Transformational Leadership: How Leaders Change Teams, Companies, and Organizations

Course No. 5943
Professor Michael A. Roberto, D.B.A.
Bryant University
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Course No. 5943
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Course Overview

Contrary to what you may have heard, great leaders aren't born. They're made. The ability to effectively lead teams, transform entire organizations, and achieve ambitious goals comes not from an inherent set of personality traits but from the mastery of a specific set of skills essential to the success of leaders at many levels and in many fields.

Chief among the specific skills of transformational leadership are

  • establishing a compelling vision,
  • persuading and influencing others who may not agree with you,
  • motivating people who may be wary of changes in the status quo,
  • building an effective team that can manage and institutionalize change, and
  • sparking innovative thinking.

Possessing these and other leadership abilities are powerful tools; so powerful, in fact, that when used correctly they can turn winless teams into renowned champions, unmotivated departments into engines of creativity, and money losers into market leaders. What's more, these are skills that can be learned, practiced, cultivated, and applied to almost any aspect of your professional life—whether you're currently working in a leadership position, preparing to take on a more prominent role in your career, or looking to understand the secret knowledge of how great leaders do what they do.

Transformational Leadership: How Leaders Change Teams, Companies, and Organizations is your essential handbook for strategies, concepts, and insights into the dynamics of transformational leadership. Delivered by award-winning Professor Michael A. Roberto of Bryant University—a Harvard Business School–educated instructor who has spent years as a leadership consultant and teacher for Fortune 500 companies, including Apple, Target, and Federal Express—these 24 lectures are an in-depth examination of the leadership behaviors and capabilities essential to creating positive change in teams and organizations. Filled with case studies and lessons from leaders in business, politics, sports, and the military, as well as a range of specific skills and strategies you can put to use in your own career, this course is an authoritative guide to successful leadership.

Discover the Four Key Modules of Great Leadership

Unlike management, which focuses on achieving consistent and reliable results, transformational leadership focuses on producing change—sometimes very substantial or even radical change. In Transformational Leadership, Professor Roberto defines effective leadership as consisting of three fundamental processes.

  • Establishing direction: Great leaders not only cultivate attractive and profitable visions for the future of teams, companies, and organizations, they develop solid strategies for achieving goals and results.
  • Aligning people: Great leaders have the ability to bring different groups together for a shared purpose by communicating the direction, building a shared sense of understanding, getting people to believe in their vision, and persuading people to enact key strategies.
  • Motivating and inspiring others: Great leaders surmount potential roadblocks on the path to change by energizing people and satisfying their core needs, including achievement, belonging, recognition, self-esteem, and a desire for control over their lives.

After an introductory lecture on the definitions of effective, transformational leadership, you dive right into the nuts and bolts of this important professional skill. In order to make the subject well organized and easily accessible, Professor Roberto has arranged Transformational Leadership into four key modules, each of which offers a focused look at a particular aspect of leadership.

  • Models of Leadership: The study of leadership has evolved throughout the years, with several prominent schools of thought providing contrasting perspectives on how to approach and understand the subject. Here, you'll survey the major models of leadership and learn how they address critical issues such as human behavior, power and influence, long-term goals, and charisma.
  • The Change Process: Prompting change at the group or organizational level is rarely easy, but that doesn't mean it can't be mastered. This second module focuses on understanding and avoiding resistance to change, working with the rational and emotional sides of those people under your charge, and finding ways to solidify and institutionalize change into the culture of a group or organization.
  • Critical Skills and Capabilities: Becoming a stronger leader requires a mastery of several essential skills that have the power to turn good leaders into great leaders. Some of the major skills and capabilities you examine in this module include motivation, power, persuasion, negotiation, and teamwork—and for each of them, you'll get a host of tips and techniques to apply to your own leadership style.
  • Creativity, Innovation, and Learning: For leaders to have a lasting impact, they need to tap into the strengths of creative thinking, dynamic innovation, and organizational learning. This last module is devoted to these three dimensions of transformational leadership, and it's filled with a wealth of information on everything from after-action reviews and systems thinking, to group flow and open innovation, to mentoring and leadership development.

Professor Roberto closes out the course with a final stirring lecture that serves as a call to responsible leadership. It's a vibrant lecture that is as informative as it is inspiring.

Discover the Transformational Leader's Tool Kit

Central to Transformational Leadership are the skills, techniques, concepts, and strategies you can put to use in your own role as a leader or in other aspects of your professional career. While Professor Roberto roots each lecture in the ideas that form the backbone of leadership studies, he takes care to make these ideas relevant and accessible to any number of situations. The result is a veritable tool kit that anyone can use to strengthen his or her leadership style.

Here are just four of the many skills you'll learn with the help of Professor Roberto.

  • How to best frame organizational change: How you "frame" a change can matter a great deal with regard to whether it's resisted. Labeling a strategic issue as a threat, instead of an opportunity, tends to decrease the amount of involvement and participation of lower-level members in a team or organization.
  • How to cultivate allies: Cultivating allies is a way to create and accumulate resources that can be valuable for years. First, you need to recognize who these individuals are. Then, you can develop alliances by making promotions and appointments, providing resources, doing favors, sharing credit, and making others feel important.
  • How to make change stick: Abstraction is the enemy of any change effort, so to make change last, transformational leaders have to make the concept real for people. This can be done by emphasizing specifics, tapping into people's emotions, and using personal stories.
  • How to shape your negotiating environment: When negotiating with others, shape your environment by setting specific ground rules, breaking up the process to focus on "low-hanging fruit" first, and always getting others to see the value of building a long-term professional relationship.

Learn from a Professor with Real-World Experience

Educated at Harvard Business School, Professor Roberto is a masterful lecturer, one whose career in leadership studies and education has earned him a host of awards, including the Allyn A. Young Prize for Teaching in Economics from Harvard University and five Outstanding M.B.A. Teaching Awards from Bryant University. These merits, combined with his decades of real-world experience delivering these same insights about leadership in the boardrooms of some of the world's most prestigious companies and organizations, make him the perfect instructor for a Great Course on leadership.

With Transformational Leadership, you'll approach this fascinating subject from an engaging, authoritative, and inspiring perspective and finally tap into the secrets of effective leadership. This series of lectures is sure to have an invaluable impact on the future of your team or organization—as well as on your own career.

