Great Business Leaders-The Importance of Contextual Intelligence
Course Number 2050
Lecturer Anthony Mayo
Winter, 20 Sessions
This course is designed for students who want to learn more about business history and historically significant business leadership and/or students who aspire to be great business leaders. It will enable students to develop a better understanding of the role that context plays in shaping great business leaders.
The course has been created to help students analyze the role that contextual factors (specifically consumerism, government intervention, geopolitics, demography, social mores, technology, and labor) played in shaping leadership opportunities in the 20th century and how these factors will shape leadership in the future. The course is also designed to provide insight into the legacies of great business leaders over time providing a foundation for students to understand the role that business has played in shaping the way individuals live, interact, and work. Through the course, students will develop their own sense of contextual intelligence and how their decisions/choices are influenced by and influence the contextual landscape in which they live and work. In addition, students will analyze their own leadership style and approach through the incorporation of various assessment instruments.
Course Content and Organization
The course is organized to provide students with an historical view of the evolution of leadership over the course of the 20th century. Each decade of the 20th century is explored to uncover the salient contextual factors that were at play and how businesses were developed, managed, or transformed to seize the zeitgeist of the times. The course will include biographical interpretations and case studies of business leaders within the context of their time. The course will explore the different ways in which business executives demonstrated contextual intelligence - some forged new businesses (entrepreneurs), others maximized the potential of existing businesses (managers), and still others orchestrated successful turnarounds (leaders). Each of these leadership archetypes will be explored in the class. In addition to case studies, the course will include videos, discussions, and supplemental readings to place key leaders within the context of their times.
The book, In Their Time: The Greatest Business Leaders of the 20th Century will be used to provide additional conceptual frameworks for much of the first part of the course. The course is organized into three main modules: (1) context-based leadership - explores evolution of business in the U.S. during the 20th century; (2) ultimate outsiders - explores the role of women in business in the 20th century; and (3) global leadership legacies - explores concepts of contextual intelligence in various global settings.
- Class Participation: 45%
- Midterm Project, Surveys, & Assessments: 15%
- Final Paper: 40%
Final Paper: There is no final exam for this course. Instead, students are required to write a paper which analyzes a Great Business Leader based on the principles and concepts discussed during the course. Alternatively, students can analyze how the context will impact a specific industry's prospects and opportunities.