Published On: Wed, Sep 18th, 2013

Free Online Leadership Training: Acumen Leadership Essentials

Acumen Leadership Essentials is a 6-week course that will give you a taste of Acumen’s leadership training designed to build leaders who can help change the way the world tackles poverty and build a world based on dignity.

This is an introductory course for those who are new to the social impact space and interested in cultivating more self-awareness as a leader and change agent. We will touch on Acumen’s investment model. However, this course is not about the impact investing space and will not provide an in-depth look at Acumen’s investing work.

The course is free but you must work through it as a group (min: 2 people; max: 6).

What You’ll Learn

As part of this course you will

  • Explore your own values, motivations and goals for how you want to impact the world
  • Understand the different perspectives and complexities around the work of poverty alleviation
  • Understand Acumen’s ‘patient capital model’ and its role in poverty alleviation
  • Understand and begin to develop the capacity for moral imagination –  the humility to see the world for what it is and the audacity to imagine the world as it could be
  • Reflect on your leadership journey and the changes you might be willing to make in the future

How the Course Works

There are no in-person teachers or facilitators for this course. You will work through the course with a group of course mates we call your “lab group”.

You can read through this curriculum on your own, but it won’t be any fun. The real learning happens face to face, person to person, when you challenge yourself and those around you. We recommend a group size of 2-6 people.

No group? 1. Recruit your friends or family 2. Connect with people at an existing meetup or start one in your city!

Course content consists of readings, online videos, discussions, and hands-on activities. Each week, you’ll receive an email with the materials for the upcoming week’s lab. The materials will consist of two things:

  • Lab prep (1-2 hours): To be completed before your lab group meets
  • Lab guide (typically 2 hours): To be completed together with the rest of your lab group when you meet. Upon completing each lab

At Acumen, we believe in “learning by doing”. You will get as much out of this course as you put in. There is much about this course that will seem challenging, which is appropriate since this is about leadership development. You will need to be self-motivated to make it through all 6-weeks. Some of the exercises are designed to push you out of your comfort zone. You will need to build relationships with your lab group and conduct meaningful discussions with no clear authority in the room.

Course Outline

The course is designed to run for 6-weeks; each week covers a different Acumen leadership module, except for Lab 4 which takes 2 weeks.

Lab 1: Foundations of Leadership Objectives: Become familiar with the lab format for this course, get to know your lab group, dive deeper into your personal values, motivation and purpose for taking this course as well as Acumen’s view on leadership.

Prep time: 1 hour Lab time: 1.5 hours

Lab 2: How to Do Good? Objectives: Discuss and reflect on the different perspectives and complexities around “doing good”.

Prep time: 1.5 hours Lab time: 2 hours

Lab 3: Acumen in Context Objectives: Understand Acumen’s investment model and where it stands in the international development discourse of the past, present and future.

Prep time: 2 hours Lab time: 2 hours

Lab 4: Everyday Barriers Objectives: Exercise empathy and experience what it takes to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and understand their situation, feelings and motives.

Prep time: 4 hours Lab time: 1 hour

Lab 5: Adaptive Leadership and You Objectives: Understand the difference between adaptive and technical challenges; begin to get a feel for what it takes to face internal resistance while implementing changes; reflect on a personal adaptive challenge and the over-all course.

Prep time: 1 hour Lab time: 2 hours

Registration Info

Registration Deadline: September 23, 2013 Start Date: September 25, 2013 End Date: November 8, 2013

You must register by 11:59pm EST on September 23, 2013 to be eligible for the course.

Register Now for the Acumen Leadership Essentials

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