This semester they’re letting me teach a course on leadership at UC Berkeley’s School of Information. I know, right? I’m pretty dern excited to be doing it, but I can tell you, putting this course together has been a daunting task.
How does one distill so much available leadership material into something useful? Material which is broadly applicable across disciplines and industries. Which captures a practical POV — mostly mine, but also borrowed from mentors, teachers, and colleagues — without being overly prescriptive. And which gives students a (hopefully) strong foundation for successful leadership and growth.
Now that classes are about to begin, though, I think I’ve got a reasonable handle on it. But nothing happens linearly. The best narratives are retrospective because the organizing principles are often implicit at first, like the pieces of a puzzle revealing the picture only as they’re assembled.
So, it’s only now that can I confidently state the main thesis of the course, which also happens to neatly capture the approach I practiced for more than a dozen years: