Thoughts and reflections of undergraduate students from MGMT 370 Class – Ferris State University Big Rapids, Michigan

Posts From Students:

Ryan Cole –  Scott Sawyer –  Matthew Main –  Tyler Nguyen –  Julia Fusik –  Danny Darghali – Jacob Lampman

I Believe In Myself

I used to think that leadership was a title just for the few select that possess the ability to take control and command of a group of people that they are working with. I usually thought of leaders as someone who had qualities of a “Driver” and “Expressive”, for they are known to take the lead of a project and put it into action or be the first to communicate most effectively among their members as of what we need to do. I also used to think that leaders must know everything of what they are doing, be skilled and specially equipped for the job. I used to think being a leader possessed all of these qualities until I heard Warren Bennis’s quote, and then it reminded me of what being a leader is all about.

I believe that being a leader is using yourself completely to apply all your natural skills the best of your ability to help or direct your team. I believe that you become a leader by not knowing exactly what you are doing or not having any experience, but having the inner strength and courage to try your best to complete the job while motivating other to do the same. I have learned that not everyone knows how to do everything, but you express leadership by taking responsibility to step up to the plate and steer your team in reaching their objectives when nobody else wants to take the role. Being a leader doesn’t always require early knowledge but more of bravery and confidence, and those who express this will possess the ability to take the lead in almost any setting.

I will take what I have learned from working on team projects throughout school and this class to become a good leader. I have dealt with various types of people, projects, and team assignments to learn how to effectively lead. I know that I am one who usually does not take the leading role, and that I have an amiable management style, but through experience I have been put in situations where I must take charge of getting a task done where others have given up in.  I have learned to become a good leader; it starts with believing in yourself that you possess your own gifts and that you have something that you can bring to the table and lead in way others cannot. I have also learned a lot of good can come out of believing in yourself and that there is a fulfilling outcome if you succeed in taking the lead role. I am becoming myself through the process of becoming a leader because it allows me to tap into my greatest abilities and potentials that may have been suppressed or never used. Going through the process of becoming a leader teaches me how to be creative in my own way, how to figure things out and find solutions, and it opens me up for others to see my individual talents and skills. The process of becoming a leader helps me get out of my “shell”, do things I never thought I could do, gain achievements, and help others see me in a new light. As a result of learning what being a leader is, I have not changed my mind as to what my leadership style should be. I believe that I possess the capability to be a leader being the amiable and person that I am. I believe that it only takes the spirit of believing in yourself and going through the process of building yourself to be the best you can.

– – – Ryan Cole, Grand Rapids, Mi.

I Believe Great Leadership Leads To Great Success

Leadership is a process in which an individual influences the progress of group members or team toward achieving a goal. There are quite a few different types of leaders and styles of leadership. They vary by method of selection and the roles that they are expected to perform. Far too often, the person who emerges as the leader of a team or organization may not be the one best suited for the role. I believe that having great leadership can lead to great success. My vision of leadership is one that focuses on action, provides direction, and inspires my team members, not only with the task at hand, but in all parts of life to move in a positive direction. My vision is a compelling image of an achievable future.

There are many essential concepts to remember when it comes to being a good leader, but there is one critically important, let’s say, cardinal rule that I have learned to follow and basically live by, throughout my college career. That is to “serve others and others will want to serve you” or in other words, treat others the way you want to be treated. I believe if this rule is followed, even the seemingly unfit team member can emerge as a great team leader.

Holding the position of the team leader in several different situations has not only helped me gain a better understanding of who I am now, as a student, but also who I want to become in my future career as a manager. I have always perceived the positions of managers and team leaders as somewhat being the same roles, but it wasn’t until taking applied and operations management that I truly started to understand how different these two roles really are. I believe knowing the differences between these two positions will help me recognize how my personality fits into group situations, as well as help me better understand my role within a team.

Having taken countless self-assessments pertaining to my leadership style, I have noticed that my results almost always land right on the line or somewhere between expressive and driver. After participating and being involved in numerous groups and team projects, I think it is safe to say that this label fits me perfectly. I try to balance my focus as a leader not only on the task at hand (driver), but also on the social relations of the group members (expressive). When it comes to my leadership style, I can’t say I have changed my mind much, but I am continuously fine tuning it, based on what I learn and the experiences I go through, to better suit the needs of my group members and the team overall.

