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Learning to Lead

4 truths new leaders should slow down and consider.

A college professor recently met with me to gather information. He wanted to shape a curriculum that would maximize the appeal of his school's students to potential employers. We discussed a broad range of topics, including a long look at their marketing department. "What sales courses do you offer?" I asked.

"We don't have any," he replied. "Why?"

"You do a disservice to students when you only offer marketing," I said, "because rarely do companies hire a college grad in their marketing department. Most firms want sales experience before marketing."

"Students aren't going to take a sales course."

"The smart ones will," I said. "It will help them succeed early, and lead them straight into marketing."

Consider how ill-prepared most people truly are when they receive their first leadership position. Sure, they think leading will come naturally and that a few dabbles here and there qualify them for the challenge. While role-specific training and orientation help, there are (at least) four broad ...

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