Leading and Flourishing in Difficult Times is an online course, developed by the Oxford Character Project and Human Flourishing Program in Harvard University’s Institute for Quantitative Social Science. It combines research on leadership, character and flourishing in an engaging 5-module program that is intended to help people across settings to exercise leadership where they are, furthering the good of their teams, communities and organisations. The course is freely available here: Leading and Flourishing in Difficult Times
Introduction - Leader: Know, Love, Inspire
Around the world the Covid-19 pandemic is challenging leaders to step up like never before. Senior leaders of government, healthcare and business are in the spotlight but the need for leadership does not stop with them. People everywhere can accept the challenge of leadership– the challenge to step up in their community, workplace or home and be a force for good at a difficult time. There have already been some great examples: neighbours who have mobilised community support, young people who have moved whole nations to #clapforourcarers, artists who have found new ways to create and inspire, small business owners who have sacrificially cared for their employees and customers, parents who have embarked on new adventures in home education. This is a time for our understanding of leadership to break beyond formal positions and structures to a dynamic process that enables people to act courageously for the good of others. It is a time to reimagine leaders as those at all levels of society and from all backgrounds who embrace the challenge in their own context to step up.
This short course has been designed to enable you to consider the nature and purpose of your leadership; to develop the character needed to lead others in difficult and uncertain times; and to meet, with confidence, the challenges of leadership in your own setting.
Instructors on the course are:
● Dr Ed Brooks, Executive Director of the Oxford Character Project and head of the Global Leadership Initiative.
● Emmie Bidston, co-author (with Katy Granville-Chapman) of 'Leader: know, love and inspire your people', co-director of the Wellington Leadership and Coaching Institute (with Katy), and co-founder of the Young African Leadership Programme.
● Dr Matthew Lee, Director of Empirical Research at the Human Flourishing Program at Harvard University's Institute for Quantitative Social Sciences.
● Katy Granville-Chapman, co-founder of Global Social Leaders (www.globalsocialleaders.com), Deputy Head, founder of the Wellington Leadership and Coaching Institute, affiliated researcher Oxford University Wellbeing Research Centre.
Some of the excellent speakers on the course are pictured below.
The programme will introduce the research through reading and interviews with experts from Oxford, Harvard (including Amy Edmondson), the Wharton School of Business at UPenn (including Adam Grant) as well as other universities. The application of this research in practice will be explained and you will be set challenges to build your repertoire of tools for improving wellbeing and, therefore also performance, in your organisation. Each module will consist of:
- Inspiring stories from leaders around the world
- Interviews with expert practitioners and academics
- Case studies
- Core readings
- Quizzes to check your understanding