Leadership Profile (Research Project)

You will identify a leader you admire and research her or his biography and recent successes.  Your research should include a published article in which the leader is interviewed, question/answer format.

You will also research the leader’s organization or company for its mission and recent accomplishments so that you can understand the context or setting for your leader’s success.

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Then you will write an analytical essay that has five (5) or more main sections.

Due Date:  See LEO Assignment link

Assignment Points Earned:  See LEO Assignment link

Getting Started:

  1. Make a list of leaders you admire. Consider exploring the CEOs of Xerox, Nissan, Yahoo, General Motors, Northrup Grumann, Costco, or Pepsicoor a successful leader you know.  This leader maybe a manager where you work.

Finding a published interview with your leader: Try

  • UMUC Library and these search terms: “Interviews with CEOs”
  • Adam Bryant’s Weekly Corner Office Column in the New York Times:
  • Google the leader’s name and the term “interview”
  • If your leader is someone you know, then consider searching for company newsletters or trade association publications for a published interview.

2.Select your leader.

  1. Identify the leader’s company or organization and research its mission, goals and recent activities. Use company or organization websites. Review articles or media stories about the company. Make notes.Some leaders are associated with more than one major company.  If yur leader was a founder/CEO of a very successful organization but has moved on to developing an important Foundation, for example, then research additional organizations linked to your leader for their missions, goals and activities. 

To write this essay, review theseNorthouse chapters

  • Chapter 7 on Path-Goal Approach to Leading
  • Chapter 10 on Servant Leadership
  • Chapter 11 on Authentic Leadership

In addition to a careful review of Northouse Chapter 7, choose either Servant Leadership (Chapter 10) or Authentic Leadership (Chapter 11) to use in an analysis of your leader’s successes.  If, for whatever reason, you do not believe that these Northouse Chapters help you examine your leader effectively, then search the Table of Contents of Northouse to find a 2nd model (chapter) you want to use.  You are to use two (2) models of leadership, with one model being the Path-Goal Theory, for your essay analysis.

Five (5) Essay Topics:Plan for each of these topics to be sections within your essay.  Each topic should have a heading to introduce it.

Below you have analysis sections highlighted to help you track.These sections are organized into a sequence that should help you with develop the essay into a logical, coherent essay.

Gather your research, make notes.

  1. Summarize the leader’s early life and education.

Then write new paragraph (s) answering this question:  What are two (2) events earlier in life, which may have set the stage for his or her leadership success, based on your research/analysis?Your interview article should be helpful to writing this section.

  1. Qualities of leadershipthat seem to appear more recently in your leader’s career path. Write a section that considers promotions, areas of new responsibility, evidence of trust by those around him or her, expressed comments from your leader about his or her attitude towards others, including respect.  (1 or more paragraphs)
  1. Your leader’s current organization: Mission and recent events that required leadership.(2 or more paragraphs)
  1. Analysis Based on Path-Goal Theory (Northouse, 2013, chapter 7. Explain the primary factors which make up this theory.  (1 paragraph)

Compare your leader’s approach to path-goal theory.  What factors of his or her leadership seem to align or fit to this theory?  What factors seem to be different than what’s emphasized in Path Goal?  In your writing  use examples from leader research.   (1-2 paragraphs)

  1. Analysis of Leader Using another Leader Theory: Review the 2nd theory you researched (either Servant Leadership, Chapter 10; or Authentic Leadership, Chapter 11,or another model of leadership from Northouse) and explain the primary factors which make up this theory.  (1 paragraph)…………………………..

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