April 2011 Archives

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.

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