Executive Leadership and Change Courses

Leadership

LEAF 500: Organizational Leadership and Self Development (3)

Drawing on material from various social science disciplines, this integrative course focuses on the research and models of leadership relevant to defining and achieving collective goals in a variety of organizational settings.Students explore the relationship between personality style and effective behaviors of the socially responsible leader. This course follows the historical development of leadership theory and examines multiple leadership models with their associated strengths and criticisms. Personal assessments are used to promote a broad understanding of leadership in an ethical context. Topics include personality theory, leadership style, including transactional leadership, path goal, contingency and trait approach theories, transformational leadership, leader-member exchange, holistic, servant, and social change models. Also covered are theories of group development, motivation, power, authority, disclosure and feedback. Approaches include diagnostic instruments for self and others, role-plays, case studies, a writing project to establish a personal mission statement, and formulating strategies for balancing work and personal goals. The Leadership Portfolio is introduced. Prerequisite: Majors only or permission of instructor. Offered Fall (Wednesday nights) and Spring (Tuesday nights). (GR)

LEAF 501: Critical Thinking, Creative Problem Solving, and Decision Making: Methods of Organization Research (3)

The main goal of this course is to provide students with balanced, differentiated thinking skills and facilitation tools necessary for effective problem solving and decision-making. The course is based on a model of creative problem solving and decision-making, originating in Buffalo, which unites a firm understanding of various problem solving methodologies with deliberate creative and critical thinking skills. The course includes the study of the inquiry process appropriate to investigation of organizational climate and group behavior. Topics include divergent, convergent and systems thinking, facilitation, collecting and processing information, clarifying core issues, weighing multiple potential solutions, developing and implementing an action plan. The organizational processes and skills practiced include identifying complex challenges, data collection, ideation, forecasting, decision-making under uncertainty, and communicating or implementing results. Teaching methods include lecture, computer assignments, case studies, and projects. Also, "scientific" ways of knowing will be contrasted with more intuitively based decision-making processes, demonstrating the importance of both in making ethical and personal leadership decisions. During this course, students will be encouraged to apply methodologies to their own experiences, and will engage in facilitation projects designed to allow them to use various methods to aid in the discovery of their own leadership decision-making processes. Prerequisite: Majors only. Offered Fall (Wednesday nights) and Spring (Tuesday nights). (GR)

LEAF 502: Leadership and Organizational Ethics, Values and Social Environment (3)

Effective leadership encompasses the ability to understand, rationalize and apply ethical principles in the decision making process. This course focuses on the influence that sound moral reasoning has in achieving appropriate parameters of conduct that benefits the individual, the institution as well as the larger community. Class lectures are forged around a participatory process wherein each student is required to present an in depth analysis of ethical issues common in everyday activities. Through the use of selective material and reading, core ethical dilemmas are explored for the purpose of assisting the student in recognizing the pervasiveness of ethics in our quest for effective leadership. Prerequisite: Majors only. Offered Spring (Wednesday nights) and Summer (Tuesday nights). (GR)

LEAF 513: Developing Leadership Skills: One-on- One Leadership, Conflict Management, and Team Building (3)

This course explores challenges and possibilities for effective leadership at three levels - the individual (both self and those being engaged in one-on-one interactions), the group or team, and the organization or system as a whole. Topics include systems thinking, coaching and feedback, the use and application of standardized assessment tools (including a 360 degree instrument), organizational theory, conflict management, emotional intelligence, leadership styles and team development. The emphasis throughout the course is on the practical application of leadership theories and models; participants are encouraged and supported in making connections with their real worlds of work, past, present and future. Significant in-class time of the course is used as a learning laboratory to explore various concepts around the self and team leadership. This includes collaboratively setting up a self-directing team and delivering a product to a defined customer. The context for the exploration of leadership at the three levels in LEAF 513 is the inherent complexity of organizations and organizational life, and the critical role of the leader in the organization's achievement of results and long-term sustainability. Learning methodologies include personal reflection and sharing of experiences, action learning, a written project and presentation, completion of leadership/learning log and extensive reading and dialogue. Prerequisite: Majors only. Offered Spring (Wednesday nights) and Summer (Tuesday nights). (GR)

LEAF 514: Leadership and Community: Empowerment, Collaboration, and Dialogue (3)

