Challenges of Leadership in Teams
Date: TBD 2016 | Tuition: TBD | Continuing Education Units (CEUs): TBD
*This course has limited enrollment. Apply early to guarantee your spot.
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Most successful team-based organizations have been transformed from a traditional leadership environment to a collaborative, shared leadership environment where the importance of empowering team members is recognized. Such transformation poses challenges to leaders of all types of teams. This course covers 10 specific challenges that are identified under the Program Outline below. These challenges prepare leaders to negotiate and facilitate the complexities of leading teams throughout their team life cycle. Once leaders have faced these challenges, their capabilities will improve in specific management areas. The ultimate goal of the Leadership Challenges is to support self-reflection and skill development by creating changes in a leader's internal dialogue. In this course, leaders should be prepared to move outside their comfort zone, which on occasion can lead to discomfort. One barrier to becoming an effective leader can occur when, feeling discomfort, leaders attempt to assuage their discomfort by exhibiting inappropriate feelings and defensive behaviors used in the past to avoid self-reflection. In this course, one goal is to face these discomforts, learn to identify them, and transform them into more beneficial management techniques to enhance successful leadership. Learning to use these new capabilities in a team environment will enhance a team leader's ability to self-assess and to select the most effective management style for a specific situation. Judging one management style relative to another is ineffective; instead participants learn the level required to improve task performance.
The challenges of leadership in teams covered in this course are easy to apply in any management situation and will enable formation of teams that organize faster, think collaboratively, and are productive. They help create an environment where leaders can successfully support their teams in a competent professional atmosphere. Participants learn how to manage a team by providing structure and developing trust during the life cycle of a project. The leadership development model used in this course allows team leaders to organize and execute complex projects without the stress of miscommunication and distrust.
Learning how to strategically integrate the 10s leadership challenges into your daily routine will support development of the skills and techniques managers need to navigate organizational transformations of work in order to successfully guide project teams and to communicate effectively with clients, other team leaders, middle and senior management, CEOs, and Boards of Directors. These challenges are the foundation for our research-based instructional program. The program utilizes training exercises for introducing the concepts of facilitating and coaching into a culture aimed at delivering results, with a particular focus on the need for collaboration and empowerment of all team members. By incorporating a hands-on interactive approach, each participant should have a significant opportunity to expand his/her competencies by receiving both feedback and insight from the faculty throughout the various stages of the team process.
Fundamentals: Core concepts, understandings, and tools (15%)
Latest Developments: Recent advances and future trends (25%)
Industry Applications: Linking theory and real-world (60%)
Lecture: Delivery of material in a lecture format (30%)
Discussion or Groupwork: Participatory learning (70%)
Introductory: Appropriate for a general audience (50%)
Specialized: Assumes experience in practice area or field (50%)
Other: Self-assessment of leadership style with personal development plan (100%)
Who Should Attend
The course is appropriate for anyone who is, or will be, involved in leading and managing teams. Although the majority of participants in some years have had engineering or scientific training, the course has proven useful for individuals from a variety of other backgrounds. Participants are expected to have some background in team-building and/or team management skills.
- Learn how to apply already-learned basics and expand your level of expertise
- Review your personal management skills and how to apply them to teams
- Assess yourself as a team leader/manager by understanding your strengths and weaknesses, choosing three or four areas in your leadership abilities you wish to develop
- Learn to manage a team by identifying your competencies through the 10 challenges
- Understand your emotional intelligence and utilize it to manage others
- Explore Strategic Project Management
- Learn what conflict styles you use when settling differences of opinion
- Learn how to plan and facilitate effective conflict management
- Learn to develop a leadership mindset
- Learn to facilitate and coach in a culture aimed at delivering results
- Learn how to reduce uncertainty on a team through effective socialization
- Learn how to transform your leadership to a more adaptive style that fits your organizational culture
- Learn how effective intercultural communication can enhance your leadership abilities
- Learn how to develop your leadership style by creating a development plan
Challenge 1: The Leadership Development Model
Learn the structures and systems that need to be integrated into a model that can be globally adapted to any organizational structure.
