Classroom to Conference Room: A Data Driven Approach to Leading People and Organizations

Noormin Sohani
November 17, 2021
November 17, 2021
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Classroom to Conference Room: A Data Driven Approach to Leading People and Organizations

In a recent frenzy of purple hiring stickers all over LinkedIn, we are reminded that cultivating organizations that people want to join and stay at is crucial. Central to all successful organizations are its leaders and their ability to help their people adapt to internal and external forces of change.

In his Leading People and Organizations course, Dr. Sluss introduced a framework to capture data insights that help answer two questions – “What leadership role aligns with your “big leadership data” insights?” and “What ‘aligned’ leadership actions will you take?”

While this exercise can’t be done overnight (or in a single blog post), there are a few places we can turn to to help get us started.

Organizational Culture“What leadership role aligns with the follower’s dominant organizational culture?” Understanding societal and organizational culture helps us understand the norms and values that are shared by an organization and the types of leaders it can enable. The organizational culture is determined heavily by the leaders and founders of an organization.

Motivational Preference “What leadership role aligns with the follower’s dominant motivational preference?” Understanding why people the way they behave can help leaders understand how to manage and lead them effectively. We often turn to 5 big personality traits – openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism to understand behavior.

Performance Issue“What is the cause of the follower’s performance issue?” If the “performance issue” is caused by a lack of competence, then a task-focused leadership role is more effective and if it's caused by a lack of commitment, then a relational-focused leadership role is more effective.

Relational Identity“Do you need to strengthen the relationship? What actions will you take?” Building relational trust involves relational exchange and relational identity. Leaders create effective relationships by providing rewards and meaning.


In the Fall of 2019, I began my MBA at Georgia Tech with the support of Collective Insights. This blog post is intended to highlight how I draw upon my learnings in the classroom in my everyday work experiences! Join me as we learn together!

About Dr. Sluss

David Sluss is a professor of Management at ESSEC Business School in Paris, France. Through his research and teaching, he strives to help leaders create personalized and productive relationships at work. For any questions on these frameworks, models, or processes, please contact him via LinkedIn.