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.
|What is Management?
This article defines management and leadership. Is the difference clear to you? If not, write a few questions to clarify this important difference in your journal. Then, be on the lookout for answers to those questions in this course.
|Nine Ways to Identify Natural Leaders
Think about at least five people who you would consider to be natural leaders. Why do you believe those people are natural leaders? Write your response in your journal.
|Characteristics of Good Managers: Styles of Leadership
Read this article. Do any of these leadership styles seem familiar to you? Maybe you had a manager who used an authoritarian leadership style, or maybe another took a more laissez-faire approach. Record some observations about the managers you had in prior jobs or your current position. What leadership style do you prefer to work with? What leadership style do you aspire to? Record your thoughts in your journal.
|Types of Leaders: Transactional Versus Transformational Leaders
Read this article. Have you ever worked with someone who might be considered a transformational leader? What can transformational leaders accomplish with their teams that transactional leaders cannot?
|1.2: Great Leaders
|Power and Politics
Read this chapter. If you have not yet seen Jobs' remarkable commencement address to Stanford University grads in 2005, 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?
|Nelson Mandela: A Leader's Guide
After you read this article, see what other documentary footage you can find about Mandela's struggle and activism in apartheid-era South Africa.
|Teddy Roosevelt: The Rough Rider in the White House
After you read 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.
|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.
|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
|The Trait-Theory Approach
Read this section. In your journal, rank the four groups of leadership traits in the order you feel they are important. Explain your rationale in a paragraph. Those four groups of leadership traits are personality, demographic, task competence, and interpersonal attributes.
This article lists the nine personality traits identified by leadership research pioneer Raymond Cattell in 1954 and several traits uncovered since then. Would you add any additional traits that you believe a manager or leader would need in the modern workplace?
|8 Traits of Successful Entrepreneurs
Read this article and then answer this question in your journal. Are entrepreneurs more likely to be managers than leaders, or vice versa? Explain your position in a few paragraphs.
|2.2: Behavioral Theory
|What Do Leaders Do? Behavioral Approaches to Leadership
Read this section. Do you believe that a technology-oriented leader should be added as an additional description? Why or why not?
|The Behavioral Approach
Read this section. Considering that the University of Michigan's behavioral studies are over 50 years old, do the findings still hold validity? Why or why not? Explain your response. 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 exist on a continuum. Compare and contrast the two universities' studies.
|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 think about what some other names for the five categories Blake and Mouton describe could be. Can you think of an alternative name for each category based on their description?
|What Our Families Teach Us About Organizational Life
There are some ways that the family unit is like an organization that the principles of management and leadership could apply to, but there are some very important differences. Can you spot them?
|2.3: Situational Leadership
|What is the Role of the Context? Contingency Approaches to Leadership
Read this section. Take note of the learning outcomes and the key points. After you read, attempt the exercises at the bottom of the page. Record your responses in your journal.
|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.
Read this section and study each of the four models closely. Which of them have you seen in action?
|2.4: Skill-Based Leadership
|Introduction to Competencies
By the end of this article, you should be able to explain why competency does not equal competence. Can you?
|2.5: Visionary Characteristics
|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 in your journal.
|2.6: Transformational Leadership
|Key Behaviors of Transformational Leaders
Read this section. Keep this information in mind as you head into Unit 3. Transformational leadership and organizational change go hand-in-hand. In your journal, list some connections between transformational leadership, progress, and organizations.
|3.1: Change Management
|Planning and Executing Change Effectively
As you read, pay attention to Kurt Lewin's three-stage model of planned change. Then, critically evaluate the reasons concepts like "unfreezing" and inclusion can bring about change in an organization. Write a response in your journal.
|Managing Change for Organizations
Read this section. Then, thinking back to what you read about Kurt Lewin, 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 and differed among various professional environments, such as national politics, professional athletics, and of course, business.
|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.
|Encouraging Organizations to Change: The Influence Model
Read this article, which describes a square with four quadrants representing how management can introduce change. Draw this model in your journal.
|3.2: Decision Making
|Making Hard Choices
Watch this series of videos. Decision-making is a common topic among TED speakers, so feel free to explore what else is out there.
|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 this article and discuss how you have seen decision-making techniques utilized by a large group of people – either a group you were part of or other 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.
|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.
|Non-Rational Decision Making
Read this article and explain what you think the role of emotion in decision-making is. Write what you feel in your journal, and explain why.
|What's Your Default?
