The Workplace Project on Leadership
This project focuses on a critical analysis of a leader’s style and provides recommendations on how to sustain or improve leadership effectiveness. The intent of this assignment is to give you the opportunity to interview someone you genuinely admire for their leadership skills and results. You should choose someone that is somehow related to your personal goals (e.g., someone in the industry you eventually hope to work in, someone holding a position that you someday aspire to). This is an excellent opportunity for you to learn first hand about why this person is a respected and successful leader. Furthermore, this project will allow you to learn more about “real” leaders’ traits, behaviours, and skills as they relate to leadership effectiveness. Your choice of questions and your analysis of responses in the interview must reflect the information covered throughout the course. The purpose of this assignment is to get you to see what practices, theories and philosophies a “real” leader uses.
STEP 1 Select a leader of your choice.
Collect background information for their organization (via annual reports, web and other sources).
STEP 2 Secure an interview appointment with the leader of your choice.
Let this person know in advance how long the interview might take, probably around an hour. Prepare your key questions prior to the meeting. A copy of your questions can be given to the organisation prior to your meeting.
Use course information to prepare your questions and then conduct the interview.
• How did you develop your leadership style? Did you have any role models or mentors?
• What is your education experience? In hindsight, was it helpful? In what specific ways?
• What was your previous work experience? Why did you select your current organisation?
• Were there any particular experiences that helped to shape your leadership style?
• How would you define leadership?
• What do you believe are the core characteristics of a successful leader?
• Do you have a vision for your organisation? Did your employees help you design it?
• How do you motivate people in your organisation?
• Do you change your leadership style based on the needs of the group or individuals you are working with?
• What are the most common mistakes that you see today’s managers make?
• What are the things that you find most personally rewarding and satisfying?
• What are the three most important leadership lessons you have learned?
• What are the three most important management lessons you have learned?
• Do you believe leaders are “born” or “made”?
STEP 3 Evaluate and analyse what you have learnt.
Based on what you learnt in this course what is your opinion of this person’s leadership philosophy and advice? There are a number of questions you can ask to help you make this evaluation and analysis:
Which leadership topic material, theory or construct is most closely related to your leader’s philosophy?
Does this leader’s “style” match what we are learning in this module about effective leadership or with your own leadership experiences? Explain in what way.
If there are inconsistencies between your leader’s philosophy or style and your understanding of leadership, does this person still contribute to your understanding of leadership? Explain in what way.
Your written assignment should focus on describing and evaluating the existing leadership vision, strategy, and leadership effectiveness in the organisation. Make recommendations for changes in the leadership dynamics to sustain growth and development in the organisation. Support your recommendations with theoretical frameworks and examples.
This task has been designed to allow students to demonstrate the skills and knowledge needed to undertake an analysis of practical leadership in order to determine the effectiveness of leadership in a specific firm. Students are also expected to provide specific recommendations and strategies to improve leadership effectiveness.
Your report will be assessed on the following:
Breadth and care of reading and research
Quality/originality of analysis/arguments/discussions (i.e., goes beyond basic course material)
Clarity and coherence of writing
Grammar and syntax
Use of relevant academic literature.
The expected minimum number of references for a PASS grade would be in the range of 10-15 items.
Your report must include:
A description of the organisation and the leader you have chosen to review,
A description of the leadership strategies operating in the organization,
An evaluation of the effectiveness of the leadership based on leadership theories and models discussed in the course,
Recommendations to improve or maintain the current situation to sustain leadership effectiveness in the organisation