5th Period Leadership Class

Leadership Class Course Syllabus

Instructor:  Marty Young

 

In this course students will become familiar with different ways of exercising leadership, their own strengths and weaknesses, and how they can best work with others in a leadership context. They will learn and apply leadership skills in a hands-on practical way that encourages them to challenge their own beliefs and assumptions about what constitutes leadership. This course offers a comprehensive review of contemporary issues and perspectives on leadership, including multidisciplinary and systems-oriented approaches as well as classic theory, moving to the examination of evolving contemporary beliefs. The emphasis is on application of concepts in actual leadership settings and situations. Topics include development of leadership theories, personal assessment and development, values and ethics, motivation, power, followership, group dynamics, multiculturalism in leadership, conflict resolution, performance excellence, and the change process. Through a process of readings, self-discovery, group observations, and case studies, the student will identify, observe, analyze, and apply new leadership behaviors. This course is based on the premise that each student will face a variety of leadership challenges in life. How these challenges are met, whether as a formal leader or a member of a team, can have a significant impact on an organization and on one's career. Learning more about leadership will help every student meet their leadership challenges.

The methodology followed by this course will be one of knowledge acquisition, practice, and reflection. The learning objectives are designed to give you insights into leadership theory and how it applies in real world contexts. Specifically, you will improve and address your skills in key areas of leadership, including change and innovation, reflection, collaboration, communication, conflict, and multi-cultural awareness.

 

Assignments:

I. Weekly exercises / homework / leadership reflection papers / case studies / participation:

Students will complete a one to two-page leadership reflection paper four times (12 point font, double-spaced, 1 inch margins) in which they critically reflect on some aspect of leadership that they have seen or participated in. The reflection paper could identify an aspect of the material we are covering for the week and/or a significant
learning point the student has experienced.

Assignments must be typed and turned in to the instructor on time. Class participation and discussion will be expected on all assignments, exercises, and topics as they are outlined in this syllabus. This course makes use of case studies to reinforce leadership theory and principles. The intent of the case method is to allow the student to compare theory to actual situations, and thus internalize the lessons of the case In general; case studies will be limited to one per week. Students will be expected to read and prepare for each case assigned. The instructor will make specific assignments for each case during the semester.

*Leadership reflection papers, simulations, case study discussion, and other participation will count for 20% of the grade for this class.

II. Critical Essay:

Option 1: Examine a famous leader applying concepts and theories explored in this course. Folow this outline: a.) Open your essay with an opening paragraph describing the leader and summarizing the leadership theory that you will be addressing. (Keep the background information very brief. This is not a biographical sketch.) b.) Name three specific leadership skills, three specific leadership behaviors and three specific leadership traits of this leader. c.)Name the leadership skill, leadership behavior and leadership trait that you think best explains the success of this leader, and explain why. d.) apply this leader's approach or style to one of the leadership theories discussed in this course. e.) Explain why this leadership style or approach has been successful for this leader and make logical arguments supporting your case. f.) Write a summarizing paragraph. Cite at least one direct quote from the Northouse textbook and one from the Kouzes textbook (include citation with page number). Direct quotes should be short (no more than one sentence) and should be noted with quotation marks. g.) Include at least one chart or table to explain a salient leadership point about this leader one that was created by you (the student) in this Critical Essay. Paper must be typed, double-spaced, 12 point font, 10-12 pages. (Page count does not include title page or reference list.) Use the description of this assignment to create an outline for this paper. Include an introductory and concluding paragraph. This Critical Essay will count for 25% of the course grade.

Option 2: Recent unfortunate events in Charleston, SC have given rise to a controversy over the legitimacy of government sponsored display of the Confederate battle flag. Some have decried the flag as a blatant symbol of racial hatred, while others argue that the flag is a symbol of southern heritage. You are a recently elected public official in a southern state and feel strongly that your state should not sanction the display of the flag and should enact legislative measures that would remove it from public display. Examine this issue applying concepts and theories explored in this course. Follow this outline: a.) Open your essay with an opening paragraph describing you as a leader in this context and summarizing the leadership theory (ies) that you will be addressing. b.) Name three specific leadership skills, three specific leadership behaviors and three specific leadership traits (and why) that you will need to employ in order to successfully address this issue. c.) Name the leadership skill, leadership behavior and leadership trait that you think will best explains your success, and explain why. d.) apply your approach or style to one of the leadership theories discussed in this course. e.) Explain why this leadership style or approach will be successful for you and make logical arguments supporting your case. f.) Write a summarizing paragraph. Cite at least one direct quote from the Northouse textbook and one from the Kouzes textbook (include citation with page number). Direct quotes should be short (no more than one sentence) and should be noted with quotation
marks. g.) Include at least one chart or table to explain a salient leadership point about your approach — one that was created by you (the student) — in this Critical Essay. Paper must be typed, double-spaced, 12-point font, 10-12 pages. (Page count does not include title page or reference list.) Use the description of this assignment to create an outline for this paper. Include an introductory and concluding paragraph. This Critical Essay will count for 25% of the course grade.
 

III. Comprehensive Exam:

The course will include a Comprehensive Examination. This exam will cover material the entire semester.  It will test the students' understanding of the theoretical aspects of leadership and their ability to apply these theories in practical situations. This Comprehensive Exam will be worth 20% of the students' final grade.

