Just before they graduate, ESTEEM students get an in-depth look at leadership and decide what kind of leader they want to be. Lawrence Greenspun, an Adjunct Assistant Professional Specialist teaches a one-credit course on Leadership that includes theories, profiles, Harvard Business School cases a survey of literature from the field of effective leadership, and in-person examples to provide material for students to define their own leadership strategies.
“In the leadership course, my goal is to provoke the students into creating an individualized perspective on leadership,” says Greenspun, the senior manager of public sector engagement for the California-based Drucker Institute, named for the pioneer management consultant and educator Peter Drucker whose ideas are in the course. “I help them take a look at effective leadership through several lenses.”
The theory-and-practice approach reflects what he has seen in ESTEEM, says Greenspun, who started working as a volunteer with enFocus, a nonprofit innovation organization in South Bend started with civic and business leaders by ESTEEM leaders and graduates, and taught a leadership course with David Murphy for two years.
“What the course does is create a process wherein students who come in with great skills and talents apply what they need to do to turn them into productive careers,” he says. “Talent and intelligence will take you so far, but at some point they need to put them into practice. ESTEEM creates a platform and a process where that potential in the student gets turned into something that can be a career for them.”
In his course, students select and elucidate a specific leadership approach for themselves, but the implementation comes after graduation.
“The application is something they’ll have to do going forward in their careers,” Greenspun says. “They develop a model of effective leadership and how they are going to put it into practice in this course. They graduate and, we hope, become the types of leaders they envisioned.”