Professor of Business
No two employees are the same -- why manage them the same?
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Contact Sameer Vaidya
Q & A
What is the key to good leadership?
"There are no '2+2=4' answers to leadership.
Leadership is not a fixed skill – you have to be very adaptive to be successful.
For example, if you’re
workers are highly skilled, a good leader should back off and delegate more. If they are
inexperienced, then he or she needs to direct them more. Good leadership is adaptive, and the key to good leadership is developing the ability able to motivate all your workers using different styles."
How does your program help students become better leaders?
"Someone moves into leadership because he or she has expertise in a functional area – like, say, finance. So, management sees their potential and makes him or her a leader, but they don’t teach the skills – like dealing with human relationships – that make good leaders.
We spend a lot of time talking about the softer side of management in our program – how do you manage people? What type of leadership style is should you use? How can I build my emotional intelligence? This helps students recognize build skills and develop their own leadership style.
I teach my students to be honest with themselves as it relates to their own strengths and weaknesses when dealing with co-workers, subordinates, and supervisors. I emphasize the importance of possessing and, when necessary, honing their emotional intelligence skills. Through discussion of relevant theories and cases regarding current leaders we analyze traits, characteristics, and behaviors associated with effective leading."
What is adaptive leadership?
"To me, adaptive leadership is the ability to lead diverse groups of people through dynamic, turbulent, and fluid situations. Adaptive leaders are just as effective in leading a group of experienced workers through a business reorganization as they are leading a group of freshly minted college degree holders through a brand new project."