Posted here are the thoughts and reflections of undergraduate students from MGMT 301 Class – Ferris State University
POSTS FROM STUDENTS:
Cynthia Hoang – Brooke Trombley – Scott Sawyer – Benjamin Tesner – Hannah Rillema – Austin Leeck – Emily Watz – Samantha Hodges – Brian Hepworth – Nicholas Weick
I BELIEVE LEADERS SHOULD LEAD WITH AN EXTRAORDINARY MOTIVE CONSEQUENTIAL TO BECOME INSPIRATIONAL
I personally believe that it is essential and valuable to know of an individual’s worth implying his or her qualities and skills as a human being. I personally embrace the qualities that I know and have been informed that I possess through experiences that were made to sum up my personality and characteristics that specifically make me stand out. I enjoy the process of becoming, because I learn about myself not only through myself, but also through the people around me. My family and friends are most certainly responsible in assisting to mold me to be the person that I have become today and will be for tomorrow.
With that being said, my vision of leadership is for a person to have the specialty and knowledge that sets him or her apart from others to have the competency to help guide others to the direction for success. This specific individual should appreciate every opportunity that they have worked for that will come his or her way and to realize every potential in resulting and attaining fulfillment in becoming a pronounced leader. It’s vital for leaders to reassure others around them to focus on continuous improvement. A leader must decode and translate on how they see things in their point of view to be well-defined to be quality worthy. A leader shall reflect onto the people around them on what is to be read and understood to be valued to conquer excellence, and leaders should help others thrive personally and professionally.
I will take what I have learned and become a good leader by familiarizing myself with the acknowledgement of my skills to help myself and others who work with me to achieve the best results in every opportunity presented. I am inspired for others to help me realize that I can become a good leader, and to prove to myself that I am capable of leading others while leading myself. In the process of becoming a leader, I am becoming myself by sticking to what I know and believe is to be precise in allocating any overviewed occurrence. In doing so, I feel that it is important to trust that my time and effort being put into these expressions brought upon me will help benefit myself and the people around me to fully be constructive. Honestly, I have no doubt in my mind that as a fact, I have not changed my mind as to what my leadership style should be as a result of my learning thus far. I am passionately able to say this with pride and dignity, because I represent myself as an individual of well-being to the fullest. If I could define “leadership” in one sentence I would state the following, “Leadership: to provide exciting, powerful, inspirational and dynamic words of wisdom to be fully capable of inspiring oneself and others to do the same, and to keep in mind to move forward willingly, individually as an influential member to finish strong to overcome any obstacle.”
– – Cynthia Hoang, Grand Rapids, Michigan
I Believe Becoming a Good Leader Requires Ambition, Motivation, and Persistence
I believe that becoming a good leader requires a lot of hard work. I visualize a good leader as someone who has courage, tenacity, and patience. A good leader must be able to stand alone and have the courage to do so. A good leader must also be a good communicator; a leader cannot lead anyone unless they are able to communicate extremely well. A leader has to be able to talk and listen to their employees on all levels of the company. I visualize a great leader as having all of these characteristics.
In this class I have learned a lot about how to become a good leader. I will take this knowledge and apply it once I enter the workforce. In this class I learned that leadership is the ability to influence employees to voluntarily pursue organizational goals. I also learned that leadership is about coping with change. Great leaders must be able to cope with change and then proceed to help employees also cope with change. The business world has become more competitive and volatile, so leaders have to take the initiative to make changes to keep ahead of the fast-paced and ever-changing business world.
When I first started this class I had thought that my leadership style was transactional, which is a type of leadership style that focuses on clarifying employees’ roles and task requirements and providing rewards and punishments contingent on performance. This type of leader focuses on the interpersonal transactions between managers and employees. I thought that this was the type of leader that I was, however, during this class I learned a lot more about leadership and while working in my team, I realized that I am more of a charismatic leader. A charismatic leader is one that inspires enthusiasm in their teams and is energetic in motivating others to move forward. I learned that this excitement and commitment from teams is an enormous benefit.
During this class I found that being a good leader is a challenge, and you must have the right characteristics to be a great leader. It takes a lot of hard work to be able to inspire and motivate others. I learned in this class that as a good leader, you have to be ambitious and very persistent.
– – Brooke Trombley, Standish, Michigan
Leading Through Believing
I believe that the process of becoming a successful leader always starts with a vision and compelling visions can truly change the world. However, staying invested in your vision can be extremely difficult and making it become a reality cannot be done alone. My vision of leadership and advice I would give to anybody who wants to become a great leader is to give real thought to the values, ideas and activities that you are most passionate about and pursue them, rather than trying to build your career around money or prestige because genuine passion is what truly inspires you and the people around you.