Through leadership immersion, an appreciation for and an understanding of the leadership processes of empowerment, collaboration, and dialogue in the context of creating and transforming community is obtained. Emphasis is given to understanding individual and group development, structures of collaboration and dialogue, and leadership that is oriented toward process rather than product. For this course, the student may work individually or within a small group to become knowledgeable about an agency or community group (identified below as practice setting), identify a goal/problem within the practice setting, and activate appropriate resources relating to the accomplishment of the goal or the solving of the problem. The student will apply action research methods to become knowledgeable about the practice setting. By spending time in a variety of positions within the practice setting, the student will become increasingly sensitive to the culture of the agency (or community group). Drawing on foundational theories relating to leadership style, decision-making and problem solving, the student will become familiar with the problem solving mechanisms already in place at the practice setting. Applying theories of group dynamics and strategies for negotiation, the student will work with pivotal people to develop a mini-project. The remainder of the course will be spent on activating appropriate resources to meet mutually agreed upon goals. Prerequisite: Majors only. Offered Summer (Wednesday nights) and Fall (Tuesday nights) (GR)

LEAF 515: The Business of Leadership: Financial, Organizational and Cultural (3)

This course examines financial administrative tools and leadership techniques as they apply to a variety of organizations. Financial accounting and financial reporting concepts will be introduced as important analysis and planning tools. The course covers the basic financial statements including the balance sheet, income statement, cash flow statement and notes to financial statements. Analytical procedures, budgeting cost concepts and ratio analysis will also be examined to evaluate profitability, liquidity and solvency of organizations. An additional component of the course will address the changing nature of the market place and explore the implications and ramifications for leadership. Cultural considerations are woven through the managerial topics of planning and organizing for domestic and global organizations. This course includes common business processes and skills, such as innovative problem solving, negotiation, and effective presentations. Teaching methods include role-plays, discussions, case studies, readings, and experimental exercises. Prerequisites: Majors only. Offered Spring (Tuesday nights) and Fall (Wednesday nights). (GR)

LEAF 525: Leadership in Higher Education (3)

This course focuses on a variety of topics of importance to leaders in higher education. It encourages examination of the leadership demands specific to the higher education environment as well as personal application of these concepts. Common processes and skills studied are diversity and ethics, student development theory, governance, internal and external forces that impact higher education leaders, and strategic planning. Teaching methods include lecture, computer assignments, case studies, and projects, illuminating the different factors involved in leadership in a higher education organization. This course will include a variety of guest speakers from local universities. Prerequisite: Majors only. Offered Spring (Tuesday and Wednesday nights combined cohorts). (GR)

LEAF 526: Leadership in Business (3)

This course focuses on synthesizing the study of ethical and creative leadership into the context of business organizations. The course encourages examination of the leadership demands specific to the business environment as well as personal application of these concepts. Common business process and skills studied are financial statement analysis, strategic business units, the balance scorecard, budgeting, enterprise resource planning and acquisition analysis. Special attention is given to the legal and ethical context in the practice of interviewing, selecting, training, promoting, and terminating employees. Teaching methods include lecture, computer assignments, case studies, and projects, illuminating the different and often-conflicting factors involved in incorporating financial data in visionary decision-making. Prerequisite: Majors only. Offered Spring (Tuesday and Wednesday nights combined cohorts). (GR)

LEAF 527: Leadership in Non-Profit Organizations and Community-Based Change (3)

This course focuses on distinguishing the unique leadership skills and information sets necessary when leading within the not-for-profit (NFP) organizational context. This course explores theory and investigates specific methods and behaviors of successful leaders in the NFP sector. Specific emphasis is placed on complex system issues such as the impact of a NFP board governance structure, budgetary and labor related constraints balanced through the lens of ethical decision making and balancing purpose and mission with financial prudency. The course will also investigate the theory and practice of community-based change. In this exploration the course will consider the level of community engagement needed in the change process, the decision-making processes used to ensure buy-in, the necessity for the organization(non-profit)to balance the organization's needs and priorities with the community's expressed needs and priorities and examples of such community-based change strategies. Social entrepreneurship is introduced. Teaching methods include lecture, computer assignments, current topics, case studies, and projects. Prerequisite: Majors only. Offered Spring (Tuesday and Wednesday nights combined cohorts). (GR)

LEAF 528: Leadership in Health Care Organizations (3)

This course focuses on synthesizing the study of ethical and creative leadership into the context of business organizations. The course encourages examination of the leadership demands specific to the business environment as well as personal application of these concepts. Common business processes and skills studied are financial statement analysis, segment analysis, strategic business units, the balance scorecard, budgeting, enterprise resource planning and acquisition analysis. Demonstrated application of these approaches will be assessed through a strategic business and leadership plan. Special attention is given to the legal and ethical context in the practice of interviewing, selecting, training, promoting, and terminating employees. Teaching methods include lecture, case studies, research and projects, illuminating the different and often-conflicting factors involved in incorporating financial data in visionary decision-making. Prerequisite: Majors only. Offered Spring (Tuesday and Wednesday nights combined cohorts). (GR)

LEAF 529: Transformational Leadership and Organizational Change (3)

