Offered jointly through the School of Natural Sciences
and the School of Engineering


This module is about leadership and interpersonal skills.   In essence, the art of influencing people in organizations.   There are some subjects such as accounting, finance, market research and personnel policies where knowledge is easily translated into behavior.   Leadership and interpersonal skills are not those kinds of subjects.   They are more like swimming, riding a bicycle, or even more like body tone; you can't get it by reading a book or listening to a lecture.   You get body tone by a long series of work-outs over calendar time.   The same is true of leadership and interpersonal skills.   Realistically, you won't acquire leadership and interpersonal skills in twelve sessions any more than you can acquire body tone in twelve sessions.   However, you can begin the process of acquiring those skills and by continuing the process long after the twelve sessions end; you can acquire leadership and interpersonal skills.   Unfortunately, like body tone, if you stop working at it, you will lose it.   The only way to acquire body tone and leadership or interpersonal skills is by working at it continuously over calendar time.   But it should be FUN .   In this module, by active participation in case study discussions, you will be starting out on the road to acquiring leadership and interpersonal skills.  

That is why 100% of the grade for this module is participation; but it is quality participation that counts.   Positive participation includes comments that move the class forward, sharing your personal experiences relative to the case study or readings, explaining why you agree or disagree with someone else's point of view.   Particularly useful insights are especially valuable.   Negative participation includes just talking without a valid point or repeating a point already made and injecting irrelevant comments.   These do not move the class forward, are disruptive and waste valuable class time.   We all gain the most when participation is lively and relevant.   Conflicting opinions are desirable but interpersonal hostility is NOT .   Since participation is the way to develop your skills and is such a major portion of the grade for this module, I need your help.  

I expect everyone to participate which means "air time" is limited.   Keep your comments relevant and respect other people's right to make their relevant comments.   When you have something relevant to say raise your hand.   This will save me from calling on you when you might not have something to contribute and that will embarrass both of us.   PLEASE contribute when you have something worthwhile to say.   (Foreign students in the last several classes have reported difficulty in participating when English is their second or third language.   To overcome this difficulty, these students will be allowed the option to prepare a written analysis of the case to be submitted before   class or for a presentation a brief summary of what you learned submitted before the next class. To be fair, this same option will be available to those students who will miss class for any reason.   These written analyses will be evaluated in the same way as verbal participation.)  

I will keep 4 X 6 cards on each of you with your picture and will make written notes on these after class.   These notes usually take the form of a + or - 1, 2 or 3 but for exceptionally relevant participation a *.   You are free to look at the card I keep on you at anytime and discuss it with me.    I am usually here 15 minutes or more before class and can usually stay as late as necessary for anyone who wants to discuss the readings, case study or anything about leadership or interpersonal skills.   (The participants in the last six classes said they understood the readings without discussion and wanted more case studies.   Therefore, that is what I have done.   However, I will be glad to discuss the readings with anyone who would like to do so after class.)   At my age, I am motivated to coach and mentor any class participant who feels I can help.   That applies not only during this module, but for as long as I am associated with Rice.  

The last session of this module is on a Saturday, from 9:30 to 2:30, and will be held in Butcher Hall Rm 180 .   We will see a full length movie, interrupted every few minutes to analyze the leadership and interpersonal skills being displayed.   Pizza and soft drinks will be provided and spouses or significant others are invited to attend with you.

Please bring your current resume to the next session together with the filled in Personal Information form describing any management, leadership or interpersonal experiences you may have had in school, as a volunteer, or in full or part time employment.   Although I have a Rice e-mail account ( ), I would prefer you use my personal e-mail account which is .

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