Political Science

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  • Read articles from The New York Times each week. Bring an article for discussion that deals with a leadership challenge, a leadership triumph, or a leadership situation that is exemplifies one of the theories in the book.

-Dr. June S. Speakman, Roger Williams University


Multimedia Resources

-Dr. June S. Speakman, Roger Williams University



Activity 1.  Have the class break into small groups. Each group will discuss The New York Times articles brought to class. These articles must focus on leadership challenges or triumps or issues that confirmed or challenged the leadership theory of the week. 

-Dr. June S. Speakman, Roger Williams University


Suggested Assignments

Assignment 1.  Course Research Project

The objective of this project is to give you the opportunity to apply several of the theories from Northouse’s book to a contemporary American leader. Select the leader you wish to study. Using no fewer than 10 sources, write an analysis of your subject’s approach to and practice of leadership in light of five of the perspectives that we have studies in Northouse’s text. The paper should begin with a brief biographical essay of your subject, leaving the bulk of the paper for the analysis.Ten pages, fully source. You will also conduct a brief in-class presentation on your paper.The presentation should comprise no more than five powerpoint slides (or some other presentation software).

Assignment 2.  Interview

Select a leader with whom you can get an interview. This can be a political, business, academic or other leader.  Develop a list of questions that allow you to test some of Northouse’s concepts. Write an essay (about 1,000 words) about what you learned about leadership, Northouse, and from this exercise.

Assignment 3.  TED Talk

Write your own TED talk, about five minutes, that provides the audience with your perspective on leadership. You may use an anecdote, like the lollipop story, or a metaphor, like the orchestra conductor, or other rhetorical device. You may submit it in writing or in video (preferred).

Assignment 4.  Leadership Training Manual

Imagine that you are a leadership consultant. Your job is to develop a leadership training program that will be administered at a retreat for the leaders-in-training. These can be RAs, Student Senators, Best Buy managers, US Army people, college deans….you choose the group you wish to train. Devise a program that will develop the team's skills and qualities you wish to develop. Feel free to integrate questionnaires, analytical devices and other instruments from Northouse or elsewhere.

Assignment 5.  Final Case Study

Consider the following as an outline for your leadership casestudy. This is in no way a requirement, just a little guidance.

Section One:   Biography

  • Academic and professional training
  • Professional history
  • Family and personal details (don’t dig for this, but if they reveal themselves, include them)

Section Two:  Thoughts on leadership: definition and philosophy

Section Three:  Reflections on subject’s own leadership attributes—what does s/he believe are his or her strengths and weaknesses as a leader

Section Four:  Organization; characteristics of the group or organization that this leader leads

Section Five:  Challenges and Triumphs—most significant leadership challenge and most significant accomplishments.

Section Six:  Analysis. Your analysis of your subject as a leader. The book has provided us with a number of concepts that can guide this analysis. For example, what leadership traits does your subject exhibit?  What leadership style(s) does s/he employ? Is s/he task or relationship-oriented? Is his/her skill set administrative, interpersonal, conceptual or a combo? Does s/he has a vision for his/her organization?  What tone does s/he set?

-Dr. June S. Speakman, Roger Williams University


Sample Syllabi

Leadership Speakman, Syllabus.docx

-Dr. June S. Speakman, Roger Williams University



We gratefully acknowledge  the following individuals for granting us permission to post the content on this page.

June S. Speakman, PhD
Professor, Political Science
Roger Williams University