This course examines, in both theoretical and practical terms, the process of organizational change and the critical role that effective self leadership plays in successfully bringing it about and delivering the results required for long-term sustainability. Change is examined at two levels, that of the organizational and also from the perspective of the individuals who are leading or impacted by the change. Topics include the organization as a system, patterns of relationships in a hierarchical organization, how individuals create reality through personal frames of reference, Appreciative Inquiry, resistance to change, change as transition, transformational leadership, the change leader's habits and tactics, and change as a structured process. Throughout the course the participants will be encouraged to translate the course content to their work experience, both past and future, and to bring their work experience to the course. Learning methodologies include personal reflection and sharing of experiences, case studies, a written project and presentation, completion of leadership/learning log and extensive reading and dialogue. Prerequisite: Majors only. Offered Spring (Tuesday nights) and Fall (Wednesday nights). (GR)

LEAF 530: Customers, Stakeholders and Markets (3)

This course focuses on the individual as a leader and helps build understanding of the value the individual leader brings to his/her professional and personal arenas including how the leader is perceived by stakeholders and customers. Students examine the key elements of positioning, branding and marketing as well as the economic and motivational drivers in markets. Students refine their vision and mission statements and explore their uniqueness as leaders. They determine the market position of themselves as leaders and how their value proposition supports effective leadership and can serve as a leadership tool. Students develop their individual leadership brands and models and use the principles and practices of marketing to develop their individual leadership marketing plan. Learning methodologies include action learning, case and article analysis, personal reflection, and presentation. Prerequisite: Majors only. Offered Fall (Tuesday nights) Summer (Wednesday nights). (GR)

LEAF 540: Research Project/Thesis in Executive Leadership and Change I (3)

This course is the first of two courses that focus on research. This course prefaces LEAF 541. In this course, students will develop a project or thesis through independent study that entails research conducted under the supervision of a faculty member in an area of mutual interest to the student and the faculty member. Student assignments incorporate the collecting and processing of information, statistical inference, risk analysis, qualitative methodologies, and information technology. The course affords an opportunity to study a specific organizational problem or to institute an organizational change. In the second course, LEAF 541, students will design a new project or complete their thesis. Both courses afford students an opportunity to study and approach a specific organizational problem or to institute an organizational change. Both courses are offered in seminar fashion with an opportunity to not only explore your projects/thesis topics, but also to examine practical & timely leadership issues. Prerequisite: Majors only. Offered Summer (Wednesday nights) and Fall (Tuesday nights). (GR)

LEAF 541: Research Project/Thesis in Executive Leadership and Change II (3)

The second section of the research project/thesis consists of completing the thesis or identifying an independent project that entails research and leadership conducted under the supervision of a faculty member in an area of mutual interest to the student and the faculty member. Research support includes collecting and processing information, statistical inference, risk analysis, and information technology. The course affords an opportunity to study and approach a specific organizational problem or to institute an organizational change. While it is expected that LEAF 541 will be completed within the term of enrollment, the course automatically extends one semester to allow completion of the project/thesis. Prerequisite: LEAF 540.Offered Spring (Wednesday nights) and Summer (Tuesday nights). (GR)

LEAF 545: Research Guidance (1)

This research guidance course is intended for students finishing their research projects or thesis. Guidance will be provided in the final writing and analysis of student's research activity. This course may be taken up to three times for credit. Prerequisites: Prior enrollment in LEAF540 and LEAF541. Offered as Needed. (GR)

LEAF 560: Capstone Course in Leadership (3)

This is the concluding integrative course of the leadership program. There are three important components of this capstone experience. First is the finalization and testing of each student's personalized model for their on-going leadership. Secondly, peer evaluation and discussion of the thesis or research projects under the direction of the seminar leader takes place. Finally, students present their leadership portfolio reflecting on their development and growth as a leader of change. The course helps individuals develop a renewed sense of self and learn how to foster the development of self-confidence and leadership competence. Individuals assess their core values and finalize a strategic personal leadership plan including a vision and mission statement, to be included in their leadership portfolio. The course helps participants focus attention on the creative potential of within them, in their colleagues and organizations. Appreciation for and understanding of different strategies and tools for fostering such developments in others is explored. Teaching methods include student presentation and simulations. As part of the second part of the course, students will be exposed to the concepts of leadership development, personal growth, leading with soul, managing stress and self-management, working effectively with people, organizational and personal change. Prerequisite: Majors only. Offered Fall (Tuesday nights) Summer (Wednesday nights). (GR)

LEAF 597: Independent Study in Executive Leadership Studies (1 - 6)

This independent study entails research conducted under the supervision of a faculty member in an area of mutual interest to the student and faculty member. The course affords an opportunity to study a specific organizational problem or area of interest. Prerequisite: Majors only. Offered by special arrangement. (GR)