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24 lectures
 |  Average 31 minutes each
  • 1
    The Challenge
    Begin the course with a look at the need for stronger, more transformational leaders in today's world. Then, delve deeper into the ideas and principles behind situational leadership, adaptive leadership, and other approaches to this powerful responsibility and the ways they can shape and define an organization's success. x
  • 2
    Portrait of a Transformation
    Using legendary CEO Jack Welch's tenure at GE during the 1980s and 1990s as a case study, discover the true characteristics of a leader and gain a firm definition of effective leadership. Professor Roberto also debunks some myths about leadership and illustrates the important differences between a leader and a manager. x
  • 3
    Do Great Leaders Share the Same Traits?
    In the first of two lectures on leadership models, investigate three prominent perspectives of thought on leadership: the traits perspective (which focuses on individual attributes), the behavioral perspective (which deals with five key personality traits), and the power-influence perspective (which focuses on the amount and type of power a leader possesses). x
  • 4
    How Much Does Context Matter?
    Continue looking at other major theories of leadership that have emerged in recent years, each of which argues that the effectiveness of particular leadership approaches depends on contextual variables. The four you explore here are the Least Preferred Coworker model, the path-goal theory, the situational leadership theory, and the normative decision theory. x
  • 5
    Charismatic and Transformational Leadership
    What makes a leader charismatic? How does charisma define transformational and transactional leaders? Is it possible that a leader can have too much charisma? These are just a few of the many questions you'll find answers to as Professor Roberto unpacks the role of charisma in effective leadership. x
  • 6
    Resistance and Reactions to Change
    It takes a successful leader to make others embrace change. Here, grasp the typical behavioral responses to change, learn how to provide others with a sense of control during moments of change, discover how to avoid the dangers of threat rigidity, and see the importance of reframing changes as powerful opportunities. x
  • 7
    Phases of Transformation
    Now investigate the actual process of change itself. After a brief look at the "unfreeze-change-freeze" model of change, walk through a powerful eight-step model for developing change, from establishing a sense of urgency (step 1) to using multiple vehicles to communicate your vision (step 4) to institutionalizing your new approaches (step 8). x
  • 8
    Harnessing Emotion
    Direct the rider. Motivate the elephant. Shape the path. What do these three actions have to do with the change process? Find out as you look closer at experiments and case studies that demonstrate the inextricably linked roles of reason and emotion in creating and sustaining change. x
  • 9
    Making Change Stick
    In this lecture, discover the art and craft of making change last. Learn about the four key processes by which you can avoid the "flavor of the month" syndrome (chartering, learning, mobilizing, and realigning) and six principles for getting ideas to stick (simplicity, unexpectedness, concreteness, credibility, emotions, and stories). x
  • 10
    Extrinsic Motivation and Reward
    Begin your focus on critical skills and capabilities of solid leadership by investigating the subject of extrinsic motivation, in which rewards and punishments (including compensation) drive behavioral change in a team or organization. Then, look closer at the limitations of external reward systems as well as guidelines for improving them. x
  • 11
    Beyond Money—Intrinsic Motivation
    Switch now to key concepts and insights in intrinsic motivation, which transformational leaders can tap into as a means of enhancing their teams' performance. Central to this lecture is an intriguing case study involving two teams working on a software project that illustrates the merits of working for intrinsic goals. x
  • 12
    Power—Getting It and Keeping It
    What are a leader's sources of power, and how is it acquired (and lost)? How is a leader's power different from his or her authority? And what are the dangers and risks of too much power? These are three central questions about power and leadership that Professor Roberto answers here. x
