Can leadership be taught? This oft-repeated question has seen animated debates from proponents ‘for’ and ‘against’ the notion, but for School of Inspired Leadership’s (SOIL), Anil Sachdev, the answer is an emphatic ‘Yes’.

In an education system that looks to create more managers and not leaders, SOIL is one such institution which was co-created by a team of business leaders of companies such as Aditya Birla Group, Dr Reddys, Hindustan Unilever, Infosys, TVS Motors, Volvo-Eicher to name a few, who came together with one philosophy – create more leaders in the country.

Anil Sachdev, founder and CEO of
SOIL says, “We have developed a new category in the education system by
creating a new management education programme which is focused on inspired
leadership. There is no such thing as a leadership school in India so far, we
are the first ones. There are many management graduates, what our country needs
are leaders.”

SOIL runs a one year program six
days a week for working professionals to take time off from work and study. The
program is divided into three parts, with character building that looks to
build values taking up as much as 40% of the curriculum. Another 40% is devoted
to improving the capacity to think, since this is a vital part of every leader.
“Our vision is to create leaders who care deeply, which means they have
the right character. We want leaders who are aware, which means they have the
right capacity to think and then have leaders that dare. This means they have
the enthusiasm to relentlessly follow paths that make organizations in the
world better,” says Sachdev.

Sanjay Gupta, CEO English Helper
and former India leader, American Express says, “We need citizens and
leaders who care. SOIL is all about building leaders who care. Ultimately,
businesses want talent. We have a lot of people, but we have a scarcity of
talent and the recognition of the kind of talent that is needed is best within
each business. Taking this understanding and defining that for establishing a
curriculum is critical, therefore, partnerships that are really dynamic,
vibrant and true between companies and educational institutions are absolutely
essential and SOIL is doing that.”

The country as a whole is going
through a start-up and entrepreneurial boom. It is this boom that showcases
that India is in fact moving toward building leaders. The number of people who
are willing to take the leap of faith, work 24 by 7 and follow their dreams are
increasing significantly.

Sachdev says “An
entrepreneur is one who is asking new questions. He sees there is a real need
in society to be fulfilled, then that idea becomes so overpowering in his
heart, it develops that sense of enthusiasm and passion and that commitment to
that cause excites an entrepreneur so much that he can clearly see the future.
He has a dream. Therefore, he is willing to take personal risks and work 27 by
7 because an idea can completely overtake a person.”

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