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Leadership Is the Art of Change and Inspiration

Who are leaders, and "what makes leadership"? Leaders are not only innovators but those who inspire innovation and creativity. They do not only advise on what needs to be changed but manage that process. Leaders motivate and mobilize because they possess communication power. They build relations and partnerships to share and create. All types of organizations need influential leaders to grow and expand.

While many of us think that Leadership is a talent that people either have or not, there are multiple degree level and professional programs to develop a set of skills that an influential leader should possess.

Leadership as a discipline

Leadership is an inborn talent, the carriers of which are extremely lucky. Those who carry true leadership skills do not compete or strive to occupy a higher position in their communities. Instead, they become true friends and supporters to people around and demonstrate skills that make people want to follow them. 

Even though Leadership is usually considered a skill that can't be taught from external sources, certain skills, approaches, and mindsets can shape leaders, at least for certain organizations or positions. 

The scope of Leadership as an academic discipline rotates over teaching decision-making, critical thinking approaches that help prepare professionals who can easily orientate in any situation and lead people to effective decisions. 

In many educational institutions, you will meet the programs for leadership studies. To better explain the scope of the programs, read below the main courses you usually study in leadership degrees. 

  • The Nature of Leadership
  • Nature of Managerial Work
  • Leadership Behavior
  • Participative Leadership, Delegation, and Empowerment
  • Managerial Traits and Skills
  • Charismatic and Transformational Leadership
  • Leading Change in Organisation, etc. 

From the course titles above, you could guess what professionals the program prepares. The career perspectives of the graduates vary from the administrative and managerial roles in organizations to individual leadership positions. 

Leadership Degrees and Academic Opportunities

Bachelor's degree programs on Leadership typically offer courses on different approaches to Leadership, communication, conflict and change management, organizational development, human resources and talent management, negotiations, high impact writing, and strategic planning. The program is aimed at developing such skills as decision making, problem-solving, and effective communication.

The focus of master's degree programs on Leadership is slightly different: the graduate programs are specifically advanced and direct the students to a certain career path. At this stage, students are prepared for managerial positions. The list of specializations that graduate students can obtain is very diverse and extremely interesting: organizational Leadership, Leadership and change management, and many others.

Summer schools and training on Leadership are another chance to work on self-development and acquire skills that become essential for advancing in career and professional life.

Graduates of academic leadership programs are future development and change management consultants, business and non-profit managers, as well as excellent mentors and trainers.

Research opportunities in Leadership

Research in leadership studies has fundamental differences from research in many other disciplines. Suppose in other disciplines you have the option to either focus on practical or theoretical aspects of the discipline in leadership studies. In that case, the emphasis is mainly on the theoretical part, which helps the researchers develop into exceptional leaders. 

Leadership studies have a hierarchy of academic degrees, where each degree prepares leaders of a particular level. A Bachelor's degree, as an example, is for specialists who pursue middle-level managerial roles. For those who want to be able to organize larger teams for more complex projects, graduate degrees in leadership studies are an excellent choice. 

Students usually stay in their university faculties and choose the suggested Ph.D. dissertation topics within the scope of their prior studies. In leadership studies, the main directions for research include the following.

  • Ambidextrous Leadership is the approach where leaders combine explorative and exploitative approaches. This direction is relatively new in the field yet very popular. 
  • Democratic Leadership, as the main implies, refers more to the types of Leadership where leaders perform as negotiators and lead the community toward the same goal by appearing as a participant in the discussion.
  • Innovation leadership is the type of Leadership where managers create enough room for employees to be enough free to generate innovative ideas. This is possible by combining different leadership methods. 
  • Transactional Leadership is the option where leaders use opposite methods like rewards and punishments to keep engaged with followers and motivate them.  
  • Transformational Leadership in the form of cooperation with the team, where the leader performs a role of an observer. By watching the everyday working processes closer, transformational leaders identify what changes should be made and effectively execute them. 

Leadership Academic Opportunities Database of ARMACAD

Have a thorough look at our website to check a variety of degree-level programs, forums, training, fellowships, and other funding opportunities for leaders or those looking to inspire others in the future.