  • 13
    Key Levers of Power
    We've all dealt with office politics at one point or another in our careers. Discover the secrets of successfully navigating organizational politics in order to make change happen. Some of the strategies whose pros and cons you examine are framing, timing, information and analysis, structural change, and symbolic action. x
  • 14
    Influence—Tools of Persuasion
    Effective leaders should never rely solely on formal authority; they should also be able to persuade. In the first of two lectures on persuasion, focus on two "weapons of influence": authority (the necessity for people to obey authority figures and roles) and commitment (behaving in a manner consistent with prior actions). x
  • 15
    Give and Take
    Turn now to four more "weapons of influence" you can use to persuade. The success of reciprocation, social proof, the liking principle, and scarcity are rooted in, respectively, our need to repay in kind, our looking to others to determine what's appropriate, our duty to authority, and our fear of fewer opportunities. x
  • 16
    Negotiating as a Way of Life
    If you want to be a transformational leader, you have to know how to negotiate. In the first of two lectures on negotiation, investigate this indispensable skill's roots in theoretical games such as the Prisoner's Dilemma. Also, learn which negotiating strategies can produce the best results. x
  • 17
    Avoiding the Zero-Sum Game
    Discover value-claiming and value-creating behaviors that are integral to the negotiation process. Your focus here is on unpacking Roger Fisher and William Ury's influential model for dispute resolution, which calls for a focus on interests over positions, an insistence on objective criteria, and much more. x
  • 18
    Building and Leading Teams
    Professor Roberto shows you how to optimize the strength and productivity of your team. Explore the benefits (and potential limitations) of the five conditions for designing and leading a team: stability, a compelling shared direction, an enabling structure, a supporting organizational context, and expert coaching. x
  • 19
    Guiding Teams as They Evolve
    Team design is important—but good leaders also need to help teams develop and dodge conflict. Here, analyze the three key aspects of process leadership: creating a solid process for team development, dealing with "fault lines" that can potentially fragment your team, and combating groupthink. x
  • 20
    Observation and Organizational Learning
    One of the most fundamental processes of change that any leader must master: learning. Your focus in this lecture is on important strategies of intelligence gathering. Explore the problems of pitfalls such as leading questions, group dynamics, and the unconscious mind; and learn how to hone your powers of observation. x
  • 21
    Deliberate Practice and Experiment
    Continue studying the importance of organizational learning with this insightful lecture on experience and experimentation. For the former concept, learn tips and strategies for improving after-action reviews; for the latter, learn how to best evaluate and learn from exploratory and hypothesis-testing experiments—especially failed ones. x
  • 22
    Stimulating Creativity
    Another essential dimension of transformational leadership—the kind that makes you stand out from the competition—is creativity. Here, Professor Roberto dispels six myths about creativity, introduces you to the concepts of "blue ocean" opportunities and group flow, reveals the seven characteristics of effective creative collaboration, and more. x
  • 23
    Leading Innovation
    Delve into the secret benefits of open innovation and transparent research and development. Using case studies from Linux and Proctor & Gamble, discover how you as a leader can tap into the power of innovation rooted in connections that extend beyond the boundaries of your team or firm. x
  • 24
    Developing Leaders
    Great leaders don't just lead—they develop tomorrow's leaders. Why is it important for organizations to grow their own leaders? What does effective leadership development entail? How have great companies used deliberate practice—practicing toward specific performance improvement goals—to mold future leaders? How can you do the same? x

