Philosopher and founder of Taoism, Lao Tzu, once said that “a leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves.”

In other words, no one likes an overbearing boss. The best leaders are those who find qualified individuals to work with them, give them the tools needed to do their jobs, and then stand back and watch them succeed. Micromanaging an employee who is more than capable of doing the job without such strict supervision is a surefire way to make that employee unhappy – and quite possibly spur them to look for another job.

Some people are just natural leaders. But for those who are not, there is help in the form of leadership training.

Education Requirements

There are a number of careers which make use of the kinds of skills taught in a leadership degree program. The kind of degree one should earn is dependent on the field in which they plan to use their leadership skills.
Associate degree programs in leadership focus on the principles of leadership and the personal skills needed to be a good leader. Associate degrees take roughly two years to complete and are offered at most community colleges and trade/technical schools.
A bachelor’s degree in leadership will take four years to finish and are designed to help build effective leaders and managers. Coursework will center on negotiation techniques, finance, psychology, communication, workplace ethics and organizational behavior. Candidates who possess an undergraduate degree in leadership will possess the skills necessary to advance to a leadership position within any organization.
Master degree programs in leadership also are available and take the basics learned in an undergraduate degree program and expand on them. Specialized courses include leadership techniques for a global/diverse culture, communication and media, leadership roles within a family-owned business and social entrepreneurship.

Doctorate degrees also are available in leadership, and generally are ideal for those who wish to work in the top positions within business and industry. Most doctorate degree programs focus on the four common areas of advanced leadership: higher education, nonprofit/philanthropic, organizational/consulting and pre-kindergarten through grade 12 and private school leadership.

Future Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for those qualified to fill leadership roles in business and industry is expected to grow by 11 percent between now and 2020, which is average compared with all other occupations.

The average annual salary for those in leadership roles is dependent on the industry in which they work.

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