I have learned that transformational leaders, leaders who act as a role model, who have a positive attitude, who are genuinely passionate about their ideas and goals, who listen and communicate effectively and most importantly, who believe in themselves are the best leaders and are the ones who tend to develop followers. They are more respected and valued by their followers because they provide the necessary inspirational motivation to encourage their followers to get into action and help them feel included and involved by offering recognition, praise and rewards for people’s accomplishments. Knowing and applying this key information to not only my leadership opportunities, but my lifestyle, will allow me to become a better leader and a better person overall.
Understanding your leadership style is another critical factor, to becoming a great leader. It allows you to analyze and understand your strengths and at the same time emphasizes the areas which need some improvement. Before becoming knowledgeable of the contingency and path-goal leadership models, I considered my leadership style to be mainly task and achievement orientated, which revolves around setting challenging goals and having confidence in yourself and your followers to generate results.
Knowing what I do now, I would have to describe my leadership style as a combination of task and relationship-motivated depending on the situation at hand with a path-goal clarifying behavior. This style involves making your expectations and performance objectives clear, using positive and negative rewards contingent on performance, and it thoroughly emphasizes how providing guidance to your followers can help build relationships and moral within your group or organization. Most importantly, if this behavior is properly executed, it will make you a likeable leader, which in the long run, will lead to more tasks being completed and more objectives being met. Successful careers start with a clear, invigorating vision which can lead to an open door of endless opportunities. So you have to ask yourself, what’s yours?
– – Scott Sawyer, Big Rapids, Michigan
I Believe a Leader Must Have a Vision
I believe that becoming a leader is a work of self exploration. You must have a reason of being, know what you value, who you are, and how you will do things to stay successful. You also need motivation to push you forward and give you a reason to lead. A good leader must be good at working alone and with his employees. The last trait every leader should have are good communication skills. They should be able to talk in any situation and be open to any sort of idea.
My vision of leadership is very close to that of Warren Bemis. You must know yourself and be able to have a reason to move forward. You must also give all of your employees a helping hand and give them a reason to work. I think that my employees and I should all have a vision of our organizational goals, and how we are going to achieve them. They also need a leader to show them what they need to pursue. Everyone one of us is born a leader, in that we control our own lives. Leading other people is something we all can do, some just don’t recognize that they have the potential. The key is to use your strengths well and use yourself as a whole to move forward.
I learned a lot about leadership in Frank Armstrong’s class, Management 301. A leader must be able to communicate thoughts to employees. He must be able to keep employees on task and check up with them them if need be. A major role in leadership is gaining a “friendship” with employees. Once you get to know someone it is easier to get along and create tasks for them. I believe my leadership style is transactional, because I want to give employees incentives for doing work. I also would give a punishment for anything ‘horribly’ wrong. I think that I value working towards something that will be the betterment of something else. I also value creating a relationship with employees to move the company forward.
I will become a leader by following all of these traits. I will fully explore myself and use all of my strengths to lead my workforce forward. I will help my workers learn from me and I will learn from them. I think that leadership is an ongoing battle and you can never become the perfect leader. What you can do to become a leader is continue to progress and move forward. I feel that if I keep working towards being a leader in the future, I will become on with time.
– – Benjamin Tesner, Big Rapids, Michigan
I Believe Leadership is Essential
“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)
Leadership is comparable to a foundation, as it is a necessary building block for success, development, learning, planning, and many more elements of everyday life. My vision of leadership corresponds to the quote of Warren Bennis. In order to achieve the highest level of leadership that people must use all the gifts they were blessed with, continuously improve their skills, and expend all their energies on the tasks at hand in order to make their vision manifest.
My vision of leadership is that it is not a trait that can be easily removed because once people become top-notch leaders, I believe that this trait becomes an essential part of their lives. I have noticed that I apply the many facets of leadership to an assortment of tasks, situations, and other parts of my daily life. I will apply the skills I have learned to become a better leader by making continuous improvement a top priority in my academic career, professional career, and personal life. I will be sure to focus on maintaining open communication, accomplishing goals, assisting others, and serving as a role model in order to remind myself that leadership is important.
As Warren Bennis states in his famous quote on leadership, I must focus on becoming myself while I am also becoming a leader. I have gained invaluable knowledge from my own journey in leadership. I have discovered that I possess many positive traits, such as being conscientious, caring, organized, generous, genuine, and both people and task oriented. In turn, I have also learned some negative qualities about myself, such as I am known for being somewhat stubborn, impatient, nervous, and that I worry too much. Although leadership may seem to focus more on how you interact with and motivate others, it is much more challenging than that. Leadership tests how able people are to act on their positive traits, while overcoming their negative traits. I am definitely one of those people, and I am proud of the challenge of being more confident and proud of all of my traits.
