Leadership Analysis in Organizations – Instructions
Create a 9-page leadership analysis using the narrative and summary of the leadership interviews you conducted.
This assignment gives you the opportunity to synthesize and demonstrate your understanding and experience interviewing leaders and how the
leadership characteristics you analyzed relate to leadership theories, the New Business Realities, and the Thinking Habits.
• Competency: Analyze the art and science of leadership.
o Analyze how the data from leadership interviews supports leadership theories.
Competency: Reflect on personal leadership skills.
o Analyze the relevance of the concepts from New Business Realities and Thinking Habits to an interview experience.
o Self-assess the experience as an interviewer.
Competency: Create and effective theory of leadership.
o Recommend leadership development initiatives for leaders at a specific level.
The resources provided explore the new science assumption of field theory and how it occurs in the human systems arena through culture, values,
and ethics. Imagine purpose or direction working like gravity or a magnetic field to organize messy human behavior toward a unifying direction.
A leader’s role is to state, clarify, discuss, model, and embody the values and purposes as a way to subtly create order and direction.
The resources provided also address the idea that what you see is what you get, meaning that we create self-fulfilling prophecies, shaping
reality just by deciding what to measure. It is important for leaders to understand that people support what they help create, and if the
leaders want implementation, they have to promote ownership through participation. When leaders begin promoting ownership, they view job
descriptions and organization charts differently. Their perspective moves toward a holistic approach to the interactions and connections
between managers and employees or between departments. In the end, they serve the customer better.
New Business Realities of the 21st Century. (Provided in separate email)
Thinking Habits of Mind, Heart, and Imagination
11. Complementary Thinking – The habit of thinking that weaves multiple perspectives into an integrated fabric of understanding.
12. Connected Seeing – The habit of seeing reality as a whole system, which is a seamlessly connected, interactive, and dynamic web-of-
13. Collaborative Teamwork – The habit of collaborating and using teamwork to accomplish common purpose, by integrating personal initiative
and group cooperation.
14. Constructing Meaning – The habit of constructing meaning by acquiring and synthesizing diverse sources of knowledge to enrich
15. Conceptual Clarity – The habit of clear conceptual thinking from first principles, to make sense of and to distinguish among the known,
the unknown and the unknowable.
16. Communicating Effectively – The habit of communicating effectively in a teamwork style to collaboratively create new understandings,
new possibilities, and new realities.
17. Courageous Action – The habit of courageously taking action and making meaning in the face of ambiguous experience and uncertainty.
18. Caring Empathy – The habit of caring for, identifying with, and honoring others, as well as understanding how others see the world.
19. Conversational Reflection – The habit of reflecting on the experience of professional practice through learning conversations.
20. Continuous Learning – The habit of seeing every experience as an opportunity for continuous lifetime learning.
• Future Search Network. (2012). Future search. Retrieved from http://www.futuresearch.net/
• Society for Organizational Learning. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.solonline.org
This is the last Assignment that is related to the leadership interviews. For this assignment, use the narrative and summary of your interviews
to complete the following analysis:
1. Leadership theory: Summarize the leadership theory that you used to develop your interview questions. Analyze how the questions you
asked and the data you collected during the interview support your chosen leadership theory. You might have used servant leadership, Kevin
Cashman, Margaret Wheatley, articles from the Center for Creative Leadership, leadership stage theory, or other sources. Demonstrate your
understanding of your chosen mastery (personal, purpose, change, interpersonal/being, balance, or action). Use examples from your interviews to
demonstrate your mastery topic.
2. Common Learning Themes: Reread the New Business Realities and the Thinking Habits of Mind, Heart, and Imagination, linked in the
Resources. Select one topic from each and discuss its relevance to your experience interviewing leaders. The following are two examples:
o New Business Realities: Did the interview reflect the dynamics of transformational change in complex systems in the change mastery
o Thinking Habits: Did the interview encourage professional self-development through conversational reflection in the questions on
Self-Reflection: Self-assess your experience as an interviewer. What seemed to work? What did not work? What would you do differently
next time? How would you change your explanation of your leadership topic, the medium you chose, or your behavior during the interview, to
enhance the quality of your data? What did you learn about interviewing? What did you learn about your topic and its potential for helping
leaders examine their leadership skills and characteristics?
Summary Statement: Think about your experience interviewing leaders at this level. Describe the primary lessons you gained from this
experience, the value of interviewing leaders, and the impact this approach has on leadership development. Include your recommendations to your
current organization or an organization with which you are familiar about the development of leaders at this level and on your mastery topic
and the use of interviews to propel personal development.
