Final Leadership Definition (12/16)

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As the class kind of trailed off following the submission of the group paper I felt it was appropriate to post a final leadership definition and dwell shortly on my opinions of the class.

Last Week's Definition:
Optimal leadership includes self-improvement paired with the work of the group. One should recognize the limitations of the self and initial group and set clear goals for outcomes, learning over time to work better as a group and as a leader.

New Definition:
There is no perfect approach to leadership; one must constantly assess oneself and the larger situation, altering your behavior to help motivate those around you. Challenges must be accepted and understood both on a group and personal level. One size does not fit all with leadership, a true leader must recognize this.

Analysis:
I went into this class expecting tactics; tricks of the trade on how to win people over and get them to "follow". Instead I was presented with a long list of obstacles to interpersonal productivity and the reality that there is no "magic bullet" solution to leading. Personally I have taken steps to improve clarity in my communication, specifically delegating responsibilities so that expectations are not misconstrued and to take charge of my work, doing what I promise and expecting others to live up to this standard. Obviously this is just a first step, but as I mentioned in my second journey paper I believe you must lead by example, maintaining personal accountability for your own actions before you expect this of others.

There was some interesting reading for this class, not sure if the online format was right for me (first class all online) but I feel I got something out of it. I plan to continue with the leadership minor program.

Thanks guys,

-Jesse

Leadership Definition (11/21)

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Last Week's Definition:
Being an effective leader requires an understanding of your role in the larger picture of the project or company, a tuned sense of one's shortcomings and prejudices and a realistic view on team equilibrium. Groups cannot be expected to function optimally immediately, an good leader allows a team to mature before judging too harshly.

New Definition:
Optimal leadership includes self-improvement paired with the work of the group. One should recognize the limitations of the self and initial group and set clear goals for outcomes, learning over time to work better as a group and as a leader.

Analysis:
Boyatzis reminded me of the objective of self-awareness and analysis, finding the traits that could use improvement and focusing on improving those.

Boyatzis, R. E. (2006). "An Overview of Intentional Change from a Leadership Perspective." Journal of Management Development, 25(7), 607-623.

Leadership Definition (11/15)

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Last Week's Definition:
Being an effective leader requires an understanding of your role in the larger picture of the project or company as well as a tuned sense of one's shortcomings and prejudices. If you are aware of your own tendencies, it is easier to notice when they affect your actions.

New Definition:
Being an effective leader requires an understanding of your role in the larger picture of the project or company, a tuned sense of one's shortcomings and prejudices and a realistic view on team equilibrium. Groups cannot be expected to function optimally immediately, an good leader allows a team to mature before judging too harshly.

Analysis:
The takeaway message I got out of the Komives reading was the need to really watch the pace of a group. Understanding that productivity can ebb and flow over time, and to not try and force a group to meld immediately. I found the Yoon reading generally inapplicable, as most of their data is outdated in the fast paced field of digital interactions.

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.

Yoon, S., & Johnson, S. (2008). Phases and patterns of group development in virtual learning teams. Educational Technology Research & Development, 56(5), 595-618.

Note: UThink Blogs were down Saturday and posting then slipped my mind until today.

Leadership Definition (11/5)

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Last Week's Definition:
Optimal leadership requires the ability to step back and view one's place and role in the "big picture". Moving beyond the daily tasks and conflicts to plan at a higher level.

New Definition:
Being an effective leader requires an understanding of your role in the larger picture of the project or company as well as a tuned sense of one's shortcomings and prejudices. If you are aware of your own tendencies, it is easier to notice when they affect your actions.

Analysis:
I found the articles on racism pretty demoralizing, even thinking of myself as a fairly open minded individual I was nervous to attempt an IAT test for fear of the results. The takeaway message for me was that you cannot stop simply stop being prejudice, but if you make yourself aware of these prejudices you are in a position of power to work against them.

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.

Kezar, A. (2000). "Pluralistic Leadership: Incorporating Diverse Voices." The Journal of Higher Education, 71(6), Nov. - Dec., 2000, pp. 722-743.

Leadership Definition (10/29)

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Last Week's Definition:
Leadership requires the belief and pursuit of something larger than oneself, helping others on your way towards a collective goal exemplifies a leader.

New Definition:
Optimal leadership requires the ability to step back and view one's place and role in the "big picture". Moving beyond the daily tasks and conflicts to plan at a higher level.

Analysis:
This week I have been thinking a lot about getting caught up in the mundane and the associated stress. I relate this a little to the Heifetz reading, using the balcony strategy to both view your position within a group, but also within the context of an ongoing project. We have the tendency to get really worked up about the little steps, leadership requires a constant eye on the end goal.

Heifetz, R. A., & Linsky, M. (2002). "Get on the balcony." Leadership on the Line: Staying alive through the dangers of leading (pp. 51 - 74). Boston: Harvard Business School Press.