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Your professor

Michael A. Roberto

About Your Professor

Michael A. Roberto, D.B.A.
Bryant University
Dr. Michael A. Roberto teaches leadership, managerial decision making, and business strategy as the Trustee Professor of Management at Bryant University in Smithfield, Rhode Island. He joined the faculty at Bryant University after teaching at Harvard Business School for six years. Previously, Professor Roberto was a Visiting Associate Professor at New York University's Stern School of Business. Professor Roberto earned an...
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Also By This Professor


Transformational Leadership: How Leaders Change Teams, Companies, and Organizations is rated 4.4 out of 5 by 34.
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Informative I found this course to be very informative and helpful to analyze my own leadership style and areas where I can improve.
Date published: 2017-10-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Clearly a professional; based on important researc Michael Roberto is clearly a professional and an excellent presenter. His presentation is in a logical sequence and he presents authoritative information with clear references in every lecture. I would have liked to see some supporting videos occasionally to break up the graduate school lecture format, but Dr. Roberto is interesting enough and authoritative enough to keep the presentations bearable. I highly recommend this set of lectures for executives and trainers as a review of everything you need to know to base your work on excellent information. Watch this once a year to refresh. . .
Date published: 2016-08-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great instructor and Great Insight! We've all heard that leaders can be taught. So in order to be a leader, you must learn! This course is a valuable contribution to the knowledge needed to become more effective. Professor Roberto is clearly very energized about the topic of leadership. He covers many important topics. I highly recommend this course to anyone interested in improving how they work in an organization.
Date published: 2015-11-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Valuable insights into Leadership! The topics were interesting and I found myself thinking about the leadership of my company. The professor covered so many topics and offered clear solutions to business issues. I love that he also has a blog that I can subscribe to. I enjoy getting his continuing insights on leadership and business.
Date published: 2015-08-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Checklist to assemble ones leadership toolset The lecture is a great roadmap for assembling one's leaderships toolkit. It talks about a lot of the skills and characteristics involved in being a good leader and dealing with conflict. Still its a Map, maps are great and they do a lot of the early frustrating heavy lifting. Maps make each way point a low hanging fruit, and its easy to choose the lowest hanging fruit for myself. Still further study requires having the syllabus and I failed to get that buy purchasing from a 3rd party seller. So you still need to do the skill honing and choosing or strategezing what skills to pick up and their value in context of the problems faced. I'm listening to it as I work through our company's own challenges and it has become a great help - works best when working and the speaker emphasizes on hands-on learning. What better way to master it if I can listen to it in my free time and reflect, while in the environment I'm trying to fix and analyze.
Date published: 2015-05-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Invaluable Guide to Business Leadership and Change Having commenced an important new commerical role i wanted, for the first time, to undertake one of the TTC's business/professional courses. I have not previously undertaken any formal course in this subject area though i have read relatively eclectically on leadership. This course was precisely what i was looking for; a stimulating analytical discourse on the latest scholarship covering the traits of leadership and then related topics such as making change within business effective as well as communication/influence and reward structures for teams. Helpful references were made to real life business case studies to illustrate a point It has already provided real life information and modes of thiking that have helped me in my commercial leadership role. My one disappointment was that handbook was woefully lacking in detail which made reviewing the lectures later a challenge and hence i have given this a 4 star rating. I would have happily bought a 36 lecture version of this course which might have for example added several more in depth treatments of case studies.
Date published: 2015-04-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of my favorite courses so far I've been a Teaching Company customer for just shy of eight years. In that time I've received some very good courses and some underwhelming ones. Transformational Leadership is one of the best. The course started out slow in the first few lectures, but then picked up pretty quickly. Michael Roberto is now one of my favorite Teaching Company professors. You will learn far more about business leadership from this course than from most mass-market leadership books. If you have to choose between "The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership" (Amazon's top search result on the subject) and this course, definitely go with this course. It's no contest. So far, my favorite professors for various topics are: Michael Roberto - Business Timothy Taylor - Economics Bruce Edwards - Math Robert Hazen - Science
