Power and influence: Leadership in action

In a world in which most organizations, communities, and societies face enormous challenges, leadership is critical. This course gets to the core of leadership and getting things done. Power and Influence is a course for those of you who want to make things happen, despite the obstacles that might stand in your way. It is about understanding power dynamics and learning to use them as effective tools for analyzing your surroundings and achieving your goals. During the course we intended to unearth your implicit theories and feelings about power and influence. These have a profound impact on how you perceive problems and opportunities, and subsequently, how you decide upon particular courses of action.

This course includes conceptual models, self-assessment tools and simulation exercises to help you develop your own influence style and understand political dynamics as they unfold around you. The course provides you with the opportunity to observe effective and ineffective uses of power in different organizational contexts and career stages. By design, this course will challenge you to define for yourself what will constitute the responsible exercise of power and influence in your life. The objectives of the course are to help you:

  • Develop a conceptual framework for understanding power and influence. You should be able to define power and influence and begin to appreciate how essential they are for your own career.
  • Practice diagnostic skills that will enable you to map out the political landscape, understand others' perspectives and power bases, and learn to predict and influence their actions.
  • Assess your own power bases and develop your own strategy for building and exercising power and influence ethically and responsibly.

The course relies on a mix of traditional case studies, biographical case studies of historical figures, exercises/simulations, films, and guest visits. The exposure to the development and use of power in many different social settings and at various points in history allows a comprehensive analysis of power in action.

This course is for 2nd year MIA and MPP students only.

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