill that requires both time and practice to perfect. Do not be disheartened if you make mistakes. Mistakes are part of the learning process. In teaching us about ourselves and others, the study of leadership should make you more aware of your errors. Fortunately, recognizing and learning from mistakes is all part of the study of leadership. In this way, we study leadership because it doesn’t only make us better leaders; it makes us better people.