Date published: 2014-04-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Solid and Well Structured I must say at the outset of this review that I don't share the perspective of the harsher critics of this course. Yes, it's generally a basic course. Yes, it covers mostly older cases that are very familiar to most students of leadership. And, yes, it fails to pay proper respect to the more complex and intractable problems for which typical lessons in leadership sometimes provide little or no help. Having conceded all that, I still recommend this solid and well structured course both to newcomers to the topic of leadership and those who want a moderately deep dive. The professor is extremely knowledgeable in the scholarship around leadership and quite experienced in practical applications in the real world of business. I found great value in his consistent resort to high quality research to support his teaching and his frequent reference to relevant case studies he helped conduct. I do hope Professor Roberto will come back with a new edition of the course that goes deeper, with more recent cases and greater attention to the more difficult challenges that don't tend to melt away when "best practice" solutions are applied. I promise to be an early purchaser of that course.
Date published: 2013-12-05
Rated 2 out of 5 by from 24 lectures that could be pared down a lot I've listened to 4 of 24 lectures so far and am struggling with investing any more time. From what I've observed so far, the course is long on words and short on key insights. The key findings are there but in 4 lectures, I feel like the essence could have been summarized in a 2 page paper. So, I suspect that the same would apply for the remainder of the course. I have more of a bias for efficiency with the business courses that I purchased as I like to get to the essence quickly and find practical value for application at work. This course, thus far, has not offered efficiency nor practicality... but rather long winded discussions that seem to be building toward something but I'm not yet really sure what.
Date published: 2013-11-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good Course for leaders This is a course that takes a while to get going. The first five lectures are a fairly dull overview of the failings of academia to identify a magic formula for effective leadership. However once it gets into the tools and techniques of change, motivation, power, persuasion etc it becomes a very good course. If you are a business leader looking to transform your organisation you will find some useful material here. A good blend of academic theory and practical applications. Certainly worth your time, recommended.
Date published: 2012-11-17
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A great overview but not a " how to" of leadership I have endured countless leadership, management, motivational and organizational lectures, seminars, retreats, practicums, and entire weeklong courses all expounding various theories of interpersonal and organizational dynamics and how to institute change and manage people----lots of "how to's" that ran the gamut from some pretty extreme ideas to revolutionary concepts to just plain obvious managerial skills. This lecture series was a refreshing and entertaining overview of the facts, history, and general theories of leadership and what traits can make a good leader, peppered with useful and practical specific examples to demonstrate how some successful leaders have accomplished some amazing goals. We find that there is as much importance to situational factors as to personality factors and individual training and background factors, rather than a "one size fits all" approach to leadership. Not so much a "how to" on leadership as a gathering of the great ideas of "how it was done" by many successful leaders through the last century or so particularly in business, then dissected and reviewed for the reasons it either succeeded or failed, and a general look at some research and reviews that help explain it all. Learn by example, learn from history both successful and not, learn how sizing up situational factors and personality factors all play a roll in successful leadership and in inducing institutional change, hopefully for the good. Many great concepts broken down into fundamental pieces showing various ways in which each may play pivotal roles in leading and initiating progressive change. But the major take away points in this lecture series IMHO are that leaders are indeed made, usually from some pretty good raw materials, recognized as such by other mentoring successful leaders, but the ultimate success or failure of those chosen few depends as much on situational factors and assessing and recognizing and adapting to those factors as it does on any intrinsic abilities or personality factors of the leaders themselves. Right time and place are just as important as right person. Well put together series that finally circles around to that conclusion.
Date published: 2012-08-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Overview of Leadership The course covered a lot of ground and while I saw many things repeated from other courses, Prisoner's Dilemma, Group Think, etc.., I still found the re framing of these ideas useful and helpful. Prof Roberto cited a lot of research and linked this with many practical examples of key leaders throughout history. Also, there were many insights which I found helpful, e.g., the tips for avoiding Group Think would revolutionise the industry in which I work. The course covered a lot of content and some of it needs further developing. But this is what I expected from overview course. As a result of needing further development, I’ve purchased more detailed courses, e.g. Effective Communication and The Art of Conflict Management. Prof Roberto is well researched and has an excellent lecture style and is obviously very enthusiastic about his material. I found the course relevant, useful and enjoyable. There is much here that will improve your ability to lead.
Date published: 2012-05-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from World Wind Tour of Leadership The course covered a lot of ground and while I saw many things repeated from other courses, Prisoner's Dilemma, Group Think, etc.., I still found the re framing of these ideas useful and helpful. Prof Roberto cited a lot of research and linked this with many practical examples of key leaders throughout history. Also, there were many insights which I found helpful, e.g., the tips for avoiding Group Think would revolutionise the industry in which I work. The course covered a lot of content and some of it needs further developing. But this is what I expected from overview course. As a result of needing further development, I’ve purchased more detailed courses, e.g. Effective Communication and The Art of Conflict Management. Prof Roberto is well researched and has an excellent lecture style and is obviously very enthusiastic about his material. I found the course relevant, useful and enjoyable. There is much here that will improve your ability to lead.
