Posted here are the thoughts and reflections of undergraduate students from MGMT 302 Class – Ferris State University
Posts From Students:
Nicole Allen – Kelsey Jolly – Charles Fias – Timothy Pete – Samuel Truesdell – Calvin Washington – Robyn Strowenjans – Robert Ochmanski
What is a leader?
I believe the statement Warren Bennis made about leadership is pretty accurate. Everyone can be a leader in their own way, but to truly lead you have to let it be expressed naturally and freely. The part of Mr. Bennis statement that stuck out to me the most was, “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 visions manifest.” When you love what you are doing you devote all your time and energy into it, constantly perfecting your craft rather it be running a business or fixing a car. We all possess the potential to be successful at whatever it is we set out to do, but many people let certain situations discourage them and never reach the goal they were planning to reach. Employers can recognize your leadership qualities when you show how assertive you are and how well you work with the entire environment such as how you communicate and perform with co-workers. My vision of leadership is a person who has a plan, sets goals and allows the other members of the group to put in work as well. The other people have to see how adamant the leader is and they will follow. A good leader shows confidence in their self and their team and from there the goals will be reached.
I have obtained knowledge from high school and college about being a good leader and what it takes to get things done by being the captain of my cross country team and being active in a few organizations on campus. Those activities helped break my shell, but I’m still a work in progress. From personal experiences I believe the key to leadership is consistency and I like many others aren’t consistent enough. Though I do what I can to get things done, I don’t put in my all and that’s where I fail in being a successful leader. The business class that I am taking has been challenging because it has exposed my weak areas, but I have learned various things from the course and hopefully it has enhanced my performance in other areas and will lead me to a successful life after college.
– – Nicole Allen, Detroit, Michigan
Are You a Leader?
I believe having the power to be a leader does not come from learning by example. One is born with the skills to lead. This world could not function without leaders, and I believe some of the people I look up to today, were born leaders. The quote from Warren Bennis speaks to me. “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.” Deep down, everyone has the ability to be a leader. Do you want to be an example for others? Do you have what it takes? I believe you do.
Leadership is more than a trait to describe oneself as having. To lead is an act that one shall live by daily. The point of being a leader is not for personal benefits. Being a leader helps the world continue to achieve great accomplishments. People do great things because once they were led by someone who did the right thing, and they looked to up to them, and want to do the right thing too. I see leadership as a selfless human trait that for the good of others, one is able to demonstrate and help others get to a successful place. Whether that place be a state of mind, physical location, or being, one can be a leader to others.
From my experiences in mentor/mentee programs, multiple mission trips, and sport teams, I believe I have been a leader on many instances. I have had many times where I have taken control in a situation. I have learned that being responsible, courageous, patient, and communicating well will create a great leader in all instances. I believe I can take these skills and inspire more people with what I have to offer.
In the process of becoming a team leader, I have found out many things about myself. I have learned that I love working with people, and I love helping whoever is down. I have learned that I can do my share in my faith by leading others to the word of God. I have learned that showing others a good example will inspire them to do the same. Being a team leader is something that is done selflessly. For the greater good of another individual, or group of people, leading can bring people closer together with the knowledge that others care and there is still good in the world.
Do you think you, yes you, have what it takes to be a leader? Can you show people that in times of struggle, you can step in and lead people out of the dark to see into the light? How badly do you want it, and what are you planning on doing first? It’s all about lending a hand to others and doing what one knows should be done. Warren Bennis’ quote shows me that once someone knows who they are as a person, they can lead others into finding themselves too.
– – Kelsey Jolly, Royal Oak , Michigan
“… You must withhold nothing…” This is a section from a passage by Warren Bennis called, On Becoming a Leader. Leadership can be a dream to some and a misfortune to others, either way in order to be a leader, everything your body can give must be put forth in order to be a successful leader. I believe I was put on this earth to lead and save lives. I plan on fulfilling my dream to be leader by commissioning as a 2nd lieutenant in the United States Army. Over the past few years, a leadership style has been bestowed upon me of leading by example and not having excuses. This is what I feel true leadership is.
According to the U.S. Army, leadership is defined as, influencing people by providing purpose, direction, and motivation while operating to accomplish the mission and improving the organization (FM 6-22). These words never proved to be more true than my experience at Infantry one station unit training at Fort Benning Georgia. My Senior Drill Sergeant was nothing short of motivating and inspiring. He was a shorter skinnier man, with glasses, whom in a crowd, didn’t look threatening, but he would probably be the deadliest individual in the crowd. He was always saying things like, “In order to lead you need to know what you’re doing, have confidence, give no excuses.” Every time someone was struggling he would tell them that there is no excuse, and that if we wanted to lead that we’d need to “embrace the suck.”
