Topic Name Description
Course Introduction Page Course Syllabus
Page Course Terms of Use
1.1: Definitions Page Boundless Management: "Chapter 9, Section 1: Defining Leadership"

One way that people become better leaders is to engage in critical self-reflection, particularly reflection about their experiences with leadership and their own practice of leadership. It will benefit you to keep a journal in this course to record these opportunities for self-reflection. Based on what you read in this article, explain whether or not you believe you are a leader or a manager and why. Write a few lines in your journal.

Page Opensource.com: Julian Birkinshaw's "The M-word"

In this article, Julian Birkinshaw further defines management and leadership for us. Is the difference becoming clear to you? If not, jot a few questions that would help you clarify this important difference in your journal. Then, be on the lookout for answers to those questions in the remaining resources in this subunit.

Page Management Innovation Exchange: Gary Hamel's "Nine Ways to Identify Natural Leaders"

After reading, list at least five people who you would consider to be natural leaders based on Hamel's identifiers. Be sure to indicate why you believe these people to be natural leaders in your journal.

Page Boundless Business: "Chapter 8, Section 5: Characteristics of Good Managers: Styles of Leadership"

Read this article. Do any of the listed leadership styles seem familiar to you? Maybe you have had a manager in the past who has used an authoritarian leadership style, or maybe another has taken a more laissez-faire approach. Record some observations about the managers you have had in prior jobs or in your current position. What leadership style do you prefer to work with? What leadership style do aspire to? Record your thoughts in your journal.

Page Boundless Management: "Chapter 9, Section 5: Types of Leaders: Transactional Versus Transformational Leaders"

Read this article. Have you ever worked with someone who might be considered a transformational leader? Reflect on the following question: What can transformational leaders accomplish with their teams that transactional leaders cannot?

1.2: Great Leaders URL Organizational Behavior, v1.1: "Chapter 13, Section 1: Power and Politics"

Read this section and explore the linked material. If you have not yet seen Jobs' remarkable commencement address to Stanford University grads in 2005, be sure to do so now. It's an unforgettable speech. Be sure to answer the five discussion questions at the end of this short section. Last, imagine yourself as an employee at Jobs' Apple. Would you like it? Why or why not?

Page Kentucky State University: Charles R. Nichols' "Nelson Mandela: A leader's guide"

After reading this article, see what other documentary footage you can find out on the Web about Mandela's struggle and activism in Apartheid South Africa. Consider sharing resources that you find with your peers on our Discussion Forums.

Page Independence Hall Association: "Teddy Roosevelt: The Rough Rider in the White House"

After reading this article, compare Teddy Roosevelt to leaders of today. It is unlikely that a person like Teddy Roosevelt would be elected present today. How has the image of a politician in the national spotlight changed since Roosevelt's time? How is it the same? Record some observations about how Presidents' leadership has changed over time in your journal.

Page Boundless U.S. History: "Chapter 22, Section 3: The Politics of Progressivism: Leaders of the Progressive Era"

Read this article describes some of Teddy Roosevelt's contemporaries. In your journal, offer suggestions for at least three more leaders who you believe also reflect the traits of those profiled in this article and explain why.

File U.S. Army War College: Lieutenant Colonel Belinda L. Buckman's "Vince Lombardi as a Strategic Leader"

Review this article and discuss whether or not Lombardi's leadership style would work in a modern organization.

2.1: Trait Theory Page Boundless Management: "Chapter 9, Section 2: Trait Approach"

Please read this section, then in your journal, rank-order the four groups of leadership traits in order of importance, in your opinion. Be sure to explain your rationale in your journal in a paragraph of at least 200 words. Those four groups of leadership traits are: (1) personality, (2) demographic, (3) task competence, and (4) interpersonal attributes.

Page U.S. Small Business Association: "Leadership Traits"

This reading is a brief list of the nine personality traits identified by leadership research pioneer Raymond Cattell in 1954, along with several traits uncovered since then. Would you add any additional traits that you believe a manager or leader would need in the modern workplace? Note this listing is based on conventional personality qualities.

Page U.S. Department of Commerce: Minority Business Development Agency: Jason Bowser's "8 traits of successful entrepreneurs -- Do you have what it takes?"

After reading this article, answer the following question in your journal: Are entrepreneurs more likely to be managers than leaders, or vice versa. Explain your position in detail. Write at least two paragraphs.

2.2: Behavioral Theory URL Organizational Behavior, v1.1: "Chapter 12, Section 3: What Do Leaders Do? Behavioral Approaches to Leadership"

After reading this section, do you believe that a technology-oriented leader should be added as an additional description? Why or why not?