Date published: 2012-05-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great, but slow in the beginning I gained a lot from this course. I have no formal leadership training in my past, though I have held a number of leadership positions in acedemic and professional associations over the last decade. For me, this course was eye opening and insightful. I now have a greater understanding of what forces operate behind the scenes such that some initiatives gain momentum while others fail to progress. At first, I felt the series was slow to become interesting. By the end of Lecture 4 I was actually fairly bored with it and considered looking for something else to learn from. The turn around comes with Lecture 5. So, hang in there. Lecture 6 through the end was excellent. It is not a "motivational pep-talk" and is not meant to be. Professor Roberto provides many real life examples, most of which were unknown to me, but to someone more informed they may be familiar. His voice reminds me a bit of another professor I enjoy a great deal, Timothy Taylor (Teaching Company, Economics). Except, Professor Taylor speaks as if he's just downed a pot of coffee; Professor Roberto, like he's only had 2 cups.
Date published: 2012-04-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Transformational leadership This course provides a wealth of knowledge that is understandable and immediately applicable in any business. Get this course before spending another dime on business consultants.
Date published: 2012-04-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A bird's eye view of leadership This course is a great introduction to the concepts needed by leaders to be effective. While the course material never ventures too deeply into many specifics of how individual situations ought to be handled, Prof. Roberto does an excellent job of highlighting the kinds of things that leaders ought to be thinking about. This method might disappoint some listeners who are looking for more concrete material. But I was very impressed. It seems to me that with leadership there are many ways to skin that cat. The course focuses on how CEOs should act in the performance of their duties, but I think that the concepts discussed could apply elsewhere as well. I am certainly going to think about what I learned in this course as I lead the most important team in my life: my family.
Date published: 2012-03-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Great Overview of Leadership Principles With over 40 years experience in leadership and management positions in the military and business, I purchased this course to supplement material I use for teaching undergraduate management courses. Prof Roberto is dynamic in his presentations and couches the subject in real world situations. The lectures are riveting and both reinforce successful leadership techniques and refute those that are questionable. I intend to use some of the material to give my students another perspective on the textbook material they are using. Highly recommended for anyone in the same endeavor as I.
Date published: 2012-01-10
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Too Random, Concepts Outdated and Theoretical In short, I struggled with this course. I bought this course because I really enjoyed Prof Roberto's first course on Decision Making (which I gave 5 stars). Why did I give this course a low rating? A few reasons: 1. Most of the concepts are outdated, such as the five sources of power (which has been around since 30-40 years ago) - I learnt it in my management degree twenty years ago. 2. Two lectures were dedicated to Bob Cialdini's book "Influence" which I have read sometime ago. Although it was a good book, I felt I wasted time listening to 1 hour's worth of the book's summary. This is only an example. Another example is two lectures' worth of game theory (including prisoner's dilemma), which is quite a well-known topic... no need to spend 1 hour on them. 3. Topics were also put together too randomly. I felt that the course was kind of put together from topics that have been somewhat researched academically, and not integrated well. For instance, after talking about what academics have covered about power, then let's talk about influence (Cialdini's book), and after that about negotiating (some academic studies), then about team building..... see the 'randomness'? I struggled with it all throughout the course. 4. The concepts are too theoretical. As a leader in my organisation, I just feel most of the concepts are either not relevant for me or too obvious to be uniquely practiced (i.e., nothing new). The only positive thing about this course is that the last 3 lectures or so about innovation and leadership development I felt to be quite useful and informative (i.e., they are new information for me). Certainly not as good as Professor Roberto's first course.
Date published: 2012-01-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from More of interest to CEO's As the title indicates, this is a course about leadership of large companies and large organizations. It is often difficult to extrapolate the lectures to personal or family life, or even small businesses (lawyers, doctors, etc). However, in all fairness, the course does not claim to cover these areas. With the above caveat in mind, the course is not bad. The field itself is not very scientific and almost all the research is comprised of observational studies of big companies or famous CEOs and trying to uncover why they failed or succeeded. At times the lectures sound like motivational speaking. Occasionally social psychology studies are quoted. However, many lectures stand well on their own (eg charisma, creativity, authority, innovation, group dynamics, etc) and provide for intersting listening. I think this course is appropriate for individuals who are in leadership positions of large organizations involving multiple teams, or aspire to such positions. For the average person trying to be a better father, boss, husband, or manager, there are probably more appropriate courses out there.
