Using Business Leadership (2nd edition) An Instructor’s Guide for Effective Teaching

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PART II (3-5 pages) builds on PART I. It is a statement of your leadership vision for the future and the leadership development you will need to advance that vision. More specifically, think about yourself 5 years into the future, and create a vision of what you will be like as a leader. If we could see into your vision in action and watch you leading in the future, what would your leadership look like? What, how, why and whom will you create, contribute, impact, and serve as a leader? What skills and strengths will you be best known for? Why would people seek out your specific leadership? What would be different from the strengths, approaches, and behaviors that people see today? Do not describe a specific job or organization. Rather visualize how you will extend and leverage your leadership strengths and approach in whatever you are doing 5 years from now.
Again, students are expected to draw widely on the leadership literature and to reference course readings, their book club book, as well as other relevant literature for this paper. References and a bibliography are required. Students may want to keep a personal journal during the semester to reflect on their leadership insights and behaviors in and out of class as data for the paper. Good communication skills; developing and presenting strong, grounded arguments, self-reflection, and learning from experience are vital leadership assets.


OTHER ACTIVITIES: Paralleling the objectives of the course, these include:

Developmental assessments of leadership skills and strengths provide opportunities for individual reflection and learning.
Readings are listed on the syllabus for the date due.

Study questions are provided for each class to assist students in reflecting of readings and preparing adequately for class discussions. Study groups are highly recommended to improve preparation and learning.
GRADING: A letter grade will be provided, and grades will not be curved. Grades will be determined as follows: (1) book club executive summary and presentation: 25% of final grade; (2) individual final paper: 35%; (3) class participation: 25%; (4) four mini-assignments: 15% I use the following schema to determine grades:

A+ 100-98 A 97-94 A- 93-90

B+ 89-86 B 85-82 B- 81-78

C+ 77-74 C 73-70 C- 69-66

F 65-0
Criteria for determining class participation grades are as follows:

(1) quality: responses that reflect deep and accurate understanding of materials and contribute to class learning

(2) quantity: active involvement in discussions and activities in each class throughout the term

(3) integrativeness: responses that: (a) enable others to see the relevance of issues to course goals; and (b) demonstrate abilities to integrate learning from past discussions, activities, readings, or courses.

(4) developmental consistency: involvement in each class and demonstrated improvement in quality over the semester.
Criteria for grading written papers include:

(1) depth of demonstrated learning

(2) number, strength, and accurate use of relevant literature

(3) abilities to integrate accurately and deeply theories and ideas from course discussions and readings

(4) clarity, quality, and organization of writing and analysis.

(5) quality and quantity of learning about leadership and your approaches to leading.

DISABILITIES: If you have any questions about a disability or desire accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act, please contact me or the Office of Student Services.
ACADEMIC DISHONESTY: Plagiarism and other forms of academic dishonesty will not be tolerated and will result in disciplinary action consistent with university policies. Be on notice that I may review any written assignment using Turnitin software. In the case of academic misconduct, I will report the incident to the school administration according to the guidelines printed in the University catalog, and a grade of zero will be assigned on any such item where plagiarism has been detected. The University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law offers a guideline for responsible referencing. Students are asked to review that to avoid any misunderstandings at
Class 1 Introduction and Overview: Why Study Leadership?
Study Questions:

  1. What brings you to a class on leadership?

  2. What learning goals do you have for yourself? What leadership or life experiences have led you to those goals?

  3. What experiences or understandings do you bring to a course on leadership that will make us all pleased that you are a member of our learning community?

Class 2 What is Leadership?
Required reading: Chapter 1. What Leaders Really Do

Chapter 2. Primal Leadership: The Hidden Power of Emotional Intelligence

Chapter 3. The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership

Chapter 5. When Leadership is an Organizational Trait

Chapter 30. Leading at the Enterprise Level

Mini-assignment 1. Your Most Admired Leader: Select a leader whom you strongly admire and bring a picture (original or a copy) of your selected leader to class along with a written list of the qualities, characteristics, and behaviors that make you admire this particular leader. Select a famous leader known to many or a family member or friend who has strongly influenced you. Be prepared to present this to the class.
Study Questions:

  1. What is leadership? What does the term mean to you?

  2. How is leadership different from good management?

  3. What makes leadership so difficult?

  4. Do you consider yourself a leader? Why? Why not?

Class 3 Organizing, Framing, and Reframing
Required reading: Chapter 4. Reframing Leadership

Chapter 13. Making Sense of Organizations: Leadership, Frames, and Everyday Theories of the Situation

IN-CLASS ASSESSMENT: Bolman and Deal Leadership Orientations Self-Assessment [Assessment provided by instructor]

