Can leadership be taught

Leadership can be taught. On one condition. A big condition. 

That the leader is willing to learn. Willing to upgrade their mindset. Willing to upskill on leadership, and willing to work hard to uplift their teams.  

Learning is difficult though. 

And the leaders that are not willing to learn, give those that are, a bad name. Because, when team members and teams see their leaders doing the same thing over and over and making the same mistakes… they presume that ‘leadership can’t be taught’.  

Team members have the assumption that leaders are stuck in their ways. They are not willing to change. Or they are too old. You can’t teach an old dog new tricks, right?  

Wrong. If the desire to change is big enough, the change will show up. With the right training, coaching, and mentoring. 

Let’s look at all three of these. 

1. Leadership training 

This is a big deal. We have had long term leaders come through our training programs and comment that they didn’t even know that leadership training was a thing. Imagine going for 20 or 30 years in a role as important as leadership, and not knowing that you could learn a whole lot of new skills that you could apply to your team to get even better results. 

The best leadership training programs cover topics like LEAD – learning (about self and others), engaging (communicating to connect, not just direct), accountability (self and others), and demonstration (leading by example). 

Under these topics, the training will drop into psychological safety, emotional intelligence, interdependence, prioritisation, vision setting and strategy development (amongst others).  

Leadership training opens leaders’ eyes up to how hoomanz function. How team members communicate, and why. And how to connect with a range of team members.  

Leadership training works, if the leader is willing to work it. 

Leaders need to be trainable. 

2. Leadership Coaching 

This is where the rubber hits the road. 

Leadership coaching is when an external party is engaged to support a leader on their journey. 

As a leadership coach, I have seen the powerful impact that coaching has on leaders. When the coaching is a longer-term program, where there is a great relationship developed between the coach and the leader. 

And the leader shows up to the coaching session with challenges to talk through. Problems to solve. Issues to resolve.  

There is no bigger gift an organisation can give their leaders, than a coach who cares. Who is committed to their growth and development. Who is willing to sit eyeball to eyeball, and ride the good times, and work through the tough times.  

One of our coachees previously had another leadership coach, and this person’s theory was that their coach needed to beat them into submission. If they walked out of the session feeling good about themselves, the session wasn’t successful, apparently.  

That is not my philosophy. Regardless of the content of the conversation, rarely will a leader leave my sessions not feeling good about themselves.  

During our sessions, the leader will get great tips on how to move forward and deal with challenges, but at the same time, they will be uplifted and inspired to push forward. And the vast majority of our coachees are willing to grow and develop. 

Leaders need to be coachable. 

3. Leadership Mentoring  

Every leader in every organisation should have a buddy. A pal, a friend, a confidante. A person that can help them navigate organisational challenges. 

Leadership mentoring is when an internal person is engaged to support a leader on their journey. 

The person might be the leader’s leader (which should happen anyway), but they should also have someone else in the organisation who they look up to, or who is caring and committed enough to support them with challenges that might show up on a day-to-day basis.  

Leadership coaching (above) provides another view, another set of eyes, and external perspective. Leadership mentoring provides the internal support, the internal compass, and the guidance to navigate the politics or the personalities inside the organisation. If you are a leader, reach out in the organisation and get a mentor. If your current leader is doing a good job of that, you are lucky, and stick with them. Alternatively, there might be someone else you can engage with, when you need to, in a formal mentoring relationship. 

Leaders need to be willing to be mentored. 

In short, leadership can be taught. Leadership is a skill. Which means that people can learn how to lead. If they are teachable, coachable, and willing to be mentored

And please click the image below if you’d like to chat about what leadership means to you.

If you would like to learn more about Anton or The Guinea Group, please click hereto book into Anton’s calendar, to:

UPGRADE your Mindset
UPSKILL your Leadership
UPLIFT your Teams

About Anton

Anton has dedicated his working life to helping leaders to upgrade their mindset, upskill their leadership, and uplift their teams! With a focus on helps leaders to better lead under pressure. Anton is an entrepreneur, speaker, consultant, bestselling author and founder of The Guinea Group. Over the past 19 years, Anton has worked with over 175+ global organisations, he has inspired workplace leadership, safety, and cultural change. He’s achieved this by combining his corporate expertise, education (Bachelor of HR and Psychology), and infectious energy levels.
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