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This content is taken from the Coventry University's online course, Leadership Theory: The Basics. Join the course to learn more.

Skip to 0 minutes and 8 seconds We stand at a crossroads in our history. A place where possibilities combine. In complex ways thatcan profoundly affect our future. Climate change presents an existential threat and questions our very survival. Failure to act now could lead to our planet changing forever. Furthermore, the rise of popularism across the world is not only changing the dynamics of individual societies but also relationships between countries and different regional blocks. The seemingly unstoppable rise of globalisation is suddenly being called into question. The potential implications for both trade and global security are huge. Yet at the same time, new technologies and ways of working make our world more competitive than ever. And what of the impact of Brexit?

Skip to 1 minute and 18 seconds In such dangerous times how do we view our leaders? Are we here because of their actions or in spite of them? In this course we will show you why leaders are not simply distant figureheads, charismatic individuals whose veins are filled with gold. We will encourage you to think about what and who they are and the ways in which their actions impact every aspect of our lives from the big issues affecting the world today, to the most basic elements of our working day. We hope to inspire you, to help you see the potential difference that you can make. So, let’s begin with the most fundamental of questions, just what is leadership and why does it matter?


All business enterprises wish to succeed, but what makes an enterprise more successful than its competitors?

In this short course we explore some of the variables that can impact the effectiveness of a business enterprise, such as leadership, organisational culture, change management, decision-making and strategic leadership.

Watch the video in which Andy Coleman, Senior Lecturer in Leadership from Coventry University, provides an introduction to the program and some of the topics that will be explored.

Leadership Theory: The Basics is the first short course for the program Leadership and Change Management. This program is part of the following degrees offered by Coventry University:

This program is made up of ten weeks (five courses that are two-weeks each), taught on FutureLearn, followed by an additional period to submit your assessment (details of which can be found on the Assessment tab of the program page). In addition to the courses in FutureLearn, the program page gives you access to live tutorials, student support sessions and further study resources and services.

This week

Through this week’s activities you will explore:

  • Concept of leadership
  • Relationship between leadership and management
  • Lewin’s leadership styles
  • Different approaches to leadership and their strengths and weaknesses

Checking your progress

When you reach the end of a step and have understood everything, click the ‘Mark as complete’ button. This will update your progress page and will help you to keep track of which steps you’ve done. Any steps you’ve completed will turn blue on your ‘To do’ list.

To check what percentage of the course steps you’ve marked as complete, click on the Progress tab at the top of the page.


At FutureLearn we believe in the power of learning through conversation, and have developed our learning platform to enable this. Instead of having separate forums or discussion boards, you can leave comments, share your thoughts and have a conversation on almost every step of a course. You can ‘like’ comments made by other learners, filter comments in a variety of ways, including ‘most liked’ and you can bookmark comments too. As well as following your lead educators, you can also follow other learners on the course.

To see all the recent comments on the course, just select the activity icon. If you’re following someone, you can filter this list to show only the comments of those you’re following or whose comments you’ve bookmarked.

To get the very best learning experience from FutureLearn, take a look at these tips and tools for social learning. Don’t forget, while robust debate is encouraged, it’s important that you follow the FutureLearn Code of Conduct and are respectful of your fellow learners.

The Coventry Way

Coventry University believes that a good student experience is central to learning at a world-class standard. To reflect our success, we were recently awarded the title of University of the Year by Times Higher Education and the Queen’s Award for Enterprise.

We aim to produce learning that is both innovative and cutting edge, with a supportive environment to ensure student success.

For that reason we have created these courses that offer students a chance to learn in a flexible manner. Through online delivery we offer an engaging and dynamic experience.

We have teamed up with FutureLearn to offer students world-class courses with all the rigour and support offered in our face-to-face courses, but with the ability to study in a manner best suited to your needs.

Getting started

Over the next two weeks you will be working closely with your colleagues on the course, so take this chance to introduce yourself to both your educators and your colleagues. If you wish, you may share what has brought you to take part in the course through Coventry University.

Your task

In the comments section below, introduce yourself to the rest of your group and tell us what you are most looking forward to in this course.

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This video is from the free online course:

Leadership Theory: The Basics

Coventry University