Study Questions:

  1. What makes organizations so complex?

  2. What are frames? How are they relevant to leadership?

  3. How do leaders acquire their personal frame preferences?

  4. Why is reframing important to good leadership?

Class 4 Preparing for the Role: Leadership Essentials I – Authenticity
Required reading: Chapter 7. The Traces of Talent

Chapter 8. Leadership is Authenticity, Not Style

Chapter 10. Thinking Gray and Free

Chapter 12. Moments of Greatness: Entering the Fundamental State of Leadership

CASE: Oprah! (HBE # 9-405-087)

Study Questions:

  1. Buckingham and Clifton suggest ways to identify one’s true talents. Apply their model to yourself . What do you find? Any surprises?

  2. What is authenticity? What does the Oprah! case teach us about its roots and meaning? How will you find authenticity for yourself?

Class 5 Preparing for the Role: Leadership Essentials II – Leader in Context
Required reading: Chapter 6. The Seven Ages of the Leader

Chapter 9. Level 5 Leadership: The Triumph of Humility and Fierce Resolve

Chapter 14. Leadership and the Power of Position: Understanding Structural Dynamics in Organizational Life

Mini-assignment 2 B Leadership Autobiography: Leaders bring their full selves to the work. This can only happen when they understand their experiences, values, strengths, goals, passions, and flat spots – who they are, what they care about and believe, what they know (and don’t), and what they attend to (and ignore). Imagine that you have been asked to write your leadership autobiography. It is defined as the story of your life that emphasizes the people, places, and events that have had the greatest influence on your understanding of leadership and of yourself as leader. Draft a brief outline (no more than two pages) that represents your notes for your leadership autobiography – an account of your life that focuses on events, people, and places that have influenced how you view leadership and yourself as a leader. Be prepared to discuss the highlights in class.
Study Questions:

  1. Context can refer to a leader’s particular organization or situational environment. What’s the current organizational work context for you? What aspects of the situation are most challenging? What’s your usual response to the challenges?

  2. Context also refers to where leaders are on their leadership journeys. If you were writing a leadership autobiography, what would it contain? What’s your first leadership memory? Your most powerful one? Your most disappointing leadership moment?

  3. Reflect on your experiences in organizations. When have you been a “top?” A “middle?” A “bottom?” Based on your experience, does Michael Sales have it right?

Class 6 Leading and Learning, Learning for Leading: The LEADERSHIP BOOK CLUB
Required reading: your assigned book club book
IN-CLASS ASSESSMENT: David Kolb’s Learning Style Inventory. [Please purchase the assessment packet in advance and bring it unopened to class today.]
Study Questions:

  1. What are your leadership strengths? How do you know?

  2. What is your leadership Achilles heel? How do you know?

  3. What are your strengths and weaknesses as a learner? How do you know?

  4. What are your strengths and weaknesses as a teacher? How do you know?

Class 7 Understanding the Territory I: The Changing Global Work World

Required reading: Chapter 15. The Boundaryless Organization: Rising to the Challenges of Global Leadership

Chapter 11. Enhancing the Psycho-Spiritual Development of Leaders: Lessons from Leadership Journeys in Asia

Chapter 17. The Sustainability Sweet Spot: Where Profit Meets the Common Good.

CASE: Unilever in India: Hindustan Lever's Project Shakti--Marketing FMCG to the Rural Consumer (HBS # 9-505-056)

Study Questions:

  1. Last week, the Leadership Book Club gave us different perspectives on the new opportunities, challenges, and responsibilities for global leaders. In what ways do today’s readings expand our understandings of the changing nature of leadership and of its challenges?

  2. What do Mirvis and Ayas add to the meaning of leadership authenticity and of the path to it?

Class 8 Understanding the Territory II: The Changing Nature of the Workforce
Required reading: Chapter 16. Knowledge Management Involves Neither Knowledge nor Management

Chapter 18. Leading Geeks: Technology and Leadership.

Chapter 19. Leading in Black and White: Working Effectively Across the Racial Divide

Chapter 20. Managing Middlescence

CASE: Managing Diversity at Cityside Financial Services (HBS # 9-405-047)

Study Questions:

  1. Diversity is a reality in today’s work world. What do we mean by diversity?

  2. Can one really manage diversity? What skills and understandings does it take?

  3. After you have read today’s chapters and the assigned case, answer the following: Under what conditions does a group's cultural diversity enhance or detract from its effectiveness?

Class 9 Making Things Happen I: Getting Started
Required reading: Chapter 21. The First 90 Days of Leadership.

