JWI 510: Leadership in the 21st Century
Write a 6-7 page paper that draws links between the case and your own leadership journey. Of the six topic areas below, select four (4) you would like to focus on.
Make sure you consider each question in your response.
1. Learning from Nadella’s Example
a. What did Nadella bring in terms of his own background (professional and personal) that helped him to be successful in stepping into the CEO role?
b. What makes Nadella an “authentic leader”? What actions did he take that demonstrate he believes in role-model management? Include references to course materials to support your position.
c. What characteristics does Nadella display that most closely align to traits you have, or aspire to develop, in your own leadership style? How are you most different from him in your leadership style?
d. Why is it important for leaders to take (appropriate) risks?
2. Building a High Performing Culture in Your Organization
a. What steps must leaders take to build a learning culture? Include references to course materials to support your position.
b. In what ways is the culture in your current or former organization similar to what Nadella faced when he took over Microsoft?
c. If you wanted to change or realign this culture, where would you begin?
d. What would be your biggest challenges? Why?
3. Channeling Conflict
a. In what ways did Nadella embrace conflict in his role as leader?
b. How should leaders determine which conflicts to embrace and which conflicts to avoid, and once they make that decision, what can they do to encourage a positive resolution to the conflict? Include references to course materials to support your position.
c. What are some of the biggest potential areas of conflict within your own organization?
d. How well do you and your organization handle conflict now? Explain
4. Effective Communication
a. What were the biggest communicative barriers that Nadella faced in creating “one Microsoft”?
b. What tools and communication practices are most useful to leaders in building teams that embrace a common vision? Include references to course materials to support your position.
c. Are these barriers unique to large corporations, or do all organizations face them?
d. Do they occur in your own organization? Explain.
5. Fostering Diversity and Learning
a. How did Nadella seek to enhance diversity at Microsoft?
b. Why is diversity – in terms of culture, experience, background, and viewpoint – so important for an organization? Include references to course materials to support your position.
c. What are some risks or obstacles to instilling more diversity?
d. What steps can you take to make your organization stronger by bringing in more diversity?
6. Building a Learning Organization
a. What did Nadella do to transform his team from “know-it-alls” to “learn-it-alls”?
b. Jack has said that to be an effective leader, you have to be confident enough to ask a lot of questions and not be afraid of looking like the dumbest person in the room.
i. How can leaders promote a hunger for learning in their teams?
ii. How can leaders support team members who may be too afraid to ask questions or
challenge the status quo? Include references to course materials to support your
c. On the “knowledge-learning” spectrum, where does your organization fit?
d. As an MBA student, especially if you have been out of school for a long time, what does a “learn-it-all” mindset mean to you? What will you do to embrace it?
Write a 6-7 page paper that draws links between the case chosen and your own leadership journey.
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