Challenge 2: Leadership Self-Assessment
Certain assessment surveys can facilitate a leader’s understanding of their present management style and abilities. Drawing upon these assessment results will allow a leader to develop their skills further.
Challenge 3: Leadership Challenges when Forming the Team
Clearly defining the structure of the team under a predetermined team formation model is essential. These predetermined essentials are creating a vision, systems of behavior, and an understanding that there are two processes simultaneously in effect—the team and task processes. This approach facilitates learning to use individuals’ competencies to form a team.
Challenge 4: Project Management: Emotional Intelligence (EI), Strategic Project Management, and Unique Challenges of Cross-Functional Teams
With a solid project design, leaders can use their EI skills to build trust, handle conflict, give and take criticism constructively, deal with people who don't deliver, generate team commitment, and keep others motivated. Sharpening your EI means developing yourself in four major domains.
Most projects never get off the ground because ad hoc, haphazard, and obsolete methods fail to turn their ideas into coherent and actionable plans. Strategic project management uses an approach to designing projects and action initiatives that builds on critical questions which teams must intelligently answer in order to create their own strong, strategic foundation.
Cross-functional project teams have become common in recent years. Because they involve people with different expertise working toward a common goal, cross-functional teams can be immensely powerful but offer additional challenges to project team leaders. How to lead in the absence of organizational or line authority is a skill that is important for project leaders, as well as managers leading outside of their areas of expertise, to understand.
Challenge 5: Leading through Negotiation and Conflict Management
Conflict is a difference of opinion. A leader’s main focus when managing a team conflict is to understand other members’ conflict styles and to facilitate the ability of members to understand and develop the use of more effective styles. Conflict can be beneficial for a team when managed successfully. Using principled negotiation and planning the team’s negotiations for resources as a developed leadership skill can support team success.
Challenge 6: Leadership Mindsets
Mindset management provides cognitive insight into how we move away from limited personal goals to more systemic activities that have measurable outcomes and become part of a network of skills within an organization. These principles are predicated upon coaches and team facilitators utilizing a skill set that includes specific, learnable skills such as relationship building, problem-solving, and effective listening. Learning objectives include teaching leaders to develop a personal understanding of thinking and coaching styles. This session reviews recent findings in biological and behavioral studies that have helped to form a scientific basis for understanding mindset management.
Challenge 7: Team Communication and Socialization
Innovation and motivation are inextricably linked to the generation and reduction of uncertainty, albeit in very different ways. Innovation and change are related to the full cycle of the generation and reduction of uncertainty while motivation is predominantly related to its reduction. Miscommunication within teams leads to stress and anxiety, which generates the uncertainty that needs to be reduced. Behaviors are situational in this respect. Focused leadership values the differences in priorities, backgrounds, and values that exist in the team members.
Challenge 8: Leading in an Intercultural Environment
To lead in a culturally diverse environment, a leader must be able to recognize cultural variables to increase cultural sensitivity. It is essential to understand how these variables influence communication and, therefore, team dynamics. As a leader, recognizing how to maximize intercultural communication strengths and minimize potential difficulties is an important ability to learn.
Challenge 9: Gender Issues in Leadership
Gender differences in the workplace can be theoretically viewed as cultural differences, which should be mediated. Gender can be a challenge to clear communication and cooperation. Once diversity is clarified, gender issues can be minimized to maximize comfort and productivity.
Challenge 10: Leadership Strategies: Leading Team Development
Learn how to integrate competencies and personal leadership assessment results into an individual leadership development plan.
Course schedule and registration times
View 2015 Course Schedule (pdf)
Class runs 9:00 am - 5:30 pm except Friday when it ends at 4:30 pm.
