MGMT 370 – QUALITY OPERATIONS – Traverse City – FALL 2013 – Pg. 2

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

Posts From Students:

Laura Benak –  Chloe O”Brien –  Taylor Kula –  Brittany Langlois –  Michael Stave –  Bakoroba Mariko – Amanda Murray

My Leadership Theory

            I believe that to be a good leader you have to be trustworthy, honest, and humble. There are people who look up to the leader and follow the leader where ever they go and whatever they do so loyalty is a must if you a going to be a good leader. Another important quality of a leader is honesty. A leader must be able to tell the truth even if it is not something one wants to hear. Also a leader needs to be humble. To be a good leader you have to be humble. This means a leader listens to everyone ideas before making any decisions. A good leader knows that his or her opinion or ideas are not the only ones the count or matter.

I will take these qualities as leader and try to embrace them to become a good leader. I will try and listen to everyone when they are sharing ideas and value everyone’s opinion. A leader also has good people skills. They know how to communicate and how to give constructive criticism to others. One way I can help improve my leadership skills is to watch leader in our community and how they deal with things. Another major quality of leadership is teamwork. A leader is able to take a team of people and have everyone work together in harmony.

All in all it takes a lot to be a leader. To some people leadership comes naturally to and others it does not. However anyone can be a leader. A leader is loyal to the people they lead. A leader is modest and takes everything into account before making a decision. A leader is patient and not one to jump the gun. A leader is a person that everyone looks to when they need help. But one of the most important things about a leader is that they are themselves. A leader never tries to be someone they are not. They embrace the skills that they have and use assistance for the skills that they do not have. That is why leaders always surround themselves with team members to utilize everyone strengths.

– – – Laura Benak, Traverse City, Mi.

I Believe Leadership Needs to Come From Within

            I believe that leadership needs to come from a place inside of us and no one, but ourselves, can bring it out. Great leaders work hard, guide others, and work to create a better workplace and world. When a great leader leads they do it for themselves and others, and they pull their skills from within and use them to benefit everyone. Great leaders build their skills and know their talents and use them to be great examples for others. They are able to use their talents to inspire others and to lead them by example and with words. A great leaders does not expect others to do what they will not and they are always willing to do the tasks that their followers do. Great leaders are also never done learning and are always seeking to know more and understand more. I would like to grow as a leader and take what is inside of myself and project it outward for the world to benefit from.

I have learned a lot about leadership and have grown much in my leadership skills in the last few years. I have learned all about leadership from college, but even more from personal experience. In learning what makes a good leader I have also learned what I do not like in leaders and what I do not want to do or be as a leader. I have been growing a lot in the last few years and have gained a much better understanding of what it means to be a leader and to be a great example for others. I have learned that no one can make you a leader but yourself. You have to push yourself to do things outside of your comfort zone, push yourself to work hard, and always try to improve upon yourself and your leadership skills. On top of that you have to have certain values, such as honesty, integrity, a good work ethic and be motivated. I have learned all of these things in the last few years and have been trying really hard to apply them to my own personal leadership style. I am really learning who I am and becoming more of myself through this process. The process is allowing me to find who I am as a leader and then I am able to take what is already within me and push it outwards to lead others.

– – – Chloe O’Brien, Traverse City, Mi.

I Believe In Myself: A Essay of Confidence & Communication

            What does it mean to be a leader? I believe that being a leader means being a good role model and being your best self. Each person is unique, with a different story and a different path that brought them to where they are today and this helps shape the type of leader they will become. I believe a strong leader tries to make the best of every situation they are faced with and uses each adversity as an opportunity to grow and become better.

Leadership can mean many different things. There is the literal sense of leadership that comes about in the workplace-where a manager or supervisor is in charge of a team of employees, leading them in their tasks, but I also believe leadership can also be taken as a personality trait, and a strong one at that. Strong leaders often know who they are as a person and are confident and that helps translate into their leading of others.

