February 2011 Archives

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.
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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.

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