Studying Leadership

January 14th, 2009

I don’t remember courses or programs on “leadership” when I was in college or in law school. Now I’m becoming aware of more and more classes, workshops and programs focusing on leadership. Last week I met with Barry Posner, who is the “Professor of Leadership” at Santa Clara University in Silicon Valley.

Barry has been organizing a lecture series know as the “Santa Clara Leadership Lectures” for the Santa Clara University community for the last 9 or 10 years. One piece of his methodology particularly interests me. A week or so after each lecture he asks the students to write down what idea(s) stick with them the most — what they actually remember from the lecture. Then he sends a selection of these back to the speaker. I’m intrigued by the idea of learning what people remember after some time has passed, and what they are thus likely to pass on. I’m also intrigued by seeing written responses, where the person reformulates what they think they remember in their own words.

I’ll be giving a talk to the SCU community as part of this series in February and am very interested in learning what sticks with people. If I learn something interesting I’ll summarize it here.

2 comments for “Studying Leadership”

  1. 1

    Lukas Blakk said on January 15th, 2009 at 7:57 am:

    That’s a great idea, and I bet people learn a lot from the feedback. I remember doing a lot of leadership skill building in high school and also at summer camp – it should definitely continue in college but doesn’t. Wonder why that falls by the wayside?

  2. 2

    marcia said on January 15th, 2009 at 10:55 am:

    I was fortunate to be able to work with Dr. Warren Bennis at the USC Leadership Institute back in the early 1990s. We had about 38 graduate students that were picked from each of the various graduate schools that were part of USC. There were a number of conferences and events that were held throughout the year, but I don’t recall that anyone ever was asked to remember something from the various lectures (we had many great talks from individuals such as Betty Friedan, Madeleine Albright, Harvey Mackay and Max De Pree.

    I think it would be great to consider having some kind of Leadership Series at Mozilla where we could invite speakers to come in, perhaps at a company wide event.

Skip past the sidebar