October 2012 Archives

Week 8

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Last Weeks Definition: My definition this week has not changed much since last week. I still firmly believe that leaders work the most effectively when striving to be the best leader they can be for their team and are constantly assessing how and why they are leading and that they have a clear understanding of their ever-changing ethical beliefs and analyse each decision from multiple ethical views. Expanding on my previous concept of evolving to meet team needs, leaders must also be aware of the current external environment and adapt their leadership style to meet the current business climate.

This week's definition: This week my definition has stayed the same in the sense that I feel the most successful leaders are always striving to be a better person, working towards what is best for the the team even if that means changing and adapting their leadership style and always defining and analyzing their ethical beliefs and adapting their styles to outside factors. However, I also think that it is important for leaders to remember to utilize all the strengths of each team member and be aware of the weaknesses. Leaders also should work toward becoming servant leaders and putting others before themselves.

Analysis of Differences: I really enjoyed the Barbuto & Wheeler reading which talked about servant leadership. This is something that I strongly believe should be more prevalent in today's world and is something that I am working toward myself. It is very important to be able to reach out to people in their time of need and to be empathetic of their situations. (Barbuto & Wheeler, 2007) According to the Astin & Astin article, teams and leaders have a very complex relationship where one compliments the other and each must be aware of the other's strengths and weaknesses. (Astin & Astin, 1996 p 4)

Week Seven

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Last Week's Definition: This week I reaffirmed my beliefs that leaders are most effective when they are working toward the best interest of the group and changing according to their evolving needs, are consistently working to become a better person and routinely perform personal 'checks' of why they are acting and leading the way that they are. Expanding on that, I think that it is pertinent that leaders clearly define their ethical beliefs and be aware of any changes in those beliefs. It is critical that they examine every leadership decision from both sides and an ethical lens.

This Week's Definition: My definition this week has not changed much since last week. I still firmly believe that leaders work the most effectively when striving to be the best leader they can be for their team and are constantly assessing how and why they are leading and that they have a clear understanding of their ever-changing ethical beliefs and analyse each decision from multiple ethical views. Expanding on my previous concept of evolving to meet team needs, leaders must also be aware of the current external environment and adapt their leadership style to meet the current business climate.

Analysis of Differences: I found this week's article extremely interesting on account of my business background, and I could really relate with the concept. However, I believe that these notions can be applied to all leadership situations. According to the article, when it comes to leadership there is no normal situation, each new situation provides the opportunity to push your team into improving performance by stepping outside the comfort zone and reevaluating the norm. (Heifetz, Grashow & Linsky, 2009, p 62-69) As a person with Adaptability as one of my top five strengths I can relate to this very personally.

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

Week 6 - Ethics

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Last week's definition: I still believe that a leader is most effective when they consistently keep the best interest of the group in the forefront of their minds, as I defined in my first post. In addition to my thoughts last week about leaders needing to better themselves in order to make the team better, I think that leaders must analyze why they lead in a certain way and why they lead, period. Leaders need to feel personal satisfaction, in accordance with their personal values, from the position they are in as a leader and the goals they are trying to accomplish.

This week's definition: This week I reaffirmed my beliefs that leaders are most effective when they are working toward the best interest of the group and changing according to their evolving needs, are consistently working to become a better person and routinely perform personal 'checks' of why they are acting and leading the way that they are. Expanding on that, I think that it is pertinent that leaders clearly define their ethical beliefs and be aware of any changes in those beliefs. It is critical that they examine every leadership decision from both sides and an ethical lens.

Analysis of Differences: The reading this week really hit home for me. I never realized that there are so many reasons why there are ethical differences, as stated in the Paul & Elder readings. I also found the steps to the logic of ethics extremely helpful, this provides a simple check for a leader to make sure they are making the correct decision. (Paul & Elder, 2006, p 4-36) However, the thing that stuck out to me the most was the two lessons learned in the Kidder reading. That first, every ethical situation has two sides, one from each person, and that making an ethical decision requires in-depth thinking of each side and meeting in the middle. (Kidder, 2003, p 22)

Sources:
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.
Kidder, R. M. (2003). "Overview: The ethics of right vs. right." How Good People Make Tough Choices (pp. 13 - 29). New York: Simon & Schuster.

Week 5

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Last Week's definition: "As I have begun reading more about different types of leadership it has begun to become more apparent to me that not only is being a leader about being there for the people you are leading, but it is bettering yourself for them as well. I think that it is important for leaders to learn exactly what the people they are trying to lead need and to adapt to those needs. A leader must be consistently bettering themselves, therefore bettering the whole team. At the same time, I think it is possible for a leader to have multiple, ever-changing leadership styles, but only because a leader must being doing what is best for their team.:

This Week's Definition: I still believe that a leader is most effective when they consistently keep the best interest of the group in the forefront of their minds, as I defined in my first post. In addition to my thoughts last week about leaders needing to better themselves in order to make the team better, I think that leaders must analyze why they lead in a certain way and why they lead, period. Leaders need to feel personal satisfaction, in accordance with their personal values, from the position they are in as a leader and the goals they are trying to accomplish.

Analysis of the differences: The Lee & King reading really hit home for me this week. I realized that not only does a leader need to better themselves, but they need to know and understand 'why' they are bettering themselves. According to Lee & King, "effective leadership depends first on one's personal vision and then one's leadership vision." (Lee & King, 2001, p. 31) I understand now that it is extremely important to be aware of why you are being a leader, taking into account your values, past, motivation and future aspirations. It finally clicked for me that being a leader is so much more than getting people to accomplish what you want them to, there are two sides to this story and the leader is equally as important.

Sources:
Lee, R. J., & King, S. N. (2001). "Ground your leadership vision in a personal vision."
Discovering the Leader in You: A guide to realizing your personal leadership potential (pp. 31 - 54). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, Inc.

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