Section 1: Read the following scenario and draft a response that addresses the prompts following the description.
Billie Jean Billings began teaching in rural Clayton County’s school system 20 years ago. Deeply affected by the poverty her students experienced, Billie Jean started collecting food and clothing for students in need. The school principal disapproved of Billings’ activities, noting that teachers should treat all students equally: if she couldn’t provide for all, she shouldn’t provide for any.
Spurred to action, Billie Jean began taking classes at the local university and graduated at the top of her class with a degree in management. She then quit her teaching job and established the nonprofit organization, Children First. She now raises funds and designs programs to help needy children throughout the school district. For instance, she hosts “parties” at local schools and fills empty backpacks to help needy kids get through the week.
While her efforts help hundreds, there have been challenges. Most recently, there is growing concern among the community over the use of school facilities by non--school organizations. Should Billie Jean be unable to continue her current efforts within the schools, she has already identified a plan to partner with two like--minded local community groups to find other meeting areas in order to continue to help needy kids in Clayton County.
Section 1 Prompts: What two traits does Billie Jean best illustrate, based on the information provided in this scenario? What is the value of the trait--based approach for understanding leadership? What are the limitations of focusing on traits?
Section 2: Read the following scenario and draft a response that addresses the prompts following the description.
Marvin, Louise, Jamie, and Paul work for the state’s Public Health Department. They are working together to produce a three--year public health information campaign to improve health outcomes for mothers and babies throughout the state. The need to teach community members about the value of prenatal nutrition and screenings is clear and the team received a grant to reach citizens with this important message.
The team’s first progress report is due next week and the work is far from being complete. As the lead on the grant, Paul called an emergency team meeting to discuss next steps. He wants to elicit input from each member of the team; he does not feel comfortable completing the report without their participation. He believes the report will be stronger if all perspectives are included.
Even though Paul is serving as lead on the campaign, he sees his role as one marked by support and recognition rather than control and directives. He believes that Marvin, Louise, and Jamie want to be a part of the effort, enjoy the process of meeting the team goals, and need minimal supervision to get the work done.
Section 2 Prompts: How would you describe Paul’s leadership philosophy? How would you describe Paul’s leadership style? What are the expected impacts of his approach on the team’s productivity and morale?