Turning Visions in to Deeds from Alverno College

Alverno College
Kathleen A. O'Brien Professor and Academic Dean Alverno College 3250
South 43rd Street Milwaukee, WI 53219 (414) 382-6084 [email protected]
Women and Leadership: Turning Visions into Deeds Educational Level: Undergraduate Department: Business and Management
Format: Weekend college Stand Alone OVERVIEW
Leadership is generally defined as the process of influencing others to achieve goals.
The scholarly pursuit of what leadership is and what makes leaders effective is
marked by a multiplicity of theories and perspectives concerning the process and its
outcome Also, because many leadership roles in business, government, education,
church, and other segments of society have been held primarily by men, models of
successful leadership styles may nor seem appropriate or accessible to women. You
will explore these issues to develop your own synthesis and definition of effective
leadership in various contexts. You will also take on one or more leadership roles
that are atypical for you and demonstrate your developing ability to work toward
die solution of a professional or social problem.
The major activities in this class involve reading selected literature on leadership
and synthesizing it to derive a model of effective leadership that is meaningful in a
given context, observing leaders in action and interpreting their behavior, selfassessing one’s own potential as a leader based on self and peer observations, and
taking on self-selected leadership roles in a group situation. These activities are
aimed at developing the following course goals. Generic criteria are described to
provide you with a more descriptive picture of what is expected in this course.
Goal 1. Synthesize literature on leadership and formulate profile of effective
leadership in different contexts · Accurately identify leadership behavior
embedded in specific organizational context. · Use leadership terminology and
concepts correctly. · Use specific examples from leader's behavior to support your
interpretation of effectiveness. · Identify contextual elements that may have an
impact on leader effectiveness. · Select appropriate leadership concepts or
frameworks to analyze or explain leadership style and effectiveness.
Goal 2. Commit yourself to an ongoing program of leadership development (selfassessment). · Identify one's own traits that may affect leadership style. ·
Accurately observe self in action in leadership situation. · Identify elements in
leadership situation that have or may have impact on effectiveness. · Make
connections between context and effectiveness. · Accurately use appropriate
leadership concepts, principles, frameworks to analyze and explain what might have
or has happened. · Show growing ability to accurately self-assess one's leadership
approach in a particular situation. · Develop a plan for leadership growth based
on self-assessment.
Goal 3. Demonstrate capacity to take on the formal or informal leadership function
of a group, exhibiting new leadership characteristics and abilities
General Criteria for Evaluating Effectiveness of Leadership in Group ·
Demonstrate proactive behavior through negotiation, mediation, and persuasion
adapted to intragroup and interpersonal situations directed by goals consistent with
personal and organizational values. · Effectively and accurately evaluate and
interpret cultures of complex organizations showing confidence in planning and
conducting diverse negotiations and leadership of an overall group/organizational
vision. · Demonstrate understanding of competing influences of personal and
group goals/values. · Recognize the importance of concern for group members, as
well as the task in carrying our leadership responsibility. · Deal effectively with
both formal and informal networks of communication. · Structure data, resources,
environment toward goal achievement. · Interact effectively with people and with
cultural diversity at various levels of organizational structure (e.g., team members,
peers, superiors). · Recognize and assume leadership behavior appropriate to the
situation. · Demonstrate commitment, acceptance of responsibility, and adequate
preparation for all aspects of leadership role. · Willingly accept feedback from
others and follow through on suggestions for improvement.
· Activity-peer assessment of individual portfolios. · Teams prepare presentations
on women interviewees. Assignments: · Finish group interview project and
prepare for final class presentations.
Can I synthesize what I have learned about leadership and communicate it clearly
to others? Do I understand my potentialities as a leader? In-class activities: ·
Team presentations of interviews. · Panel of women leaders (if possible) ·
Summing it all up.