Bard MBA

Leadership II

Fall 2013
3 Credits

The key learning objectives for the course are:
  • Identifying specific challenges associated with leading sustainability initiatives
  • Managing and developing strategies for overcoming resistance to change.
  • Identifying the characteristics of successful leaders in multicultural environments
  • Identifying team processes, norms, structure, and stages of development
  • Understanding and evaluating the importance of “fit” between leadership and organizational systems
  • Learning how to maneuver from individual performer to manager
  • Understanding how to manage and lead virtual teams
  • Understanding the ethical challenges of social media
Student Outcomes:
The class is designed to prepare students to shape and change their organizations, identify the dynamics of the organization, and drive values through the organization.

  • Senge, Peter, Art Kleiner, Charlotte Roberts and Rick Ross, The Fifth Discipline Fieldbook: Strategies and Tools for Building a Learning Organization, Doubleday, 1994.
  • Katzenbach, Jon R. and Douglas K. Smith, The Wisdom of Teams, Harvard Business School Press, 2003.
  • George, Bill, Authentic Leadership, Jossey-Bass, 2003.
  • Covey, Stephen, The Speed of Trust: The One Thing that Changes Everything, Franklin Covey, 2009.
  • Select readings from:
    • Atkisson, Alan, The Sustainability Transformation. EarthScan, 2010.
    • Gentile, Mary, Giving Voice to Values. Yale University Press, 2010.
    • Van Lee, Reggie, Lisa Fabrish, and Nancy McGaw "The Value of Corporate Values. Strategy + Business," 2005, 39 (Spring), 1-14
  • Additional articles on transformative leadership from HBR and other sources including:
    • Stayer, Ralph. “How I Learned to Let My Workers Lead.”
    • Inheriting a Complex World: Future Leaders Envision Sharing the Planet, IBM Institute for Business Value, 2010.
The course will be a combination of experiential exercises, group discussions, and student projects. Active participation in class discussions will be essential. Grading will be determined by participation in in-class exercises, cases, group work, completion of homework, and group presentations. There will be no traditional “exams” in this class.

Course Outline:
The Bard MBA curriculum is modular, with each module topic corresponding to a residency. The outline below provides the Leadership 2 set of topics for each of the semester’s modules, with each set of topics corresponding to three to four weeks of conventional instruction.



The Sustainability


Leadership for sustainability. We will address the unique aspects of inspiring and leading sustainable change: how to play the role of change agent powerfully; how to unlock the power of values-driven leadership; and how an organization can define and develop these values together.



System Design

Managing Change. We will focus here on identifying causes of resistance,   including motivational factors, misinterpretations, fear, etc., and then managing this resistance to change

Conflict resolution and negotiation. Tools, tactics, processes and strategies.

Human Rights



Delegation. We will examine the different skills necessary to transition from individual performer to change agent, to manager and leader. We’ll focus on identifying the personal challenges inherent in this transition and the gap in preparation from a business infrastructure perspective.

Social Media

Managing millennials. With millennials making up 50% of the workforce worldwide beginning in 2015, we will focus on the defining characteristics of their work and leadership styles, how best to manage and mentor them and strategies for working in virtual teams.

Ethics, productivity and social media. We end with a focus on leadership ethics in an age of social media—Googling interviewees, blogging, Facebook posting—how they both enhance productivity and create new forms of risk.