Can leadership be taught? This oft-repeated question has seen animated debates from proponents ‘for’ and ‘against’ the notion, but for School of Inspired Leadership’s (SOIL), Anil Sachdev, the answer is an emphatic ‘Yes’.
In an education system that looks to create more managers and not leaders, SOIL is one such institution which was co-created by a team of business leaders of companies such as Aditya Birla Group, Dr Reddys, Hindustan Unilever, Infosys, Johnson and Johnson, Kohler, Larsen and Toubro, Mahindra, Max, Maruti Suzuki, Nokia, SAS, SAP SRF, Schneider, Symphony, Tata Steel, TVS Motors, Volvo-Eicher to name a few, who came together with one philosophy – create more leaders in the country.
Anil Sachdev, founder and CEO of SOIL, elaborating on the need for leaders says, “We have developed a new category in the education system by creating a new management education programme which is focussed on inspired leadership. There is no such thing as a leadership school in India so far, we are the first ones. There are many management graduates, what our country needs are leaders.”
Today, the numbers of management schools are increasing every day. In a competitive country where employment opportunities are difficult to come by, management institutes promise good careers with good money. This focus on management has led to the stagnation of the curriculum without any focus on building specific talent or skills.
SOIL runs a one year program six days a week for working professionals to take time off from work and study. The program is divided into three parts, with character building that looks to build values taking up as much as 40 per cent of the curriculum. Another 40 per cent is devoted to improving the capacity to think, since this is a vital part of every leader. “Our vision is to create leaders who care deeply, which means they have the right character. We want leaders who are aware, which means they have the right capacity to think and then have leaders that dare. This means they have the enthusiasm to relentlessly follow paths that make organizations in the world better,” says Sachdev.