fbpx Exercising Leadership: The Politics of Change | Harvard Kennedy School
Farayi Chipungu Photo

Farayi Chipungu

Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy
Ronald Heifetz Photo

Ronald Heifetz

King Hussein Bin Talal Senior Lecturer in Public Leadership
Timothy O'Brien Photo

Timothy O'Brien

Lecturer in Public Policy

Hugh O'Doherty

Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy

This course applies theory to the practice of leadership within societies and organizations as they face the adaptive challenges of a changing world. Clarifies the relationship among key concepts -- leadership, management, authority, power, influence, followership, citizenship - to provide a practical, coherent, and clear theoretical grasp of this area of practice. The course develops: a) diagnostic tools for analyzing the complexity of change in social systems, and b) a strategy of action that includes: mobilizing engagement, generating innovation, orchestrating multi-party conflict, regulating disequilibrium, and gaining, using, and negotiating with authority. Through these frameworks and tools, students discover options for practicing leadership from any position in an organization or society. In addition to lectures, discussion, and small group work, the course draws on student cases of leadership, experiential exercises, and case-in-point teaching - using the classroom process to understand social system dynamics. Numerous written analyses and a major paper are required.

Attendance at first class required. Occasional evening meetings. Please note, while this course allows cross-registration, priority is given to HKS students and historically there has been high levels of interest with minimal openings for non-HKS students.