Link to Multimedia Erika James had been in academe for nine years and was a tenured associate professor at the Darden School when she was asked to be the Associate Dean for Diversity, a new position at the school. She discussed the offer with her colleagues and contemplated the matter thoroughly. The position would bring with it a sizeable increase in pay, much more responsibility, and many more administrative meetings, with a continued requirement to meet her teaching responsibilities. All in all, the job would mean more work. The job would likely cut into her available consulting time in the summer, and require her to create an initiative and strategy for the office from scratch. And she still wanted to reach full professor. She had several research projects under way and was partway through her first book manuscript. She had a husband who was a busy executive and lived two hours away during the week?and who was likely to get more promotions. She had two small children full of energy and enthusiasm. She had a full-time au pair and a personal Pilates trainer. She had always been known for her cheerful, can-do attitude. Could she bear the additional strain? This case is an undisguised description of James’s life and career and her views on several topics. A CD with video clips of interviews with James, her spouse, and several of her work associates accompanies the written case. The video clips include both pieces that could be assigned ahead of class and some that could be shown during class at the instructor’s discretion. This case is intended to help management students explore the personal side of leadership and power, the nature of leadership development, how life events can shape leadership philosophies, the nature of success, how executives build and maintain business and personal relationships, and the way executives develop personal style throughout their professional careers.
Darden Business Publishing – University of Virginia