Week Thitreen

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Last week's definition: Leaders should posses the right attitude- having the right attitude includes being a visionary leader - which is the ability to lead people towards shared positive dreams - even when things are constantly changing. One of the things constantly changing is group dynamics. Leaders need to be aware of group dynamics. Successful leaders need to, also, avoid thin slicing and racial prejudice.

Thin slicing means making very quick decision with minimal amount of information.
As this week's reading The Warren Harding Error: Why We Fall For Tall, Dark, and Handsome Men discusses, looks could be deceiving. Some people could be very attractive but that doesn't mean that they are intelligent or talented. The former president of the United States of America, Warren Hardling is a good example of the impact of looks. The former president looked intelligent, competent, and capable of leading a nation. The truth of the matter is he was none of those things. If leaders were basing their decision on very little information or just on looks they wouldn't have sufficient information about their followers. Proper knowledge of followers enables leaders to be effective because they would know how to communicate with them. By all means, leaders should avoid thin-slicing.

Tatum's article goes along side with the Gladwel's reading. Prejudices and stereotyping encourage hate among people. The one thing I found interesting from Tatum's reading is the definition of racism. I have always thought racism was unkind act of people towards another race. According to Tatum, racism is a system of advantage based on race. When I was in Ethiopia I have almost never heard of racism because everyone looked and acted, more or less, the same. But since I have moved to the U.S. I have noticed that there is a big issue about race and some groups of people benefit from racism than others. I hope people stop judging others based on either thin slicing or racial prejudice.
Works cited
Gladwell, M. (2005). "The Warren Harding Error: Why we fall for tall, dark, and handsome men." Blink: The power of thinking without thinking (pp. 72 - 98). New York: Pushkin Enterprises.

Tatum, B. D. (1997). "Defining Racism: Can we talk?" Why are all the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? (pp. 3 - 17). New York: Basic Books.

week twelve

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Last week's definition: Leadership is not only about having the right attitude to lead but it is also about having a vision and learning goals.

This week's definition: Leaders should posses the right attitude- having the right attitude includes being a visionary leader - which is the ability to lead people towards shared positive dreams - even when things are constantly changing. One of the things constantly changing is group dynamics. Leaders need to be aware of group dynamics.

Group dynamics is the study of group's life. There are different personalities in groups. There are members that work hard towards the shared goal and other who don't participate as much. The reason could be that each group member has different ability. Members may not perform comfortably in all roles. Some group members might be good at something that others are not good at. It is important that leaders are aware of this fact so that they could assign various roles to different members.

I also thought the difference between teams and groups was much clearer from this week's reading.Some of the differences are; in groups there is an assigned leader that carries most of the responsibility but in teams the leader responsibility rotates amongst the group members. In a group the main focus is on the organizational mission as oppose to well defined, specific and unique purpose teams posses. Groups measure effectiveness though performance but teams directly assess teamwork products. In teams individual accountability is high and in teams both individuals and the team as a whole are accountable. In both situations leadership is required but it will vary between groups and teams.
Work Cited
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 eleven

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Last Week's definition: Leadership is not only about having the right attitude to lead but it is also about having a vision and learning goals.

This week my definition did not change. The reason being this week's reading doesn't portray any specific trait all leaders should posses. But I thought it was very interesting.

I consider this week's readings as a methods that are useful to enhance the performance of leaders. As we do for this class every week, leaders can be more interactive by using virtual meeting space. Online gatherings boost leaders' effectiveness by enabling them to reach their followers that are in different locations. According to Session, (2010) "multiplex relationships - relationships maintained both online and offline - enhances attendees' engagement with the online community as a whole, strengthens ties to other attendees, and contributes to the creation of bonding social capital". In addition to the off - line relationship they develop with their followers, having an online bond is going to increase their ability to reach more followers.
In addition, online communities are made up of many elements: People, shared purpose, guidelines, collaborative learning, technology, and reflective practice.
It is the instructor's responsibility to facilitate an environment conducive to these elements and for learner growth/community development. Effective leaders make good use of all methods of communication.

Work Cited
Sessions, L. F. (2010). How offline gatherings affect online communities: When virtual community members 'meet up'. Information, Communication & Society, 13(3), 375-395. doi:10.1080/13691180903468954

Palloff, R. M., & Pratt, K. (2005). Learning together in community: Collaboration online. Paper presented at the 20th Annual Conference on Distance Teaching and Learning, Retrieved from http://www.uwex.edu/disted/conference/Resource_library/proceedings/04_1127.pdf


week ten

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Last week's definition: Last week's definition: Leader ship is not only about having the right attitude to lead but it is also about having a vision.
This week's definition: Leadership is not only about having the right attitude to lead but it is also about having a vision and learning goals.
Additional word to last week's definition is "learning goals"
Leaders that have learning goals are more effective than the ones that don't. Setting up learning goals enables them to take strength based achievable steps towards being successful leaders. To achieve success in their leading, they should learn from what they observe or what others do so that when they are faced with similar situations, they will use what they learned to better handle the situation. Also, through learning goals leaders give more chance to practice their skills. Leader should make sure that their learning goals resonate their dreams, by focusing on possibilities of change that will lead them to better performance at work and in life in general Goleman et al. (2002).

