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14 August 2009

Can Leadership be taught?

What is Leadership? Are leaders born or can leadership be taught? Last week the whole nation was focused (riveted by) on former President Corazon Aquino’s wake and funeral. When she ran for President some people described her as a “mere housewife”. But once she accepted the mandate to run for president she put on the mantel of leadership and grew into the role. She most likely had many leadership traits which she demonstrated in the quiet of her home and she brought those to bear during her presidency. But she had to learn and honed her skills, even as she tried to bring her fractious cabinet together and resisted 9 coup attempts as head of state. Her charismatic leadership helped overthrow a dictatorship to bring back democratic processes and her charisma remained even when she returned to her status as citizen Cory. The outpouring of respect, love and adulation we saw in the past few days are witness to this. But this paper is not about Cory.

And yes. I believe leadership can be taught or better said learned. That is what we do for a living— help people develop this leadership skill. For today’s symposium on Filipino character Strengths of Courage and Justice my assignment is to speak on Leadership. I will do this from the point of view of practice. To situate the practice, permit me to digress and give you a glimpse of my personal journey from Clinical Psychology to where I find myself today as President of CLCI, a training consultancy and licensee of FranklinCovey in the Philippines. Read more.