I have changed my mind in a sense as to what leadership style I possess, as a result of my learning. I used to think that I was more expressive, but I have come to find that I am actually more of a mix of amiable and expressive in my leadership style. Although I express the traits of being articulate, enthusiastic, outgoing, and passionate as an expressive leader, I definitely contain more traits of an amiable leader. I definitely try to be diplomatic, cooperative, loyal, and to establish harmony, while also being a huge advocate for building and maintaining relationships with a wide variety of people. This mix allows me to be a perfect balance with my assertiveness, while being very responsive.
Leadership should definitely be thought of as a journey, but it is important to recognize that one must begin new journeys with each step of leadership he/she masters.
– – Hannah Rillema, Whitehall, Michigan
Leadership Changes Lives
I believe leadership can change the outcome of people’s lives on any given day. It only takes one good leader to give an example of how things should be done in any given spot in life. Every person has their own vision of leadership in their mind, it all depends which way you interpret looking at it.
In many of my past accomplishments with sports, I have been in the presence of many great leaders. Many of which are pro athletes or highly ranked military generals. Two major points that I’ve found out over the years with a leadership role are:
First, you do not always have to be liked to become effective and efficient. I’ve learned in sports that coaches do not baby you through drills just for you to be a soft athlete. The tough days I went through practicing thinking the coach dislikes was hard to soak in. I realized later on in life that they are only helping me become a successful determined athlete. Transferring all of that into the business world is easy. If my boss gets on my case to finish a project, I don’t take it to heart and think he’s out to get me. I soak it in and push harder to get the job done. In recent experiences, it is the success factor that drives me. I, myself, want to be more successful than anyone else wants me to be.
My second point is “Always Do The Right Thing”. In sports, doing the right thing isn’t always best for yourself, but it could be best for the team. As in baseball, there’s a man on second base. Coach needs you to advance the runner so he gives you the bunt sign while you’re up to bat for a sacrifice play. It doesn’t necessarily benefit you in that play, but it definitely helps your team’s odds of scoring by a big sum. Transferring this into a business situation, I would like to think that if someone had a work group of five or six people, and everyone always did the right thing, you would basically have a self-managing team. Showing that little bit of respect weighs on people and it demonstrates a good leadership role.
I see myself in the future owning my own power sports dealership, so I plan on being a solid leader for the group of people I will manage when I get older. My overall goal is to influence my workers under me to set a perfect example of being a leader. I’m a strong motivator and a driver when it comes to finishing jobs and being successful. There is no option to failing for myself or a group that I’m involved in.
People you encourage and set example for today, will then follow your footsteps and become the leader you are today in the future for tomorrow. I believe leadership can change the outcome of people’s lives on any given day. It all depends how the others interpret your success and drive.
– – Austin Leeck, Big Rapids, Michigan
I BELIEVE HAVING A VISION PRECEDES LEADERSHIP
Leadership isn’t always about being in charge of a group of people. Before you can ever lead or influence a group of people, you must first lead yourself.
I started thinking about what it means to lead after reading a quote by Warren Bennis in my Applied Management class:
“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 quote is a multitude of ideas on leadership and self-reflection. Bennis’ suggestion to “enjoy the process of becoming” was what stood out to me most.
I have completed the required reading of my management class before lecture—to the astonishment of my peers—allowing me to be equipped with the textbook answer of who I am as a leader. I can be defined by the interaction facilitation leadership behavior, which means I like to emphasize collaboration and teamwork in a group setting. I know the perks of being a transactional leader versus a transformational leader and have read the leadership models that measure what types work best in what environments.
However, I think there’s another part to leadership that has nothing to do with leading others and everything to do with leading yourself. Bennis’ mentions you must use your skills completely ”to make your vision manifest.” There has to be a vision you believe in before you ever get the guts to become a leader of other people. If you do not believe in what you’re saying, how can you expect others to believe you?
I say this at the end of my Senior Graphic Design Portfolio Review. I have prepared for this review for four years. I attempted to perfect my projects by learning design basics, adding my creativity and trying to be business savvy through it all. The day finally came last Thursday when I presented my portfolio of student work to design professionals from all over Michigan. When I was saying things merely to impress them instead of saying things I truly believed in about my projects, I was not leading myself at all. I felt like a fraud. Their eyes would glaze over, proving to me I was not leading them through my book or to who I am as a young designer.
I believe leading myself (despite what I think people expect of me) has to happen before I can convince anyone else to believe in me as a leader. I believe I can’t be transformational before I transform the idea to act like someone I’m not in the name of impressing professionals to being who I truly am, whether they’re impressed or not.
I believe if I become the person I started out to be and “enjoy the process of becoming”, leadership will follow. I believe in leading myself first because if I can’t lead my own self, I can’t expect others to follow me either.
