On Leadership
Video | PostLeadership | FedCoach | | Books | About |
Exploring Leadership in the News with Steven Pearlstein and Raju Narisetti

Gail S. Williams
Leadership administrator

Gail S. Williams

Gail S. Williams directs the Leadership Alchemy Program at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

Whole-Person Learning

My unequivocal answer is YES, leadership can be taught, not via a training class, rather by a transformational development program like the award-winning Leadership Alchemy Program at NASA Goddard Space
Flight Center.

In my opinion, participants, first, must choose to be learn about leadership (not be sent to a program to "be fixed"), second have a personal leadership vision that is bold and to which they are strongly committed and willing to recommit to when challenges arise. I
consider leadership to be more than what one knows -- it is how one behaves, what I like to call one's "way of being." In my experience, leadership is best learned in a community of like-minded people who support each others learning in the context of real-world issues of import to both the learner and the organization in which they work.

The greatest leadership learning I've witnessed is when people learn in a whole-person way -- intellectually, emotionally, and somatically. Enhancing one's leadership also requires moving outside one's comfort zone, and I believe this must be supported by teachers who challenge the student to be much bolder than they normally are inclined to be.

Another key ingredient is creating a safe space for learning by doing -- essentially a learning laboratory where people can practice what they learn, sometimes fail, other times succeed, and continually learn whatever the outcome.

By Gail S. Williams

 |  April 21, 2009; 7:06 AM ET
Category:  Teaching Leadership Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
Previous: Best Taxpayer Value | Next: An Ancient Practice

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company