Leadership Mentor Interview


The purpose of this project is to learn leadership qualities of a leadership mentor and apply those qualities to leadership theory to determine leadership effectiveness. 

Skill Building:  

You are also completing this project to help you develop the skills of mentorship, interviewing, critical thinking, and writing a report.  Writing is critical because in business it is important to convey information clearly and concisely and to develop a personal brand.  Developing a personal brand is important because it is the ongoing process of establishing an image or impression in the minds of others especially those in positions above you.  Having a strong personal brand can lead to opportunities that include promotions. 

Skills:  Interviewing, Writing, Critical Thinking, Developing a Personal Brand, Self-Analysis, Writing a Report.  

Outcomes Met With This Project:

  • use leadership theories, assessment tools, and an understanding of the role of ethics, values, and attitudes to evaluate and enhance personal leadership skills
  • evaluate the culture and structure of an organization to recommend and implement improvements that support its vision, success, and sustainability
  • assess the interactions between the external environment and the organization to foster responsible and effective leadership and organizational practices


You have spent the last seven weeks learning the highlights of current leadership theory. You should now have a sense of what good leadership looks like.  All of this knowledge is meaningless unless we are able to see it in action, recognize it, and model it.

You will interview a leader to determine the following:

  • The Leader’s general view of leadership (leader’s role, leadership style, leadership theory, etc.).
  • The Leader’s approach to strategic thinking.
  • The Leader’s view of organizational culture.


Step 1:  Set up the Leadership Mentor Interview. 

You will identify and schedule the Interview date no later than the end of Week Four.  See the document Leadership Mentor Interview and Guidelines for guidance on how to identify a leader and to set up the interview.  You will post information about the Interview in week 4 learning activity. 

Step 2. Prepare for the Leadership Mentor Interview. 

The document, Leadership Mentor Interview and Guidelines outlines how to prep for the Interview and a list of Interview Questions.  You will choose a minimum of 20 questions under the following topics:

  • Minimum of 5 questions about General Leadership adapted from the article:
  • Minimum of 3 questions about Culture (taken from the Leadership Mentor Interview and Guidelines document)
  • Minimum of 3 questions about Strategic Thinking (taken from the Leadership Mentor Interview and Guidelines document)

Note that some questions may not be applicable for your chosen Mentor.  As a result, you will want to choose “extra” questions from this list and have them handy in case you need them.  

Step 3. Attend the Leadership Mentor Interview. 

The Interview can occur any time prior to Week Seven.  It is recommended you complete this prior to Week 7, to allow you time in Week 7 to complete the report.  You will want to take lots of notes during your interview, or record it and take notes later.  You will be expected to demonstrate you asked the required number and type of questions by providing notes to the interview in the Appendix of this report.  

Step 4. Write the Report. 

Report Format:

Create a Word or Rich Text Format (RTF) report should be no more than five pages double-spaced.  Those five pages do not include a required Title Page, Reference Page and Appendix.  You will use the following format.

Executive Summary.

  • Provide a brief summary of the Mentor you interviewed including: Name, Job Title, Organization, time with organization, and time in current role. You may also briefly describe other parts of the Mentor’s work and leadership history.

The Leader’s General View of Leadership.

In this section provide a description of the following, using both examples from the interview and course materials as support:

  • The leader’s view of the role of a leader.
  • The leader’s view about leading change.
  • The leader’s view about the best way to lead.
  • The leader’s view about cultivating other leadership talent.

If you feel you have enough information garnered from the interview, also determine:

  • What you feel is this person’s predominant leadership style (provide evidence of why you made this determination. What you feel is this person’s prevalent leadership theory (provide evidence of why you made this determination).

The Leader’s View of Organizational Culture.

Use both examples from the interview and course materials as support.

The Leader’s Approach to Strategic Thinking.

Use both examples from the interview and course materials as support.


Provide a summary of your general leadership lessons that you learned from this mentor as a result of this interview.  Use course materials for support.

Reference Page

Provide references to match your in-text citations, written in APA format.


Include your Interview Notes to demonstrate that your minimum 11 Interview questions were asked (i.e. 5 about general leadership, 3 about culture, and 3 about strategic thinking). There is no required format for this section.

Other Required Elements:

  • Read the grading rubric for the project. Use the grading rubric while completing the project to ensure all requirements are met that will lead to the highest possible grade.
  • Contractions are not used in business writing, so do not use them.
  • Paraphrasing is allowed for providing examples from the Interview. Use direct quotation marks if you are providing a direct quote from the interviewee.  You do not need to cite or reference this leader for the purposes of this report.
  • Direct quotes are NOT allowed if they are quotation from course materials. This means you do not use more than four consecutive words from a source document, but put a passage from a source document into your own words and attribute the passage to the source document, using in-text citations in APA format.
  • In-text citations should be included in ALL SECTIONS of the report, and should demonstrate application of the course material.  Note that a reference within a reference list cannot exist without an associated in-text citation and vice versa.
  • You may only use the course material from the classroom.  You may not use books or any resource from the Internet.
  • Provide the page or paragraph number, where applicable.