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A taste of leadership


Admission requirements

This course is only available to Honours students. The maximum number of students is 30.


This course is designed to teach students important lessons about leadership. Leadership is an extremely multifaceted phenomenon, that has interested the entirety of humanity throughout history. Complete coverage of leadership is impossible, so a taste of leadership will have to do the job. Leadership is shaping the (social) world we live in and the well-being of humankind. Understanding the mechanisms of leadership isn't only enjoyable and interesting, but an absolute necessity for greater self-actualisation as well as to contribute to an increase of well-being for all of us. The taste of leadership in this course has been built up by practical, (scientific) theoretical and self-reflective ingredients. Through phases of introspection, influence and incorporation the taste of leadership will be served. Phases refer to a state of internal development rather than time, i.e., all phases happen simultaneously.

Social reality is mind-made, according to the constructivists. As far as it is helpful for the students; this course uses constructivist insights into the mechanism of leadership. One important lesson is that the world is getting meaning through you. Introspection helps to reveal how the process of giving meaning to the world works, for you and for others. The way you give meaning to the world is shaping one's convictions, choices and behaviour. By looking at your self-esteem through a poetic lens, zooming in on your fears of rejection, self-assessment and applying empirical and theoretical concepts you will end up having a multi-sourced sketch of how you give meaning to this world.

This sketch helps students to provide a deeper understanding of how influence works. Being in a permanent state of interaction equals an endless cycle of influencing and being influenced. This implies power and vulnerability. Students will be encouraged to learn how the cycle of influence can be analysed and used, employing prominent insights, tools and theories offered by the disciplines of group dynamics and leadership literature.

The students ought to incorporate the lessons of introspection and influence by putting them to the test in practice. The opportunity of incorporation is being offered by doing a challenge.

The challenge is done in groups of 4 to 5 students. The challenge is focused on mapping out or resolving social problems or challenges, preferably at a local level. Doing a challenge on a local level helps students to enrich the phase of incorporation by having direct contact with the people for whom they are doing the challenge. Students initiate and develop – with guidance of teacher – a clearly defined challenge, for example helping existing stakeholders with loneliness, poverty or the energy transition. The final result must be presented in a thoughtful, suitable and serious manner, but freedom is being given to the students to choose the form, such as a paper, documentary or art work.

Course objectives

Upon successful completion of this course, students will have developed and demonstrated personal leadership capacities by:

  • Having a clear understanding of how to practically conduct introspection on themselves;

  • Have gained both theoretical and practical insights into the mechanism of influence, i.e., how people are being influenced and how they can influence others;

  • Having a better understanding of how to incorporate the lessons of introspection and influence in different roles of leadership;

  • Applying and incorporating the lessons of the course in the challenge.


Introduction Saturday April 15: 13.00-17.30
Wednesdays from 19.00-21.30 in week 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20 and 21
Closing Friday June 8: 13.00-17.30

Mode of Instruction

140 hours, of which 26,5 hours lectures.

Assessment method

Week 16: poem of 400 words
Week 18: leadership literature review in podcast (1,5 hour)
Week 19: leadership practices review in podcast (1 hour) & demarcation challenge
Final product of challenge to be submitted June 7

Poem: 15%
Podcast 1: 15%
Podcast 2: 15%
Challenge: 55%

All partial grades should be sufficient in order to pass the course

Reading list

The course will be supported by thematic readings, including relevant book chapter and articles. They will be made available via Brightspace.


FGGA Honours coordinator/administration will take care of selection and enrolment.
Please note: students are not required to register through uSis for this class.

Your registration will be done centrally after successful completion of the Class.


Teacher: Michel Don Michaloliákos:
Honours Coordinator: Annette Righolt: