November 2012 Archives

Week 13

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Last Week's Definition: In addition to my current definition of leadership, stating that leaders are people who work with the group by listening to all needs and adapting their leadership style to fit those needs. A leader works on their own beliefs and values and does not deviate from those, they are also always working toward becoming a better leader and providing the best possible guidance filled with understanding and without judgement to the group. They also must be aware of how the group complements one another and how there may be unconscious prejudice that may need to be addressed. I believe that it is also important that a leader realizes that they are part of a group and that conflict is natural and decisions should involve the whole group.

This Week's Definition: My current definition of leadership is that a leader is someone who works toward bettering themselves while serving others and putting their best interests above their own. A leader works toward bettering themselves by evaluating their beliefs and values, they are also conscious of conflict that may occur in the group and how to solve any preexisting prejudices. A good leader helps guide their team by listening to the needs of the group and adjusting their style based on that. A leader needs to be constantly working toward being a better person and may do so through intentional change.

Analysis of Readings: According to Boytzis (2006), a person can go through intentional change. When one feels the need for a desired and sustainable change to their actions, beliefs or competencies, they may work through the Theory of Self-Directed Learning. This analyzes where a leader is (Real Self) and the gap between type of leader they wish to be (Ideal Self). A good leader will utilize their strengths and create a strong support system to reduce this gap.

Sources:
Boyatzis, R. E. (2006). "An Overview of Intentional Change from a Leadership Perspective." Journal of Management Development, 25(7), 607-623. doi:10.1108/02621710610678445

Week 12

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Last Week's Definition: Throughout the course my leadership definition has changed to in response to the increasing complexity of the question "What is a leader?" I believe that a leader is someone who is working toward bettering the people that they are leading by listening to their needs, empathizing when necessary and guiding them in the right direction while still allowing them to grow on their own. In order accomplish this, leaders must set realistic goals and adapt to the changing attitude of their group and the environment while bettering themselves by looking at how and why they lead and deep rooted personal values. This week I would like to add that leaders need to be aware of differences and know that these differences help the group, that prejudice may exist and to be actively trying to address these issues. Also, that leaders should never judge a person from first glace, part of being a leader is getting to know the group on a personal level and not to make judgments until you know the whole story.

This Week's Definition: In addition to my current definition of leadership, stating that leaders are people who work with the group by listening to all needs and adapting their leadership style to fit those needs. A leader works on their own beliefs and values and does not deviate from those, they are also always working toward becoming a better leader and providing the best possible guidance filled with understanding and without judgement to the group. They also must be aware of how the group complements one another and how there may be unconscious prejudice that may need to be addressed. I believe that it is also important that a leader realizes that they are part of a group and that conflict is natural and decisions should involve the whole group.

Analysis of Difference: According to the Komives, Lucas, & McMahon article, groups have varying dynamics depending on the purpose, structure and time spent together. I think that this is important for leaders to realize so they do not waste too much time on one specific development phase. Leaders should also be aware of various types of group members and alter their style to include everyone. (Komives, Lucas & McMahon, 1998, p 165-194)

Sources:
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 11

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Last Week's Definition: This week I really related to the readings, however my definition of leadership did not change. I think that these readings were repetitive of previous reading concepts and I did not really have to alter my definitions.

This week's definition: Throughout the course my leadership definition has changed to in response to the increasing complexity of the question "What is a leader?" I believe that a leader is someone who is working toward bettering the people that they are leading by listening to their needs, empathizing when necessary and guiding them in the right direction while still allowing them to grow on their own. In order accomplish this, leaders must set realistic goals and adapt to the changing attitude of their group and the environment while bettering themselves by looking at how and why they lead and deep rooted personal values. This week I would like to add that leaders need to be aware of differences and know that these differences help the group, that prejudice may exist and to be actively trying to address these issues. Also, that leaders should never judge a person from first glace, part of being a leader is getting to know the group on a personal level and not to make judgments until you know the whole story.

Analysis of Differences: In past definitions I have talked about the fact that leaders must be aware of differences among the team. The first step is realizing that there are differences and that is okay. Leaders need to tailor themselves to individual members of the group. However, this week after reading the Gladwell article, it seemed clear that everyone is at fault of making quick judgments of people based on first impressions. Leaders need to know that this happens and make a conscious effort to combat this. (Gladwell, 2005. pg 79) Also, leaders should be aware of personal and group prejudices. These my exist subconsciously, but regardless, leaders should know the difference between racism and prejudice as stated in the Tatum article and to address them accordingly. (Tatum, 1997. p 10)

Sources:
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 9

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Last 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.

This week's definition: This week I really related to the readings, however my definition of leadership did not change. I think that these readings were repetitive of previous reading concepts and I did not really have to alter my definitions.

Analysis of differences: I didn't have to change my definition this week because I think removing yourself occasionally from the situation and looking down from the 'balcony' (Heifetz,& Linsky, 2002, p 56) is essentially the same thing as being a servant leader. Looking from the balcony involves looking from a different perspective, something that servant leaders have to do frequently. Servant leaders must empathize with people in order to be the most effective leader possible and in order to do that they must take themselves, and their personal opinions, out of the situation and look at it through someone else's shoes.

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