Date published: 2011-11-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Inspiring! Another splendid course from Professor Roberto. Bear in mind this is a MBA type of course. He doesn't coddle you or hold your hand, nor should he. In fact the better B-School Programs emulate Special Forces training, where they put students in seemingly desperate situations, to see who flails around, and who 'steps out of the grave' and succeeds. Well done!
Date published: 2011-09-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Well-Rounded Survey of Leadership I am in the military and have studied leadership and organizational management for several years and figured I would give this course a try. The content is well-rounded and will serve to be an excellent introduction to organizational leadership. I valued this course and would recommend it to any one who wants to understand the methods and mechanics of leadership. At first I wasn't sure if I would buy the course because one bad review knocked the average rating down. I'm glad I didn't listen to that person. I am not sure what they were expecting from the course, but I found it to be very structured, orderly, and coherent. Not a "mash-up", as the other reviewer put it. If you are a taskmaster in your organization and you have no intent of changing and becoming a more open and flexible leader, then you will not like this course. If you want to understand how to manipulate and control people by hard force, this course is not for you. If you sincerely want to learn more about true leadership, (informal leadership), and to learn ways to be more receptive, collaborative, and intelligent in your interactions with other people, this may be for you. Criticisms? Prof. Roberto has a tendency to speak with his nose, causing a nasal sound at times. You get over it after the first 10 minutes. : ) I don't think he can do much about it, so you can't hold it against him. Lastly, this course is one of the more recent produced by the company so the graphics and transitions are of a higher grade than some of the older products I have from The Teaching Company. So that's a plus. Hope you enjoy if you buy it.
Date published: 2011-09-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Excellent overview of the topic I majored in this field (too long ago) and have used the concepts in business ever since. This is an excellent refresher on the concepts I studied then (some things about people just don't change). The professor also brings in new scholarship and ideas that have emerged recently and relates them to the original approaches. The lectures are very well presented, with enough personality to keep them from being pedantic. Well done.
Date published: 2011-09-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very stimulating! Professor Roberto does a great job of pulling together a great deal of research from multiple fields to provide an overarching course on transitional leadership...and leadership in general. The content of the course belies its title; the subject matter ranges far afield as he provides insights and commentary on a host of topics, from leading transition to creating and nurturing effective teams. If I had been looking for a short, snappy course on transitional leadership I would probably be disappointed. The depth and breadth of this course gave it great value for me.
Date published: 2011-08-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Overview I almost did not purchase this course, in light of the previous review. But I took the chance and have been rewarded with a better understanding of leadership from an academic perspective, as well as greater insight into the practical issues of running an organization. I am a business management major, but not a scholar (in this area); and I found that it was a well-balanced course that will help me in the day-to-day leading of a non-profit organization. Perhaps the previous reviewer was seeking something that this course was not designed to offer. I expect most Teaching Company courses to be college-level introductions that cover the broad scope of a given topic, interacting with the major scholarship, yet focusing on the particular interests and expertise of the lecturer. They are meant to be neither popular self-improvement seminars nor esoteric lectures that only full-time researchers would understand or care about. "Transformational Leadership" lives up to that expectation. It does not just cover the topic of leadership in abstraction, but contextualizes it in scenarios from facilitating change to improving communication to conducting teams. The instructor makes use of a wide range of scholarship, and he draws from very recent (2011) news to illustrate his points. I did not give the course 5 stars for two reasons: First, he did not deliver some of the first lectures particularly well; I attribute it to getting used to the TC format, because he was as good as any lecturer I've heard by the 5th or 6th lecture. Secondly, and more importantly, I was very disappointed in the guide. Other courses provide a very detailed outline; I rarely use it, unless I want to refer back to something or someone that a lecturer mentions, for further reading. These "outlines" are basically just bullet points that cover only the most basic content. The old format was much more helpful. That said, I can recommend this course heartily for those who want an academic introduction to the scholarship on leadership or desire to be better leaders. There are plenty of seminars out there, but this is a great place to start.
Date published: 2011-08-06
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Superficial treatment; nothing new Although I've generally been a fan of Dr. Roberto's other courses, this one is disappointing. It is a superficial mash-up of stale theories and vaguely and tangentially-related topics that really don't fit well together. Pass on this one.
Date published: 2011-07-11
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