can leaders be trained?

Ruth Tucker, in her book Leadership Reconsidered: Becoming a Person of Influence (Baker,2008), doesn’t think so. She writes,

Enrolling in a seminar to learn how to be a leader is as unfeasible as taking a seminar to learn how to teach. There are as many kinds of leaders as there are teachers. Teaching elementary piano lessons, for example, requires a different set of skills than teaching calculus or carpentry or creative writing all of which require unique teaching proficiencies.

If leading refers only to the job of the CEO, then the field narrows significantly, but if leading covers the categories of everything from playground monitor ad supermarket produce manager to president and pope, then there is no effective way to teach leadership. Unless training is offered for fields of specialty such as gift-market retailing or marina management, training for leadership is mostly a waste of time (38).

Agree or disagree, its been fun to read so far. She skewers many a leadership theories’ sacred cows!

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