IV. Group Project:

Each group will be responsible for developing, designing, and presenting a leadership workshop. Each group will select a topic or skill that they wish to instruct the class in and will run the workshop during one of the class periods.  The workshop should take 20 minutes to complete, with time for critique and de-brief after the workshop. The workshop should follow the same format as the methodology for the class (theory, experience, reflection/feedback), although the order may be different depending on the intent of the workshop. Each group can use the medium of their choice to communicate
the content and deliver the learning outcomes. A suggested format for the workshop includes:

  • Subject
  • Why Important
  • Key Learning Objectives
  • Exercise or Learning Opportunity

All workshops should be self-contained and not require any outside reading by the rest of the class. They should be of a format that allows them to start and finish within the timeframe of one-half class period, and they must take place in the classroom. Groups will provide the instructor with a 3-4-page paper citing the importance of this topic to leadership, why it was chosen, what real-world problems it could likely address, and how you might go about introducing this concept or technique in a large organization.

The importance of participation in this group assignment cannot be over-stated. This interaction provides the basis for several assessments and learning opportunities about teamwork and collaboration that are not replicated elsewhere in the course. These classroom workshops will be scheduled during the semester. The instructor and TA will be available for coaching each team regarding their presentation. The workshop is worth 15% of your final grade.

V.  Grading:

 

100-95.5 = A (4.50) 82.49-79.5 = B- (3.25) 69.49-66.5 = D+ (1.75)

95.49-89.5 = A- (4.25) 79.49-76.5 = C+ (2.75) 66.49-62.5 = D (1.50)

89.49-89.5 = B+ (3.75) 76.49-72.5 = C (2.50) 62.49-59.5 = D- (1.25)

86.49-82.5 = B  (3.50) 72.49-69.5 = C- (2.25) 59.49 & Below=F (0.00)

VI.  Grading Criteria:

The grading criteria for this course will be as follows:

  • Participation/Attendance/Leadership Reflection Papers 40%
  • Critical Essay 25%
  • Comprehensive Exam 20%
  • Group Project 15%

Class participation will be evaluated upon the basis of class attendance, informed discussion, evidence of preparation for class, reflection essays, and active participation in class activities. Participation points cannot be earned when absent from class. You can have 3 unexcused absences without penalty. 

 

VI.  Questions for Leadership Dialogues and Reflection: 

 

1. Is leadership a specialized role within an office, department, team or other group, OR is it a shared influence process that occurs naturally within a social system and is diffused within any members?

2. Is leadership more of a cognitive, rational process OR do the emotional and value-based aspects of leadership account for more of the influence process of leadership?

3. Should all good managers be good leaders OR are these two roles incompatible with one another?

4. Is the effectiveness of the leader measured more by the effectiveness of the group OR is it more connected to the advancement of the leader?

5. Pick any one of the following approaches and argue that it is more useful in defining, describing and explaining leadership than the other approaches: trait, behavior, power, situational, OR contingency approach.

6. Pick any one of these levels of conceptualizing leadership and argue that it is the most important and useful for defining, describing and explaining leadership: intra-individual, dyadic, group, OR organizational.

7. Does a universal theory of leadership exist that applies to all leadership situations OR do some aspects of leadership apply to some situations but not to others?

8. Should leadership decisions be made in more of a top-down formal process OR should decisions be based on a bottom-up political process?

9. Does leadership style remain fixed for leaders OR do the effective leaders change their leadership approach depending on the situation?

10. Is it more important for the leader to focus on building friendly, supportive and consultative relationships with their followers OR is it more important for the leader to initiate organizational structure, maintain standards of performance, and insure that followers are following policies and procedures?

11. Which is more important to leader: the relationship with the followers OR getting the job (task) done?

12. Are certain leadership traits optimal for all situations OR do different situations require different attributes?

13. Pick one of the two orientations — task OR relationship — and argue that it is the most important orientation for leaders.

14. The most important measure of a leader is the performance of the followers OR leaders are most effective when their followers are satisfied?

15. Which of these three elements of leadership is most important: goal achievement, smooth internal processes OR external adaptability?

16. Leadership approaches should OR should not vary according to the ethnic culture of the followers?

17. Pick one of Hofstede's five cultural dimensions and argue that it explains the most important cultural distinction between the USA and most other countries around the world.

18. Which is most important for organizational effectiveness: that the organization has transactional OR transformational leadership?

19. The leader is the most important factor in determining the outcome of the group’s performance OR the followers are more likely to determine the outcome of the group's performance.

20. The most important leadership trait is integrity OR competence?

21. Women tend to have a distinct leadership style, with more attention on the relationship, OR once women rise to the level of senior leadership, they take on more qualities of men?

 

VII.  Written Assignment Policy:

ALL PAPERS SHOULD BE SUBMITTED IN PDF FORMAT.
Papers in this class should use 12-point, Times New Roman font, one-inch margins, double spacing, and page numbers at bottom of each page. Papers should use an explicit outline based on the description of the assignment in this syllabus and in-class instructions. Reference lists (required) and title pages (optional) do not count toward page count. Quotes in written assignments should include authors' name(s) and year of publication (in parenthesis), but not the titles of articles or name of publication within the text of the paper (those go into the reference list). Direct quotes should be noted with quotation marks and should be short and to the point. Indirect quotes or paraphrasing ideas of authors is encouraged but should be noted by referencing the author's name and year of publication of the source (in parenthesis) somewhere in the beginning, middle or end of the sentence. Reference lists should be included at the end of each written assignment.

ALL PAPERS SHOULD BE SUBMITTED IN PDF FORMAT.