Skip main navigation

Let’s get started

Watch Dr Andrea North-Samardzic introduce this leadership course by first addressing the question, 'what is leadership?'.
2.5
DR ANDREA NORTH-SAMARDZIC: Leadership makes and breaks companies. Research and practise show the availability of leaders with high potential increases organisational success through high rates of workforce engagement, employee satisfaction, a positive culture, and overall responsiveness to changing customer demands and emerging market opportunities. When you look at the most common problems for organisations, a lack of leadership, or poor leadership, are consistently some of the highest-ranking issues. The leadership capabilities of a workforce should be one of senior management’s chief concerns. Hi everyone. My name is Doctor Andrea North-Samardzic. I’m a lecturer at Deakin Business School, where I teach postgraduate students and research contemporary leadership issues. I’m also the course director of the Master of Professional Practise in Leadership.
50.8
I’ve taught at universities, both in Australia and overseas, for 15 years. And I’m excited about teaching you more about leadership. However, leadership is a word that is used often but is very misunderstood. In this course, I want to cut through all the hype and get straight into answering the question, what is leadership? To do this, we will be looking first at who is a leader, and what leaders mean to us, before embarking on an investigation into what leadership is really about and how it is different to management. This will involve examining our sources of power and influence. Because, what is a leader without power? And what is leadership without Influence?
90.4
Through the course of our discussions, you may find yourself disagreeing with your peers and even with me. So in the latter part of this course, we will explore how individuality makes us see the world and leadership in different ways. There’ll be a range of activities in this course– videos to watch, short text articles to read, and after every step, you’ll be asked to complete a small task, as an individual or as a group, by participating in an online discussion about various leadership issues. But most importantly, sharing your experiences of leadership in the workplace. This course won’t talk about the various theories of leadership or get into the debate about whether great leaders are born or made.
131.3
We’ll get into that in later courses, in which I hope you’ll join me. But first, let’s get started on answering the question, what is leadership, by looking at our leader role models.

Leadership is a term often used, but frequently misunderstood. By working through each step in this course, you’ll discover why leadership is less about ‘something you do’ and more about the person ‘you are.’

Welcome to What is leadership?.

In this course, you’ll take the first steps in exploring the big questions associated with what leadership is and how you can become a more effective leader in your own right.

To get started, in Week 1 we’ll explore definitions of leadership, learn more about who you identify as a leader and why, as well as distinguishing the difference between leaders and leadership role models, and what your chosen leaders say about you.

In Week 2, we’ll build on these foundation concepts by examining the difference between leaders and managers, the relationship between ‘power’ and ‘influence’, and the critical, but often overlooked, role of perception in defining how effective leaders operate in ‘real life’ situations.

Your learning outcomes

By the end of this course, you should have a deeper understanding of:

  • how leadership is defined
  • what function leadership role models play
  • sources of power and influence in the workplace
  • how perceptions shape our view of leadership.

See your ‘To do’ menu for an overview of all Week 1 and Week 2 activities and steps.

Meet the team

You will meet  Andrea North-Samardzic in a number of the videos throughout the course. She helped to develop the course.

You’ll also be supported in conversation by Joe Griffin, who have a wealth of commercial and strategic experience. If you haven’t already, view your team’s profiles and follow them for course updates, feedback and discussions.

Build your career portfolio

Demonstrate your participation in this course with a Certificate of Achievement approved by Deakin University.

Earn a new qualification

This course forms part of a unique set of postgraduate degrees from Deakin University in Australia. Find out how you can join the program Leadership Practice with Impact or use this course as an introduction to a Professional Practice: Leadership degree and gain yourself a new, internationally-recognised qualification.

Your task

Watch the video to find out more from Andrea about what you’ll be covering in this course.

When you’re done, use the comments to share why leadership is important to you and what you hope to gain from participating in this course.

This article is from the free online

What is Leadership?

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Our purpose is to transform access to education.

We offer a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. These are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life.

We believe learning should be an enjoyable, social experience, so our courses offer the opportunity to discuss what you’re learning with others as you go, helping you make fresh discoveries and form new ideas.
You can unlock new opportunities with unlimited access to hundreds of online short courses for a year by subscribing to our Unlimited package. Build your knowledge with top universities and organisations.

Learn more about how FutureLearn is transforming access to education