Chapter 22. What is Our Mission?

Chapter 23. The Power and Creativity of a Transforming Vision.

Chapter 24. Finding the Right Vision.

Chapter 25. Developing Strategy: The Serious Business of Play.

IN-CLASS SIMULATION: Everest Leadership and Team Simulation (HBS #2650)

Study Questions:

  1. Mission, vision, purpose, strategy. What’s the difference? Create a model for yourself that helps you keep all this straight.

  2. James MacGregor Burns explores the transformational power of a good vision. Which comes first – the leader or the need for the vision? Is charisma essential for a leader to be transformational?

  3. What’s so serious about play at work?

Class 10 Making Things Happen II: Staying on Track – Power, Influence, Values, Differences
Required reading: Chapter 26. Navigating the Political Terrain.

Chapter 27. Want Collaboration? Accept B and Actively Manage B Conflict.

Mini-assignment 3 B Advocacy: Effective advocacy is an essential political skill for leadership. Select one issue on which you feel passionate. Imagine yourself composing a letter to the editor that states your perspective, advocates your position, and recommends action in the most convincing manner possible. What would you say? How would you say it? What are your strategies for influence? Be prepared to demonstrate your advocacy and persuasive speaking skills in class. Student can use notes, but remember that no strong and influential speaker reads word for word from a document.
Study Questions:

  1. What is the difference between power and politics?

  2. What do we mean by positive politics? Have you ever experienced it?

  3. What are your sources of power? How can you use them to empower yourself in your current position?

Class 11 Making Things Happen III: Leading Change
Required reading: Chapter 29. Leading Change: Why Transformation Efforts Fail

Chapter 31. Execution: The Gap Nobody Knows

Chapter 34. Good or Not Bad: Standards and Ethics in Managing Change

Study Questions:

  1. What does a healthy and effective organization look like? If you wanted to foster organizational health and effectiveness, what you see if you got there?

  2. Kotter’s model seems simple and straight-forward. Is it? What makes change so difficult for individuals? For organizations?

Class 12 Making Things Happen IV: Leadership and Organizational Culture
Required reading: Chapter 28. Creating and Managing Culture: The Essence of Leadership

Chapter 36. Preserving Integrity, Profitability, and Soul

Study Questions:

  1. What is organizational culture? Why does Schein see culture as difficult to diagnose?

  2. How does a leader create and influence an organization’s culture?

Mini-assignment 4 B Leadership Images: Shaping the Culture: Assume that you have just been hired as chief executive of the organization you would most like to lead. Select one piece of art (painting, sculpture, decorative glass, etc.) to display in your office that best conveys (a) the image you want to project of yourself as a leader and (b) the organizational values and culture that you hope to foster in your new role. Bring a photo or copy of the art work (or the original, if you so choose). Be prepared to describe both the image of leadership and the organizational culture you hope to foster and why you think this particular work of art conveys both well. Select your art from your own collection (of real art or pictures in books), from a local museum (museum shops often sell postcards of works from their collections or you may take digital photos where permitted), or from one of the world=s great museums by taking a virtual tour4 of their collections. Be creative! Have fun!

Egyptian Museum Cairo, Egypt

The Hermitage Moscow, Russia

Louvre Paris, France

Metropolitan Museum New York City

The Prado Madrid, Spain

Shanghai Art Museum Shanghai, China

Tokyo National Museum Tokyo, Japan

Class 13 Making Things Happen V: Avoiding the Shadows and Pitfalls
Required reading: Chapter 32. The Leader as Toxin Handler: Organizational Hero and Casualty

Chapter 33. Bad Leadership B and Ways to Avoid It

IN-CLASS DEBATES: Students will be randomly assigned to debate pro or con for the following proposition -- Followers always bear responsibility for bad leadership
Study Questions:

  1. How do we account for “bad leadership?” Do followers bear responsibility for bad leadership – or are we blaming the victims?

  2. Are all bad leaders unethical? Are all unethical leaders necessarily bad?

  3. Describe your experiences working with the worst leader you have known. What did the leader do? How did others respond? How did you?

Class 14 Sustaining the Leader I: Survival
Required readings: Chapter 35. A Survival Guide for Leaders

Chapter 37. Learning for Leadership: Failure as a Second Chance

Study Questions:

  1. What have Heifetz and Linsky gotten right? What have they forgotten?

  2. Drawing on your leadership experiences and learning from the semester, prepare your own survival guide. What would it contain?

