Leadership: From theory to practice and self reflection

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Assessment Task Two: Leadership: From theory to practice and self reflection

Due Date: Week 09

Type: Individual

Weighting: Total 50%

Length: 3,000 words


This is a Work Integrated Learning (WIL) assessment task that allows students to apply their knowledge and skills into practical situations. It is assessed through a real workplace context where feedback from industry is integral to students’ experience. This assessment is designed to lead you from critical analysis of your role model to reflect on how you can improve your own leadership qualities and effectiveness through three learning stages: a) Observation; b) Feedback; and c) Self-reflection.

The first stage is to select a person whom you consider to be a successful and effective leader. This person could be someone you work with or for, or with whom you have the opportunity to interact. Then, through your observation, you will identify the person’s leadership traits and behaviours. The learning outcome of this stage is that you are challenged to apply the theories in this course with your observation.

For the second stage, you are asked to get feedback from the person who has served as your role model in the first stage. In this stage, you are expected to learn not only from your role model’s experience but also about the complexities of leadership. You will also get feedback from your role model on your findings from Stage One.

In the final stage, Self reflection and Recommendation, you are asked to reflect on your own leadership, based on what you learnt the observation and feedback from your role model, and consider how your own leadership qualities could be improved. By going through these three stages, you should be able to critically analyse and evaluate leadership theories and practices and understand how to improve your own leadership effectiveness and qualities.

Important Note:

In Week 05, you are required to submit background information of your chosen leader (role model) via MyRMIT Canvas. You do not need to identify the person (e.g. name). However, you must provide background information of your role model (e.g. position, leadership experience, organisation information etc.). A penalty of 2% may apply if you fail to submit the background information.

Final Paper


Identify a person who you consider to be a successful or effective leader. This could be someone you work with or for (for example: business, professional, sport, volunteer work, religious organisations etc.) or anyone who through some association you judge to be a good leader. It needs to be someone you can observe in person or from your past experience, not a public figure or someone you have read about.

In your observation, critically analyse:

  • What you perceive this person’s leadership traits and behaviours;
  • How he/she uses power and influence tactics to make him/her an effective leader; and
  • Whether the person changes his/her leadership in various situations.

You must be able to apply theories/concepts/models covered in this course to support your observation.


As simple observation will not capture the complexities of leadership, talk to the leader. Get feedback by asking your chosen leader to describe his/her leadership behaviours, traits and his/her use of power and influence tactics, whether and how he/she changes his/her leadership in various situations and see if his/her feedback can confirm your findings from your earlier observation. Using the ideas and knowledge you have gained from the course to guide you, but keeping your questions open ended. Also, ask them ‘what they think are the characteristics of a good and effective leader’. Encourage them to be specific – a good way to do this is to ask, after their initial responses, that they give examples or share stories that illustrate when they felt they displayed good and effective leadership. Then try and get them to focus on the traits and behaviours that enabled them to be an effective leader. Also, ask them ‘what they think it takes to lead successfully based on their experience and what not to do’. Again, you must demonstrate your ability to critically analyse the theories, models, and concepts to support your conclusions from your interview.

Self-Reflection & Recommendation

Reflect on what you have learned from the first two stages, critically analyse and discuss:

  • What have you learnt about the complexities of leadership (critically comparing what theory says and what you found i.e. do your findings support the theories covered in the course?)
  • Given what you have found, how might your own leadership practice be improved as a result of undertaking this assessment?
  • Based on your observation and feedback from your role model, what recommendations would you give him/her to improve their leadership effectiveness?

This assignment should have the following format:
1) Introduction
2) Body with headings and sub-headings (i.e. Observation, Feedback, Reflection)
3) Conclusion
4) References
5) Questions used in the feedback stage
6) Appendix (if any)
Note: 4) , 5) and 6) are not included in the word count.


It is expected that you will use at least 10 academic references, preferably refereed journal/research articles. Websites, such as Wikipedia, will not be accepted, other than for providing general details of the leaders and these will not be counted in the minimum references required. Correct and thorough referencing will be a key evaluation element. The quality of your sources will also be considered in the evaluation of your assignment. Please ensure that your spelling, grammar and syntax are correct before you submit your essay. Your tutor will advise on a variety of support services such as SLAMS and the SLC. Further information about referencing style is available in the RMIT Business Referencing Guidelines. For Harvard/RMIT style referencing (in­text and list of references) refer to easycite The ‘live link’ http://www.lib.rmit.edu.au/easy-cite/ (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Other requirements:

  • Questions used in the feedback stage must be included in the Appendix section (after ‘Reference List’).
  • In order to comply with RMIT’s Electronic Submission of Assignments Policy, student will be required to submit a soft copy of the assignment through the myRMIT Canvas site.

Assessment criteria

  • Observation – Ability to critically analyse and describe in detail of the leader’s leadership behaviours, traits and his/her use of power and influence tactics and contingency/situational leadership;
  • Observation – Demonstrate a good understanding of relevant leadership theories/issues referred to the observation.
  • Feedback – Key leadership issues expertly presented and supported by feedback results
  • Feedback – Accurate knowledge and understanding of relevant leadership theories/issues referred to the feedback.
  • Feedback – Ability to critically analyse, compare and confirm between the observation and feedback results.
  • Reflection – Ability to demonstrate learning about the complexities of leadership (e.g. critically comparing theories and findings)
  • Reflection – Ability to identify areas of leadership self-improvement.
  • Reflection – Ability to provide recommendations to the chosen leader to improve their leadership effectiveness
  • Quality and Quantity of references (minimum 10 references, excluding internet websites)
  • Overall presentation

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