 – – – Scott Sawyer, Big Raids, Mi.

Leadership in Many Forms

I believe that leadership comes in many forms, some incredibly apparent while many are quite subtle and not necessarily thought of as such. You can be a leader in the direct and obvious like that of say the incredibly obvious, a CEO, or at the opposite spectrum a lowly student intern. How might a lowly intern be capable of being a leader? I believe that if they continually strive for excellence and perform under the pressure of their superiors it can lead to them inspiring those around them strive for the same excellence. The intern can show that by being a hardworking follower you are also able to lead in a more non-traditional sense.

I have learned from experience that if I am not passionate and knowledgeable about what I am doing then I am better suited to be in a follower oriented role. I tend to be less creative in finding solutions in these situations, whereas in say finding a way to market a three wheel motor vehicle, I can solve problems, figure out creative avenues and directing people to success in their tasks. I am a more traditional leader in that sense. If I am unknowledgeable in a subject or task I am better suited to assume a more untraditional leadership position, as a follower. In order to lead in the nontraditional sense, a good traditional leader is always helpful in promoting the drive for excellence.

I have always related to a quote from General George Patton, “Lead me, follow me, or get out of my way.”  And this is where I have always found the most difficult obstacle in group projects since my time in high school. When you are placed in a traditional leadership role in an academic setting of your peers it can be difficult to motivate them, in other words apathy. The third part of my quote “or get out of my way” is nearly impossible to apply in an academic setting, which can be frustrating. So I feel if you can find a way to eliminate the apathy and unwillingness from your group members by figuring out what motivates them you can be incredibly successful in the academic and professional world.

Long story short, figure out what you motivates you and those around you and strive for success and excellence as a leader whether in the traditional sense or otherwise. It’s not your title that defines you as a leader, but your actions.

– – – Matthew Main, Big Rapids, Mi.

A Great Leader Essay

I believe that a good leader should possess good social skills. A good leader should have good social skills because they need to communicate their ideas well to others that way their opinion can be heard therefore others will follow them. Communication is key when in the leadership position. My vision of a great leader is ones that make an influence just as Martin Luther King Jr. did. Martin Luther King Jr. will be forever one of the best leaders of all time. Martin Luther King Jr. motivated others to take action against all the racial segregation against the African Americans. He expressed his feelings and encouraged others to do the same. A leader takes action and also takes risk. When you are a leader you have to takes risk in order to be rewarded not everyone is going to like your decision but you move on from it. A great leader is willing to take action.

I’ve learned a vary of things this semester that will help me become a better leader. The first thing is speaking in front of a group of people. Throughout the semester we’ve been giving presentations in front of a small group of people [classmates], I feel that has helped me feel more comfortable speaking in front of people. An example in real life where this would be helpful is group interviews or because a project manager and talking in front of coworkers.

The second thing I learned this semester that will help me become a better leader is taking action. I’ve learned that talking about doing something isn’t going to change anything you have to take action that is when change is going to happen. I’m in the process of becoming a better team leader because of working in groups in class. Relying on others when the time arises. I’m become a better team leader because I was one as operations manager. Setting meet times with the team and contacting everyone about deadlines. My leadership style has changed from a task-oriented leader to more of a transformational leadership. I like encouraging my team to better themselves and our team. A great leader is born with enthusiasm.

– – – Tyler Nguyen, Zeeland, Mi.

My Leadership Theory

Leadership is an important factor in the management world. If you want your department to be successful, you must demonstrate appropriate leadership skills. Each department in a company has their own goal to accomplish. These goals help contribute toward the overall mission of the company. I am very familiar with being a leadership role, because I have been a captain in every sports team I have been a member of. I have even been a captain of the varsity tennis team here at Ferris State University. Being a captain of a team is not an easy task. Leadership is all about bringing out the best in others.

There are many rewards to being a team leader. The rewards include the satisfaction of helping others, ability to significantly impact your team’s success, and it aids you for future leaderships roles by providing experience. Being a leader is not the most glamorous job. There may be a lot of rewards, but there are also a number of risks. These risks include the fact that you will constantly be watched, trust and respect are extremely fragile, you won’t always be liked, team members will be jealous of you, you must deal with a lot of conflict, you will take the heat when things go wrong, and you might be disappointed at times.