Page Boundless Management: "Chapter 9, Section 3: Behavioral Approach"

Read this section. Considering that the University of Michigan behavioral studies are over 50 years old, do the findings still hold validity in our current society? Why or why not? Explain your response in detail. Then, record in your journal whether you feel the behaviors discussed in the section about the Ohio State studies, namely "consideration" and "initiating structure," are dichotomous or if they rather exist on a continuum. Compare and contrast the two universities' studies.

Page Praxis Framework: "Blake and Mouton"

Review this synopsis of Blake and Mouton's research. Considering the grid created by the two dimensions, "concern for people" and "concern for production," where would you "plot" your own leadership style? Write your thoughts in your journal. Also, take this time to journal about what could be some other names for the five categories Blake and Mouton describe. Can you think of an alternative name for each category based on their description? Record an alternative for each in your journal.

Page Opensource.com: Jim Whitehurst's "What Our Families Teach Us About Organizational Life"

There are some ways in which the family unit is like an organization for which the principles of management and leadership could apply, but there are some very important differences. Can you spot them?

2.3: Situational Leadership URL Principles of Management, v1.1: "Chapter 10, Section 4: What is the Role of the Context? Contingency Approaches to Leadership"

Read this section. Take note of the learning outcomes at the outset of the reading and the key points near the end. After you have read the section, attempt the exercises at the bottom of the page. Record your responses in your journal.

Page Bruce Merrifield: "'Boss' Habits = Situational Leadership"

Watch this video. Then, in your journal, explain why it can be beneficial to bring the leader bad news and why employees should be appreciated for making mistakes. If you would like to share your reflection, consider posting a summary on our Discussion Forums.

Page Boundless Management: "Chapter 9, Section 4: Contingency Approach"

Read this section and study each of the four models closely. Which of them have you seen in action?

2.4: Skill Based: Uses and Limitations Page Donald Clark's "Introduction to Competencies"

By the end of this reading, you should be able to explain why competency does not equal competence. Can you?

2.5: Visionary Characteristics Page Dan Rockwell's "The Seven Qualities of Visionary Leaders"

Read this article and consider how a concept like charisma would -- or would not -- relate to the traits presented in this article. Are transformational leaders always charismatic? Do you believe charisma is an innate skill or can it be learned? Explain your choice with a couple of sentences in your journal.

2.6: Transformational Leadership Page Boundless Management: "Chapter 9, Section 5: Types of Leaders: Key Behaviors of Transformational Leaders"

Read this section. Keep this information fresh in mind as you head into Unit 3. Transformational leadership and organizational change go hand-in-hand. In your journal, write at least two paragraphs listing some connections between transformational leadership, progress, and organizations.

3.1: Change Management URL Principles of Management, v1.1: "Chapter 7, Section 5: Planning and Executing Change Effectively"

As you read this section, pay very close attention to the material on Kurt Lewin's three-stage model of planned change. This will be an important base of knowledge for you to have in this unit. After reading this section, critically evaluate the reasons why concepts like "unfreezing" and inclusion can help to bring about change in an organization. Write your response in your journal in the form of an essay of 350-500 words.

Page Boundless Management: "Chapter 4, Section 6: Managing Change for Organizations"

Read this section. Then, thinking back to what you read about Kurt Lewin in the previous resource, discuss why Lewin's research on change is applicable today. You should be picking up on a theme in this course about how the ways our concept of leadership has evolved over time and differed among various professional environments, such as national politics, professional athletics, and of course, business.

Page Kentucky State University: Charles R. Nichols' "The need for communicating change"

Read this article. Can you think of a time when you felt left in the dark about a change? How did it make you feel, and how did you react? Respond in your journal, and consider posting your reflection in our Discussion Forum.

Page Opensource.com: Colin Price's "Encouraging Organizations to Change: The Influence Model"

Read this article. Colin Price describes a square with four quadrants that represents how management is able to introduce change. Read this information carefully and make a pictoral representation of the model Price describes in your journal.

3.2: Decision Making URL Sheena Iyengar's "How to Make Choosing Easier"; Ruth Chang's "How to Make Hard Choices"; and Ash Beckham's "When to Take a Stand -- and When to Let it Go"

Watch this series of videos. Decision-making is a common topic among TED speakers, so feel free to explore what else is out there.

File War Resisters' International: "Techniques for consensus decision making in large groups: the spokespersons council method"

Large groups often function differently than smaller, more intimate teams. As a leader, you need to be able to navigate both types of groups. Read the article and discuss how you have seen decision making techniques utilized by a large groups of people -- either groups of which you were part or groups you have observed. If you cannot think of a relevant experience, think about how decision making might play out with any large group. Journal about your experience leading or observing the leadership of large groups.

