The Science of Big Leadership

by Stacie L. L. Morgan, PhD on 4/29/16 2:59 PM

bigleadership.jpgWe’ve heard a lot about big data lately (another blog post for sure!) but right now I want to talk about the science of leadership, and what I am referring to as “big” leadership.

Norwich University Leadership

Knowing that many schools claim leadership development as part of their value proposition, Norwich University, first to market in online graduate education with its MBA program in 2000, put forth its first official leadership program in 2006, a master degree program in leadership studies. Benefiting from being born out of the first private military college in 1819, this initial graduate leadership degree was well received by those seeking to benefit from a military born leadership master’s degree. Knowing that the strengths of the Norwich leadership legacy was equally compelling to public sector and for-profit organizations and frustrated leaders and managers of all types, Norwich evolved their leadership program to focus on the mastery of organizational leadership from 2007 until 2013 when the university vision for the program grew to what the Dean of the College of Graduate and Continuing Studies referred to as “Big Leadership”. It was at this point that the degree took on its current designation, the Master of Science in Leadership Program.

Interestingly enough, many perceived this name change to be a step backward, seeing “organizational leadership” as a broader strategic umbrella than just “leadership”. But thinking along lines parallel to the current popularity of data analytics and “big data”, “big leadership” is the larger, strategic umbrella for the tactical, more discipline-specific channels for applied leadership. Our reference to big leadership, therefore, includes concentrations in organizational leadership, hospitality leadership, human resources leadership, public sector/government/military leadership, leading change management consulting, and healthcare leadership at the moment.

The Leadership Ceiling

Okay, I know — thanks for the infomercial ;-) — but why should you care? Ha! Great question! Because understanding what big leadership is and the science that is behind it and woven throughout it is also the very difference between leadership and management. AND it is also the reason why an MBA will only get you so far in an organization and that is when you’ll realize you’ve reached the leadership ceiling.

The “leadership ceiling” is where you can no longer achieve results through processes, policies, procedures, and programs…because of those pesky PEOPLE! Those people who design, develop, and execute those processes, policies, procedures, and programs are just not doing what you think they should be doing. Huh!

Enter the science of big leadership. It takes the underpinnings of sociology, neuroscience, psychology, game theory, chaos theory, fuzzy logic, and quantum mechanics to bring you the backbone strong enough to hold up all that “big” leadership entails. The results, on the other hand, stand up tall:

  • Leverage leadership opportunities in the management-focused world of your everyday life.
  • Identify who you are as a leader
  • Demonstrate what leadership is and why it matters

… keys to consistent results and employee effectiveness

  • Control your impact on your organization/other people
  • Meet individuals where they are to increase cooperation and collaboration
  • Overcome resistance to change
  • Activate additional capacity in individuals

… keys to employee satisfaction, motivation, and retention

  • Create a more agile and adaptable organization
  • Overcome resistance that inhibits effectiveness
  • Increase employee motivation and satisfaction

… keys to productivity and competitive advantage

  • Communicate for results
  • Leverage communication style and delivery channels for greater organizational impact
  • Increase organizational agility through employee buy-in and understanding
  • Increase employee motivation and satisfaction by communicating employee value and their role in the achieving the organization’s vision.

… keys to efficiency and effectiveness

  • Access untapped skills and abilities in your people
  • Excite interest and creative energy
  • Work from everyone’s strengths
  • Balance everyone’s weaknesses
  • Finding organizational fit

… keys to productivity, satisfaction, and innovation

  • Achieve long-term growth of people and production
  • Sustain the health of both profits and passion
  • Evolve value in the eyes of both customers and employees

… keys to competitive advantage and sustainable success

Join the “big leadership” conversation and see how it can change your view!

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Norwich University Online
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This post was written by Stacie L. L. Morgan, PhD

Stacie Morgan is the Director of Norwich’s Master of Science in Leadership and Master of Science in Executive Leadership programs An international strategy consultant, speaker, author, and columnist, she is the founder and president of the strategy consulting firm Balanced Management Inc. For over 30 years, she has worked with multinational corporations, small businesses, educational institutions, non-profit organizations, government agencies, and the U.S. military to help individuals and organizations define and achieve success. She holds a doctoral degree in strategic management with a sub-specialty in leadership and a master’s degree in education in organizational development and training.