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)
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.