How do the five challenges facing the 21st leader affect the bottom line of the business if leadership is missing? Define and discuss each one specifically.

Week 7

Leading Change

Leading Cultural and Generation Diversity

Leading and accumulator of knowledge  

Leading Innovation

Leading Sustainability

WEEK SEVEN: The Five Leadership Challenges

Learning Activity #1

Maria Artos, a 25-year-old female graduate of Harvard Business School, has just been appointed to the job of Director of IT in a medium size business. Her immediate junior in the business, Anthony Jones, is a 53-year-old long term employee of the business.  He was passed over for the job that Maria Artos now holds.

  • First, identify all the leadership challenge issues that might be suggested by this fact pattern.
  • As can be imagined, both Artos and Jones could feel uncomfortable since Artos was told that Anthony Jones also applied for the position and Anthony could be resentful for being passed over. Students will create the opening interview/meeting between Artos and Jones on her first day on the job.  Use this week’s course material to create the exchange between Artos and Jones.
  • In creating the exchange between Jones and Artos, have Artos deal with all the identified issues using her “leadership relationship building skills”. Note: In responding, consider that the situation is one in which the skills from week five should be employed along with addressing the topic of diversity.

Learning Activity #2

Top executives and board members of a large international bank in New York are meeting to consider three finalists for a new position.  The winning candidate will be in a high- profile job, in charge of a group of top loan officers who recently led the bank into some risky financial arrangements in the Middle East.  Recently, when the value of the dollar fell, the bank took a financial hit because of risky loans made in the company’s Yemen office.

The board voted to hire someone to directly oversee this group of loan officers and to make sure the necessary due diligence is done on major loans before further commitments are made.  Although the bank prefers that decisions are made as close to the action level as possible, they believe the loan officers have gotten out of hand and need to be reined in.  The average age of the all-male group is 39.

The effectiveness of the person in this new lead position is considered to be of utmost importance for the bank’s future.  They are also aware that certain cultural differences have made the problem even harder to solve.  The bank needs a candidate who will know how to work with the Yemen employees and at the same time has some knowledge of the customs and language of the country.  After carefully reviewing résumés, the board selected six candidates for the first round of interviews, after which the list of finalists was narrowed to two.  Both candidates seem to have the intellect and experience to handle the job.  One candidate is female and the other male. The male candidate is 34 while the female is 36. Both candidates are attractive and single.

Before the second-round interview, the Board decided to ask you to devise a set of questions that will help elicit information as to how familiar the candidates are with handling the cultural diversity issues the job will present.  In addition to the using the course reading for the week you may want to research some of the cultural bias issues unique to the Yemen culture. (Hint:  consider women in the Arab workplace)

Learning Activity #3

How do the five challenges facing the 21st leader affect the bottom line of the business if leadership is missing? Define and discuss each one specifically.  Use the course readings to support the reasoning.


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