Each student will be required to interview a leader in their community. They may select a business and industry leader, coach, principal, elected official or spiritual leader. The student must conduct the interview in person or over the telephone. Questions should NOT be e-mailed to the leader as live dialogue is critical to this assignment.
Before you begin the interview, the student should explain the nature of our leadership class, and the general purpose of the assignment. The student will then ask the following questions:
- How would you define effective leadership?
- Do you think leadership develops with experience?
- Are there one or two experiences you look back on as having been especially valuable in helping develop your own leadership? Please briefly describe them.
- What made these experiences so valuable?
- Have your own views of leadership changed over time? Explain how.
- Do you think leadership in your arena (e.g., sports, business) is much different from, or involves different pressures, than leadership in other arenas?
- Do you ever reflect, after the fact, about how effective your behavior was in a particular situation? Is this ever a source of new or different insights? Please share your insights.
- What do you feel is the single most important attribute for a leader to possess?
- Is there any advice you would give people early in their careers about leadership?
Asking additional questions is permitted and encouraged. When the interview is complete, the student should thank the person for their time and insight.
The student will prepare a written report of their findings. The final report should begin with an introduction to the leader selected, including the leader’s name, title, company and why this particular leader was selected. The student should then present the questions and the leader’s responses. The report will end with a summary of what the student has learned about leadership development as a result of this interview.