Should organizations depend more on their leader's strength of conviction, or their leaders' overall competency to lead others?
|The Psychology of Groups
Review this article and reflect on situations where you were part of a large group. What tactics or strategies did your group use to make decisions? Were those tactics or strategies effective?
|Selectivity of Perception
Read this article and identify how advertising or marketing utilizes consumer perception to sell its products. Think about how someone might try to persuade a small audience when presenting a group at work. How is that similar to these marketing techniques? Write a short reflection in your journal.
|4.1.1: Sources of Power
|Sources of Power
Read this short segment on power. Which form of power do you believe is the most effective overall? Why?
|Finding Real Leadership Power
Read the article. When might power not equate to effective leadership? When is it possible to lead without specific power?
|4.1.2: Forms of Exerting Leadership
|A Leader's Influence
By the end of this article, you should be able to differentiate between the various methods of influencing others and the role of each of these methods in effective leadership.
Managers must often 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?
|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.
|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? Despite 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.
|Nike Improving the Environment and Communities the Open Source Way
Read the article and explain why or why not organizations are responsible to the community they operate in. 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.
|Advice from 5 Joomla Project Leaders
Review the article and critique the section on advising someone new in a leadership position. Would you support the comments or add additional thoughts?
|4.3: Emotional Intelligence (EI)
Read this article. How are emotional leadership and emotional intelligence related?
|How Emotion and Mood Influence Behavior
Emotion and mood can affect temperament, personality, disposition, motivation, and initial perspectives and reactions. Hence, it is essential to the workplace's productivity and culture that managers balance the mood of the groups they lead.
|4.4: Interpersonal Skills
|Should Open-Source Leaders Go Native?
By the end of this article, you should be able to explain "going native" means and why it might be an effective leadership communication strategy.
|Aggressive Personality Types
Read this article. What is the place of aggressiveness in leadership? Is there any place for aggression? What is the difference?
|Working with Individuals
As you read, decide for yourself whether or not you think the Myers-Briggs Temperament Sorter should be used 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
|Managing Demographic and Cultural Diversity
Unlike previous generations' business world, 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?
|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.
Read this article. 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 traditional ways?
|5.2: Internal Group Processes
|Small Group Communication
You read about communication techniques in large groups earlier. Read this section and pay attention to the communication characteristics of small groups. What are the differences between communication in small and large groups? What are the similarities? Are small group communication strategies more effective than those used with larger groups?
|Effects of Group Size on Stability and Intimacy
After you read this article, you should be able to relate group size to group cohesiveness. In general, the smaller the group, the easier it will be for its members to reach a consensus on goals and create a stronger bond.
|5.3: Building and Managing Teams
|Building Successful Teams
Read these steps for building successful diverse teams. These steps include setting goals, instilling accountability, choosing team members, establishing processes, and the stages of team development.
|The Three Pillars of High Performance Teams
Read this article and answer the recap questions at the end.
|5.4: Team Leadership
|Leadership and Small Group Communication
Read the article. Is it possible for a small group to perform effectively without a designated formal leader? Why or why not?
|Decision-Making in Groups
Read this article. List a couple of situations you were involved in that had a groupthink scenario. Discuss the situation and what happened. Looking back on it now, what things could you have done to avoid it?
|The 3 Levels of High-Performance Leadership Communication
Read the article and differentiate between the three levels of high-performance leadership communication.
|Virtual Teams: Benefits and Challenges
Read the article. Do 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?
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