Not only leaders but also followers need to have learning goals. By having a good relationship between each other they can provide each other with feedback. From the feedback they gain knowledge of what they are doing wrong or right in order to help them grow. Trough good relationship they will learn from their own mistakes as well as mistakes of other members.

Work cited
Goleman, D., Boyatzis, R., & McKee, A. (2002). "Metamorphosis: Sustaining leadership change." Primal Leadership: Learning to lead with emotional intelligence (pp. 139 - 168). Boston: Harvard Business School Press.

Week nine

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Last week's definition: Leader ship is not only about having the right attitude to lead but it is also about having a vision.
My definition has not changed.

The reason is that this week's readings are in the same rhythm with my previous week 's definition. According to (Barbuto & Wheeler, 2007), characteristics of servant leader include: listening, empathy, healing, awareness, persuasion, conceptualization, foresight, stewardship, growth, and building community. All of these characteristics could be included in the idea of leaders having the right attitude. Leaders should be able to show empathy, listen to what their followers have to say and be aware of what is going on in the organization. Having the right attitude, as I have been discussing it though out the weeks, means leading people to the right direction with the right approach. Which also includes being able to persuade their followers towards a specific goal and help their organization and community grow.

In addition, I found the reading " A social change model of leadership development " very interesting. The metaphor of ensemble music made a lot of sense to me. Just as members of an orchestra would have to work harmoniously to bring forth a performance that is organized, groups of leaders that have the same objective can work together towards achieving the same goals. When responsibilities are shared, it would be easier for the leaders to accomplish their duties. Also, instead of only relying on their expertise, leaders would learn to work with teams that have different verity of skills, abilities, and knowledge.

Work cited
Barbuto, J. E., & Wheeler, D. W. (2007). "Becoming a Servant Leader: Do you have what it takes?"
Retrieved from www.ianrpubs.unl.edu/epublic/live/g1481/build/g1481.pdf
Astin, H. S., & Astin, A. W. (1996). A social change model of leadership development: Guidebook (version III) (pp. 4 - 27). Los Angeles: University of California Los Angeles Higher Education Research Institute.

Week eight part one

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Lat week's definition: Last week's definition: Leader ship is not only about having the right attitude to lead but it is also about having a vision. A new addition to my leadership definition is the word " Vision." Successful leaders are ones that also have a clear vision of what they want in life.

The additional word to this week's definition is "calm." Instead of panicking or choking, good leaders need to be in control of a stressful situation.

According to People panic in the time of stress. And a great deal of stress erases short-term memory. Glad considers panic and choking as two forms of failure. Panicking causes loss of short-term memory. On the other hand, choking causes someone to be "markedly slower and less fluid." In other words, choking results in revising what was learned. In a state of panicking, instead of revising what was learned, people go blank. Although the author discusses general forms of panic and choking, when we bring his illustrations into the leadership role, it is very realistic. At times managing (leading) people can be hands full. Dealing with different types of people and personalities can be very challenging. When facing with stressful situations, leaders might forget their core leadership techniques, such as the ones in my definition, or be slower in their decisions (choking state). Therefore, to be a good leader that survives a stressful environment, one must be calm. According to Gladwell, having sufficient experience will be helpful in being calm in hard situations.

week seven

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Last week's definition: Leader ship is not only about having the right attitude to lead but it is also about having a vision. A new addition to my leadership definition is the word " Vision." Successful leaders are ones that also have a clear vision of what they want in life.

This week's definition: Leadership is all about having the right attitude, vision to lead and the ability to improvise.
The new addition to my definition is the word "improvise."

Leaders are always faced with important decision-making situations. Decisions aren't always a black and white matter. There are times when solutions to any particular situation could be ambiguous. According to (Heifetz, 2009), "leadership is an improvisational and experimental art." In today's fast changing world, executives must be able to adopt what and how to get things done. This will enable them to survive to tomorrow's world. Although different analytical and leadership skills are still crucial to the success of good leaders, they need emergency phase and adoptive phase skills.
Emergency phase is the ability to "stabilize" issues and "buy time" in order to look at thing from an unbiased point of view. Such as, stress, the urgency of the matter and shortage of time. Adoptive phase is the ability to undertake causes of crisis and being able to survive into a new reality. Improvisation comes in play when leaders handle unexpected events that test their ability to improvise. Good leaders prevail when faced with unpredicted events.
I also enjoyed the article that discussed the ethics of right verses right." How Good People Make Tough Choice". Going along with the Heifetz's discussion, this reading made it clear to me that decisions are not always about making a choice between right and wrong. But according to (Kidder, 2003), sometimes there exists a showdown between a right versus right. Although it's highly depends on what values an individual holds higher (individual, community, truth, loyalty, short-term, long-term and justice, mercy), picking the "right" right can be always challenging.


