Leading & Managing
In short, this course is about the science of human thought and behavior, and its applications to business. We draw on theories from psychology, sociology, and economics to enhance your ability to understand, and hence predict, how you, and those around you, are likely to think and behave.
Why do you need such skills, you ask? Although skills in finance, accounting, marketing, operations, and strategy are crucial for organizational success, the ability to manage an organization, its groups, and its individuals is equally important. As you pursue your careers, you will inevitably depend on people to accomplish organizational goals; you will need to work for other people, work with other people, and supervise other people. For this reason, an understanding of the human side of management is an essential complement to the technical skills you are learning in other core business courses.
How does all this relate to “leading and managing?” By definition, a leader must have followers. This means that to be a leader, you need to understand how to motivate, inspire, and influence other people. You need to assemble the skills, talents, and resources of individuals and groups in ways that best solve the organizational problem(s) at hand. You must make things happen, and often under conditions or timeframes not of your own choosing. Leaders must also understand how to introduce their own skills and abilities into their teams. The successful execution of these goals requires leaders to be able to effectively diagnose problems, make smart decisions, influence and motivate others, wield power effectively, and drive organizational change. In other words, you need a thorough understanding of your own behavior, the behaviors of those around you, and how one impacts the other. Thus, this is not a class designed to teach you everything you need to know about leadership (we have some other activities and electives in the program that focus on this topic more specifically). Rather, this is a class that gives you some fundamental insight into human thought and action, and this insight is one core competency, among many, of effective leaders.