Mgmt 302 – Organizational Leadership & Team Dynamics – FAll 2013 – Pg. 4

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

Posts From Students:

Jens Grothe  –  Rebecca Bernard –  Janet Pulido –  Thomas Perrin –  Argjir Dubova –  Courtney Gilbert – Angie Macias Sarmiento

I BELIEVE Leadership is…

            I don’t believe leadership is simply the act of telling a group of people what to do. I believe leadership is the act of working with and around the skills of a group of people to accomplish things that could not be done alone. Leadership is not the act of telling others what to do but rather working just as hard as them to help achieve the goals of the group. I personally have learned a lot of different things from my team management class. One of the main things however, is how I can personally better my abilities as a leader and the areas I need to work on. Although a leader should be good with people they also need a great balance between relations amongst their co-workers and their ability to concentrate on the task at hand to obtain optimized efficiency. I have always been extremely good with people but I have always lacked that ability to properly assert my power to make my team completely efficient. But, I feel that over the course of this class I have greatly improved on my abilities to handle a group of people and became a stronger leader as a whole.

After working with many different kinds of leaders, I feel that I have found that I am an extremely efficient people person and found that I am able to accomplish much more in a group then on my own. I found were my weaknesses and strengths lie and plan to properly improve my leadership skills over the course of my life. Since being in this class I feel that I was a very passive leader that would put my opinion out there but would almost always allow the group to make the final decision. But after going through this team management class, I fell that I still like to give my group members a chance to voice their opinion but I feel that I have leaned more toward making the final decision in the end rather than allowing my group members to decide amongst themselves. I feel that I have learned that working as a group involves teamwork and understanding. But, I feel that sometimes allowing a group to have too much say in a matter can end up decreasing the efficiency of the group.

– – – Jens Grothe, Reed City, Mi.

I Believe In Strong Leadership

I believe that in order to become a leader, one must be responsible, outgoing, authoritative but understanding, and able to connect and form strong relationships with fellow team members. A leader must show compassion for what they do and have a positive attitude, even when situations are complicated. People look up to leaders as role models and seek guidance and sometimes help. Leaders must be available and approachable for when team members are in need of help or have a problem. People in team situations with a leader expect honesty, communication, and intuition. Team members count on leaders to inform them of changes and news, to be upfront with information and also count on their leader to be able to handle unexpected situations and come up with solutions. These are just some of the basics traits that a person must possess to be a strong leader.

Life and educational experiences have taught me that leadership is a seriously role and is not always easy. When working with teams as a leader, it is important to deal with problems right away and be understand and take into consideration others feelings and beliefs. There will always be some teams that work well together and other teams that may have conflicts or problem with members. In a situation pertaining to having a person on a team that is not involved, the leader must confront that member personally and come up with a solution to get the member more involved. The leader must also inform the team that the problem is being taken care of and work with the team to build better relationships and communication amongst members.

Not only do members of teams need to build healthy relationships with one another, but also leaders need to do the same with the members. A team should never feel as though their leader is not involved. Leaders should make sure they have strong, communicative relationships, with their team members and have a strong bond of trust between each person. It is important to have a team that can relate to one another, it makes it easier for team members to collaborate and share ideas with each other.

Being a leader, whether it is to a group of people or just one person, it is important to take the role seriously, but not to the point that team members feel as if their leader is unapproachable. Leaders must be hard working, committed, understanding and most of all able to communicate with team members.

 – – – Rebecca Bernard, Chicago, Il.

I believe Leadership will lead to success

There are many definitions and different ways to define leadership. There is an evolution of leadership definitions throughout history. Leadership can have many different meanings because the word leadership is different for every individual. Leadership is the process where an individual influences a group of individuals to achieve a common goal. The Leader must provide direction, support, and motivation. The leader must know the company like the back of their hand. They must know the company’s vision, mission, goals, and values. A leader must plan, budget, organize, staff, control, problem solve, establish direction, align, motivate, and inspire subordinates. A leader must be intelligent, self-confident, determined, social, and they must have integrity.