Page Boundless Management: "Chapter 10, Section 2: Rational and Nonrational Decision Making: Problems with the Rational Decision-Making Model"

Compare and contrast  Prospect Theory and Bounded Rationality. In your journal, discuss which theory you believe to be more valid and why. Write at least a paragraph.

Page Boundless Management: "Chapter 10, Section 2: Rational and Nonrational Decision Making: Non-Rational Decision Making"

Read this article and explain what you think is the role of emotion in decision making. Describe what you feel and why in a detailed essay of 350-500 words.

Page Opensource.com: Polly LaBarre's "What's Your Default?"

Explain whether organizations should depend more on their leader's strength of conviction or leaders' overall competency to lead others.

3.3: Biases URL The Noba Project: Donelson R. Forsyth's "The Psychology of Groups"

Review the article and reflect upon some past situation where you were part of a large group. In an essay of 200-400 words, describe the tactics/strategies your group used to make decisions. Explain whether or not the tactics/strategies were effective or not and use information from the article to support your points.

Page Wikispaces: Theories of Knowledge's "Selectivity of Perception"

Read the article and identify how advertising or marketing utilizes consumer perception to sell its products. Compare and contrast such marketing techniques to how an individual might similarly try to persuade the room of something when making a presentation to a group at work. Jot some notes about your reflection in your journal.

4.1.1: Sources of Power Page Boundless Management: "Chapter 9, Section 1: Defining Leadership: Sources of Power"

Re-read this short segment on power. This time, read with a focus of being able to discuss which form of power do you believe to be the most effective overall and why.

Page Dan Rockwell's "Finding Real Leadership Power"

Read the article and reflect on the following questions: When might power not equate to effective leadership? When is it possible to lead without specific power?

4.1.2: Forms of Exerting Leadership Page Boundless Management: "Chapter 8, Section 1: Defining Leadership: A Leader's Influence"

By the end of this reading, you should be able to differentiate between the various methods of influencing others and the role of each of these methods in effective leadership.

URL The Legal and Ethical Environment of Business, v1.0: "Chapter 4, Section 2: Mediation"

Managers often times must deal with conflict. One approach to leading a team through conflict is to serve as mediator. In this reading, you will learn what mediation is. Why is mediation an available method of conflict resolution for most managers, where something like arbitration would not be?

Page University of Suwon: Chris Cunningham's "Leadership and Conflict Management: Business Ethics"

Watch this video to get a sense of why conflict management is important. Note that conflict management is not always conflict resolution. Good leaders know how to foster productive conflict and reduce conflict which is distracting to the team's purposes.

Page The London School of Economics: Connson Locke's "Actions speak louder than words: Adaptive non-verbal communication is a key leadership skill for collaborative teams"

Close your eyes and think of a great leader. What does this person look like? What does this person sound like? What is their dress? How do they carry themselves? In spite of what you may have observed from movies, television, and other media, Locke's research suggests that "there is no one single 'best' way to look and act like a leader." Read on to discover more of Locke's findings for one's non-verbal presentation and leadership.

Page Opensource.com: Ruth Suehle's "Nike Improving the Environment and Communities the Open Source Way"

Read the article and explain why or why not organizations have a responsibility to the community in which they operate. Aside from Nike, can you think of other companies that are demonstrating leadership in your community? Look into at least one other company and describe its efforts to make a positive impact in some way other than its primary business venture. Post your findings to the Discussion Forum.

4.2: Influence Page Opensource.com: "Advice from 5 Joomla! Project leaders: Part 1"

Review the article and critique the section on giving advice to someone new in a leadership position. Would you support the comments or add additions thoughts. Discuss your response in an essay of 100-200 words.

4.3: Emotional Intelligence (EI) Page Boundless Management: "Chapter 9, Section 6: Other Leadership Perspectives: Emotional Leadership"

Read the article and journal about how emotional leadership and emotional intelligence are related.

Page Boundless Management: "Chapter 5, Section 4: Drivers of Behavior: How Emotion and Mood Influence Behavior"

Emotion and mood can affect temperament, personality, disposition, motivation, and initial perspectives and reactions. Hence, it is very important to the productivity and culture of a workplace that managers are balancing the mood of the groups they lead.

4.4: Interpersonal Skills Page Opensource.com: Brook Manville: "Should open source leaders go native?"

By the end of this reading, you should be able to explain what is meant by going "native," and why going "native" may be an effective leadership communication strategy. Can you?

