Week Five: Re-defining Leadership

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LAST WEEK:

Leadership is taking an initiative to move ideas or people in a direction that achieves both explicit and implicit positive goals.

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THIS WEEK: Leadership is taking an initiative to move ideas or people in a direction that achieves both explicit and implicit goals.

I left my definition largely the same from last week. I still believe leadership means taking the initiative to make change, or the way I stated it in my definition, "move ideas or people."

One difference with my idea this week is that I must emphasize the word "move" in my definition. In Terry's article, he states, "It is possible to have overwhelming failure and still have exhibited leadership," which I agree with (Yes! I know this is not something Terry believes; it is simply a statement I agree with). Because a person can be a leader without actually achieving the goals that were set out, the leadership is when the person(s) "moves" or "engages" in the actions that might lead to fulfilling goals.

The more major difference in this week's definition is that I actually removed the word "positive," which seems to be a fighting idea with me. Again, in one of Terry's "debates," he describes that leadership can be ethical or unethical. (Again, I know that this is not Terry's opinion- it is an idea that I agree with). I had to realize this week that my goal in this blog is not to define good or bad leadership, or a leadership that I would like to exhibit, but leadership in general. Terry used Hitler's leadership as an example; there is no doubt in my mind that Hitler used great amounts of leadership during his time, but he wasn't achieving positive goals by any means (assuming the results of the Holocaust are overall seen as negative).


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Terry, R. (2001). "Deciding what you believe." Seven zones for leadership: Acting authentically in stability and chaos (pp. 20 - 40). Mountain View, CA: Davies-Black Publishing, Inc.

Week Four: Re-defining Leadership

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LAST WEEK: Leadership is acting in such a way that moves toward accomplishing goals by using personal capabilities.

THIS WEEK:

"Leadership is taking an initiative to move ideas or people in a direction that achieves both explicit and implicit positive goals."

To explain the portion of my definition that includes "move ideas or people in a direction that achieves ... goals," I'm coming from Goleman's reading, "Leadership That Gets Results." The six styles of leadership are ways that leaders act in order to get results from their followers; in other words, goals. These goals can be achieved by a leader using people or ideas as resources.

I reverted more toward my very first definition of leadership this week as I included the term "positive" in my definition. In "Understanding Why People Follow," the author made it a point to mention that leadership depends largely on the followers; specifically that very large numbers of followers require trust, compassion, stability and hope within the people that are most influential in their lives. Notice, these four "basic needs" all have positive demeanors. Surely leaders like Hitler or Stalin can use these things for evil but the true leadership comes from the positive visions and outcomes.

Goleman, Daniel (2000). "Leadership that Gets Results." Harvard Business Review, 78(2), 78-90
Rath, T. & Conchie, B. (2009). "Understanding why people follow." Strengths based leadership: Great leaders, teams, and why people follow. (pp. 79 - 85). New York: Gallup Press.

Week 3: Re-defining Leadership

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Leadership is acting in such a way that moves toward accomplishing goals by using personal capabilities.


Although Komives' reading was about group forming rather than leadership, the aspects of group forming relate also to leadership itself. While reading Exhibit 6.2 in Komives' reading, it struck me that there are many forms of leadership within a simple group. For example, the person in a group who summarizes information given in a meeting must exhibit leadership within that particular task. Leadership is more overlooked than I once thought.

Komives, S. R., Lucas, N., & McMahon, T. R. (1998). "Interacting in Teams and Groups." Exploring Leadership: For college students who want to make a difference (pp. 165 - 194). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Week one: Leadership is...

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First Week:
Leadership is the act of taking initiation in a positive manor to direct others.

Throughout my life, I've noticed leadership in many areas, from family dynamics to sports teams to career settings; one quality that these leaders have in common is that they take the initiative to direct other people. If people are initiating direction in a negative way, such as using unnecessary force, I would not consider it to be true leadership.