Class 15 Sustaining the Leader II: Nurturing the Heart and Soul of the Leader
Required readings: Chapter 38. Nourishing the Soul of the Leader

Chapter 39. Resilience and the Crucible of Leadership


1. “The Lion King:” Simba confronting hopelessness after his father’s death

2. “Gandhi:” Gandhi at the end of his fast as Hindu warriors present their swords as a symbol of a truce
Study Questions:

  1. How do you renew yourself during times of stress? What nourishes your soul?

  2. Reflect on your spiritual journey and name your most significant leadership crucible to date. What did you learn from it? How do you lead differently because of it?

  3. What’s the next step on your developmental journey as a leader?

Class 16 Pulling It All Together -- Leadership, Artistry, and Hope
Required reading: Chapter 40. Choose Hope: On Creating a Hopeful Future
Study Questions:

  1. What is leadership? How have your definition and understandings changed since class one?

  2. Reflect on your learnings from this semester. How will lead differently because of them?


Activities, Exercises, Modules and More
As noted, the suggested syllabus can be adapted by using different cases, activities, experiential exercises, and student projects to explore instructor-selected leadership issues. Some alternatives are described below; others are contained in the designs for the series of learning modules on leadership and culture. Training and development publishers like Pfeiffer are additional sources of experiential activities and exercises. Of particular note are the Pfeiffer Annuals on Training, collections of exercises organized by topic and learning goals, as well as various surveys, inventories, and questionnaires that are useful for skill building and self-reflection.

Bolman and Deal Leadership Orientations Self-Assessment: The instrument, scoring sheet, and fair-use rules for this copyrighted assessment are available at
Kolb Learning Style Inventory (LSI): The Kolb LSI identifies preferred learning styles. Around since 1976, the inventory is a statistically reliable assessment tool for how people respond to experience. The instrument is self-scored and can be used as the basis for class discussions one’s preferred way of learning, as well as the larger leadership implications for effective communications, problem solving, teamwork, approaches to conflict, leader comfort zones, career choices, and more. LSI student packets are available for purchase via general outlets like or now the instrument is now available from its distributor online. An instructor’s guide and complementary PowerPoint slides are available from Hay Associates at 1-800-729-8074. The instrument is available in English, French and Spanish.
In-Class Activities and Student Projects

Authenticity Work: Leadership authenticity requires deep self-knowledge. Instructors can provide students a variety of opportunities to diagnose their values, beliefs, and private theories about leadership and about the world. Suggestions for doing that include:

(1) Use TAT-type pictures, illustrations from popular advertisements, or short videos available online at YouTube and elsewhere. Ask students to compose a brief story of what’s happening and then compare their story in small groups to those of others. The more ambiguous the situation, the better it is for surfacing individual differences in interpretation and examining the values that underpin them.

(2) Use short minicases and ask students to diagnose the situation and proposed solutions, and again contrast differences in interpretation and values.
(3) Give students a sheet of simple sentence completions, containing organization-related items such as AA good organization has . . . @; AA skilled manager must . . . @; AA leader always . . . @; AWhen someone wants to be influential in organizations, he or she must . . . @ or more personally oriented items, such as AIn order to get ahead in organizations, I always . . . @; AAs a leader, I like to . . . @; AWhen faced with conflict, I usually . . . @; AMy strengths as a manager include . . . .@ Have students in small groups compare the ways in which their responses are similar or different. If there are task or study groups that meet regularly over the course of the term, have students share their sentence completions in those groups and use this new information about group members to anticipate or predict potential conflicts or future problems. (Instructors can collect these predictions and return them to individual and/or groups at an appropriate later time.)
(4) Provide students with simple art supplies and ask them to visually represent an organization. Everyone can draw the same organization, such as the institution in which the course is offered, or each person can draw an organization in which he or she has worked. Students can compare their representations in large or small groups. They are often surprised by the variety of different images of what organizations look like and what has influenced an individual’s sense of the place. The pictures often reflect more than the artist initially intended – a good reminder about the importance of wedding left- and right-brain thinking in learning and in leading.
(5) Have students draw simple self-portraits or scenes of themselves as leaders in action and explore what the pictures show about their core values, beliefs, and strengths. Have students discuss these in small groups and instruct group members to specifically identify things that they see in the portrait that the drawer has yet to acknowledge or discuss.
(6) Introduce the Argyris and Schon concept of espoused theory vs. theory-in-use [C. Argyris and D. Schon. (1992). Theory in Practice: Increasing Professional Effectiveness. San Francisco: Jossey Bass]. The ideas link well with the concept of authenticity. Argyris’s two-sided personal case is a good activity for students to explore discrepancies between their intention and behaviors. Guidelines for developing two-sided cases are provided below. Instructors have permission5

to cut, paste, and distribute the guidelines to their students.


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