URL Ptypes Personality Types: Dave Kelly's "Aggressive Personality Type"

Read this article and reflect on the following question: What is the place of aggressiveness in leadership? Is there any place for aggression? What is the difference? Present your response in the form of an essay. Write about two paragraphs.

URL Project Management from Simple to Complex, v1.1: "Chapter 5, Section 1: Working with Individuals"

As you read, decide for yourself whether or not you think the Myers-Briggs Temperament Sorter should be utilized during initial employee interviews as an “early warning system” for potential personality or emotional problems before hiring an applicant. What would be a better way to determine whether an applicant is a good fit for your team?

5.1: Managing Diversity URL Organizational Behavior, v1.1: "Chapter 2: Managing Demographic and Cultural Diversity"

Unlike the business world of previous generations, a diverse workplace is now the norm, not the exception. What benefits does diversity offer the workplace? Think of these benefits of being both personal and professional. How proactively should managers pursue the goal of creating diverse teams?

Page Boundless Management: "Chapter 1, Section 5: Current Challenges in Management: The Challenge of Diversity"

Read this article, which discusses how globalization and diversity cause managers to focus on balancing a range of cultural norms and expectations.

Page Kentucky State University: Charles R. Nichols' "Diversity"

Read the article and respond to the following in detail. When coming to a new country, it is  necessary for the employee/individual to submerge themselves in the host country’s culture and ways as quickly as possible and abandon their traditional ways? respond to the following in an essay of 200-350 words.

5.2: Internal Group Processes URL A Primer on Communication Studies, v1.0: "Chapter 13: Small Group Communication"

Previously in this course, you read about communication techniques in large groups. Read this section and pay close attention to the communication characteristics of small groups. In an essay of 200-400 words, compare and contrast communication in small and large groups. Discuss whether or not small group communication strategies are more effective than those used with larger groups.

Page Boundless Sociology: "Chapter 6, Section 5: Group Dynamics: Effects of Group Size on Stability and Intimacy"

By the end of this reading, you should be able to relate grup size to group cohesiveness. In general, the smaller the group, the easier it will be for its members to come to a consensus on goals, and thus possess a stronger bond.

5.3: Building and Managing Teams Page Boundless Management: "Chapter 6, Section 3: Building Successful Teams"

Read the series of articles covering steps for building successful diverse teams. These steps include setting goals, instilling accountability, choosing team members, establishing processes, and the stages of team development. Be sure to reference the useful glossary terms at the bottom of each article.

Page Dan Rockwell's "The Three Pillars of High Performance Teams"

Dan Rockwell ends this brief essay with two recap questions. Make sure that you can answer them for yourself before moving on to the next reading.

5.4: Team Leadership URL A Primer on Communication Studies, v1.0: "Chapter 14, Section 1: Leadership and Small Group Communication"

Read the article and discuss whether or not it’s possible for a small group to perform effectively without a designated formal leader: why or why not? Express your thoughts in your journal, writing no less than two paragraphs.

URL Principles of Management, v1.1: "Chapter 11, Section 4: Decision Making in Groups"

Read this article, then list a couple situations in which you were involved in a “groupthink” scenario. Discuss the situation, what happened, and looking back on it now, what things could you have done to have helped to avoid it? Please consider sharing your response on our Discourse Forums.

Page Management Information Exchange: Skip Weisman's "Great Leaders Master 'The 3 Levels of High-Performance Leadership Communication'"

Read the article and differentiate among the three levels.

Page Marieke Guy's Ramblings of a Remote Worker: "Virtual Teams: Benefits & Challenges by Martin White"

Read the article and consider whether or not virtual teams benefit or harm group productivity. How should managers lead virtual teams, keeping in mind that team members or subordinates are at remote locations. Have you ever worked within a virtual team?

Study Guides and Review Exercises Page Unit 1 Study Guide and Review: Introduction
Page Unit 2 Study Guide and Review: Leadership Theory
Page Unit 3 Study Guide and Review: Change Management and Decision-Making
Page Unit 4 Study Guide and Review: Leading Without Formal Authority
Page Unit 5 Study Guide and Review: Managing Groups and Teams
Optional Course Evaluation Survey URL Optional Course Evaluation Survey

Please take a few moments to provide some feedback about this course. Consider completing the survey whether you have completed the course, you are nearly at that point, or you have just come to study one unit or a few units of this course.

Your feedback will focus our efforts to continually improve our course design, content, technology, and general ease-of-use. Additionally, your input will be considered alongside our consulting professors' evaluation of the course during its next round of peer review. As always, please report urgent course experience concerns to [email protected] and/or our discussion forums.