Leading with Vision is a course in both the art and science of leadership. Decades of leadership research has identified principles and tactics that are best practices. Yet leaders need to take this science and use it to develop their own art forms – putting these principles into practice in a way that is authentic and fits their individual styles. Research from psychology and business forms the foundation of this course, but equal time is spent in reflection, discussion and application to enable each leaders to examine and refine their personal leadership styles.
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Title: What is Leadership and What Do Leaders Do
Independent Self-Study: Starts off by asking you to consider how you see yourself as a leader, and discusses the “better than average” effect, the tendency to rate oneself better than others. We will analyze what good leaders do, and hear from Fortune CEOs that give us their definition of leadership. We will observe how leaders spend their time and share that information about ourselves. We also introduce the concept of Leading with Purpose and examine the five levels of excellence through scenarios and interactive exercises. We end with a discussion on the importance of emotional intelligence, and everyone will write their retirement party speech.
Live Virtual Session: Discussion of everyone’s personal leadership experiences, including the experiences with setting a vision and mobilizing others, as well as your goals for the course and priorities for leadership development.
Title: Setting the Vision: Strategic Thinking and Decision Making
Independent Self-Study: Reviews the two components of the definition of a leader: setting vision and mobilizing others. In this unit, we will address the first component, setting vision, as a good vision needs to come first: mobilizing others to follow you will only be productive if you have people heading in the right direction. Part of setting vision is making good decisions, which is what we will focus on this week. We will watch a fun auction of a 20-dollar bill. How high will everyone go? We will examine types of heuristics, and how they can help and/or hinder good decision-making, and how we can correct for biases. We will use case scenarios to practice decision-making skills and check the quality of our decisions using a quality control checklist.
Live Virtual Session: Discussion about meetings, which sometimes tend to go on longer than needed, and practice and discuss techniques for meeting management that facilitate effective decision making.
Title: Decision Making Leadership Styles
Independent Self-Study: Examines the importance of agility in leadership. Leaders need to change direction frequently – from day to day, and even hour to hour. We will talk about what it means to be an agile leader and why leadership agility matters. We will hear from Fortune 500 CEOs on their leadership styles, and realize that different situations require different approaches. We will examine what an effective decision looks like, and study factors that affect appropriate levels of participation. You will interact with those situational factors, and analyze statistical data of other leaders, including examining two extreme leadership examples, and factors influencing leadership style: age, level, function, sector, industry, and perspective.
Live Virtual Session: Discussion the results of your Decision Making for Leaders assessment results and your plan for incorporating these results into your leadership style going forward.
Title: Motivating Others for High Performance Part I
Independent Self-Study: Examines a series of questions related to mobilizing others. Our focus is on motivating followers to enact the vision we have created, and we will use a simple framework for understanding our followers’ motivation, known as the EPO model. We will hear from Fortune 500 CEOs about motivation, and identify motivational factors and challenges in ourselves and others. In that context, we will examine attribution errors and how we can practice seeing different perspectives. You will be challenged to address a motivation problem and apply the solutions we discussed.
Live Virtual Session: Application of the EPO model to different organizational situations, including your own, and discuss the motivation challenge you identified this week.
Title: Motivating Others for High Performance Part II
Independent Self-Study: Picks up from last week where we discussed the Effort-Performance-Outcome model, and you used it to diagnose a current personal challenge that you are facing motivating someone else. Of the three questions that people ask themselves to determine effort, you identified one or more where you thought the person might answer “no.” The challenge for this week is to turn these “no’s” into “yesses.” We will discuss topics associated with mobilizing others – setting goals, providing feedback, performance metrics, incentives and rewards, among others. We will link each of these topics to the specific question in the EPO model that it addresses. We’ll specifically address questions where you answered “no” in your personal challenge, because the strategies we discuss may help you turn this “no” into a yes. Additionally, we will discuss the “puppy theory” coined by Carol Barts, and examine the relationship between performance and rewards.
Live Virtual Session: Continued discussion of the EPO model and any solutions you’ve identified for your personal challenge.
Independent Self-Study: Our first topic is the power of your social network. Networks determine how likely you are to get hired and promoted and what information you can access. In short, through networks of relationships, leaders gain the knowledge they need to create a vision and the social capital to mobilize followers to enact the vision. Our second topic deals with the challenges of being a new leader. When a new leader enters the picture, that is a change. And what we know about change is that people don’t like it – they always prefer the status quo. So, the new leader’s challenge is to quickly overcome the natural anxiety in the room and effectively do the two things that leaders do: set a vision and mobilize followers. As our capstone exercise, you will spend some time thinking about how you would handle a role as a new leader.
Live Virtual Session: Discussion of networks and new leaders, including your takeaways from your network analysis, and an opportunity to volunteer to deliver your new leader speech. We will also review where we’ve been and develop action plans for where we are headed – taking the lessons from this course and incorporating them into our leadership plans going forward.