UMKC - The Bloch School


BMA533 Fall 2006




[Fall, 2006]


Instructor: Lee G. Bolman

Office: 322 Bloch

Telephone: (816) 235-5407



Assistant: Bruce Kay

Office: 334 Bloch

Telephone: 235-5417



This course is intended for students who want to lead and to make a positive difference in an organization or institution. The course seeks to provide learning about leadership at three levels:Conceptual: leadership as an idea, and ideas about leadership

Action: strategies for effective leadership


The course views leadership as a performing art, situated in relationships and social contexts. Leadership requires integration of thought, feeling and action, with self as vehicle. The course design is intended to challenge students conceptually through readings, discussions, and developmental assessments, and to challenge at the level of self and action through teamwork, reflective cases, and "leadership challenges."

The course will emphasize three different sets of ideas for understanding leadership:

(1) Bolman & Deal's images of leaders as wizards and warriors

(2) Heifetz and Linsky’s view of leadership as helping a group learn to deal with tough, important challenges

(3) Kouzes and Posner’s analysis of leadership best practices


The following books have been ordered and should be available for purchase in the UMKC book store:

Bolman L. G. and Deal, T. E. The Wizard and the Warrior: Leading with Passion and Power. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass: 2006.

Heifetz, R. A. and Linsky, M. Leadership on the Line: Staying Alive Through the Dangers of Leading. Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 2002.

Kouzes, J. M. and Posner, B. Z. The Leadership Challenge, 3d edition. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2002.

A packet of cases and auxiliary materials will be available for purchase in class.


Grades will be based on a combination of: (1) Developmental Assessments: written examinations on course material completed both individually and in teams; (2) Case paper presentation; (3) Case discussion leadership and feedback; (4) Leadership Challenges (in-class leadership tasks); and (5) Final paper.

A. Developmental Assessments

Developmental assessments will be in-class, written tests on the ideas in the readings. They will include a mixture of true/false, multiple-choice, and short-answer questions. Each developmental assessment will include the following steps:

1. Individual assessment

2. Group assessment. (Group members will meet immediately after completing the individual assessment, and develop a consensual answer to each of the questions on the individual assessment.)

3. Grading and feedback

The developmental assessments will test primarily for understanding of the ideas and concepts in the course readings, and for ability to apply those concepts in practice. Dates for assessments are indicated in the syllabus. Assessment may in some cases cover material that has not yet been discussed in class.

B. Case Paper Presentation

Each student will prepare a brief personal case paper, describing a leadership challenge that s/he has experienced. The case paper is ungraded, but will be used for case discussion in teams, and as a component that feeds into the final paper. The case paper is due in class September 14 – bring a copy for the instructor, and either email it to your team, or provide one to each member of your team.

C. Case Paper Discussion Leadership and Feedback

In addition to presenting their own papers, each student will also be responsible for leading the discussion of another student’s case, collecting feedback from the team, and writing a 1-2 page memo that captures the most important learning points from the discussion. Two copies of this memo (one for the case presenter, and one for instructor) are due in class one week after the case discussion. Attach team feedback forms to the copy for the case presenter.

D. Leadership Challenges

Leadership challenges will be in-class leadership tasks related to material in the course. The challenges will be team-based: for each task, a team will prepare one or more members to represent it in a leadership simulation. Grades assigned to its representatives will be shared equally among all members (i.e., you get what your representative gets).

E. Class Participation

Participation grades will be based on quality of class participation, and on attendance. (The grade will be based on "participation points." You gain participation points for classes in which you participate effectively, and lose points for absences.)

F. Final Paper

Think of the final paper as a memo to yourself. The goal is to write a summary of what you’ve learned that is useful to you. Use the following questions as a guide:

1. In brief, what are the most important ideas about leadership that you will take
away from the course?

2. What are the most important things that you have learned about yourself?

3. How would you apply your learning to your personal case? How would you think or act differently based on what you have learned?

Grades will be based on:

(1) How clearly and persuasively the paper develops important learning from
the course.

(2) How much insight is reflected in the description of learning about oneself.

(3) How well the paper develops linkages between learning and the personal

Suggested length for final papers is three to five pages, double-spaced. Feedback from your case presentation should be attached to the final paper.

Final papers are due at the beginning of the final class on December 7. Students can choose to receive a letter grade on the paper, or to be graded Pass/Fail. The Pass/Fail option means that the paper will not be weighted in the final course grade. Please indicate "Letter" or "P/F" on the final paper when it is submitted. Late papers will only be eligible for a letter grade, and will lose 10 points (on a scale of 100) for each day past the due date.

Weighting of Activities in Course Grade

There are two options for computing the course grade. Option 1 is for students who choose a letter grade on the final paper. Option 2 is for those who choose a Pass/Fail grade on the final paper.




Option 1

Option 2

Developmental Assessment #1








Developmental Assessment # 2








Case Discussion Leadership and Feedback




Leadership Challenge # 1




Leadership Challenge # 2




Class Participation




Final Paper








Learning Teams

Everyone will be a member of a learning team, which will form during the second class. The process for forming groups will emphasize diversity in skills and experience. Members of learning teams will work together on leadership challenges, personal case discussions, and the group component of developmental assessments.

