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Leadership and followership
Leadership and followership

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4 Identifying your aims

The text reads: You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream. C.S. Lewis
Figure 4 An inspirational quote by C.S. Lewis.

What are you hoping to achieve by undertaking this course? This will vary for each of you depending on your experience and circumstances, your aims and aspirations. For example, you might be:

  • at the beginning of your leadership journey, with clear aspirations but limited experience
  • keen to develop your existing leadership skills and understanding further
  • interested in exploring how leadership theory might enhance your practical experience
  • looking for a boost to help you reach the next step on your career ladder.

If you haven’t thought about this in any depth yet, Activity 5 provides some basic prompts to help you consider where you are now and what you want to change or develop.

If this is the first time you have been asked to think about what you want to achieve in the future, you may find it useful to look at the Personal Awareness tool in the Toolkit [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] . This tool will encourage you to consider what you want from life, your values and the kind of work–life balance that would benefit you. This self-reflection is an important skill to develop as it will be the base from which you can consider your options for the future.

You’ll find out more about using reflection in your leadership development in Week 3.

Activity 5 What do I want from this course?

Timing: Allow about 5 minutes

Think about the following statements and choose the one that best suits your current aspirations:

  • I know I don’t want to be a leader but am curious about leadership and wish to understand it better.
  • I want to be a leader in the future but am at the beginning of my leadership journey and deciding what to do next.
  • I am already a leader and want to be more effective in my role.
  • I want to make myself more employable.
  • I am a follower and I want to know how to better support/understand my leader.I am a leader and I want to develop my followers.
To use this interactive functionality a free OU account is required. Sign in or register.
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

If none of these statements reflect your reasons for choosing the course, use the box below to articulate your motives:

To use this interactive functionality a free OU account is required. Sign in or register.
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).


Having a clear sense of why you want to do the course will help you to make the most of each week – focusing greater attention on the particularly relevant elements as you go through. For example, if you are hoping to enhance your employability, the more practical approach of Week 3 may be somewhere to focus more of your additional study time; if you are interested in the concept of followership, Week 5 will be of particular relevance; or if you are a leader hoping to improve – Weeks 4 and 6 should be particularly valuable.

In this section, you’ve considered your aspirations – another important starting point for your leadership journey. In Section 5, you’ll focus on setting aside the time you need to get the most from the course.