Discussion 1&2

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Module 1  

Module 1 – Lecture Notes and Discussion Questions

Module One

            Discussion topics include:

1. What is leadership?

2. Leadership myths

3. The leader-follower-situation triad

Assignments for Session 1 include:

1. Text: Chapter 1

As you read Chapter 1, you will see that there have been many definitions offered for the common word “leadership.”  Leadership is influence.  In this broad sense, we are all leaders in many aspects of our lives and with many people.  Parents influence children; friends influence friends; colleagues influence colleagues.  Subordinates influence their bosses as sure as bosses influence their subordinates.  Leadership opportunities are everywhere. 

I have always been curious as to how leadership can be both an art and a science, although I am sure it is a combination of both.  “Art” seems to imply a creativity and an essential lack of order while “science” seems to be very much the opposite. Science rests on research and, as you will learn through your master’s curriculum in leadership, much research has been done in this field.  Yet, great leaders often know nothing about this research and seem not to ascribe to any scientific application of principles emanating from that research.  What makes a great leader in any event?

Leadership entails an essential interaction between at least three elements: the leader, the followers, and the situation.  Depending on the particulars of these elements, a “great leader” in one situation may be quite ineffective in another situation.  To understand leadership, then, it is probably important to equally concentrate on situations and followers.

Module One Discussion Questions

Note: Please type the question and then the answer which should be about 250 words for each question.

1. Describe the best leader you have personally known. What makes this person such a good leader?  Include in your description the characteristics detailed in the textbook.  How does your leader exhibit some of these characteristics?

 

1. What are the essential differences between being an effective manager and an effective leader?

Module 2

– Lecture Notes and Discussion Questions

Module Two

    Discussion topics include:
1.     Leader development
2.     Skills for Developing Yourself as a Leader
3.     Building effective relationships

    Assignments for Session 2 include:
1.     Text: Chapters 2-3
 
The topics this week include leadership development, skills development and building effective relationships. Read chapters 2-3 carefully.  If we accept the fact that not all leaders are “born,” then we need to know something about how leadership can be developed.  What can individuals and organizations do to ensure that they have the leadership talent which is needed given the leader—follower—situation triad?

Underlining my personal belief in the efficacy of leadership development through experience, each student in the class is being given the opportunity to experientially develop two leadership skills as part of the course. These are the leadership experiences which you will be documenting as part of your assignments and the requirements are clearly outlined in the syllabus. If you haven’t begun working on your first experiential exercise, the leadership skill, you need to get started this week.

Leadership development can also be done through education and training.  University courses such as this would fall into this category.   Corporations also spend a great deal of time and money designing leadership development programs.  Some of these programs are contracted to organizations such as the Center for Leadership Development in Escondido, California, home of Paul Hersey and Situational Leadership.  Each year, people from all over the world are trained in the Situational Leadership model and coached in how to apply it within their organizations.  Other programs like adventure learning promise leadership training from a different angle. You only have to search “adventure learning” and “leadership” in Google to see how many companies now provide off-site, wilderness and other types of learning experiences for corporations.
And yet another effective way to develop leaders is through mentoring programs.  

Do these programs work?  Assessing leadership is a complicated topic which is the focus of Chapter 4.  Measuring the effects of that leadership goes still further.

Module Two Discussion Questions

Note: Please type the question and then the answer which should be about 250 words for each question.
 
1.    Which Leadership Skill have you chosen for your Skill Building Assignment?  Tell us why you have made this choice and what your plans are to improve in this skill area.
2.    If you were to design the perfect leadership development experience for yourself, how would you do so and what would it include?  How would you know whether it was effective?

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