A leader must be Intelligent because they need to have the intellectual ability to lead a company in the right direction. Self-confidence is another trait that helps one to become a leader. If one has self-confidence then one will have good self- esteem and self-assurance that they can make a difference within their company. Leadership involves influencing others. If a leader is confident subordinates will follow them. Many leaders also exhibit determination. Leaders should have the motivation and desire to get the job done, and to reach the company goals. Integrity is another of the important leadership traits. Most subordinates want to follow a leader who is honest and trustworthiness. Lastly, a final trait that is important for leaders is sociability. If a leader is social, one can build personal relationships with their subordinates. Leaders that are friendly, sensitive to others, and show their concern for others are most likely to be followed.

Furthermore, I have learned a lot during the past four months. One day I will be the Senior Recruiter Human Resource Manager at a firm. I will take everything that I have learned and apply it in my future job as an HR. I will make sure I provide subordinates with support, direction, and motivation. My job as an HR will to manage employees. I will educate, train, motivate, empower, reward employees, and I will also attract potential employees to the company.  I will plan, budget, organize, staff, control, problem solve, establish direction, align, motivate, and inspire subordinates. I will be intelligent, self-confident, determined, social, and I will have integrity.

I think that I have learned a lot about leadership during the past 4 months. I have learned that an expressive personality. The leadership style that fits me best is the coaching leadership style. I will use the coaching leadership style in my future job. I will focus on communication on both achieving goals and meeting subordinates’ socioemotional needs. I will involve myself with subordinates by giving encouragement and I will soliciting subordinate input. Even thought I will take subordinates input into consideration. I will make the final decision on the what and how of goal accomplishment. I will use everything that I have learned about leadership and use it in my everyday work at RadioShack, and I will use it in my future job as an HR.

– – – Janet V. Pulido, Battle Creek, Mi.

I Believe I am a Leader

A leader has many duties to a team; planner, organizer, motivator, and facilitator to name just a few. However, the most important aspect that a leader should have is servitude. This isn’t to say that a leader is obligated to be butler to the team, but that the leader will set the team up for success and do whatever it takes to ensure that the team is prepared and running at optimal efficiency and effectiveness. A good team leader will be their team through the hard times and the good.

In past jobs I have always been told I am a team player by being helpful and assisting to ensure success for the team I am on. I’ve noticed, as well as management, that people respond differently to me that other appointed leaders. I attribute this due to not demanding respect, but by earning it. People will listen because they have to, but a good leader will make his team have a desire to listen. That’s not to say I was perfect before this semester. I learned many valuables tools and mindsets for leading people effectively. One of the most important aspects of this course would be the importance on brainstorming and how to effectively facilitate its use. Many employees have “million dollar ideas” and it’s important to cultivate those ideas and show proper appreciation for their efforts.

Before taking this course I saw a comic that demonstrated the views on what a leader does versus what a boss does. The boss sat at his desk, barking orders at subordinates, whilst getting pulled along via a rope by the work of the very employees he berated. The leader, on the other hand, left his desk, grabbed his share of the rope, offered encouragement, and paved the way. It was that moment I decide what kind of manager I wanted to be in my life. It was that moment that I decided I didn’t want to be a boss and simultaneously started to seriously understand what a leader truly was and what I needed to emulate. However, I still needed to learn what to do and how to do it. After taking this course I am confident that I could speak up and help my team succeed. I know I could stand up, proudly, and help to guide a team. I believe I am a leader.

– – – Thomas Perrin, Big Rapids, Mi.

I believe that being adoptive to changes and cooperative makes a leader successful.

     I believe that a very important skill in life such as leadership can be developed and enhanced, just like we learnt in the class “Team Dynamics”. Being a leader is not about giving orders. It is rather about being an example, motivating the team members and mobilizing the efforts to efficiently and effectively use the available resources to reach the common goals. Good leadership is all about using charisma, professionalism, and motivation to initiate and develop an organizational culture, where the team members are very enthusiastic to continuously learn and develop themselves and more importantly share the gained knowledge with the other team members in changing and up scaling the organization.

In my past I have encountered many leaders who have played the autonomous leadership style, which never reflected the good leader of my vision. They have taken decisions individually; lacked respect about subordinates. Hence, were unable to motivate their team members resulting an unsuccessful organization management. On the other hand, from my experience with my team members in this class, I have realized that good leadership encompasses gratitude, respect and cooperation.  I have learnt that it is not only important to reach the goals; it is rather important to reach the goals where every member feels respected and contended.

