Part I offers ways for leaders to learn to operate in and above the fray. While the surrounding environment is unpredictable, it is important for leaders to be able to respond appropriately. Leaders are advised to court the uncommitted – keep your friends close and your enemies closer. An effective leader knows how to “cook” a conflict, allowing just enough tension to get others committed and motivated to resolve the pressures, but not too much as to overwhelm the leader or the followers. Finally, delegate work appropriately. Leaders too often take on the work of others. “Give the work back to the people,” advise Heifetz and Linsky, and learn to differentiate the work of the leader and the responsibilities of followers.
Learning from failure requires letting go of past assumptions about self and the situation, including old beliefs about your identity and past successes, in order to open up to a new and stronger self-concept as a leader. Failure, while not easy or pleasant, can be a strong and powerful force for leadership growth and development.
They provide multiple case examples of leaders to illustrate the phenomena (John Gardner, Sidney Harman, Liz Altman, Muriel "Mickie" Siebert, Vernon Jordan, Sidney Rittenberg, Judge Nathaniel R. Jones, Michael Klein, and Jack Coleman).
Planning Courses and Teaching Units: Options and Choices
Business Leadership (2nd edition)
can be used in courses on leadership theory, leadership development, managing human resources, organizational behavior, organization development, or managing change. It works in undergraduate and graduate programs in management, the professions
, and the administrative sciences, as well as in professional development and corporate education activities. As discussed, Business Leadership
can be the primary text or a source of supplemental readings. Undergraduate audiences will find the chapters are rich yet manageable: they have been composed to serve as a complete introduction to a topic. Graduate and professional students will find the chapters strong in content, provocative yet practical, and a good complement to other research articles, leadership books, and texts. The chapters work well with cases set in different organizations, sectors, industries, or levels. And all student audiences will appreciate the readability of the material and Editor’s Interludes
that put key themes in context.
If desired, the chapters can also be grouped into create a series of shorter learning units or training modules. One option might be:
Module I. Understanding the Basics: What is Leadership?
Module II. Becoming a Leader: Understanding and Preparing for the Opportunities
Module III. Understanding the Leadership Context, Anticipating the Challenges
Module IV. Making Leadership Happen: Getting Started, Staying on Track, Avoiding the Pitfalls
Module V. Sustaining the Effort: A Leadership Survival Guide
Segments from the syllabus in PART 3 or a combination of suggested activities, reading, films, and cases provided below are good starting points in designing the learning units. A series of learning modules on organizational culture and leadership are also provided in PART 3 as an instructional model.
Finally, a number of courses in the administrative sciences (e.g., strategy, organizational behavior, organizational theory, change management, OD, team development, HR, etc.) can add a unit on leadership effectiveness or the reflective practitioner. This acknowledges the powerful role of leadership in today’s work world, and offers opportunities for students to develop skills and understandings critical to their professional effectiveness.
PART 3: Syllabus, Learning Modules, Activities, Cases, Readings, and Other Resources
PART 3 of this guide provides curricula that illustrate a range of teaching possibilities with Business Leadership,
as well as suggest activities, case sources, readings and popular literature to complement the volume. A complete sample syllabus for a semester-long leadership course is provided, complete with student assignments, assessment and experiential activities, cases, and film suggestions. The syllabus is designed for a 16 week, MBA-level graduate class that meets once a week in a 3 hour time block.
Instructors can, of course, adjust the sample syllabus to reflect the learning needs of undergraduate audiences
, graduate classes meeting multiple times per week, different term lengths, or their need for smaller teaching or training modules. Classes, for example, meeting twice a week might set aside a first meeting for discussion of readings and/or an assigned case or diagnostic activity. The second meeting could then be devoted to experiential and skills practice activities. The syllabus can also be easily adapted for leadership classes in education, public administration, or other professional schools by choosing field-relevant cases [case sources by field are listed in the Appendix A] and by tailoring discussions to the field’s unique leadership options and challenges.
Samples learning modules and additional assignments, experiential exercises, cases, films, readings – fiction and non-fiction – are also offered to assist instructors in tailoring the sample syllabus to their teaching strengths and preferences, student learning styles, and program goals – or create their own new course.
Sample Syllabus: Leadership in Organizations (graduate, MBA course)
COURSE DESCRIPTION and PURPOSE
: This course is based on the premise that effective leadership is rooted in an integrated set of values, behaviors, skills, knowledge
, and ways of thinking employed for a common good. While there is widespread agreement that effective leaders behave in ways different from those deemed less capable, leadership is always steeped in ambiguity and choice. In plain language, effective leadership is easier to aspire to than accomplish. Success requires knowledge of the meaning of leadership and one=s purpose in leading, understanding the organizational context in which one leads, and clarity about what one brings to the leadership table. It also requires strong conceptual skills in the face of inevitable ambiguity in the leadership role. Savvy leaders have a leadership framework to employ, a repertoire of skills to call upon, a healthy respect for the complexity and challenges in the process, and good diagnostic and analytical skills. This course provides opportunities to think more systematically about leadership and organizations, its application, and the personal competencies needed for leadership success.
To this end, there are two core purposes for the course: (1) learn about leadership, and (2) understand one=s own capacity for leading.
More specifically, this course examines a variety of perspectives on leadership and organizational behavior
, identifies critical leadership challenges, and asks you to read and think deeply about the issues.