– – Emily Watz, Big Rapids, Michigan
I Believe Leadership Starts With Listening
My vision of leadership consists of several different components. A leader needs to be able to develop a vision for the future and compose strategies while determining what needs to be done. After setting a direction and developing a vision an effective leader will communicate the vision to people in the company and align employees to realize the vision. The final component of leadership is to motivate and inspire. A leader must be able to appeal to human needs, values, and emotions to ensure people are moving in the right direction.
I believe that I, myself am on the right track to becoming an effective team leader. Leaders inspire others and provide emotional support. From working in various groups throughout my academic career it has become apparent that I possess a great deal of empathy for other people’s situations. The ability to put myself in another person’s shoes is a strong advantage. I can use it to get employees to rally around a common goal and really get people to understand my vision. If I can understand peoples personal situations I will have a much better chance motivating them. However, persuasion is a powerful art form that I would benefit from working on. There is more to persuasion than just personal appeals and in my quest to become an effective leader I will be working on integrating tactics, consulting, and rational persuasion as well.
As a result of my learning my leadership style has developed a great deal. I have always drifted towards a supportive leadership style because that is the style that I am most responsive to when under another person’s leadership. I believe that when you treat people as equals, show concern for their well-being and needs and present yourself in a friendly and approachable manner that it gains respect. However, I have lear- -ned the importance of other leadership styles such as path-goal clarifying leadership. Clarifying performance goals and guiding employees is an important skill in leadership. It isn’t just about being friendly and approachable, you also have to be able to break down performance standards and expectations and use positive and negative rewards that are determined by the employee’s performance.
– – Samantha Hodges, Greenville, Michigan
I Believe Leadership is Essential for Efficiency
“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 was on compelling quote by Warren Bennis, on becoming a leader. I thought this was an interesting spin on the common question of how to become a leader.
Personally, I’ve developed a different idea of what becoming a leader entails. To me, becoming a leader involves setting a good example and having others wanting to emulate your behavior. In order to be a good leader, it is essential that you set a good example and treat others with the respect you would want to be treated with.
After learning so many important and intricate things in class, my pursuit to become a successful leader will be more path oriented. Building on what I mentioned in the introductory paragraph, I want to make sure that I treat everyone with respect. Not only is it the right thing to do, but you will have the respect of everyone around you, and people will enjoy being around you. Secondly, if you set a good example of what is right, others will strive to emulate and mimic your behavior.
This can easily be applied to a business setting where good leadership can result in more diligent and efficient work production. Personally, I love to be the leader of a group and help to facilitate the progress. By becoming a more accomplished leader, I would be sticking true to who I am, but expanding on my leadership abilities by using what I learned in class. It would be an opportunity to grow as leader, and stick true to who I am.
Even though Warren Bennis and I may have completely different ideas of what it means to be a leader, we both share a common idea of becoming yourself. To me, becoming a leader is about setting a good example and having people want to emulate you. This leads to higher levels of respect and more efficient work. Leadership is essential in life, and the road to becoming a leader is not always easy, but yields countless benefits.
– – Brian Hepworth, East Lansing, Michigan
I Believe Leadership Is Important
Leadership is something that often gets overlooked, when in fact it is arguably one of the most important traits someone can have. Often people ask themselves, what does it take to be a good leader? Well, to be honest it takes a lot to be able to display successful leadership. A leader is someone that is able to lead by example, they are able to encourage and relate to their fellow peers. They don’t ask something of someone that they would not do themselves, and because of that there is a mutual respect between both parties. It takes a unique individual to truly be a special leader.
Throughout this class I have learned that you can be a good manager and not a good leader, as well as be a bad manager and a good leader. There is a difference. I will take what I have learned to not only become a good leader but a good manager as well. Probably the biggest thing I have learned and plan on instilling in myself in the future is to lead by example, I will never ask one of my workers to do something I would not do myself. If a fellow employee sees you doing something well below your line of work then they will instantly respect you. In addition I think it’s important to be very personable and form personal bonds with people to help achieve optimal results. If you’re not able to get along with the people you work with then not only are you failing as a leader but your failing as manager as a whole.
In a way I think that the way you display leadership reflects the kind of person you are in general. Your personality plays a big role in the way you lead. You become yourself in the way that you lead your team; all your skills and lifelong traits come out at the same time. If you’re energetic and eccentric that will come out in the way you lead, whereas on the other hand if you’re lazy and lackadaisical that will come out as well. Your peers pick up on these traits and will rarely respect an unmotivated and lazy leader.
To conclude, I now realize why leadership is so important. If there weren’t good leaders out there then who would there be to look up to and follow? Although great leaders may be few and far between, leadership qualities can still always be instilled in a person, and I plan on taking some of those qualities and putting them to full use in the future.
– – Nicholas Weick, Big Rapids, Michigan