Throughout this semester I’ve had many struggles, both in and out of class, and even though it hasn’t been easy, I’ve learned a lot about myself and my leadership skills/style as well as grown more confident with myself and my ideas. Coming into this class I thought there was really only one style of leadership, but as the semester progressed, all my classes showed me there are many ways to be a strong leader that don’t focus on the literal sense of leading and telling others what to do. Overall, I think the most important thing I’ve learned about leadership, is that it is extremely important to communicate with others and always have an open line of communication. I’ve dealt with issues this semester both at home with my family, at work, and in class with work groups and they’ve shown me just how important it is to communicate with others to help solve your problems and get your ideas across. I also learned that focusing on open communication greatly helps reduce tension and arguments in groups.

Throughout this class I have grown and changed as a person greatly. I feel that I am at a crossroads in my life and am going through a lot of changes and growing into my own person with my own ideas and views. Even though this class was about management and workplace leadership, I learned a lot about myself and how to stick up for myself and make choices that I want, rather than what everyone else thinks is best for me. I’m finding my own voice and becoming a leader for myself. I’ve also changed my views on leadership and changed my leadership style a little bit. Through working with others and interacting with different groups, I’ve learned that being a strong leader doesn’t mean always being in charge and telling others what to do. Being a good leader means being approachable and easy to talk to, as well as embracing the team you are given and utilizing each individual for their strong points and skills. As a leader, I’ve loosened up a bit and learned that everything runs smoother when each member of the team can openly communicate with one another.

– – – Taylor Kula, Traverse City, Mi.

I Believe in Managing With Respect

I believe in managing employees, while treating them with the upmost respect; this can be expressed in many different ways. Though, my version of leadership includes, asking for employees input, as to make everyone’s working environment as comfortable as possible. I want my employees to know that their opinions do matter to me; also, that I am willing to listen and consider their ideas. I want to create a working environment that makes my employees feel respected and empowered to include their input on company decisions. I do understand that there will be some situations where this won’t be an option; however, I will “go to bat” for them whenever possible.

Throughout this class, I have learned many different techniques on how to manage and approach employees. Creating a “team” like atmosphere seems to prove crucial for the success of companies; ultimately, I couldn’t agree more. When everyone feels they have an important role in the success of the team, it makes everyone feel accountable. Let’s be honest, most people hate to disappoint. Therefore, making everyone feel like they can count on their “team,” will create tight bonds among members; also, improving work performance.

This class has aided me in becoming “myself” in a leadership role by introducing me to new management techniques; including how to approach employees and how to deal with problem incidents. I am vastly learning the importance of patience and self-control; the more I can keep myself composed, the better leader I will become. I have always believed in managing with respect; however, this class has taught me that there are endless ways to create a “team” environment while respecting everyone’s decisions.

In my opinion, this class hasn’t exactly made me change my mind about my leadership style as much as it has taught me to broaden my horizon. I need to implement many different types of leadership approaches, as everyone learns and progresses differently. It is unfair to assume that all employees learn the same way; some require extra attention, which is fine. This is when teamwork could really aide in employees’ development. I am thankful for what I have learned and I will surly take this knowledge with me, implementing it in my future leadership roles. For that I am thankful.

– – – Brittany Langlois, Traverse City, Mi.

I Believe Essay

            I believe leadership is something that is difficult to define and can be even more difficult to exemplify. Leadership can be defined as many things, but I believe that at its foundation leadership being able to communicate, motivate and work effectively with other team members. An effective leader clearly and concisely communicates expectations, goals and responsibilities to their employees. If employees have a clear understanding of not only how their work should be performed but also why it needs to meet certain standards they will be more willing to put in the necessary work required. If employees are more willing to produce quality work then it will be more likely that the team as a whole will accomplish their goals.

Leadership also requires being able to motivate team members. Sometimes team members need an extra push to be as productive as they can be. Sometimes this requires leader to communicate how important a particular person is to the team and why it is important that they perform to a certain level. Once again, being able to clearly communicate with team members plays a large roll on how effective a leader can be.

As far as myself being a leader, there are definitely a few key areas in which I need improvement. I need to focus more on trying to understanding how other members of my team may be feeling or thoughts on certain things. A good leader needs to be able to put themselves in other people’s shoes and try to understand what it will take for them to be as effective as possible. I also need to be more of an example. Leaders have to be willing to do whatever they ask of their employees and be able to perform the way they expect their fellow team members to perform. These are some of the leadership characteristics that I need to work on.

