Mgmt 302 – Organizational Leadership & Team Dynamics – FAll 2013 – Pg. 2

Thoughts and reflections of undergraduate students from MGMT 302 Class – Ferris State University Big Rapids, Michigan

Posts From Students:

Adrian McEwen –  Dakota Klecka –  Matthew Doane –  Samantha Smith – Farah Alahmed –  Lukas Thompson

I Believe in Leading

When I sum up this statement by Warren Bennis, it makes me realize that it is important to be yourself. I have been a firm believer my entire life that the best leaders are the ones that do not try to be someone that they are not. You can work on things to help you become a better leader, but I do not think it is necessary to change things so much to the point that people cannot recognize your personality or character anymore.

A leader is someone who people can look to when they are in need of direction. Leaders have an ability to lead others and to affect them in different ways. They can affect the way people think or even act. There are two different types of leaders in my eyes. One of the types is a vocal leader. These are the people who are not afraid to speak up and voice their opinions. The other type is a leader of example. These leaders tend to be quieter and do not have many words to say. They may be more on the shy side, but the quality that they possess that makes people look to them for leadership is their great character. These types of leaders tend to always do the right things and make good decisions.

The biggest thing that I will take is learning to work with others to achieve one common goal. Before this class I didn’t see the point of working with teams but now I understand that it is a great way to generate ideas and work on communication skills.

I have learned to start speaking up more. In the past I have always been quiet, but I understand the importance of stepping up and speaking up being able to have a voice for myself.

– – – Adrian McEwen, Grand Rapids, Mi.

I believe there is no “I” in team

The vision of leadership I presume is that it takes a whole team to be successful not just one person. Leadership to me is leading a group of people to excelling at any task given. With this said, it’s not always about winning but what you get out of everything you do. I would rather lose and no that my team tried there absolute hardest than win with a lot of corruptions and confrontations within the team.  Throughout this class I have learned a lot about myself and what kind of leader I am. I have learned that I have what it takes to become a powerful well-structured leader of a team given any task at hand. I will make sure that my team is very tight nit and will work to succeed not just as a team but also succeed as individuals. Succeeding to me means that the team did well and everyone learned something from what transpired.  I am becoming myself in the process of becoming a leader because it’s not always about managing the team through definitions of a book if you must say, it’s about being yourself, advising from past experiences and the underground knowledge you have witnessed or picked up from past leaders such as JFK or MLK.

Throughout the class I have taken many surveys pertaining to my leadership style and my strengths and weaknesses. I have learned that I am a driver and I am very expressive in the way I handle a team. I wouldn’t change anything about that seeing is that I like to be in control but also have a say in everything that goes on. Being a driver doesn’t always mean it’s my way or the highway. I would take the driver standpoint to lead a team but also let everyone have a say on everything that goes on. Also with being a driver, expressive trait shows that you can express opinions and not put your team members down and always encourage them to succeed, even if for some reason they don’t. To conclude this brief essay, the team wins not the leader. When you see a major company topping the charts you don’t just see the leaders name, you see the name of the company. Sometimes it’s the lowest member position that has the greatest impact on succeeding or failing, so you have to listen to everybody to be successful within a team. There is no “I” in TEAM.

– – – Dakota Klecka, Big Rapids, Mi.

I Believe in Living for Today

When I think of the word leadership, I think of all the important people that have had a huge part in my life.  I have had people in my life that I view as outstanding leaders if they realized it or not.  A strong leader to me always does what is the right even when people aren’t watching.  They live each day as if they died that night they are satisfied with how they will be remembered.  A strong leader stands up for what is right even if they stand-alone.  When they fail great leaders never give up and they find a way to better them from it.  A strong leader is always willing to learn and never thinks they don’t need to learn any more.

In this class we had to complete multiple different surveys which all were apart or connected to the topic of leadership.  I learned a lot about myself from these surveys the good and the bad.  These surveys helped me learn what areas I need to work on to become a better leader and what areas I am doing well in.  Now that I learned where my strengths and weaknesses are I need to take action.  I now am finding ways of making my weak areas stronger.

I learning more each day on how to become a better leader and person.  It is never easy, but I try my best to live each day as if I died that night I am fully happy with everything that happened.  Even if something goes wrong that day I try to accept it, learn from it, and move past it.  I try to always keep a positive attitude no matter what happens throughout the day.

I changed my mind a little bit on the type of leadership style I should have.  I also, learned my weaknesses and how to make myself a strong team leader.  I still have the same foundation of what leadership is to me.  I just now know how to make it stronger and more effective.  Anyone can tell someone how to be a leader, but if that person doesn’t listen or take action they are no different.  Knowing how to become a better leader and not doing anything with that knowledge, versus having the knowledge of becoming a better leader and becoming one.

– – – Matthew Doane, Grand Rapids, MI

I BELIEVE ANYONE CAN BE A LEADER

When asked the question, “what is your vision of leadership” the first thing that comes to my mind is power. According to Merriam-Webster, leadership is “the power or ability to lead other people.” So I guess the real question should be “what does it take to be a good leader?”

