March 2012 Archives

March 31, 2012 Definition

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Last Week's Definition
Leadership is the way in which an individual acts to influence others around him or her to produce results. Effective leaders should be able to match their personal vision to their actions (Lee & King, 2001) and utilize different leadership styles in different situations. Effective leaders are ethical people and understand that there isn't always a single right answer and are able to make decisions based on their personal values.

This Week's Definition
Leadership is the way in which an individual acts to influence others around him or her to produce results. Effective leaders should be able to match their personal vision to their actions and utilize different leadership styles in different situations. Leaders are ethical people and understand that there isn't always a single right answer and are able to make decisions based on their personal values. Leaders should be unbiased and should not quickly judge people based solely on their physical appearance (Gladwell).

Analysis of Differences
I think that the readings this week about racism and sexism discussed good values for leaders to have but they are not things I would include in a high level definition of leadership. On the other hand, the Warren Harding Error is an important concept because of the idea of not prejudging people based on their appearances alone. I feel this concept does a good job of summing up all three readings into a single broad, yet concise point. Good leaders should be unbiased and accepting of all people's opinions and input, regardless of what they look like.


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.

March 10, 2012 Definition

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Last Week's Definition
Leadership is the way in which an individual acts to influence others around him or her to produce results. Effective leaders should be able to match their personal vision to their actions (Lee & King, 2001) and utilize different leadership styles in different situations. Effective leaders are ethical people and understand that there isn't always a single right answer and are able to make decisions based on their personal values.

This Week's Definition
Leadership is the way in which an individual acts to influence others around him or her to produce results. Effective leaders should be able to match their personal vision to their actions (Lee & King, 2001) and utilize different leadership styles in different situations. Effective leaders are ethical people and understand that there isn't always a single right answer and are able to make decisions based on their personal values.

Analysis of Changes
Again, this week I didn't make a change to my definition of leadership. I feel that the concepts from the Heifetz and Linksy reading are important in the overall practice of leadership but don't really add anything to my definition. Leaders should be able to remove themselves from a situation to get a higher level view of what's going on and then immerse themselves in the action to help get things done when they clarify their role. To me, this is a more advanced aspect of leadership that, while still very important, isn't a critical part of my definition of leadership. The Kegan and Lahey reading provided an interesting contrast to StrengthsFinder and while I don't think it is valuable to focus on weaknesses, it is good to be aware of your "one big thing" so that you can understand why you make some decisions that you make.


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.

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