Leadership transition and growth

William Badger, Avi Wiezel, Peter H. Bopp, Stretch Dunn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The concepts of leadership and leadership principles have been studied extensively. We know that the application of leadership principles is strongly determined by the per- sonality and style of the individual exercising such leadership, the leader's hierarchical level, and the surrounding environment. Less clarity exists, however, about how to apply and understand leadership under diverse circumstances, and how to transition one's own leadership style during a lifetime of growth and professional progression. After developing an "action card game" (as a participatory experience) to teach leadership to construction Project Managers (PM), the authors decided to address the leadership transition need with a second set of "action cards." This second set of cards vividly illustrates the different, as well as highly challenging, demands imposed by a corporate Senior Executive's perspective and environment. The Senior Executive Magic Action Cards (SEMAC) game is also played with a deck of 52 cards that describe plausible executive actions. During 12 discussion rounds, each member of a four or five person "Senior Executive" team proposes an action based on his/her personal preference. Team members then vigorously advocate, negotiate, and compromise to reach a decision on the best action that, in their view, addresses internal or external events that have profound impact on the company's future. Although leadership awareness, education, and wisdom are programmed into the action cards, events, and procedures, the participants receive the greatest benefit from the insights gained during team discussions where personal experience and knowledge are shared. By playing first the PM and then the Senior Executive game, participants eventually are forced to ask themselves if they are prepared for, and willing to take on, such responsibilities and challenges. Feedback from past partici- pants clearly indicates that the desired learning objectives are achieved.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)46-69
Number of pages24
JournalInternational Journal of Construction Education and Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2010


  • Construction
  • Executive development
  • Executives
  • Interactive games
  • Leadership

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Building and Construction
  • Education


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