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HUMAN 4LM3 TheArtOfLeadership

Academic Year: Winter 2017

Term: Winter

Day/Evening: D

Instructor: Dr. Amy Beth Warriner


Office: Togo Salmon Hall 604

Phone: 905-525-9140 x

Office Hours: By appointment

Course Objectives:

This course follows HUMAN 3LM3 and gives you an opportunity to continue developing your leadership skills. In HUMAN 3LM3, you were given a broad overview or philosophy of leadership and had a chance to consider your personal values. In this course, we will explore some of the hands-on skills that leaders need and some of the issues leaders often face – communicating with diverse people, handling conflict, group work, coaching, giving feedback, motivational styles, accountability and ownership, etc. This course is not about giving you textbook answers, but about exploring the complexity of leadership together through discussion and reflection.

For the first time this year, the foundation of this course is based upon “Core Strengths” (a program developed by Personal Strengths Publishing, Inc.) – a self-assessment and accompanying curriculum that helps you identify your own and others’ motivational value systems, learn to access the full range of strengths available to you, manage your own perceptual filters and negotiate relationships and conflicts.

As practical hands-on leadership experience, you will choose to continue mentoring a MELD student(s) or coach HUMAN 3LM3 mentors. There is also room in this course to explore your own leadership interests and areas of needed self-development. You will have the opportunity to exercise leadership during class time as well, working through activities with and being accountable to a small group of peers.

Because of the nature of this course, attendance and active participation in class is essential. Class time is 2 hours per week with an additional hour for mentorship or coaching. Substantial additional time will be needed for reading, preparing, and reflecting.

Textbooks, Materials & Fees:

  1. The Student Leadership Practices Inventory 360 – Purchased Online $14 US.
  2. Core Strengths Assessment and Materials Package - $190 value; provided free this year.
  3. Book(s) of your choice on leadership as chosen by your group.

Method of Assessment:

1) Goal Setting = 10%

                You will complete the Student Leadership Practices LPI 360 and reflect on your results (2). You will identify at least two goals (which may or may not be related to the LPI). You will share these goals with your group (or with me if they are too personal) who will give you feedback on how feasible and SMART they are (3). You will then keep a weekly log of your progress towards these goals (2) and complete a self-evaluation at the end of term regarding your efforts (3).

2) Core Strengths Reflections = 15%

                You will complete the online SDI and strengths portrait. There will be 5 guided reflections over the course of the semester (approximately bi-weekly: 5 x 3 = 15%).

3) Leadership-in-Action = 20%

                You will choose whether you are mentoring or coaching mentors. In either case, you will be asked to step up your level of leadership. You will articulate a vision for your applied leadership experience and identify a plan for taking it to the next level (5). You’ll maintain a periodic (at least bi-weekly) log of how things are going and what you are learning (5). I will spot check them for quality, but will mainly be marking for completeness. You will evaluate yourself at the end and ask at least two other people to provide you with end-of-term feedback (10).

4) Group-led Seminar = 15%

                You group will identify an area of leadership that you would like to learn more about. You will identify relevant books and articles related to your topic. Dividing them up, the group should pull together material from at least 2 books and 4 articles (these do not have to be scholarly but should be reputable).  Together, you will prepare a 20 minute talk/lesson on your topic and present it to the class. You will be evaluated by your peers.

5) Informational Interview = 10%

                You will identify a leader and request a short interview with them. You will prepare your questions in advance and share them with a classmate to evaluate their quality. You will then conduct your interview and write up a brief report on what you learned.

6) Leadership Cover Letter = 10%

                You will write an expanded cover letter (cover letters are typically short but this one will be ~2 pages) explaining to a potential employer what kind of leader you would be, the leadership scenarios in which you would excel, and the experience you have to back up these statements.

7) Participation = 20%

                You will complete a reflection on how your group worked together over the course of the semester (10) and evaluate yourself and your peers’ participation both in and out of class (10).

Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties:

Students are expected to contact the instructor in advance with requests for extensions. Failure to do so may result in a grade of zero. 

Please Note the Following Policies and Statements:

Academic Dishonesty

You are expected to exhibit honesty and use ethical behaviour in all aspects of the learning process. Academic credentials you earn are rooted in principles of honesty and academic integrity.

Academic dishonesty is to knowingly act or fail to act in a way that results or could result in unearned academic credit or advantage. This behaviour can result in serious consequences, e.g. the grade of zero on an assignment, loss of credit with a notation on the transcript (notation reads: "Grade of F assigned for academic dishonesty"), and/or suspension or expulsion from the university.

It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes academic dishonesty. For information on the various types of academic dishonesty please refer to the Academic Integrity Policy, located at

The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty:

  1. Plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s own or for which other credit has been obtained.
  2. Improper collaboration in group work.
  3. Copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations.

Email correspondence policy

It is the policy of the Faculty of Humanities that all email communication sent from students to instructors (including TAs), and from students to staff, must originate from each student’s own McMaster University email account. This policy protects confidentiality and confirms the identity of the student.  Instructors will delete emails that do not originate from a McMaster email account.

Modification of course outlines

The University reserves the right to change dates and/or deadlines etc. for any or all courses in the case of an emergency situation or labour disruption or civil unrest/disobedience, etc. If a modification becomes necessary, reasonable notice and communication with the students will be given with an explanation and the opportunity to comment on changes. Any significant changes should be made in consultation with the Department Chair.

McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF)

In the event of an absence for medical or other reasons, students should review and follow the Academic Regulation in the Undergraduate Calendar Requests for Relief for Missed Academic Term Work. Please note these regulations have changed beginning Fall 2015. You can find information at If you have any questions about the MSAF, please contact your Associate Dean's office.

Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities

Students who require academic accommodation must contact Student Accessibility Services (SAS) to make arrangements with a Program Coordinator. Academic accommodations must be arranged for each term of study. Student Accessibility Services can be contacted by phone 905-525-9140 ext. 28652 or e-mail For further information, consult McMaster University's Policy for Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities.

Academic Accommodation for Religious, Indigenous and Spiritual Observances

Students requiring academic accommodation based on religion and spiritual observances should follow the procedures set out in the Course Calendar or by their respective Faculty. In most cases, the student should contact his or her professor or academic advisor as soon as possible to arrange accommodations for classes, assignments, tests and examinations that might be affected by a religious holiday or spiritual observance.

Topics and Readings:

This schedule is tentative and will be adjusted based on where our discussions lead us and other circumstances. *These will generally be due before the next class. Due dates are presented here to give a general idea of work distribution across the semester, but may be altered slightly as we proceed.

Jan 5      Introduction | Generational differences and adjusting to leadership
                * Complete Core Strengths Assessment
                * Send out LPI 360 invites

Jan 12    Planning mentorship/coaching
                * Reflection 1 (Starting Out)

Jan 19    Introduction to Core Strengths
                * Vision and plan for mentorship/coaching

Jan 26    Understanding your Motivational Value System
                * Reflection 2 (MVS)
                * Goal setting worksheet (includes LPI reflection)

Feb 2     The Impact of Filters
                * Mentorship log
                * Informational interview questions

Feb 9     Groupwork Day (feedback on questions and goals)
                * Reflection 3 (Strengths)

Feb 16   Accountability in Conflict
                * Mentorship log
                * Reflection 3 (Conflict)


Mar 2    Working with Core Strengths
                Reflection 4 (Giving Feedback)

Mar 9    Groupwork Day (case study; giving feedback)
                * Mentorship log

Mar 16  Presentations
                * Informational Interview Report

Mar 23  Presentations
                * Mentorship log

Mar 30  Presentations
                * Goal evaluation
                * Groupwork reflection

Apr 6     Celebrate accomplishments
                * Final mentorship evaluation
                * Leadership cover letter