The worst times often lay the groundwork for breakthroughs. In the stagnant 70s, Bill Gates wrote source codes and Steve Jobs crafted designs that ushered in the computer revolution. From the ashes of World War II came microwave ovens and televisions. As America was mired in the Great Depression, a failed actor named Dale Carnegie published How To Win Friends and Influence People.
Today, Carnegie’s teachings seem intuitive. Who doesn’t strive to be a friendly listener who makes others feel important? In Carnegie’s time, leaders were rarely servants who worried about setting the right tone or example. Most preferred to bark orders and criticize over giving praise and asking for opinions. Now, the world has swiveled to Carnegie’s point of view. Leaders are expected to place themselves in others’ shoes, to be appreciative, empathetic, and engaged. A ‘my way or the highway approach’ may get attention, but an everyman with scruples gets results (if you believe the thought leaders, that is).
LEADERSHIP TOPS THIS MONTH’S MOOCs
And you’ll find echoes of the Carnegie ethos in the University of Michigan’s newest MOOC, “Influencing People,” which starts on November 2nd. Taught by D. Scott DeRue and Maxim Sytch, two of the most renowned young academics in graduate business, the course is a primer on how to lead – particularly when you lack the formal authority to issue top-down dictates. And that means acting as a diplomat, one who creates two-way dialogues; tenders solutions that minimize discomfort and alleviate pain points; integrates others’ ideas to facilitate ownership; embodies a passion that’s authentic and contagious; and builds coalitions that act as a force multiplier among disparate groups. That’s not easy to do. It requires training and commitment. More important, it entails practice. And that’s exactly what this MOOC does. It provides the tools and self-awareness for students to turn their leadership EQ into second nature through practice.
“Influencing People” isn’t the only leadership MOOC out in November. Northwestern will also be holding a “Leadership Through Social Influence” MOOC, while HEC Paris is launching “Leading Organizations,” another hands-on course that gives students a forum to apply the communication and problem-solving skills they learn. As organizations race through the fourth quarter, strategy is the centerpiece of two brand new MOOCs: The University of Virginia’s “Business Growth Strategy” and Copenhagen Business School’s “Strategy Implementation.”
WHARTON AND MICHIGAN BACK WITH NEW COURSES
Among quant offerings, you’ll find some old favorites as well as new offerings. Wharton’s “Introduction to Financial Accounting” and Yale’s “Financial Markets,” which have drawn over 155K and 161K students respectively according to Online Course Report, are back this month. What’s more, Columbia University’s “Finance Engineering and Risk Management” and Wharton’s “Introduction to Corporate Finance” also start back up on November 2nd. At the same time, Wharton is building off the success of its core “Operations Management” MOOC with “Operations Analytics.” And Gautam Kaul, who gained universal acclaim for his landmark “Introduction to Finance” MOOC, returns with “Principles of Valuation: Risk and Return,” again beginninging November 2nd.
In addition, November features several courses in the social impact space, as well as MOOCs focused on social media marketing and branding. To learn more about these courses – and register for them – click on the links below.
Marketing and Management
Finance and Operations