Discussion topics include:
- What is leadership?
- Leadership myths
- The leader-follower-situation triad
Assignments for Session 1 include:
- 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 (due by Thursday)
Note: Please type the question and then the answer which should be about 250 words for each question.
- 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?
- What are the essential differences between being an effective manager and an effective leader?