Executive Leadership and Change Courses

Executive Leadership and Change Courses


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, writing projects to establish a personal mission statement, use of a reflective "leadership log" 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 the Osborn-Parnes 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, and 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,experiential activities, 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-makingprocesses. 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 opportunities 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 reflects 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 paper 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)

Students experience a leadership immersion in an organizational setting. Through this experience they gain an appreciation for and an understanding of the leadership processes of empowerment, collaboration, strategy, and dialogue; this occurs in an organizational context providing students the experience of understanding the internal and external forces that create change and transform organizations, communities, and systems. Emphasis is given to understanding the processes of leadership focusing on individual and group development, social capital, strategy, organizational mission, vision, and values, structures of collaboration, problem solving and dialogue. For this course, the student will work individually to become knowledgeable about an agency, business, or community group (identified below as practice setting). The student will apply action research methods to become knowledgeable about the practice setting. By spending time with various leaders within the practice setting, the student will become increasingly sensitive to the culture of the practice setting. Collaborating with their organizational host the student will identify a goal/problem within the practice setting and develop a mini-project. Drawing on foundational theories relating to organizational behavior, leadership style, decision-making, and problem solving, the student will become familiar with the communication and decision making mechanisms already in place at the practice setting to develop and or enhance the organization's competitive advantage. The remainder of the course will be spent on activating appropriate resources to meet mutually agreed upon goals. Upon completion of this course, students will be well prepared based on "best practices" and theoretical leadership foundation knowledge acquired in the program to undertake leadership roles/positions in various organizations, agencies, communities, businesses/international corporations, or Non-Governmental Organizations. 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 are 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 are also examined to evaluate profitability, liquidity and solvency of organizations. An additional component of the course addresses the changing nature of the market place and explores 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 statistical analysis and financial modeling. Prerequisites: Majors only. Offered Spring (Tuesday nights) and Fall (Wednesday nights). (GR)

LEAF 525: Leadership in Higher Education (3)

This course offers a critical examination of leadership within the context of 21st century higher education, with a focus on trends, issues, challenges, and competencies influencing the effective practice of leadership in local, regional and U.S. colleges and universities. Beginning with a brief history and the theoretical foundations of higher education in the United States, the course further explores leadership models and approaches, as well as content in a variety of topic areas related to the leadership and management of higher education institutions including: organizational administration and governance; finance; strategic planning; community and government relations; student affairs; and ethics and diversity. The course is presented in seminar format and involves a variety of written, Web-enhanced (Blackboard), oral assignments, and classroom activities. These include individual and group work, presentations, discussions, lecture, and guest speakers. For the final project, students develop a leadership plan for the effective administration and management of a college/ university division or department. Prerequisite: Majors only. Offered Spring (Tuesday and/or 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, segment analysis, strategic business units, 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, computer assignments, 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/or Wednesday nights combined cohorts). (GR)

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

This course expands on the student's understanding of Leadership Theory by applying the theories within the context of Not-for-Profit (NFP) organizations. Students have the opportunity to learn about the unique aspects of leadership within the NFP sector through "Guest Speakers" from the sector. The course engages students in the exploration of complex system issues such as the role and impact of the Non-Profit Board of Directors, budgetary constraints and the impact of governmental regulation and funding guidelines. Students are challenged to study these complex issues within the context of the over-arching responsibility of the non-profit leader to deliver on the organizational mission while maintaining fiscal viability and sustainability. The course also explores the theory and practice of community-based change. Within this exploration, students consider the level of community engagement necessary for a successful change strategy, the decision-making processes that ensure buy-in and engagement and the strategies to ensure that the different priorities of various stakeholders are considered in the final decision. Teaching methods include: lecture; guest speaker presentations; case studies; interviews with non-profit leaders and small group projects. Prerequisites: Majors only. Offered spring (Tuesday and/or Wednesday combined cohorts). (GR)

LEAF 528: Leadership in Health Care Organizations (3)

This course focuses on the integration of new knowledge, professional leadership practices, critical thinking and experiential reflection to promote an understanding of the role of leadership in healthcare environments. This course also focuses on the integration of course content from preceding LEAF classes. It promotes discussions of leadership challenges in healthcare and the implementation of evidence-based approaches to developing leadership capacity. The course explores leadership theories, and competencies that promote authentic behavior at all leadership levels. Emphasis is placed on the unique, complex systems within healthcare and those forces (both internal and external) that impact the decisions of healthcare leaders. The course examines healthy work environments, labor/management relationships, risk management practices, budgetary analysis, regulatory influences and diversity in the workplace. The course is designed for students preparing to assume the role and duties of a leader, manager, supervisor, officer or governing board member of a healthcare organization. Teaching methods include lecture, computer-based assignments, case studies, discourse on current events, special projects and presentations. Prerequisite: Majors only. Offered Spring (Tuesday and/or 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 orchestrating organizational change and in delivering the results required for long-term sustainability. Change is examined at three levels - from the perspective of the individual leader, the impact of change on groups as well as on the organization. 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 are 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 Summer (Tuesday nights) and Fall (Wednesday nights). (GR)

LEAF 530: Modeling, Branding and Marketing Your Leadership (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 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 explore projects/thesis topics, and to examine practical and 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 their individual creative potential, the creative potential within their colleagues and how human creative potential extends into organizations. Students gain an appreciation for and understanding of different strategies and tools that help foster creative potential in others. 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)