9:00 am - 10:00 am Session
10:15 am - 12:30 pm Session
1:00 pm - 2:45 pm Session
3:00 pm - 4:30 pm Session
Please note that there are nightly readings assigned each day of class. Before the first day of class, participants will be given and are expected to read the reading notes for that day. Laptops are encouraged for this course.
Program Manager, MIT Lincoln Laboratory
"This course reminds you that you can still be the best leader regardless of the environment. [It] pushes you to think, which is rare these days."
ASE-Trainee, TATA Consultancy Services
"The best part of the program was the interaction with the staff. They were just amazing. They were really helpful and I could approach them at any time and they would just help out. Personally, I approached every lecturer to get my problem solved and everyone provided their perspective. I was really impressed."
Program Integration Manager, NASA
"The class was the most diverse group of students I have ever been a part of. And the instructors engaged and included all of us in discussions and conversations aimed to improve our understanding of the material. I got a tremendous benefit from taking this class and am grateful to the staff of your institute and the instructors for letting me participate."
electoral policy analyst, united nations development programme
"This is knowledge that will be useful in all jobs and private relationships - it's about how to deal with people and how to manage own and others expectations and feelings."
"It was a great opportunity to get a very good insight in soft skills that I have never experienced before, as I usually attend courses that deal more with my everday work, rather than me as a person/leader in my work environment. Therefore the assessment tests, which I took quite serious, were very helpful to get a good knowledge of my abilities and weaknesses, not only from guessing, but on an objective basis, and get some ideas on which aspects of my abilities/weaknesses I would like to work on."
senior technical program manager, microsoft/343 industries
"The diversity of the group was great. We had a great collection of senior managers to new managers, from different areas/industries and different countries!"
About the Instructors
Clark K. Colton is co-director of this course and is a professor of Chemical Engineering at MIT. Dr. Colton has written over 200 publications in chemical engineering and bioengineering and has received many awards. In collaboration with Bonnie Burrell, he teaches interpersonal business and technical communication skills to students in Chemical Engineering in addition to other technical courses, and is working to expand interpersonal communication and team building training into undergraduate and graduate engineering subjects.
Bonnie Burrell van Stephoudt is co-director of this course. She is a lecturer in the Chemical Engineering Department at MIT and has her Master's degree in Management from Harvard University. She is presently teaching team development to Chemical Engineering students. In collaboration with Dr. Colton, she has been developing the integration of interpersonal communication and team building skills into undergraduate and graduate engineering education. She conducts research in the areas of interpersonal business communication, including collaboration, leadership skills, and assessment methods. Her publications include Conflict Management Theory and The Team Development Model.
Lori Breslow is the founding Director of the Teaching & Learning Laboratory (TLL) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She is also a senior lecturer at the Sloan School of Management where she teaches courses on professional communication, including intercultural communication. Dr. Breslow’s work in education has involved her in a number of international efforts, including being the co-director of the Teaching for Learning Network, a collaboration between MIT and Cambridge; consulting on MIT’s partnerships to create new universities in Abu Dhabi, Singapore, and Russia; and being a visiting scholar at Cape Peninsula University of Technology. She has spoken on university-level teaching and learning at Oxford, the University of Edinburgh, and the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), among other international venues.
Keith Dionne received his M.S. in Technology and Policy and his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from MIT. He was one of the initial scientists in the founding of CytoTherapeutics Inc., where he led the effort to develop immunoisolation systems for the treatment of diabetes. Dionne later moved to Alza, where he led the research and development group for implantable drug delivery systems. In that role, he developed the DurosTM technology, which is now marketed as ViadurTM for the treatment of prostate cancer. Dionne grew the Technology Solutions group at Millennium Pharmaceuticals into a $100M/yr business. He was the CEO of Alantos Pharmaceuticals, a private transatlantic drug discovery company that was sold to Amgen for $300M in 2007. He was the CEO at Surface Logix, a Metabolic Disease discovery and development company, an Entrepreneur in Residence at Third Rock Ventures and is currently the CEO of Constellation Pharmaceuticals, an oncology focused epigenetics company located in Cambridge, MA.
