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The Essence of Leadership: Explorations from Literature

What does it mean to lead by example? Enter the world of classic literature and explore different aspects of leadership embodied by strong, and sometimes quirky characters and complex situations that pose dilemmas.

The Essence of Leadership: Explorations from Literature
This course is archived
Estimated 7 weeks
2–4 hours per week
Self-paced
Progress at your own speed
Free
Optional upgrade available

About this course

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While you are at your desk, writing reports and crunching numbers, do you often daydream of packing your bags and going on an adventure like Don Quixote? Or do you see yourself starting a revolution and changing the world like Saint Joan? Do you find yourself pushing boundaries and exploring questions about the universe like Galileo?

The Essence of Leadership interprets literature and draws lessons for leadership and effective management.

This course reads between the lines of some of the greatest works of literature connects the dots to help you transform into an inspirational leader.

Characters in literature represent more than what they seem to be and are often allegories of moral transformation. The course creates parallels with select works of literature and the multi-dimensional world of management while exploring these worlds with unique attributes of leadership that each character brings to the story.

Delve into the exciting world of complex and compelling stories with us. As you learn more about Quixote’s crazy quirks and Galileo’s societal responsibilities, we hope you reflect and learn more about yourself as a leader.

Discover your own unique brand of leadership from the chapters of classic literature.

At a glance

  • Institution: IIMBx
  • Subject: Business & Management
  • Level: Intermediate
  • Prerequisites:

    A fair grasp of English is needed to read and understand the pieces of literature in this course. A graduate level of education is recommended but not essential.

  • Language: English
  • Video Transcript: English

What you'll learn

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You will learn:

  • The difference between a manager and a leader
  • Attributes of good leaders
  • What it takes to become an inspirational and strong leader
  • Transitioning from a manager to a leader
  • Reading and appreciating literature with the lens of management and leadership.

Week 1: Introduction to the Course

Week 2: Vision, Dreams and Imagination: Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes

Exploring the characters of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza as a leader and a follower.

Week 3: Inspiration, Heroism and Martyrdom: Saint Joan by George Bernard Shaw

Understanding the power of conviction, a clear vision and inspiration from Joan of Arc.

Week 4: Vision Gone Wrong: Role of Authenticity. Tughlaq by Girish Karnad

Navigating politics, alignment of visions and relationships with the well-read, yet failed king Tughlaq.

Week 5: Leaders' Responsibility to Society: Life of Galileo by Bertolt Brecht

Experiencing leadership as an act of faith in someone who assumes the position with Galileo.

Week 6: Real vs. Idealism: An Existentialist View of Leadership. Yuganta by Irawati Karve

Deconstructing the Mahabharata as a lesson in leadership and strategy.

Week 7: Course Conclusion

About the instructors

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