8 free online leadership courses hosted by Harvard, Stanford, Georgetown, others – Nairametrics

Leadership is one critical management function that assists in directing an organization’s resources for increased efficiency and goal achievement. Effective leaders clarify the organization’s purpose and motivate and guide it to achieve its mission. Having this skill can help you in all aspects of your life, including politics, education, business, management, entrepreneurship, sports, and social work.
Effective leaders are an essential component of any successful business, and they are one of the most adaptable or soft skills that employers value and seek in job applicants. Leaders provide the necessary assistance in forming a strong team in the workplace, as well as ensuring that projects, initiatives, and other tasks are completed.
Awareness of leadership skills is especially useful when writing a CV, particularly if the job seeker is applying for jobs that require him to be a leader, whether as a manager or a supervisor, where he must include the leadership skills he possesses in his CV.
The big question in leadership studies is whether leadership comes naturally or is learned. While the question will likely never be resolved, taking leadership courses can still be beneficial to one’s career. There are courses that can help you assess your leadership effectiveness, learn management skills, and receive feedback from other experienced leaders.
Leadership training also has a decent return on investment (ROI) to a company, but the process can be expensive depending on what type of leadership training you choose to pursue. For instance, executive coaches in Nigeria and even those globally charge a lot for this.
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The good news is that if you’re not sure where to start with leadership training or your company doesn’t offer courses, many top-ranking universities offer free online classes. Here you will find a compiled list of eight leadership courses that can be a good starting place for you.
Participants in this introductory-level, four-week course offered by Harvard University learn leadership strategies in a changing world. Ronald Heifetz, founder of the Center for Public Leadership and senior lecturer in public leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School  teaches Exercising Leadership: Foundational Principles. Identifying and addressing complex challenges, understanding authority, identifying stakeholder perspectives, relationship building, and dealing with conflict. The self-paced course necessitates approximately two to three hours of study per week.
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Through self-assessments, participants in this free online course from Northwestern University learn more about their leadership styles. This course is part of the school’s Organizational Leadership Specialization, which also includes courses in leadership communication, social influence, and marketing and design leadership. The first course  takes about 14 hours to complete. Every other Monday, recurring course sessions are held.
To help professionals learn how to prepare and deliver effective speeches, the University of Washington offers a free online course called Speaking to Inspire: Ceremonial and Motivational Speeches. This introductory course covers storytelling skills, appropriate tone, and speech delivery. It takes about 16 hours to complete, and students will record speeches and give and receive feedback on their classmates’ presentations.
Understanding the ethics behind important decision-making is one of the pillars of learning effective leadership. Participants in Georgetown University’s Ethical Decision-Making: Cultural and Environmental Impact learn about the ethical concerns that international corporations face today. This introductory-level course investigates manipulative marketing and teaches students how to evaluate potential restrictions. The course is taught by John Kline, a Georgetown professor of international business diplomacy, and it takes about 9 weeks to complete at three to five hours per week.
This introductory-level course offered by Stanford University teaches participants about various theories of organizational behavior and change. Case studies on a variety of organizations, including school systems, governments, technology firms, and universities, are included in the Organizational Analysis course. Students will gain a better understanding of the challenges that organizations face and how to forecast actions that will put these organizations back on track for success. Daniel A. McFarland, a professor of education, sociology, and organizational behavior, teaches this 10-week course, which requires about two hours of work per week. Participants take an exam at the end of the course.
While academics have prescribed several leadership styles or classifications into which a variety of leaders fall, everyone still possesses distinct leadership characteristics that distinguish them. Participants in Developing Your Personal Leadership Style can concentrate on self-awareness, emotional intelligence, and values. The course, which is taught by three Indiana University business school professors, also emphasizes communication and people management skills. The self-paced course takes four weeks to complete and requires a weekly commitment of two to three hours. Students will be introduced to tools that will allow them to assess their own leadership styles.
Students learn about their own leadership capabilities through coaching and feedback from other students in this course hosted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Readings, role plays, experiential exercises, and journaling are all part of the course. The self-paced course covers leadership frameworks, communication, situational leadership, influencing others, and decision-making.
In today’s global economy, intercultural communication is becoming increasingly important to master. The International Communication and Conflict Resolution course at the University of California—Irvine teaches participants about stereotyping, generalizing, and communication as it relates to global conflicts. Students learn about cultural differences and how to analyze intercultural interactions. The five-hour course is part of the school’s Conflict Management Specialization, which also includes two other courses and a capstone project.
Click on ‘course’ under each university to apply
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