Prepare to interview two organization leaders and write an assessment in which you outline the intended purpose and focus of your interviews, along with the interview questions.
Over the course of your career, you will develop your own theories of leadership that will inform your attitudes and actions. Interviewing leaders after having done some research about leadership allows you to see effective leadership in action through the lens of scholarly research.
The resources provided in this assessment focus on two larger leadership topics: interpersonal and presence leadership and resilience and coaching leadership.
Interpersonal leadership and leading through presence focus on a leader’s ability to develop relationships and synergy and contribute to and spring out of his or her own personal power. There is a connection between knowing oneself and being able to listen to and learn from interpersonal feedback. A leader must examine whether he or she is open to other points of view or ways of working or, out of fear, shuts them down. Expressing yourself authentically, listening and appreciating others, allowing others to participate, and serving others are important leadership skills. Very possibly, good leaders develop these skills out of a comfort with their own inner self or being. Most great leaders have the capacity for deep reflection. Many use nature, music, meditation, or prayer to find inspiration and are able to quiet their thoughts and silence their own anxiety.
Resilience and coaching also play a part in leadership effectiveness. In the past most leaders believed that keeping their work and their life in balance lead to better health; however, shifting our attention from time management to energy leadership allows for creating a personalized formula for sustained energy and resilience. Signs of lack of resilience include fatigue, dullness, depression, and/or life threatening habits around coffee, cigarettes, alcohol, and obsessive or manic work behavior. Healthy leaders tend to include abundant energy, optimism, vitality, and close intimate and fulfilling relationships as a having resilience. Many experienced leaders manage energy in their lives over time. They loosen up and are happier, more involved, and resilient. Coaching is important to ensure growth as a leader. Many leaders pursue reflection by self-coaching—building awareness, commitment, and practice. Coaching others provides awareness to avoid curves in the road. Mature leaders feel a responsibility not only to earn a living through authentic self-expression but also to create value by their service to the community.
As part of Assessments 3 and 4, you will need to interview two leaders in organizations of your choice. To prepare for these two interviews, complete the following at this time:
- Decide on the level of leaders you would like to interview (for example, individual contributors, middle managers, or top managers).
- Research and choose an aspect of leadership based on the topics in the Cashman text (personal mastery, purpose mastery, change mastery, resilience mastery and coaching mastery) to use as the focus for your interviews.
- Request and schedule 45-minute interviews with two different leaders at your chosen level. You should conduct the interviews between now and when you begin work on the Assessment 3, as you will need to complete the interviews in order to complete Assessments 3 and 4.
Submit the following components for this assessment:
- State your intended purpose for the interviews. Provide an explanation of the aspect of leadership on which you plan to focus and why you chose it.
- Describe the level of leadership selected for your interviews.
- Outline your schedule for both interview sessions; include the names and titles of the leaders with date and time of interview. If you have not been able to solidify your schedule, please include a report of your progress.
- List the interview questions you plan to use for your chosen aspect of leadership. If you wish, you may use some of the questions from the reflection exercises in the related chapter of the Cashman text. You can use any leadership theories you like to help you develop your interview questions, including servant leadership, Kevin Cashman, Margaret Wheatley, articles from the Center for Creative Leadership, leadership stage theory, and other sources.
Conducting Your Interviews
As you conduct your interviews, remember the following:
- At the start of each interview, explain who you are, what you are doing, what leadership mastery you will be exploring in the interview, and how you will use the interview material.
- Clarify with your interviewees whether you have permission to use their names and organizations.
- Take thorough notes or record the interviews so you can refer back to them as you work on Assessments 3 and 4.
Remember to edit and spell check your work before submitting.
By successfully completing this assessment, you will demonstrate your proficiency in the following course competencies and assessment criteria:
- Competency 3: Create an effective theory of leadership.
- Describe the purpose and rationale for leadership interviews.
- Describe the level of leadership selected for interviews.
- Prepare relevant interview questions for an interview protocol.