Mgmt 302 – Organizational Leadership & Team Dynamics – FAll 2013 – Pg. 3

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

Posts From Students:

Aaron Seigneurie –  Evan Rice –  William King –  Thomas Tatti –  Dai-Zhanie Plummer –  Charles Dimos

All for One

            I believe leadership is not about being in a single position over a group. Leadership isn’t about power, control, or delegation. Leadership is the ability to assemble a group of people and motivate them to accomplish a common goal. A leader should have an overwhelming sense of selflessness, yet an overall sense of responsibility. This means that the leader will hold themselves accountable for the failures of the entire group, but give credit to all of those that he or she leads for all of the success that occurs. This protects the leader from seeming to powerful in the sense that the followers under the leader will feel the power that they hold.

I believe the weight of leadership can be worn on anyone’s shoulders, but there are certain qualities that stick out. To me there are task driven leaders and socially driven leaders. The task driven leaders will be more likely to ignore the emotions and feelings of their subordinates in order to accomplish the goals of the team. Socially-driven leaders are more likely to have concern for the team in the long run, considering the individuals amongst the team, and even though tasks may be completed very slowly, the strength of the team as far as cohesion is concerned reigns supreme.

I have learned through this class that I am a task driven leader, with very high relational skills. I have concluded that I have one of the best combinations of skills and motives as far as a leader goes, because my overall goal is to accomplish what I set out to accomplish, but my relational skills help me to have concern for the strength of the team. I believe that I have always had these qualities, but they were buried in doubt, and this course has revealed to me what I’m capable of and what my natural tendencies are in terms of being a leader.

In the future, I plan to use the concepts I have been shown in order to be a better leader in the end. The best part about learning these things about myself is that they are applicable in the real world. Most people say during many classes they attend in high school or college, “I’m never going to use this in real life.” This is not true in my case, because I now have the ability to see what is going on in the teams I am currently a part of. It is not my job to “diagnose” people as I see the way they lead, but I can adjust my style as a subordinate or leader accordingly. The main point is that this material is useful in any type of team, and I plan to use it the first chance I get.

– – – Aaron Seigneurie, Big Rapids, Mi.

I Believe Whole Heartedly

            Leadership is not only a term but also a definition of a person, a generation, and a way of life. You cannot envision leadership without the thought of who will be following you. Do you want followers to be just like you? Should they be indifferent and oppose you at times? Truly, no one will know this unless they know themselves.

I believe leadership is a combination of personality traits and developed skills. Everyone can learn to acquire these skills but it is up to them if they actually want to do it. I think of the words such as compassion, knowledge/educated, articulate, mannered, and revered. If you think back to the great leaders of yesterday and today, one quality is definitive across the board and that is they are mentally strong. They know that they will be their own success and it is not attributed to other people. For example, working in teams requires effort from everyone but I know that the success of my effort does not rely on a possible an inferior effort of another. Sure, the team may have failed collectively but that is not to say I failed. However, being mentally strong also means admitting wrongdoing and that is one of the biggest parts of being a leader, knowing when to raise your hand proudly and say, “I’m wrong.”

From what I have learned, I will become a good leader through practice. The practice will be a combination of both leading and following by trial/error. Your entire life truly revolves around whether you are a follower or a leader but there is always more to it. For example, being morally, ethically, and socially responsible as a person relies upon choosing to do it and reflecting your choice by actions or lack thereof.

Resentment, disapproval, or rejection is all faced when being a leader no matter how large or small the role. I believe how you handle opposition is one of the most significant factors of what, how good, and why you are a leader. You will not always please others but if you put forth and evident effort there is no reason that you cannot achieve your goals and the goals of others in the process.

The question I have asked myself when writing this is and learning throughout my academia is when do you know that you are a good leader? I believe the answer can only be found within your own parameters of success.

– – – Evan Rice, Big Rapids, Mi

I Believe

My personal vision of a leader falls under two roles. A natural leader and a taught leader, I believe the natural leader are those who has the personality and the charisma to make a good leader. The people usually stand out in day-to-day activities. These are the people that you falls under another category either you love them or you hate them. These leaders also normally do not care too much how people look at them. These are people that are well driven, mentally strong, and are surrounded be a lot of people or friends. The other types of leaders are those who got taught how to become a good leader, either in school or life choices. These leaders I feel probably aren’t the most effective but get the job done. And it’s normally by the book. I think depending on the situation or the group different leaders would fit in better than other leaders.

Probably the strongest things I’ve learn in these course which is normally the biggest issue which is “Problem Solving” with in a group. Clearly in every group there will be differences of opinions. Learning how to use other opinions when necessary is strong trait to have. There’s a fine line between a good leader and not being yourself, sometimes in some situations a leader might feel it to be appropriate to change his personality to become a better group leader. Although it’s a hard choice to make, it might be better to stay yourself and stay honest to. People will normally react better when they notice a constant personality.  Not really did I change my mind; I just added more information on what I already known about being a leader and what I was taught as being a leader. I am a firm believer that leaders are made not taught. Although you can teach anything to anybody but whether it’s effective or not determines on that person. In conclusion there are several types of leaders some are good some are bad. More times than none, it shouldn’t be about adjusting the leader to the duties rather than finding that type of leader that would best fit the position. Don’t change the leadership style of the man, rather pick the man based off of the leadership style.