I believe as I start to mature, my leadership style is starting to change. I used to believe that a leader needed to be authoritative as opposed to be open minded towards the other members on the team. I believe that as I get older and become more patient I am better able to understand other members of my team and what I can do to help them become more productive team members. I think that as I start to develop some of these characteristics as a person it is inevitably going to make me more of an effective leader.

– – – Michael Stave, Traverse City, Mi.

“I Believe”

I believe leadership is a topic to be very important; it has been the subject of an immense amount of research. However I do not understand leadership very well.  Leadership cause dilemma. Rather than an optimal leadership style different types of leaders are useful in different situations, and leaders are more important in some situations than in others Leadership is just a learned behavior that becomes unconscious and automatic over time.  For example, leaders can make several important decisions about an issue in the time it takes others to understand the question.   Many people wonder how leaders know how to make the best decisions, often under immense pressure.  The process of making these decisions comes from an accumulation of experiences and encounters with a multitude of difference circumstances, personality types and unforeseen failures.   More so, the decision making process is an acute understanding of being familiar with the cause and effect of behavioral and circumstantial patterns;  knowing the intelligence and interconnection points of the variables involved in these patterns allows a leader to confidently make decisions and project the probability of their desired outcomes.   The most successful leaders are instinctual decision makers. Leaders are made, they are not born. They are made by hard effort, which is the price which all of us must pay to achieve any goal that is worthwhile. A person with a fixed mindset would view leadership an innate quality, and believe that people are born leaders. A person with a growth mindset would believe that leadership abilities could be learned and acquired through effort and experience.

If we consider the trait approach, it assumes that good leaders have a certain set of characteristics. If these characteristics are identified and measured, it should be possible to select good leaders. Many traits have been examined, but research failed to confirm a strong relationship between traits and leadership. But more recent research suggests that sets of traits are associates with good leader. For example, effective leaders have more drive, honesty, leadership motivation, self-confidence, intelligence, knowledge, creativity and flexibility. No trait can predict good leadership. However one good example of the problem with the trait approach is the value of intelligence. I think leadership styles can become part of the leader’s repertoire. Leadership styles should be adapted to the demands of the situation, the requirements of the people involved and the challenges facing the organization. I believe a good leader should be able to be flexible among leadership styles.

 – – – Bakoroba Mariko, Traverse City, Mi.

I Believe That I Can Grow Up to be Anything That I Want to be

As a child, I never saw value in myself. There were always other children who teased and made fun of me, and I felt very little self-worth. As I grew older, I never knew what the expectations were for me or how to set realistic goals for my life. I wandered through life without much imagination or much ability to form mental images of how things or events should be, which could have lead me to a vision of what to do with my life. I did not have a clue as to who I was or where I should be going.

Then, along came my children. They gave me hope and a purpose. Hope for a future that contained motivation and intentions to make something better for someone else than what I had known in my life. This gave me a chance to live life with a purpose, to teach values- (guiding beliefs about how things should be done) and direction to my children on how they were expected to behave. I was able to inspire them to do their best at everything they tried, and they tried a lot! Without realizing it, I was learning how to be a leader and how to better myself. I was able to help them learn and grow in a way that would help them to be productive members of society, and I learned about myself in the process. Moreover, it was enjoyable!

Since my children have grown, it has become a dream of mine to become a CPA. I now have the opportunity to hone the leadership skills that I learned. I find accounting easy, fun, and fulfilling and I am looking forward to accomplishing the goal that I have set for myself. When I accomplish this goal, I intend to become an auditor, and possibly own my own accounting office, where I will have already learned the necessary skills, while parenting, to be a manager. If it were not for learning my leadership skills as a mother, I would never have the self-confidence to attempt such an endeavor or be able to follow through with it. The lessons that I have learned are very valuable to me because in the process I have learned about who I am, and where I want to be in my life. In addition, along the way I have learned that I do have self-worth and value, and that my goals are worth striving for, whether anyone else thinks they are, or not.

In the words of Warren Bennis, “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.” All that I have has made me all that I am and for that, I am eternally grateful!

– – – Amanda Murray, Grayling, MI


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