I honestly think that anyone can become a good leader if they know what it takes to do so. Being a leader is a big responsibility. You have people looking up to you, turning to you for guidance because they believe in you. A leader needs ambition. They have to have a drive for something in life. A clear goal and a vision of how they are going to reach those goals. They need to be humble. A good leader cannot only be in it for the glory. A good leader gets the satisfaction when their whole team does something successful and they do not take the credit for it. Tolerance is another trait a good leader has to have. They need to accept people for who they are and not judge someone before they get to know them. It takes courage to suggest new ideas or to speak up against someone when you feel they are incorrect. You need to be able to count on this leader when something goes wrong. Or if you fail at something, the leader should be able to step up and take the blame for it. And finally you need to be able to trust your leader. Not only in what they are saying but you need to trust in the person they are. Any relationship that wants to be successful comes from trust.

Throughout the course of the semester, I learned a lot about myself and others. I was the team leader or the Operations Manager for my group. It was pretty tough for me depending on other people to get their work in on time. I have always been a very dependent person because I learned at a young age, that if I wanted something done the right way then I would have to do it myself. With this class, I could not do it all by myself. I had to trust in my team that they would get their portion of work done and it would be done on time. Even though there were times when someone wouldn’t do their part and would let me know at the very last minute, I knew I had to remain calm and step up and just do it myself. So through the process of being the leader, it has shaped me more of who I am. I have always been stubborn and hard headed. And when I set my mind to something, I do not stop until I get it. But when it comes to working with a team, compromise is needed or nothing will get accomplished. So, I think I will always be the person with the drive to be successful and I hope that it will only pay off in the end.

 – – – Samantha Smith, Capac, Mi

I Believe I’m A Successful Leader

Many people think that the term “Leadership” is very simple and easy to define. Many people believe that it is easy to become a successful leader. What people miss is that leadership is a very wide concept with lots of information and subdivisions. It is easy to become a leader but it is very challenging to become a successful one.

After taking several courses about leadership and team dynamics I have learned that leadership is not as easy as many people expects. I have learned that leadership has many information to cover and learn about. To be a successful leader, a leader must have a clear vision, mission, and goal. Other than that, the leader must have high communication skills to discuss different things with followers. Moreover, leaders must listen to followers’ wants and needs. Nevertheless, a successful leader would have loved and loyal followers.

Everyone is a leader in one way or another. We find leaders at different places such as in schools, workplaces, houses, and even between kids who are playing around there is a leader. I have learned a lot from my leadership course about being a successful leader. Other than that, I have learned how to work effectively in teams and how to interact with different group members. I have learned more about different cultures and diversity which will help me in my future when I get positioned at the company sponsoring me. The things that I have learned about change and diversity will help me when working with foreigners and accept their traditions and beliefs. Followers are considered to be leaders within their groups. Everyone is a leader in one way or another so people should pay more attention to leadership, learn how to be successful, develop their skills, and increase their knowledge.

Being a team leader helps in discovering all the skills and abilities that I have. It also helps me in improving myself and achieving my best. Other than that, it would help me in improving my team and leadership skills. Learning helps in having a better understanding of ourselves and our abilities.

As a result of what I have learned during the semester I learned that there are different types and styles of leaders and leadership processes and methods. I think that it would be important to take more leadership classes and training programs to become a successful leader. A successful leader is the one who is capable of managing and combining the different styles of leadership depending on the situation. Other than that, a successful leader would be able to use different techniques depending on the issues and conflicts that might occur. My thoughts have changed about leadership after taking this class in many ways. The interest of learning more about leadership have increased. Other than that, I am planning to take more advanced courses about leadership before graduating and attend training programs to get a leadership certificate.

– – – Farah Alahmed, Saudi Arabia

I Believe in Trust

In my opinion everyone has a desire to find themselves, and doing so is not always going to be easy. In trying to find yourself you will be able to see all of your personality traits good and bad. Some traits will develop into good leadership skills, and others will just hold you back. Being able to identify those skills and weaknesses will eventually shape the way that you lead. In my opinion, a good leader is someone who is humble and willing to learn.

I have been given the chance to learn a lot about myself in the course of the semester. Some of the lessons that I had to learn were not particularly enjoyable. Naturally, I am a task oriented individual, which is useful in some situations. I had the chance to work with a group of women this semester and quickly learned that task driven leadership is not always the correct choice. Pushing group members to complete work was productive, but it did not stimulate creativity. After coming to this realization, I found that I was not very skilled in developing relationships in the group. Since I came to this realization, and made a push to make improvements, I feel that I gained a valuable leadership skill.

Building off my last point which was developing relationships in a group, I also saw the value of trust in a group setting. Trust is a very important part of a good relationship. I had never been able to identify the value of trust in leadership up to this point which was another weakness I was able to identify. Trust plays a large contributing factor to the innovation and productivity of a group in my opinion. This is especially evident in a brainstorming scenario. Group members must feel safe when exposing their ideas, and part of developing that safety is the responsibility of the group. I feel that a larger part is the responsibility of the group leader, first of all by establishing his or her credibility through actions. After this step I think that the leader should be the first one to show the safety of the group by making themselves vulnerable to the group to show that there is safety in the group while still maintaining a leadership role.

Throughout the course of this class, I was able to see leadership from a different perspective. I am now able to see the importance of trust and relationships in leadership scenarios. My task oriented skills were beneficial to the group, but now I see that leaders must be adaptable. I feel that I am now closer to realizing who I really am. In that pursuit I am starting to enjoy seeing my different skills and traits develop over time and look forward to new challenges that lie ahead.

– – – Lukas Thompson, Grand Rapids, Mi.

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