– – – William King, Big Rapids, Mi.

I Believe In Becoming

            After taking this class I feel as if I have a whole new vision for leadership. Before taking this course, I felt that leadership was just strictly about being the top dog. When I thought of leadership I thought of someone who always had to be bossy and had to be in charge and a power abuser. All though this may be true in some peoples head when they think of a leader, taking this class has given me a whole new vision of leadership. When I have a vision of a leader now I imagine someone who is in charge, but also a friendly person who makes sure their employees or group members are as happy as possible. Leaders are people that try and relate to their employees and try to keep a happy working environment, but also at the same time they also need to make sure that work is done efficiently and right. I believe that the possibilities of taking what I’ve learned to become a good leader are endless. We learned so much this semester about being a good leader and what it takes to be a good leader. If a situation ever comes around where I am the leader of a project or even the manager of a store I will defiantly think of everything that we’ve learned in the class and apply it in real life. I will be able to be a good leader because I now know the qualities of a good leader and what needs to be done. I am becoming myself in the process of becoming a team leader by just learning more about myself and what kind of person I am. I was able to learn more about myself just by observing how I worked throughout the semester and also by taking all of the surveys that we have taken throughout the semester. I have not changed my mind on what my leadership style should be.

 – – – Thomas Tatti, Warren, Mi.

I believe in you and me

            Over the years, my vision of leadership had stayed the same. Before this class, my vision of a leader was someone who was put in charge of a certain task and had the upper hand over everyone else. I soon learned that that definition is the complete opposite of what a leader truly is. I have learned that a leader is one of the biggest team players in the group. They do not just hold a title and tell others what to do. They actually have major responsibilities and tasks that they must complete in order to have a successful team.

First of all, they must make sure that their group members are getting along well together or at least being professional with one another. Good leaders realize that they cannot successfully complete a task if their team members are being dysfunctional or are letting their personal opinions affect their work ethic. Secondly, good leaders are people who identify the personality types and work habits of their group members. This way, they can  build a good relationship with all of the team members and can help each members by praising their strengths and trying to strengthen their weaknesses. Most importantly, I now know that a leader is not just a person who gives orders. A leader is someone who works with the team and encourages his or her group members.

After reflecting on all that I have learned this semester, I have decided that I will try to be a better leader myself. I will apply all that I have learned to my everyday situations. Every day there is at least one person who needs help. Some people may need to use my phone, others may need help understanding an assignment, and stillothers may just need to hear encouraging word such as, “I love you and God loves you.” I will always try to show others that I believe in both them and myself.  In the process of trying to become a great leader, I have found that I am a more understanding and kind-hearted person. I am more willing to take risk for others and try to make sure that other people are happy.

Since I have gained more knowledge about leadership, I have decided that I would like to change my leadership style. Instead of being directive or using the coaching method. Instead I have decided that I would like to have more of a participative leadership style. I do not want to give orders; I would like to show others that I am willing to act upon the same regulations that I give. I do not want to make every decision on my own and exclude others, but would like to include my fellow team members in the decisions that I make. In conclusion, I do not want to just hold the leadership title; I would like to be a great leader.

– – – Dai-Zhanie Plummer, Big Rapids, Mi.

I Believe

                I believe that being a great leader can be defined precisely by this quote from Warren Bennis, On becoming a Leader. “The point is not to become a leader.  The point is to become yourself, and to use yourself completely – all your gifts, skills and energies – to make your vision manifest.  You must withhold nothing.  You must, in sum, become the person you started out to be, and to enjoy the process of becoming.”  This fits with my beliefs and vision of leadership to a T.  This quote very well describes my vision of leadership, but if I had to put in it my own words, or try to describe it.  I would say that you can be a leader with any personality type but it depends what entirely makes you as a person.  It is the values and beliefs you were raised on, it’s the ethics you choose to uphold in your daily life, and it being able to put your own personal needs aside and do anything for true betterment of your company, or team.

I have learned from my class this semester that being a great leader is simply be able to make everyone around you a leader.  By this I mean that a leader needs to build the confidence in its co-workers that they are intelligent and all their ideas, god or bad, have a value to the company, and can lead to sparking an idea of a different co-worker, and so on to get a diverse collective idea that leader help guide people to and refine their ideas.  The leaders not only need to build confidence in the company as they do for themselves.  The leader is not always going to have a big group of people to make a collective idea, or enough time to consult everyone.  The leader is responsible for making the best decision, by using their knowledge from all their beliefs and values that were defined in the quote, and my vision of what the quote meant.  To do this they need that confidence to know that they are capable to look inside them and come up with a solution, then being able to stand by that decision and take what happens proudly.  So, by looking inside yourself to find a great answer that you know will fit the company, or team, and having confidence in your decision, you are being a leader.  You did nothing but make a decision based on your beliefs or values, but you were able to better the team as well and if you did not you were able to acknowledge your mistakes and make up for it in some way by correcting your action.

I have said being a leader you have to be able to lead your team, but sometimes you have to be able to sit back as well, or you may not even be in the position of a team leader, and still direct the team and help better the team.

– – – Charles Dimos, Big Rapids, Mi.

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