Leadership

Leaders acquire the power to affect the behavior of others by controlling access to valued resources. But often access involves an element of reciprocity, says W. P. Carey associate professor of management Kevin Corley, who studies and teaches leadership theory and skills. “How to Lead” is a two-part podcast produced for Business to Go: knowledge and skills that you can put to work today in your business and career.

One of the characteristics of leadership is the ability to spur others to follow your direction. But exactly how do leaders do it? Kevin Corley, an associate professor of management at the W. P. Carey School of Business, studies leadership. He says we often assume that what we need is coercive power in order to make people do what we want or need them to do. The key, however, is influence - not coercion.

What does it take to be an effective leader of a corporation? What must a chief executive officer do to energize employees and inspire them to go beyond what is normally expected? How does a CEO motivate employees to truly commit to a company? Management experts have identified a concept known as transformational leadership as one important factor in motivating employees. Transformational leaders have a vision for their organizations and they express that vision passionately to their followers. They encourage their followers to forego self-interest for the sake of the larger group, whether it is a work team or the entire company. But a study of corporate leaders in China found that transformational leadership may not be enough if a key ingredient is missing: a CEO who holds the right internal values.

Alan Mulally, president and chief executive officer of Ford Motor Company, was honored recently as Executive of the Year by the Dean's Council of 100, a group of prominent business executives who advise the W.&nsbp;P. Carey School of Business. In presenting the award, W. P. Carey School Dean Robert Mittelstaedt noted Mulally's exceptional leadership in turning Ford around without requesting government bailout money. Here is Mulally's speech and the question period that followed.

In the opening moments of Bob Anderson's presentation at a recent conference sponsored by the Center for the Advancement of Business through Information Technology, the IT executive used the words "innovation" or "innovative" or "innovate" seven times. He has reasons to harp on that theme. Now chief technologist for Best Buy Co., Inc., the nation's largest consumer electronics outlet, Anderson defines innovative thinking as creative, inventive, radical and fearless. And when you're a retailer of products sold by everyone from Sears to Circuit City, coming up with new and better ways to service customers is crucial to survival, he said.