Leadership Literacy had a profound impact upon my perspective as a leader and a follower. Our materials (Northouse, Chaleff, Bolman and Deal) were enlightening and relevant. A new understanding of what makes a leader authentic; what it means to be a courageous follower; and how the leadership frameworks need to come together to build a positive and robust organizational structure is established and embraced here. The tools and concepts fortified my abilities to lead (and follow) with purpose. I found the extensive annotated bibliography activity useful and very much appreciate the synthesis chart tool, which has simplified and organized my resources.
The following is a synopsis of the course’s leadership outcomes and a small example of how each segment impacted my life and how it can enhance my future.
Evaluate leader-centric leadership paradigms
Discussion Post Dialogue, Week 2: Comment on how the foci for understanding situational, path-goal, and leader-member exchange models challenges or adds to the way you previously thought about leadership in your organization.
Rationale & Impact
This discussion post explains the leader centric paradigms: situational, path-goal, and leader-member. Each paradigm is defined, applied and both strengths and weaknesses are identified. As stated in the discussion post I can enhance my knowledge of leadership with these theories. I hope to be able to use bits and pieces from all that I learn here to apply to some organizational training. These new management theories focus on the premises that leaders can lead better if their follower’s needs are satisfied. Leadership theories work differently, each based on its own unique lens and attitude of the surrounding environment.
Evaluate value or culture-centric leadership paradigms
Discussion A, Week 4: After reflecting on the content of chapter 14, do you see ways that gender affects leadership style in your workplace?
Rationale & Impact
As a woman leader/follower in the American workforce, I can relate very well to gender issues. As noted in the above discussion post, Northouse enlightened me to the fact that I am part of the problem because I am assimilating to the stereo type awarded me versus countering it. Assimilation is a common psychological effect of bias upon people, especially those with low self-esteem. When I realized I was assimilating I made a change. Clearly this culture centric paradigm is part of my reality professionally and personally. I understand gender in leadership issues all to well, better than I would like to admit. In addition to gender in leadership, other culture-centric areas Northouse discussed were: Transactional, Transformational, Pseudotransformational Team Leadership and Ethics in Leadership. Transactional is contractual management. Transformational Leadership occurs when one or more people engage with others in such a way that leaders and followers raise one another higher levels of motivation and morality.
Pseudotransformational Leadership is personalized leadership. Team leadership obviously focuses on the team and it also provides answers to what constitutes excellent teams. It also provides a cognitive guide that assists leaders in designing and maintaining effective teams; recognizes the changing role of leaders and followers in organizations and can be used as a tool in group leader selection. I am a big fan of both team leadership and transformational leadership and use both in my leadership role. I build strong teams that work effectively together, autonomously and I only need to intervene if there’s an issue or guidance is needed. It’s very “hands-off” and followers are given the responsibility to act on their own. I am also a fan of ethics in leadership and follow core values when leading and making decisions.
Analyze the role of followership in values-based leadership
Dialogue Post, Week 5: Consider the clearly articulated purpose(s) of your organization. How can these purposes provide guidance for leader-follower relationships?
Rationale & Impact
The above discussion post analyzes my role as a follower in my organization in terms of values-based leadership. We have guiding values which we all share and live by and we also have a guiding spirit which defines our values-based culture. We review both documents at each staff retreat and have ongoing conversations of our mission and values. I’ve also worked in environments where shared values were not lived and not discussed, only written and forgotten. As Chaleff has taught me, I, as a follower have a responsibility to support or challenge the leader who is or is not living organizational values. Courageous followership was a new concept for me in theory, but I have experienced having to make a decision to leave a leader who did not uphold the values in which he professed. Reading Chaleff was new and refreshing and at the same time validating. I am now able to articulate past experiences from the perspective of a courageous follower.
Evaluate and apply leadership frames to organizational problems
Dialogue Post Week Seven: For your discussion post, evaluate the effectiveness of the structural frame in meeting the current needs of your organization. Identify what you believe to be the top needs of your organization. Analyze the extent to which the structural frame can provide insights and applications for those needs.
Collaboration Post Week Seven: Identify top organizational needs – including needs you may have realized after your post for 7-A . After identifying those needs, discuss how the human resource frame might meet those needs.
Dialogue Post Week Eight: Search the internet for a case example of the political frame at work in an organization. Post a summary of that example, along with a link to the case. Evaluate how well the political frame was used in that case example, and extrapolate applications for your current workplace.
Collaboration Post Week Eight: Search the internet for a case example of the symbolic frame at work in an organization. Post a summary of that example, along with a link to the case. Evaluate how well the symbolic frame was used in that case example, and extrapolate applications for your current workplace.
Rationale & Impact
These discussion posts include analysis and application of all four of Bolman and Deal’s leadership frames: structural, HR, political and symbolic. To save space I posted only one of the posts. However, all posts show my knowledge of the frames by discussing each and how each is used or not used in my organization. My least favorite is the political frame because it lacks an ethical recourse. My favorite is the symbolic frame. All frames are important, however, many organizations do not put enough focus on the symbolic frame and this is detrimental. Culture is vital and cannot be overlooked. Another frame Bolman and Deal do not discuss is the moral frame. They need to add it to their next edition. The moral frame is vital as well and deserves to be explored.
Create a personal and organizational leadership approach based on evaluated theory and tools
Collaboration Post, Week Nine: Describe how you can continue to study and apply the leadership resource that you identified in post 9-A. Since reinforcement and accountability are a critical part of any development plan, explain how you will both reinforce and hold yourself accountable to continue learning an applying that resource.
Rationale & Impact
The above artifact displays the concepts of Leadership Literacy that most impacted me and my strategy for applying the concepts personally and professionally going forward. The plan is designed with all of the important concepts in mind and focuses on the transformational style. It also addresses gender issues by including diversity for robust talent acquisition and team/HR focus with mutual support and trust being key.
To conclude this sample of learning outcomes for Leadership Literacy, I want to express my gratitude for my classmates and their supportive and thoughtful input, and to Dr. Robert McManus for his leadership and active participation on the discussion boards; he challenged us all to dig deeper and reach farther. I can only speak to short-term at the moment yet I know positive outcomes await my classmates and I as we are now better prepared to go out into the world and affect positive change as leaders.