Class Schedule

August 24, #1: Introduction

August 31, #2: Team Formation

Teams will form in class, and begin to work together.


Katzenbach and Smith, "The Discipline of Teams" (HBR article in packet)

Lencioni, "The Trouble with Teamwork" (on-line at )

September 7, #3: Leadership and learning

Argyris,"Skilled Incompetence" (HBR article in packet)

Case: The Case of the Underperforming Executive (in packet)

Study Questions:

1. What is a theory for action? What is the difference between an espoused theory and a theory-in-use?

2. What is your assessment of Sandy's effectiveness in the meeting with Bill? In what ways was Sandy effective or ineffective?

September 14, #4: Leaders At their Best

Kouzes and Posner, chapters 1-7

Case: Maureen Frye at Quaker Steel and Alloy Corp.

Study Questions:

1. Based on the ideas in Kouzes and Posner, how should Maureen Frye approach the challenge of "developing an implementation plan that will work."

--------Personal Case Due-------

September 21, #5: What Leaders Do & Introduction to Personal Case Discussions

Heifetz & Linsky, chs. 1-7

Study questions:

1. Based on the ideas of Heifetz and Linsky, how should Maureen Frye approach the challenges she faces?

2. Kouzes & Posner offer five "practices" for effective leadership ("model the way," "inspire a shared vision,"etc.) Heifetz and Linsky offer five "responses" to the leadership challenge ("get on the balcony," "think politically," etc.) Which do you find more helpful in developing a leadership strategy for Maureen Frye?

3. Should leaders follow one list, or the other, or both?

September 28, #6: Images of Leadership

Bolman and Deal, Wizard and Warrior, Part I (pp. 1-23)

Bolman and Deal, Reframing Organizations, chapters 1, 2, 17 (in packet)

Personal Case Discussion # 1

October 5, #7: Team meetings: Personal Cases and Leadership Challenge

Case discussions # 2, 3

Prepare for first leadership challenge

October 12, #8: Leading from the Middle

Bolman and Deal, Reframing Organizations, chapter 10 (in packet)

Case: The Overhead Reduction Task Force (HBS # 400026)

Study questions:

1. What are the key characteristics of a manager as politician?

2. As Larry Williams, what would you try to accomplish in your meeting with
Georgia Dixon? How will you approach her in order to achieve your

3. As Larry Williams, how would you approach the opening meeting of the task
force? In particular, what would you say or do in the opening minutes of the first meeting to get things off on the right foot?

Leadership Challenge #1: Overhead Reduction Task Force

October 19, #9: Developmental Assessment # 1; Personal Cases

The first Developmental Assessment will cover all readings to date.

Personal Case Discussion #4

October 26, #10: The Leader as Warrior

Bolman and Deal, Parts II and III (pp. 25-86)

Case: Anne Mulcahy: Leading Xerox Through the Perfect Storm (A) & (B)

Study Questions:

1. Is Mulcahy a warrior? If so, which of Bolman and Deal’s three warrior types fits her best?

2. What grade would you give her so far for her efforts to turn Xerox around? Why?

Personal Case Discussion # 5

November 2, #11: Leading from Where You Are

This class will focus on how leaders can diagnose what is going on and respond effectively in demanding and stressful situations.

Bolman and Deal, Reframing Organizations, chapter 9 (in reading packet)

November 9, #12: The Leader as Wizard

Bolman and Deal, Parts IV and V (pp. 87-129)

Kouzes and Posner, chapters 9-12

Case: Taran Swan at Nickelodeon Latin America (A)

Study questions:

1. What grade would you give Taran Swan for her leadership of the Nick Latin America initiative?

2. How would you describe her leadership approach?

3. What does she do best? What, if any, weaknesses do you see?

4. What are the most important challenges she faces at the end of the case? What should she do about them? Should she appoint someone as interim director?

Personal Case Discussion # 6

December 7, #15: Doing the Right Thing: Lessons from Enron

Heifetz & Linsky, chapters 10, 11

Kouzes & Posner, chapter 13

1. How do you weigh the importance of doing the right thing vs. being successful?


November 23, #14: Integrating Power and Passion

Bolman and Deal, Wizard and Warrior, Part VI (pp. 163-225)

Case: Gary Rodkin at Pepsi Cola North America

Study questions:

1. It’s January, 2000. As Rodkin, you’ve been in the job about four months. What are your priorities? How will you achieve them?

2. Roger Enrico has asked you to make a brief presentation to the board in
which you outline PCNA’s most important opportunities and challenges, and
what you’re going to do about them. What will you say to the board?

Leadership Challenge # 2 (Gary Rodkin Board Presentation)

December 7, #15: Conclusion

Developmental Assessment # 2

Developmental Assessment # 2 will cover readings for October 27; November 3, 10, 17; December 9







Case Discussion # 7

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