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Leadership Skills

Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad via Coursera


Welcome to the Leadership Skills course! In our increasingly complex world, understanding the practice of leadership is critical. In simpler words, leadership is the practice of influencing people to meet the challenges that will enable them to achieve important individual and organizational goals. This course provides a foundation for leadership practice and aims to take you on a journey of self-discovery. You will also gain insight into building inner stability and developing your leadership skills. This is a beginner course designed for professionals from diverse work backgrounds. The course helps you lean on your experiences and strengthen your capacity to lead across boundaries, from any political or organizational position, with or without authority. The course will also enable you to learn important leadership skills, clarifying the relationships among key concepts such as definitions of leadership, self-management, authority, power, influence, politics, negotiations, change management, decision-making, and various leadership styles. This knowledge will provide you with a practical and coherent theoretical framework for applying and exercising leadership. Lastly, the course explores the challenge of managing the inevitable personal stresses and dangers of leading a team. The course draws from business management, philosophy, spirituality, history, literature, sports, communications, and psychology. To succeed in this course, you should have experience or a basic understanding of working in organizations.


  • Leading the Self: Mindfulness, Inner Stability, and Positive Strengths
    • In this module, you will learn about introspection, closely analyzing your inner self, and developing the ability to be self-led before leading others effectively. This module highlights the importance of leading oneself by elaborating on aspects of psychology, brain sciences, and human behavior. You will be introduced to some key challenges faced when interacting with others and find ways to better manage your behavior and conduct. In addition, you will also gain insight into core psychological strengths and positive mindsets, as they are essential to be an effective leader. Lastly, the module discusses issues about automaticity, inner game, mindfulness, multitasking, emotional intelligence, inculcating a learning mindset, and positive strengths.
  • Leading Downward: Leader Behaviors and Leadership Styles
    • This module will focus on leader behaviors and different leadership styles. You will learn about the TREAT leadership framework and the different leadership styles proposed by the TREAT leadership theory. The TREAT framework has been developed based on rigorous research, and it highlights the leadership competencies that should be developed in leaders of new-age organizations. You will also gain insight into how the framework highlights the importance of five behavioral competencies for leaders: task orientation, relation orientation, empowerment, authenticity, and team building. Finally, the module elaborates on each one of these behavioral competencies and delves deep into how you can develop and incorporate these into your behavior.
  • Building Sustainable Relationships: Supportive Communication and Decision-making Biases
    • This module focuses on enabling you to create sustainable and positive relationships. You will learn about supportive communication and decision-making biases, which are important aspects of building sustainable and positive relationships. The module also covers the theory of empowering communication and some key aspects that leaders must keep in mind when communicating with their subordinates and peers. It also discusses some biases that impact our interactions with others. You will also explore and review the work of Nobel laureates and other behavioral economists. Lastly, you will analyze key biases that impact a leader’s decision-making.
  • Power, Politics, and Leading Upwards
    • In this module, you will learn about power, politics, and how to lead upwards. The module will introduce you to power and politics in organizations, different sources of power, and how to acquire those sources of power. The module also discusses how to lead upward and manage your supervisors and bosses. Power and politics are integral to any organization and exist everywhere. It is extremely difficult to run away from these issues. Hence, it becomes important for leaders to embrace these challenges and learn to manage them effectively to suit their own and the organization’s larger interests. You will also gain insight into different sources of power, how to develop power, and the use of politics to influence people positively toward achieving their goals. Lastly, you will learn to apply these ideas to forge effective boss-subordinate relationships that can enable effective performance and long-term success.
  • Ethics, Culture, and Change Management
    • In this module, you will learn about managing ethical dilemmas, developing organizational culture, and managing change. Ethical dilemmas are inherent to leadership. Leaders need to make a decision and decide between two rights or two wrongs. In this module, you will gain insight into how to navigate life’s ethical dilemmas. In addition, the module discusses the usual organizational culture and how you can build a transformational culture that is conducive to high performance. You will also learn about the LEAP framework of culture. Lastly, the module explores how you can lead and manage change in organizations. Using the real-life example from a corporate organization and public life, you will learn how leaders can inspire change in organizations.
  • Leadership and Ancient Indian Wisdom: Lessons from the Mahabharata
    • This module covers leadership lessons from the great Indian epic The Mahabharata. The fundamental question is: can leadership lessons be learned from the Mahabharata? In this module, you will look into the lives of important characters from this ancient Indian epic and analyze various aspects of leadership, such as demonstrating the correct values, decision-making ability, integrity, principles, and leading oneself and others. Borrowing from different disciplines, such as literature, philosophy, politics, and psychology, the module will present a leadership triangle comprising six levels. These levels are positive personality, peace with personal identity, purpose, positive use of power and politics, paradoxical leadership, and principled pragmatism. Finally, you will explore the grounded approach where mythology and leadership amalgamate through scholarship and practice.
  • Peer Review Assignment
    • This is a peer-review assignment based on the concepts taught in the Leadership Skills course. In this assignment, you will be able to apply the skills you learned to become more adept in your journey of leadership.

Taught by

Vishal Gupta



4.8 rating at Coursera based on 1138 ratings

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