On one particular evening he barged into the barracks with a speech that I will never forget and will incorporate into my military career. “Listen up men, you’ve decided to join a wonderful profession, you all want to be sheepdogs.” I didn’t know what he meant by this, but I was extremely intrigued. “There’s evil in this world, the sheep (the rest of the world) don’t like to admit it, but there are wolves who wish to do them harm. The sheep like to pretend the wolf will not come, but the sheep dog lives for that day men. You will have the responsibility of being the best you can be, with living by an example. Your lives should no longer be comfortable, they should be comforting.”
My senior drill sergeant illuminates what I feel leadership should be. If you want to be a leader, you should go out and get as much experience as you can, and live by an example. The example should emulate the qualities that a confident individual has. A good leader should uphold the army values and hold others accountable, and at all costs should give no excuses. The responsibility of Army leaders is vast and momentous. America’s security and survival is in their hands and its not something that they take lightly. Army leadership has and will continue to protect this nation and its people.
– – Charles Fias, Fremont, Michigan
One In A Million…
I believe the quote, “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.”, shows that in order to be a good leader, you have to be a great motivator. My vision of a good motivator is one that has been through extreme struggles and has dealt with many ups and downs in their life and can relate those to any situation that is to come up in another person’s life. No one’s life is perfect and good motivators are the ones that know this and use this to help other people’s lives. They let you know that even though times get tough, it’s not the end of the world by any means necessary. Also, I feel as if they have to be great at articulating and having that power of people being able to listen to them. Though not all leaders were the best, they all knew how to persuade people to take action and stand up for what is right, whether it was good or bad. My last vision of a great motivator is one that does not see themselves as a motivator or leader. They don’t lead or motivate for fame, they do it for the people and do it because they feel as if is the right thing to do and will benefit a community as a whole. I believe that is why so many great people have become famous leaders due to them remaining humble. I take these things and direct them in my life in order for me to become a good leader. I have had great people in my life that have shown me that “not everything that glitters is gold” and that “wealth is of the mind, body, and spirit and not of the wallet”. With these two quotes, I value not only my life, but the lives of others and believe that no amount of money can bring you the same joy as helping out someone who is in need. I am starting to become myself because no matter if you are in a team or by yourself, there is still a great amount of self-discipline needed to complete tasks. The great thing about being in a team is that you could lead your team to amazing amounts of success if you are able to use what you have been taught effectively. In this summer I will be 19 and I can already see what being a good leader or motivator may consist of. Because of me being around good leaders, it has rubbed off on me and made me look at life in a whole different perspective and if you can just touch one person’s life a day, then to me, you are able to be an excellent motivator. And if you can motivate, you can lead.
– – Timothy Pete, Big Rapids, Michigan
I Believe Leadership is the Cornerstone to Success
“The point is not to become a leader. The point is to become yourself, and to use yourself completely- all of 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 become the process of becoming” (Warren Bennis, On Becoming a Leader). Truer words have never been spoken. I agree with Warren when he says that the point is to become yourself, and use yourself completely. It’s not enough to just have a good sense of direction in terms of making goals – you need to have a grasp on every aspect of the situation. Balancing short and long term goals, setting the members of your team up for success and becoming the shining example of what you want your workers to strive toward is essential for becoming an influential leader. Even when you take a wrong turn, and make a bad decision, the way you hold yourself after the event is very important. Taking responsibility for your actions and taking positives out of the situation can be beneficial and will shine you in a brighter light then what you would be in otherwise.
In my life, I have been in multiple leadership positions. I was the manager at our school store, and was given free rein on what promotions we would have or what new merchandise we would add to the store. Although I thought that a leader had to take charge and tell people what to do, I soon realized that wouldn’t help the depot in the long run. One of the toughest things I have ever had to do was step back and look at how my leadership was impacting others. I came to the realization that even though I was in a leadership position, I was not a good leader. From that point onward, I changed everything. I started looking to others, and slowly transitioned into group decision making, and giving everyone positive reinforcement that soon blossomed into them wanting to do more work for the store. This led me to teach them how to become managers, and we soon had four managers to cycle in and out instead of relying on one. This led to all of us taking more and more roles on, until we graduated.
I have learned to take everyone’s opinion into account, because they may have a better idea than mine. Raising others to your level helps not only you in terms of getting work done more efficiently, but it makes them establish a feeling of self-worth. My experience at the school store has helped me to treat everyone with the same respect as I would like to be shown. If we do not treat each other fairly, then as a society we will ultimately fail. We need leaders who show kindness, but also a sense of direction. If we have that, then we will be setting the cornerstone to a successful community.