• Length: Your assessment should be 9 pages, double-spaced.
• Font and size: Use Times New Roman. The font size must be 12 point.
• Margins: The paper margins should be 1 inch on each side.
• Components: Include a title page, table of contents, and reference page. These do not count toward the paper length.
• Formatting: APA format is required for all aspects of your analysis, including citations and references. Your writing should be well
organized and clear. Writing structure, spelling, and grammar should be correct as well.
Fast and flexible — information interviewing is a useful research tool. Good investigative reporters use information
interviewing to ferret out a story, and talk-show hosts use interviewing to inform and entertain. You may want to
interview someone to find out more about a potential career, or you may conduct multiple interviews as part of a
broader research project.
To conduct effective information interviews follow these basic steps:
1. Plan for the interview. Use the 5 W’s (why, what, who, when, and where) to develop good questions.
Then prepare an interview guide.
2. Prepare for the interview. Identify potential interview candidates, obtain their consent, and schedule the
3. Conduct the interview. Use questioning and listening skills to zero in on important interview topics. Take
notes. Send a thank you note.
4. Analyze the interview content.
5. Report your findings or incorporate them into other documents.
6. Follow-up. If appropriate, share results with the person you’ve interviewed.
1. Plan for the Interview
Appropriate planning can make the difference between a useful information interview and one that is a waste of
time. Use the journalist’s 5 W’s to help you plan.
Clearly define your interview purpose and objectives:
¾ What knowledge gaps are you trying to address?
¾ What will you do with the interview information when you’ve finished?
¾ Do you need to:
o Obtain information unavailable from other sources?
o Verify other findings?
o Add credibility to conclusions you’ve drawn?
o Obtain names of additional contacts?
o Find additional resources – books, periodicals, associations, web sites?
Tip: Limit the number of your interview objectives to about 3-5.
Develop an interview guide.
¾ Identify questions to support each of your major objectives. Your questions should address topics
specifically related to your objective. Let’s say you wanted to identify additional information resources.
You would ask for recommended books, periodicals, Internet sites, and associations.
¾ The structure of your questions is important.
Use open-ended questions to get the person talking and to obtain more information. Basic open-ended
questions start with the words: who, what, when, where, why and how. The questions “what, why, and
how” are especially powerful for eliciting information.
Why did you choose this particular occupation?
What are the primary requirements to be successful in your job?
How could I find out more about this industry?
Use close-ended questions to obtain specific answers or to close off discussion.
Do you have an advanced degree?
Is an internship a good way to become familiar with the work?
Do you know of other types of similar jobs?
Some people use the technique of asking a close-ended question followed by an open-ended one.
Is an advanced degree important to your top executives? (Answer: yes). Why?
¾ Sequence your questions. First get the person talking and then focus on the major topics of interest.
a. What is the person’s background?
b. Probe specific topics:
Topic 1 – General question followed by specific follow-up questions
Topic 2 – General questions followed by specific follow-up questions
c. Closing question/summary
¾ You can usually explore about five or six major topic areas in one hour. Allow approximately 5-10
minutes per topic. Allow more time if a topic will be complex or you wish to explore it in depth.
Selecting the right person to interview is, of course, a make-or-break decision.
¾ Identify your selection criteria for interview candidates.
o What knowledge and experience should they have?
o What type of job, title, or position are you looking for?
o Are you interested in people from a particular industry or company?
o What credentials might be important?
o Is affiliation with a particular professional group or association important?
o Is a candidate likely to be interested and willing to give you an interview?
o Is a candidate likely to be available when you need to conduct the interview?
¾ Develop a list of potential candidates to contact.
o Contact professional associations to compile a list of candidates.
o Conduct a library search to determine experts on the subject you wish to explore.
o Tap into your own professional network for recommendations.
o Consult friends, family, and co-workers to identify potential candidates. (This is especially helpful if
you are networking or doing interviews related to a job or career search.)
¾ Determine the best time to complete your interviews and establish target dates.
¾ Establish the length of the interview. Most interviews last 1 to 1.5 hours. If you plan to conduct a longer
interview, ask the person you are interviewing if he or she would be willing to allocate more time. Break
up very long interviews into several sessions. If the person is very busy, a half-hour interview may still be
useful to you and acceptable to them. If so, focus down to your most important questions.