Being a team leader in this class has helped me develop numerous skills that will help me later on in the work place. There are many responsibilities that include setting the tone on a project for your team, keep upper management informed about issues on the team, provide input on team decisions, talk and motivate struggling teammates, and handle all conflicts. There are also two types of leaders: leaders by example and vocal leaders. Leaders who choose to lead by example demonstrate qualities of commitment, confidence, composure, and character. Vocal leaders use commitment, confidence, composure, character, encourager, and enforcer. Being a vocal leader is the harder of the two types because it takes more qualities to become one. Vocal leaders need to put the needs of the team ahead of personal needs. They also need to build the confidence of team members to the level of helping them become independent, while working well together.

 – – -Julia Fusik, Muskegon, MI

I Believe

Warren Bennis once said “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.” I believe that leadership is a characteristic that defines who we are as human beings in America today. In the words of Michael Scott “A true boss is A friend first and a boss second … and a great lover third” and although I don’t agree with that in terms of being a good boss, I do believe that it can be used to define a good leader. To me a good leader can be compared to a good friend, because a good friend is someone who cares about the friends they have and someone who listens to what their friends need to say. Which to me a good leader has to care for the people they are leading and has to be able to listen to what their team needs to say. However a good leader cannot just be a good friend, they also have to be professional, assertive, creative and on time. For example, Michael Scott once said “I am an early bird and I’m a night owl, so I’m wise … and I have worms.” Which mean as a good leader it is crucial to be to be prepared and be willing to pull a couple of late nights to get the job done.

More importantly, becoming a good leader isn’t just about knowing what it means to be one, it is about the steps you take to become a good leader. The steps I would take to become a good leader include; creating trust between the people I work with, keeping track of not only my employees’ performances but mine as well, and understanding my limitations as a leader and not trying to cross them. With these steps it will create more opportunities for me to learn and grow into an even better leader.

In conclusion, the leadership style I thought I would need to use in the future was a transactional leadership style. However after defining what a good leader is and what step I need to take to become a good leader, I came to the conclusion that the leadership style I need isn’t any certain one, it is understanding each style and making sure I am able to use and adapt to any one style in any situation I am in. I have learned that it important to open to change and it is crucial to be able to adapt to situations that happen sporadically in order to be a good leader.

– – – Danny Darghali, Big Rapids, Mi.

I Believe In The F.O.L.D

“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.” – Warren Bennis. One’s vision of leadership can be measured in many ways. An acronym that stands as the foundation for what I Believe holds true for all great leaders; being in the “F.O.L.D.” standind for: Faith, Order, Love, and Discipline.

Faith, It is the most important characteristic in a leader. Believing in something greater than oneself. All great leaders must poses a quality such as this, because it not only makes someone a better person, but it humbles them. There is nothing greater than a humble leader. There is another side of faith. Not just what a person believes, but also having faith in the people who are within an organization. If one does their best work it is because they have instilled confidence that the person in charge has faith in them.

Living within the “Word” (the Holy Bible) and having faith is a form of Order. This person poses the moral principles of what it takes to become a leader. They can discern right from wrong. Having this quality can throw someone into a leadership role. Not because this person pushes others, but because this type of person leads with their actions and their peers follow suit.

Love is the main source of drive in many people today. I’ve learned that it can drive one to do unspeakable things. Things that one would not consider doing without feeling a sense of love. Having love for those in the workplace (even if it’s only a little bit) can take a group or team to places they never imagined possible. With love comes respect. If everyone in the workplace has respect and love for what their coworkers are doing, they will make sure that they do their part because they know that their partners will do the same.

Finally discipline. Keeping ones priorities straight. For example; meeting deadlines in a group project. Along with having order, discipline is a quality of someone who’s actions let them lead by example. This type of discipline isn’t speaking in terms of punishment. It is setting up a team or group for success, by setting goals and taking the necessary steps needed to achieve them.

My vision for becoming a good leader is rather simple. I’ve learned over the course of this year that being in the F.O.L.D. brings forth the qualities of a leader. Within a group I found that as a leader I need work. This year has been a test of the leadership style I have chosen. I will continue to use this because I felt that myself and my group found benefit from it.

– – – Jacob Lampman, East Lansing, Mi.


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