Daring to challenge the status quo impacts innovation. Yet, successful outcomes depend on individual risk-taking and choice to influence others to support new ideas. This Challenging the Status Quo exercise illustrates how leaders use power and influencing tactics to challenge norms by analyzing Donald Trump’s journey as the 45th U.S. President to defy experts and successfully influence followers to support his non-traditional candidacy: businessman lacking political experience becoming leader of the free world. Through integrating videoclips and polls, instructors make power visible, relevant, and thought-provoking as students apply power theory and influencing tactics perspectives to analyze (a) how leaders impact followers’ perceptions, (b) students mutual-influencing strategies, (c) power’s relationship with social identity and privilege, and (d) social impact on innovation via activism and free speech.

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© 2015 Association of Leadership Educators

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