Make sure you choose an interview setting that allows you to talk freely. It is best to have a quiet and private
place with no interruptions. If an interview is to be confidential, than a private setting is essential.
¾ The person you are interviewing may ask you to come to his or her office. Obtain any necessary
information to assure you will arrive on time for the interview.
¾ If you will be meeting at a restaurant, choose one where there isn’t too much background noise or loud
2. Prepare for the Interview
Make any necessary arrangements. Contact potential interview candidates, obtain their consent and schedule
¾ Give yourself adequate lead-time. Assume that it may take at least one to three weeks to schedule the
¾ Contact your interview candidates and explain:
o The interview topic and purpose,
o Why you chose them,
o How much time you will need,
o How interview information will be used.
Although most people are quite willing to share information, some may decline for various
reasons. Thank the person for their time and ask if there may be others who they might recommend. If
not, do not push, but thank them and proceed to contact another interview candidate from your list.
¾ Make any necessary arrangements — restaurant reservations, transportation, etc.
¾ Make a copy of your interview guide for you and for the person you’ll be interviewing.
¾ Assemble materials for taking notes.
Note: Although tape recording exempts you from taking notes, many people don’t like being recorded.
It is very important to obtain permission. It takes considerably more time to transcribe a tape
recording after an interview but a full transcription captures more detail. If you will be taperecording the interview, make sure that the
equipment is working, the volume setting is correct,
and you have blank tapes.
3. Conduct the Interview
It is very important to put the person you are interviewing at ease. Be certain to greet them warmly and thank
them for helping you. Begin briefly with some general conversation, perhaps based on something you know
about them or see from their office that may indicate a common interest. Then, follow this basic sequence.
¾ Explain the interview’s purpose and objectives. Ask if the person has any questions or concerns about
the interview. Address any issues.
¾ Obtain the person’s background information. This usually includes: name, title, company/organization,
role/responsibilities, education, previous positions, and involvement in professional organizations.
¾ Ask an easy or interesting question to get the person talking.
¾ Introduce questions in sequential order and follow your interview guide. Sometimes people answer a
question planned for later at an earlier time in the interview. Be prepared to record an answer whenever
it occurs and to skip a question if it already has been answered.
¾ Listen! Make eye contact and nod. Occasionally paraphrase what the person is saying. Keep the tone
conversational so the person doesn’t feel like they are being grilled. Keep your own comments short – be
careful not to talk too much, consuming your valuable time to hear from the other person.
¾ Record notes on your interview guide.
¾ Use a funneling technique to explore particular ideas in more detail. First, ask a general, open-ended
question, and then, follow up with questions to elicit more specifics.
Overhead Question: What do you think is important to know about employee retention?
Follow-up Question: You mentioned work-life balance as one important dimension,
could you tell me more about that?
¾ When you finish a major topic area, summarize and transition to the next topic.
¾ At the end of the interview, ask if there is anything more the person would like to add?
¾ Thank the person again and outline your next steps.
¾ Send a thank you note within one or two days of the interview.© 2001 Capella University
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4. Analyze the Interview Content
Once you’ve completed an interview, analyze the comments to determine what you’ve learned and to
establish any findings and conclusions.
¾ Transcribe the information from your interview guide. Match the interview comments to the key topics you
¾ Look for any patterns or themes in the responses.
o What facts and ideas did the person emphasize? (Look for repetition and ideas the person felt
o What additional information did they provide?
o How did responses confirm or refute other research?
o How biased were the person’s remarks? (Bias is one disadvantage of interviews.)
o Were there any surprises?
o What did the individual’s body language and demeanor communicate?
5. Report Your Findings
In some cases, you’ll need to communicate or document the results of your interview to others. You’ll need to
tailor your report to the appropriate audience. You should include the following in any document or report.
¾ State your interview purpose and objectives.
¾ Explain the method you used to obtain the information.
¾ Summarize the interview findings.
¾ State any conclusions you’ve drawn as a result of your analysis.
¾ If required, integrate your interview findings with other research.
Make certain you fulfill any other responsibilities or expectations connected with your interview(s).
¾ If appropriate, share your final document with the person you’ve interviewed.
¾ Fulfill any promises or actions you agreed upon as part of the interviewing process.
Interviews allow you to quickly obtain information that might take a great deal of time to find other ways. They
usually are an interesting and relatively easy method for gathering information. If you plan well, ask good
questions, and listen carefully, your interview will be a success!