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.

In the past sixty years, advances in neuroscience have led to remarkable progress in the fight against disorders of the brain, from Alzheimer’s Disease to traumatic brain injury to addictions. Could the scientific discoveries of recent decades about how the brain works also be used to improve the functioning of healthy individuals? A team of researchers at the W. P. Carey School of Business, such as information systems Professor Pierre Balthazard, is trying to do just that. The investigators are using the tools of neuroscience, including brain imaging and neurofeedback, to identify leadership qualities in individuals and to discover ways to enhance those abilities.
Phil Francis is executive chairman of PetSmart, Inc. -- the largest specialty pet retailer of services and solutions for the lifetime needs of pets. Before coming to PetSmart as president and CEO in 1998, Francis was president and chief executive officer of Shaw's Supermarkets, Inc., a subsidiary of J. Sainsbury plc. Recently he was the guest speaker at one of the W. P. Carey School's Executive Luncheons, a series of events designed to bring the corporate leaders to an audience of undergraduate students. Before his talk, Francis met with Josh Bowman, a junior majoring in marketing and the executive director of the luncheon series. Speaking from experience gained during a long career, Francis addressed the character qualities that underpin a successful life. You don't have to be a student facing graduation to benefit from his ideas.

Retired CEO Craig Weatherup was addressing a group of finance undergraduates at the W. P. Carey School recently when he popped a question. "How many of you would profess to have a model or a definition of how you want to grow as a leader?" he asked. Three or four hands went up. "I think everybody should raise their hand on that question, and I'll tell you why," he said. Weatherup himself has a model for leadership: a simple yet comprehensive set of attitudes and behaviors that have shaped him in his personal life and as the leader of people and organizations -- often through periods of dramatic change.