2020 Introduction to Leadership D

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Tokyo Tech Academy for Leadership
Meldrum Martin 
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Course description and aims

This course aims to develop students’ understanding of the concept of “leadership”. Students will be asked to look at the existing paradigms and evaluate whether they are an aid to understanding or a barrier. Students will be introduced to a variety of analytical discussion techniques for problem solving or creating ideas and innovation as a group. Students will clarify the difference between management and leadership. Students will be encouraged to consider leadership as a process of co-creation and collaboration. This is a very practical course and students will be expected to gain tacit knowledge through implicit learning and practice by interaction with their peers.

Student learning outcomes

At the end of this course students will have a firm grasp of the concepts relating to leadership situations. Students will also be expected to understand the need for flexibility in adoption of techniques and style of leadership when adapting to different situations. The students will be expected to evaluate the effectiveness of each technique introduced and to show judgement as to when to use it.


Leadership, discussion, workshop, facilitation, persuasion, problem solving

Competencies that will be developed

Specialist skills Intercultural skills Communication skills Critical thinking skills Practical and/or problem-solving skills

Class flow

Generally the class will start with a discussion of the topic to be learned. Each student will be expected to give some ideas or input. The instructor will introduce reading (or listening) material at appropriate stages of the lesson so that students can adjust or update their ideas. The instructor will for most lessons adopt a facilitator approach, encouraging students to deeply analyze the themes and techniques introduced in the lesson and come to their own collective conclusion by summarizing what they have studied. This approach is similar to the business school case study approach and it is hoped that the students will feel they ‘own’ the knowledge that they have collectively ‘deduced’ for themselves. The focus of the class will be to ‘learn by doing’.

Course schedule/Required learning

  Course schedule Required learning
Class 1 Introduction, interviewing each other and introduction of others (including an exploration of ENTAKUN). How to use various techniques for team building initiating communication and instigating projects etc. as well as clarifying the meaning of some key words.
Class 2 Thinking about leadership. Look at problem solving process: Defining the problem, Assessing the options, Making a decision, Justifying the decision. Introduction to the World Cafe system. How to use discussion as an effective way to evaluate ideas, problem solve or create new methods or products and also understand its limitations especially with respect to cultural norms.
Class 3 Consensus building workshop I Introduction to practical examples including ethical dilemmas. Students will be asked to choose whether to analyze a problem either objectively or subjectively. Analysis of those examples using logical process and/or emotional arguments. A particular look at ‘objective’ techniques such as Game Theory or Matrix methods. Understand when and why emotional arguments may have effect rather than using only reason and logic. Students should understand how ‘objective techniques’ can be used to minimize the effect emotional arguments (but also consider whether doing so is desirable).
Class 4 Consensus building II Extension of the previous lesson with a deeper look at emotional or subjective arguments and ethics in relation to decision making and leadership. Students will be asked to use the opposite strategy to that they used in the previous lesson. Students should be able to recognize when emotional or subjective arguments can be more effective as opposed to logical or objective arguments. They should also have some idea when to utilize the different techniques.
Class 5 Practical skills in thought: an introduction to brainstorming and design thinking methods as well as intuitive techniques. Again students should be able to help each other come up with original ideas or new ways to approach a problem.
Class 6 Review of past lessons and deeper analysis of leadership techniques with a look at the psychological and linguistic aspects. Students should start to understand how linguistic and psychological aspects can be used in leadership to motivate or inspire.
Class 7 Understanding of peer review: peer review of reports on leadership. Students should give feedback on each others’ reports. They should then also evaluate the pros and cons of the peer review process.
Class 8 Summary, Presentation practice Students will get their final evaluation.


None required. Some recommendations may be made during the course but will not be required reading.

Reference books, course materials, etc.

None required. Handouts will be given when needed.

Assessment criteria and methods

Students will be assessed on their participation in each class, the improvement made and on a final presentation. Students displaying an eagerness to learn and good communication and leadership abilities can be confident on gaining a credit for this course.

Related courses

  • TAL.W501 : Fundamental Group Work for Leadership
  • TAL.W601 : Practical Group Work for Leadership
  • TAL.W611 : Advanced Group Work for Leadership

Prerequisites (i.e., required knowledge, skills, courses, etc.)

None in particular, but an English level over TOEFL 450 (TOEFL iBT 45), TOEIC over 700 or EIKEN Grade Pre-1 is desirable.

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