What Makes Great Leaders Great?

Day of Week: Thursday
Course Length: 10 weeks
Starting: 09/14/2023
Ending: 11/30/2023
Period of Day: Period 3 Zoom
Time: 2:15 - 3:45
Course Fee: $100

Course Description:

What kinds of people are drawn to leadership roles? What motivates these people? What skills and personal traits do they need in order to be effective as leaders? How do leadership experiences from childhood through adulthood prepare a person for a major leadership roles later on? What are the special challenges of being the CEO of a business? What are the challenges of being effective as President of the United States?

We will draw on the work of biographers, psychologists, and consultants who have observed, interviewed, and studied leaders. We will also ask class participants about their relevant experience with leaders.

We will pay special attention to the role of U. S. Presidents. What does it take to get elected and to be effective as President? We will draw on the work of Doris Kearns Goodwin, a historian who has analyzed the careers and administrations of four of our most effective U.S. Presidents: Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt, and Lyndon Johnson.

We will consider how the role of the role of business CEOs and general managers affects the motivation, skills and strategies that they need for effectiveness.  Finally, we will present and discuss information about the early lives and careers of a variety of other leaders, such as Angela Merkel, Golda Meier, Jack Welch, Bill Gates, and Martin Luther King.

The classes will include some lectures and videos, but the majority of time will be devoted to class discussion.  Weekly preparation time should be 1 ½ -2 hours.

Books and Other Resources:

Leadership in Turbulent Times, by Doris Kearns Goodwin. (REQUIRED)

Power is the Great Motivator, by David C. McClelland and David H. Burnham. (Harvard Business Review article). (REQUIRED)

John P. Kotter on What Leaders Really Do, by John P. Kotter (RECOMMENDED)

Course Leader Bio(s)

Mary and Richard Mansfield

Richard and Mary Mansfield have developed and delivered many courses at LLAIC – most recently on these topics: Justice and Morality; Why We’re Polarized, and The Case for Optimism.

Richard was a management consultant for more than 30 years, and much of his consulting work focused on identifying and measuring the skills and traits needed for effectiveness in leadership jobs.  In his first career he was a university professor of human development and published in the area of scientific creativity.

Mary has devoted most of her career to education—as a teacher, a reading specialist, a consultant on the teaching of reading, an editor of children’s textbooks, a career management consultant, a college admissions officer, and an educational placement consultant.