Being a knowledgeable leader is very important, but a complete leader is one whose knowledge is coupled with other characteristics such as sociability. Before being part of my team in this class, I was task oriented and very strict to those who did not complete their tasks on time or to my standards. Nevertheless, understanding that the successful or failure of a project lies in the degree of cooperation, information sharing, and tolerance, I have started to change my working style such as increased communication with my team members and have become much more understanding that not everyone’s working style is the same and diversity is what makes quality.

Doing my studies in the most democratic countries in the world such as Finland and the United States of America, I have understood that being an autonomous leader is old-fashioned and does not result very successful. Finally, as leadership styles change over time I started to believe that leaders should be adaptable to changes.

 – – – Argjir Dubova, Int’l Student, Kosovo

I Believe in Wonders to be Seen

            What is leadership and is leadership what it ought to be? I honestly believe leadership is what you make it. It is what each individual perceives it to be. In all honesty it is mostly a concept, without those behind the idea it would be nothing. Everyone has a different opinion on what makes a good leader and some of those opinions are similar and some are not. I think what is most important is that those ideas coverage and become one of the same. Leaders are influenced by those around them and those who lead them. Leaders are bits and pieces of the ideals of those they look up to combined with the things they value as well. What makes for good leader has to do with those who brought them up and qualities of their personalities.

Taking things one step at a time is the key to quality leadership. Leadership is about learning more from the world and those in it. It is about becoming a part of a world that would be different without you in it. It’s proving your worth and showing what you are made of. Leadership comes from within one’s self. It is key to all good team work and an important part of society. It is not just about who you are but what you believe and what you do with those beliefs. To be good at something you have to let it become part of you and let that part of you shine through. To succeed at leadership you need to know what it means to you. If you do not value leadership than you may not make a strong leader.

By knowing yourself completely, knowing what your good at, where your skills lie and where you are weak, you will become a leader. It takes one step at a time and the first step is to follow your heart, follow what you believe in. The rest will come easy. It is journey like any other but still so unfamiliar and new. If you embark on it then you will be taking one step toward the rest of your life. Good luck and let the wonders be seen.

– – – Courtney Gilbert, Big Rapids, Michigan

I Believe

The power to influence others comes from two sources: the ability to understand the crowd and the success to communicate the leader’s ideals.  I will refer as external and internal sources respectively. I believe that balance of these two sources can produce an outstanding leader regardless of their personality nature.

It is necessary to know ones point of view very clearly, but as well as that, it is also key to know what the perspective is “on the other side of the table” is. That perspective belongs to your team members and their perception of the current situation in which both leader and members are in. I see that some of the the opportunities and threats part of the SWOT analysis apply to this external source. Opportunities allow the leader to recognize the qualities of his/her team members along with their future capabilities. These includes knowing talents, understanding the level of qualification of your team members, measuring the level of willingness, and knowing  the member’s direction together with principles. The leaders should understand and be realistic about the instruments he has to work with. Not only in the organizational aspect is understanding the crowd a necessity for leadership. The greater leaders are the ones that have people that want to follow his/her goals because they share them. In the organizational level, a leader should know at all times what would motivate the members to perform better than they currently do. The team leader will be able to challenge its team members if he knows about their potential. He also should what is valuable for them as a reward.I believe a true leader  that understands the weaknesses and strengths of its members has two advantages:  The first one is designating suitable tasks to the members that match their skills. The second one is  knowing what would motivate them to reach that extra level of performance which ultimate leads to a sense of belonging.

Leaders display a set of qualities themselves that are outstanding of the crowd. The internal source comes to play when leaders have a higher vision that he can share with the rest. For instance, abilities such as problem solving and good social approach are qualities that identify someone as a leader without expressly announcing it. A leader must have his/her internal drive to achieve a goal that hasn’t been reached yet. A leader is an originator. Leaders generate ideas, solutions, initiatives, along with a sense of association with others.

Having goals is important, but using resources that surround you (team members) to reach them is the essence of leadership. All throughout history we have seen people with ideals that were outside their reach, but with the correct leadership they have reached them. For instance, successful entrepreneurs have a higher elevating goal which is matched with the wants of the public. Leaders are not only concerned about their personal interest, but also seek for the interests of its members. I believe that a leader that cares about others is also entitled with the same approach towards his own goals.

– – – Angie Macias Sarmiento, Int’l Student – Venezuela



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