what does it mean to be a leader ?
Terri has completed her degree in Human Resource Management. She was very excited to start her new position working in a human resource department of a major corporation. One month into her position, she realizes that all her knowledge of human resource tools, guidelines, compliance, and recruiting did not prepare her for the complexities of being in a human resource position with the need to lead and influence others.
Human resource professionals provide a unique role in an organization. While they may lead a team, their true test of leadership comes from their relationships and influence throughout the organization. They may be called upon to partner in the implementation of organizational strategies. They may be sought out to coach leaders in ways to handle employee relationships. They may be needed to enforce and guide human resource policies. In all cases, the strength of the individual leadership skills comes into play.
This week, you will explore the basic ideas of what it means to be a leader, how leadership is unique for human resources professionals, and what leadership means to you. As you complete this week’s activities, think about Terri from the above scenario.

Leadership Theories

The course text The Leadership Experience is a wonderful compilation of the movement of leadership theories from historical perspectives to today. It would be difficult for you to research compilations of leadership theories in the same clear and focused manner as this text. The first chapter provides a well-rounded foundation which will be useful for your first assignment.

  • Daft, R. L. (2018). The leadership experience (7th ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage.
    • Chapter 1, “What Does It Mean to Be a Leader?”

Daft, the author of The Leadership Experience, discusses the new reality for leaders on pages 8–14. As you review, respond to the following:

  • Identify the two roles that resonate with you. Why are these roles the most appropriate for you as a leader?
  • Give examples of how you have used these roles in your personal or professional life.