Class activities include lectures, discussions, experiential activities, films and videos, developmental assessments, reading and writing assignments, and group projects. How well each student uses these opportunities depends on individual energy, initiative, commitment, and wisdom B qualities as essential to learning about leadership as they are to leading.
Students who successfully complete this course will:
1. Develop a framework for understanding leadership across organizational settings
2. Be able to explain and apply key elements of theory and practice important to the successful exercise of leadership and management in diverse organizations
3. Have insights into their own leadership skills and style
4. Develop strategies for self-care and sustaining oneself as a leader.
There are four major assignments for this course.
1. learning leadership:
We will all commit to developing a spirited learning community
that provides learning for every member. This means each of us will take responsibility for success of the community, as well as our own learning, and learn about leadership by trying to lead productively each week. Preparation, participation, the completion of assignments, and attendance are vital for every class. In support of this, students will want to review critical reading and preparation skills. A useful resource can be found at a University of Toronto site http://www.utoronto.ca/writing/bkrev.html
: Throughout the term, there are 4 brief assignments required for class. They are described on the syllabus for the class in which they are due.
3. Leadership Book Club3 B executive summary and presentation:
The Club of Rome, a global think-tank on innovation http://www.clubofrome.org/
, raises a powerful concern: mistakes in responding to the challenges we face todayCnuclear holocaust, species extinction, destruction of our natural resources, mass famine B will lead to irreversible consequences. These contemporary challenges, therefore, demand new ways to listen, influence, and learn from each other. With that in mind, the Leadership Book Club is designed to increase our skills as listeners and learners while providing opportunities to explore important leadership challenges and options. Read the following and be prepared for the Leadership Book Club=s meeting as listed on the syllabus.
Step 1: Confirm your book
. Each student will be assigned one of three books that reflect important issues for 21st
century leaders. The class will determine a process for book assignment and implement it in the first class.
Friedman, Thomas L. The World is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century. New York: Picador, 2007.
Flat for the author means deeply connected. The world has changed. Creativity and innovation are essential B being creative and knowing how to foster it in others. And diversity is a reality. These and other changes point to a different set of skills for those who expect to lead and make a difference.
Levitt, S. and Dubner, S. Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything. New York: HarperCollins, 2005.
An economist and a journalist jointly examine a basic question: how do we know what we know? The apparent mysteries of life are not so mysterious, the authors tell us, when we know how to ask the right questions and how to draw the right conclusions from the data we have.
Prahalad, C. K. The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid: Eradicating Poverty Through Profits. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Wharton School Publishing, 2006.
The author provides an innovative suggestion for how to fight poverty and a model of for-profit business as an agent of social change. The book challenges readers to re-evaluate their pre-conceived notions about the relationship among business, government, and the non-profit sectors – and about the larger responsibilities of contemporary business leaders.
Step 2: Read the book and prepare an Executive Summary (2 pages maximum):
Read your assigned book and prepare an Executive Summary submitted (a) in hard copy to the instructor and (b) electronically to the class by class time on Leadership Book Club day. The Executive Summary will be graded by the instructor, based on criteria of: (1) accuracy and depth of understanding of the book; (2) integration of the material into a compelling and useful summary as per the purpose of this assignment; and (3) quality of writing.
Consider your audience [see description below] in preparing your summary and focus on the following:
1. What are the core challenges for 21st century leaders that your book poses for setting organizational priorities, commitments, agendas, and/or strategies? What does it tell us about the kind of leadership and the kind of leadership skills needed to respond to those challenges?
2. What was your most important learning from this book? What surprised you? What is most important for future business leaders, like your MBA colleagues, to know or understand?
Step 3: Draft an Executive Presentation
using PowerPoint. Design it for an audience of business leaders. This means the presentation should be succinct, visually and verbally appealing, and straight to the point. You will have 15 minutes to make a compelling case about your book’s leadership insights. Prepare your presentation as if you were presenting it to your organization=s board B or to the board of an organization where you would like to work. Limit yourself to a maximum of 15 PowerPoint slides. If you have a laptop, bring it to class for your presentation. If not, print out the PowerPoint slides and work from those. Everyone: bring 3 copies of your PowerPoint presentation slides to class
B one to hand in to the instructor, and two as take homes for your Book Club members. Those seeking additional clarity about book reviews to assist in their Executive Summary or information on writing can consult http://www.utoronto.ca/writing/bkrev.html
4. integrative paper:
The final course paper
(10-15 pages) is an individual written assignment in which students are asked to integrate their learnings from the course and create a comprehensive guide for themselves of the essentials for successful leadership. The paper should include, but not be limited to
, (1) the most important lessons about leadership and organizations taken from course readings
, activities, and team leadership project and the reasons these are personally meaningful; (2) what you have learned about your own leadership behaviors, values, perspectives, and development from your group project and other activities throughout the semester; and (3) how this knowledge and awareness can/will strengthen your future leadership and organizational effectiveness.
be well grounded in theory from the course, your book club book, and other relevant literature; and the paper must be written like a graduate-level analytic paper with thoughtful analysis, strong use of references, and accurate use of readings. This is not a diary, a description of what you did or will, or a reflective story. This is an analysis. When discussing yourself
, think of yourself as a case and use theories and ideas from the course to expand and probe choices, behaviors, outcomes, and implications. Theory enables you to go beyond what you would in regular self-reflection. Those needing assistance on academic writing can find guidance at http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/