Kegan, R., & Lahey, L. L. (2009). "Identifying Each Person's One Big Thing" (pp. 63 - 67). Boston: Harvard Business Press.

Leadership Definition (10/23)

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Last Week's Definition:
Leadership requires a solid basis in your values and practices, situation arise where one is challenged, fiscally or otherwise, one must remain true to one's morals to remain accesible as a leader.

New Definition:
Leadership requires the belief and pursuit of something larger than oneself, helping others on your way towards a collective goal exemplifies a leader.

Analysis:
While I felt that both the Astin & Astin and the Barbuto & Wheeler readings downplayed the importance of the individual in many leadership situations, I liked how they promoted the concept of putting others before oneself to achieve something together. These tactics should be paired with personal strengths to create a team that is stronger than the leader alone, while acknowledging that moving too far into the democratic realm can damage productivity.

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.

Barbuto, J. E., & Wheeler, D. W. (2007). "Becoming a Servant Leader: Do you have what it takes?"

Note: I was out of town October 18-22 on a University sanctioned trip, I alerted my group members beforehand and thought that I would be able to complete this assignment the night I got back, however after traveling all day I did not have it in me. Sorry for the delay.

Leadership Definition (10/15)

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Last Week's Definition:
Optimal leadership necessitates a fair view of one's faults and prejudices. If you want to be respected in a position of power you must act fairly and uniformly, be upfront about your values and stick to them.

New Definition:
Leadership requires a solid basis in your values and practices, situation arise where one is challenged, fiscally or otherwise, one must remain true to one's morals to remain accesible as a leader.

Analysis:
Throughout the last two weeks reading there has been significant discussion of leadership and decision make in non-idyllic circumstances. This has driven my belief that one must stay true to their beliefs through the proverbial thick and thin; certainly adjusting the the demands of situations but keeping your ideals clear and well defined.

Heifetz, R., Grashow, A., & Linsky, M. (2009). "Leadership in a (permanent) crisis." Harvard Business Review, 87(7), 62-69.

Paul, R., & Elder, L. (2006). The Function of Ethics -- and Its Main Impediement. Understanding the Foundations of Ethical Reasoning (pp. 4 - 36). Dillon Beach, CA: Foundation for Critical Thinking.

Leadership Definition (10/9)

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Last Weeks Definition:
Leadership requires utilization of one's skills and recognition of the strong suites of others to work together towards a shared outcome.

New Definition:
Optimal leadership necessitates a fair view of one's faults and prejudices. If you want to be respected in a position of power you must act fairly and uniformly, be upfront about your values and stick to them.

Analysis:
This week's reading was much less clear cut than many. While some examples have obvious conclusions, it does not take long to find ethics questions with no ideal path to take. My takeaway message was that one should act to the best of their ability in an ethical manner, and maintain a clear view of their values, aiming to stick to these, not varying case-by-case.

Bibliography:

Paul, R., & Elder, L. (2006). The Function of Ethics -- and Its Main Impediement. Understanding the Foundations of Ethical Reasoning (pp. 4 - 36). Dillon Beach, CA: Foundation for Critical Thinking.

Leadership Definition (9/30)

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Last Weeks Definition:
Leadership is actively engaging multiple group members to work harmoniously towards a common goal.

New Definition:
Leadership requires utilization of one's skills and recognition of the strong suites of others to work together towards a shared outcome.

Analysis:
This weeks readings led me towards a strengths based leadership style. Recognizing how you operate as a leader and using your traits to motivate others. I found the discussions of coercion and ethics within leadership the most interesting; stepping beyond the policies to address powerful individuals techniques.

Bibliography:
Goleman, D. (2000). Leadership That Gets Results. Harvard Business Review, 78(2), 78-90.

Leadership Definition (9/25)

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Leadership requires utilization of one's skills and recognition of the strong suites of others to work together towards a shared outcome.

Goleman, D. (2000). Leadership That Gets Results. Harvard Business Review, 78(2), 78-90.

Recent Comments

  • helenbadby@yahoo.com: All these are great definitions. You must have worked really read more
  • Colin McFadden: Thanks for the feedback/thoughts - we've both worked for enough read more
  • Colin McFadden: A little bit sparse on the analysis. I think the read more
  • Colin McFadden: I'd be curious to know a bit more about why read more
  • Colin McFadden: Nice analysis and a solid change. Grade: 10 out of read more
  • Colin McFadden: Your new definition is fine, but I'm not sure it's read more
  • Colin McFadden: Big change this week! The new definition is a bit read more
  • Colin McFadden: I'm not sure I fully understand this phrase: " situation read more
  • Colin McFadden: I'm not sure I fully understand this phrase: " situation read more
  • Colin McFadden: Good post. Dealing with issues of values is one of read more

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