References
1. Kidder, R. M. (2003). "Overview: The ethics of right vs. right."How Good People Make
Tough Choices(pp. 13 - 29). New York: Simon & Schuster.
2. Heifetz, R., Grashow, A., & Linsky, M. (2009). "Leadership in a (permanent)
crisis."Harvard Business Review, 87(7), 62-69.
Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/
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week six

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Lat week's definition: To be a successful leader is to be able to drive people in the right direction with the right attitude.

This week's definition, Leader ship is not only about having the right attitude to lead but it is also about having a vision. So a new addition to my leadership definition is the word " Vision." Successful leaders are ones that also have a clear vision of what they want in life.
According to lee & King, 2001, a clear vision is combination of both personal vision and leadership vision. Personal vision is all about what one want to do with his/her life and what their ultimate goal is. A visionary person must ask himself, "Why am I doing this?" (Lee & King, 2001 p.32). When we have a vision it must be a clear one because if it unclear it leaves too much to chance. Being an incoherent leader " Prevents its owner from being proactive, leaving only a passive, opportunistic approach to career and life." Organizational vision is when people come together to achieve a certain goal in the future. Having a clear personal vision increases the ability to handle leadership level issues.

What I also found interesting:
The word fighting is often perceived as something negative and undesirable. This writing has a different approach to the idea of fighting. Conflicts can sometimes be informative, and make fighting for what you believe worthwhile. Fighting for something shows that we care about the outcome.
I thought this reading was very interesting.

Week five

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A summary of last week's definition
To be a successful leader is to be able to drive people in the right direction with the right attitude.

From this week's, although I have learned a lot of new information, my definition did not change.
According to (Goleman & Boyatzis, 2008), a successful leader is one that knows how to manipulate his followers psychologically. Instead of earning it, leaders, sort of force their will in their follower's mind. I personally don't agree with this idea of leadership.

On the other hand, although it didn't change last week's definition, I though D.T Kyle's comparison of leadership with sovereign king or a higher authority such as God's, was very interesting. He claims that a good leader must positively impact his followers in order to get a positive response in return. Although this might seem to be an outdated method of comparison, as a bible reader, I found it to be perfect. In the bible God is called a sovereign that is a kind and good leader (father). In return, his followers praise him and are obedient to him. Furthermore, a sovereign mix together the positional power with his personal power, which will determine how favorably or unfavorably followers respond to the power of his position (Kyle, p.161).

Week Three

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Last week's definition:
From this week's reading it's clearer that defining leadership is not as easy as it seems. There are many scholars that went about defining it, and the truth of the matter is, they often contradict each other Terry, (2001). Instead of trying to put together a sentence to express the meaning of leadership, looking at it from different angles is very important. According to McKee, A. (2002) there are six different styles of leadership namely, Visionary, coaching, democratic, facilitative, pacesetting, and commanding. Amongst these, four are useful to receive positive outcome and the other two negatively affect performance. From the list of traits above we can see that being a successful leader is to be able to drive people in the right direction with the right attitude. Although commanding and pacesetting are perceived mainly negatively, they are sometimes useful. Over all, the scope of a leadership and what it entails is wider that it usually seems like and I can't wait to learn more.

This Week's definition:

The reading from this week further proves and supports my definition of a good leader from last week. Specifically part of the definition that talked about what it means to be a successful leader, which reads; " To be a successful leader is to be able to drive people in the right direction with the right attitude."
Gallup.com; on their press section of the discussion on "Strengths Based Leadership" issue discussed that there is no one strength or attitude all good leaders posses. Rather, it all depends on the how good leaders identify theirs' and their employee's strength and use it to their benefit. It's true that effective leaders invest on strength and reap the return. According to Gallup, when leaders focus on their employee's strength, the probability of each worker being engaged with their work is eightfold bigger than when the opposite is true.
Another valuable thing I found from this week's reading is that, although having all of the four domains of leadership, namely; executing, influencing, relationship building and strategic thinking are important skills, survey that was conducted by Gallup shows that leaders who, only, strive to peruse those skills were found to be the least effective. And leaders who communicate cumulative advantage to their employees are able to achieve a faster individual and organizational growth.

Recent Comments

  • Jude Higdon: Very interesting analysis. Your perspective coming from a more homogeneous read more
  • Jude Higdon: Grade: 10 out of 10. Clarity of the new definition: read more
  • Colin McFadden: I might disagree a little with your first statement, but read more
  • Colin McFadden: Good post. The sustainability aspect of the Goleman, Boyatzis and read more
  • Jude Higdon: Nice thoughts. Well said. In your original definition, what do read more
  • Jude Higdon: Thanks for your post. There are some nice, nascent elements read more
  • Colin McFadden: Solid post. Grade: 10 points Clarity of the new definition read more
  • Jude Higdon: Nice job! Interesting analysis. Grade: 10 points Clarity of the read more
  • Colin McFadden: Solid post - just be sure to tack on the read more
  • Colin McFadden: I don't see a definition for this week, and I'm read more

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