– -Samuel Truesdell, Greenville, Michigan
Leadership to CPW III
When I did a little bit of research for this essay I could not find one precise definition of what leadership is. We as human beings are all leaders in some type of way; little do you know there is always someone watching you. I have come to learn this as I see my little brother Isaiah grows up. All throughout my life people have impacted me, I guess looking back at it, their impact on me helped me for the better because a lot of black men my age either are in jail or in a casket six feet below. I want to take the opportunity to acknowledge my parents for being phenomenal parents and leaders all throughout my life. Even when my parents got a divorce they continued to display leadership for me and my younger brother. One thing that I have noticed about leaders is that they push people to greatness and bring the best out of them. I am not the best leader but I am learning, lot of the time I revert back to times in my life when my parents displayed good leadership techniques and then I implement them in a lot of situations. My vision of leadership might be different from yours, but there is no correct answer of one vision of leadership. In Cal’s world, my vision of leadership involves people being positive to others in a time of need and being helpful. In today’s society too many people are negative and in my world of leadership people are encouraging to one another.
I think that giving back to a community displays a great deal of leadership. One way that I am doing that is that I am in school right now to be an officer in the United States Army while pursuing a degree in Criminal Justice in which I will obtain this May 2013. But by doing all of this I will be able to go back home and show people in my old neighborhood that if I can make it out then they can as well. When I was younger I had people in my life and I had coaches that really cared about me, now days in the inner city a lot of youth don’t have coaches nor a father in their life. It sucks because I feel as if every child should have their father in their life, and a coach that cares about them. But by having all those people in my life has pushed me to go back home and get involved with the youth. My style of leadership has not changed because it works; I am a living product of that. If it’s not broke then why try and go fix it?
– – Calvin Paul Washington, III, Shaekr Heights, Ohio
I Believe Leadership Means Something Different to Everyone
“The point is not to become a leader. The point is to become yourself, and to use yourself completely- all your gift, 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
I believe leadership means something different to everyone. It can mean one who takes charge and controls a situation or a group of people, or it could mean someone who leaves a positive example for others to follow. For me to define leadership I’d say it is someone who is brave to take on a situation and leave a clear positive path on life. Those people who make an impact on something make good leaders.
From what I learned on leadership and how to be a better leader I’d have to become a bold person and make my point of my view on something clear. I’d lead an example of how to have good work ethic and determination. Also, how to work as a good team player is important in group settings. I’d show determination and strive to be at the top.
When being a good leader it’s important to be your own unique type of leader, let your personality make others want to be like you. It’s important to be yourself and to come up with unique ideas and think outside the box. By doing your own thing and not worrying about what others think or do is a good way to show who you really are. By showing signs of positivity and looking for new options can lead you to new chances to learn how to be a better you and a better leader.
The kind of leader I am compared to the kind of leader I want to be are a little different, but not much. I strive to be a more bold and risky leader along with already being a positive thinker and think outside the box leader. Some people are born with the leader trait and some develop it over time, anyone can make an impact on something, but the risky bold leaders are the ones who get remembered.
– – Robyn Strowenjans, Big Rapids, Michigan
I Believe in Leadership
I believe leadership has an important role on which who you become as a person in life. Being a leader is a natural ability, people are born with it. Leaders have a sense of direction that other people want to follow, and thoughts people want to comprehend. My vision on leaders is that they have a goal that inspires and motivates, not everyone is capable of doing so. When given the opportunity leaders will take control of a situation and feel capable of handling it no matter what the circumstance. When I am needed I am reliable, trustworthy, and eligible to handle situations, which makes me a leader in my field. I do well under pressure and don’t freak out and panic. It is all right to float under the radar sometimes and let others take control, nobody’s perfect. But when you want to put your input in on what you believe, do not be afraid to step up and lead. In the real world those who act get results, those who don’t act, miss that once in a lifetime opportunity. Growing up I was scared to do things that I now wish I would have done when I was a kid. I will take what I have learned about leadership and plan on not missing another opportunity that crosses my path in the near future. Change is something everyone is scared of as they grow up. Nobody should dwell on the past, make something of your future and don’t be scared to make a move on life.
Going to college and being a part of a business team is a lot different than the teams I am used to being a part of. Each person has a role in helping the team get successful results. Just like in any other sport, there is one who brings a team together to get good results. Our team wouldn’t be getting positive results without all of us. We all lead in our own way to help make a greater outcome out a new situation. I am becoming a better person in the process of becoming a team. I am learning how to work better in situations that in the past where I wasn’t so good at. You don’t have to be the best at what you do to be a leader, you just have to be able to work hard, adapt and overcome obstacles life throws at you. Some easy, some difficult, but it is how you cope with the pressures of life that is what makes you a successful leader. I have not changed my mind on what my leadership style should be, but I believe that my leadership style will change in the future because all I want is what is best for everybody around me, also what is best for myself.
– – Robert Ochmanski, Big Rapids, Michigan