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Brian L. Roberts, Comcast: A Leadership Profile

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Leadership Profile Assignment

Background:

1. Are leaders born or made? Research generally indicates that the answer is "yes." Both individual characteristics and career experiences play a role in leadership development and success.
2. This assignment requires you to synthesize and apply concepts from Part One of your Leadership text: Individuals as Leaders.
3. You should select a contemporary leader of a public corporation, non-profit, or government entity. This individual should have held a senior leadership position (e.g., CEO, COO, Executive VP) within the last 10 years.

My Choice Brian L. Roberts

Instructions:

1. You should answer the following question: "What major individual factors help explain this person's leadership success (or failure)"? Specifically, you will want to assess the interaction of personality traits with the leadership behavior and motivation, influencing, and leadership styles used by this leader.
2. Begin with a background on your selected leader.
3. Next, construct a personality profile of your leader based on each of the Big Five dimensions. The Big five factors are openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism. Provide specific examples or critical incidents from your leader's life to support your conclusions.
4. omitted
5. Next, relate the leader's personality traits and leadership style to how he or she influences others using power, politics, networking, or negotiation - supporting your analysis with critical incidents or stories from your research.
6. Finally, discuss the leader's style in terms of one of the contingency leadership theories from Chapter 5.
7. Conclude by answering the question: "Why is this person successful"?

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Hi: Here is some help, plus some sources. I was unable to help with #4 since I do not have access to Chapter 3 of your text. I have included this within the body of the submission. I also was thinking: Brian Roberts was one of five children. Why did he become "the one" to take over the business rather than the other four? He had a natural aptitude for business that was encouraged and developed by both he and his father. I hope this helps. Please let me know if you have any questions or need clarification. Good luck!

Sally

Born privileged but smart enough to work hard, Brian L. Roberts has "outdone his father" (The New York Times, August 8, 2004) as the president and chief Executive Officer of Comcast. Mr. Robert's father bought a cable company when the younger Mr. Roberts was growing up. Mr. Roberts' father started educating him at a young age in the ways of business. When Mr. Roberts was as young as 12 and 13 he would ask Ralph, his father, if he could sit in on loan negotiation meetings with banks. Afterwards, Mr. Roberts would ask his father why he had taken this tack or that one, in an effort to learn even more. Mr. Roberts was fortunate to work hard enough and be smart enough to go to Wharton, after which his father encouraged him to gain more experience from other companies. Mr. Roberts, however, did not want to work anywhere else. From an early age Mr. Roberts had his sights set on working with the man he admired, his father, running Comcast. Ralph insisted Mr. Roberts start at the bottom- a line installer, but Mr. Roberts quickly worked himself up through several branch offices to become head of operations at age 26. Mr. Roberts became president at 31 and was running the company. Although this seems like a very young age part of the impetus was a concern for Ralph's health. Ralph's father and mother had both passed away before he was 20, and a brother had died at 50. There was a need to learn quickly. Both Roberts worked side by side, however, but Mr. Roberts was clearly in charge. It is one of the few examples of the changing of the guard in a family business that appears to have worked smoothly. Ralph gave up control yet Mr. Roberts continued to rely on him for advice and support. Together they share a unified passion for the success of the company (The New York Times, July, 7 2007).

Mr. Roberts eventually negotiated with and for rivals, including the purchase of AT & T's cable group to make Comcast the number one company in the cable industry. Mr. Robert's is proud to say, "I've been able to perpetuate what my dad started." (The New York Times, August 8, 2004). Mr. Robert enjoys finance and deal making and always tries to make the other guy feel as if he won. He is said to have a quiet demeanor and quick mind. He and his father remain close, with their offices connected by a glass door. Mr. Roberts thinks cutting deals is a way of life. Together he and his father have built their company through guile, smarts, and a succession of even bigger deals.

PERSONALITY PROFILE

Mr. Roberts scores high on the openness factor within the Big Five dimensions. He has an appreciation for art. His favorite picture, by modernist Alexander Calder, hangs in his office "because it adds a bit of dash" and fits his image of how he and his father built Comcast through bigger and bolder deals (The New York Times, August 8, 2004). He is open to experience, having a career that spans from line installer to chairman of the board, despite being the son of the founder. He also was an All-American in squash, and earned gold and silver medals in the Maccabiah Games (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brian_L._Roberts). His love for the deal, continuing to add companies and rework the cable business shows his vivid imagination and his openness to ...

Solution Summary

This extremely detailed solution is a leadership profile of Brian L. Roberts, Chairman and discusses if leaders are born or made, the individual factors that help explain Roberts' success, his background, a personality profile based on the Big Five dimensions (openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism), how Roberts' influences others, and why he is successful. It includes multiple links and examples.

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