Dr. Ralph Katz is a Senior Lecturer at MIT's Sloan School and a Professor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Northeastern University's College of Business. He received his B.S. in Math/Physics from Carnegie Mellon University and his M.B.A. and Ph.D. from the Wharton School. For almost 40 years, Professor Katz has been carrying out extensive research, education, and consulting on the management of innovation with particular interest in the leadership and motivation of professionals and high performing groups and project teams.
Katz has conducted numerous workshops on innovation and the management of professionals in many organizations, including Lockheed-Martin, P&G, MGH, Diageo, Goodrich, EMC, CIA, Novartis, Tetra Pak, Alstom, Saab Aerospace, Master Foods, Mathworks, NASA, Lawrence Livermore, and Los Alamos. Katz is the Faculty Leader for two MIT Sloan School Executive Programs, i.e., Building, Leading and Sustaining the Innovative Organization and Managing Technical Professionals and Organizations. He also led the 3-day Management of Technology and Innovation Executive Program at Cal Tech from 1984 to 2009. For more than 10 years, he organized and led the Management of Technology and Management of Technical Professionals Courses at IBM's Corporate Technical Institute. He has published several books and numerous articles in leading professional journals, including,The Human Side of Managing Technological Innovation, 2nd edition, Oxford University Press, 2004.
Katz has received the Academy of Management’s "New Concept Award" as well as many journal "Best Paper" awards. In 2004, his paper in Research-Technology Management was selected as the Holland Award Winner for that year’s most significant and original contribution to research management field.
Harold V. Langlois has spent the last 30 years of his career with one foot firmly anchored in the day-to-day leadership responsibilities of managing complex organizations and the other rooted in the theoretical world of academe. Beginning in the early 1990s, Langlois held senior executive positions at various financial firms, where he was responsible for constructing a Division of Wealth Management, designing and implementing innovative education programs for financial advisors, and overseeing the cultural integration of these firms as they became acquired. These experiences have given him an understanding of the challenges and mindsets of advisors, whether working in global firms in the investment or insurance sectors or providing advice within the independent sector.
Since 2006, Langlois has dedicated his efforts to lecturing and coaching business executives on improving their leadership skills. His approach is highly interactive and he concentrates on providing the latest research in the areas of leadership, teamwork communications, change management, and neurobiology.
Langlois holds a Ph.D. from the University of Connecticut and for the past 15 years he has been a member of the graduate faculty at Harvard University teaching courses on managing change, leadership, and teamwork. In fall 2007, he offered a web-based graduate course streamed worldwide each week as part of Harvard’s distance learning initiative. In 2002, he was the recipient of the Joanne Fussa Distinguished Teaching Award at Harvard.
Terry Schmidt is an international management consultant, strategic thinker, entrepreneur, and educator with 30 years of experience assisting corporations, governments, and research organizations in 36 countries worldwide. He earned his BS in aerospace engineering from the University of Washington and his MBA from Harvard University.
Schmidt is president of ManagementPro.com (USA) and founder of the Strategic Planning Academy. Before starting his own company, he worked for NASA, the U.S. Department of Transportation, and the U.S. Embassy in Thailand. His clients include eBay, Boeing, Sony Electronics, Northrop Grumman, DirecTV, Symantec, Trader Joe’s, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and the Federal Reserve Board. He teaches strategy at the UCLA Technical Management Program and serves on the Los Alamos Laboratory Management Institute faculty. He has seven published books; his latest is Strategic Project Management Made Simple. Schmidt won the esteemed Theodore von Karman trophy from AIAA and the Charles T. Main Award from ASME.
This course takes place on the MIT campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts. We can also offer this course for groups of employees at your location. Please complete the Custom Programs request form for further details.