Mgmt 301-4 – Applied Management – Spring 2013 – Pg 2

Posted here are the thoughts and reflections of undergraduate students from MGMT 301 Class – Ferris State University


Charles LaFontaine – Marissa Sanchez – Robert Van Auken – Monica Lee – Kelly McCann – Corey Stone – Devon Kelly – Nicole Dennis – Shannon Vandenberg – Dean Mehlberg


Mgmt 301-4 Class

My Vision of Leadership 

My vision of leadership is the ability to manage your time well, create success using your ideas and knowledge, be able to work around people schedule in order to make things work, and no matter how bad a team member may be, be able to work around it and keep the group working well together. If you are good leader you are normally very organized, time oriented, and able to figure out a way to do just about anything. Leadership is something people look up on and it is a trait that many try to follow and get better at. A leader is someone who can take on any challenge not being afraid of it and search for the best path for success.

I have learned a lot of things in this class in order to help out my leadership skills. The simple survey we filled out to figure out the settings in the groups and who is the Driver and so on. Learning about all the different leadership models and ways that are out there and figuring out what one you fit into helps to show and tell you some traits. Being a part of a group and working together to get our presentations done also helps on your skills. Being strong and able to work with your time to meet and get your work done as a group. This class has helped me out in many ways and forms on how to work as a group which helped me on creating better leadership skills.

When talking about becoming myself and working on becoming a team leader some things are going to take a little working on. I am not big on talking in front of people but after this class and our presentations I feel I have worked on that skill in which a good leader is comfortable talking in front of others. I am good at managing my time and being able to fit things into my schedule even if it is a time crunch, you always have to find ways in order to make it work. Getting along with others I have no problem with I am an easy going person and get along very easily.

With my leadership style I usually fall into the driver section for multiple reasons. I manage my time well, can work with just about anybody, and strive for success. When the group or team isn’t cooperating I tend to get it done myself and whatever the factors or consequences are I will try my best to reach success. I love trying to figure out ways to complete tasks that are difficult so I am able to conquer them. I like taking things into my own hands and try to reach success the best and most efficient way.

– – Charles LaFontaine, Big Rapids, Michigan


A vision of leadership is hard to define for me but personally it would have to be something that is viewed and being done by a person charge, they aren’t just waiting to take orders from another person. A vision of leadership is something that is done by a leader, someone who is looked up to.  Looked up to in a sense of they do what they feel is right no matter what anyone thinks. They exude excellence and their confidence is almost visible.  They aren’t trying to be that person everyone likes they just are because they are themselves and absentmindedly people respect that. That is the person I long to be. I will take what I learned and become a good leader by not being afraid to speak my mind if I think something could be improved, even if I’m standing alone. I should speak my mind if I agree with something and be able to except criticism as a positive learning experience.

In the process of becoming a team leader I am becoming myself by showing others I am a knowledgeable person who has ideas and innovations that can be used and are unique. Being a more confident me and not being afraid to show that I too can be in charge and that it is not a difficult task for me, it is merely me being myself. I am more of a leader today then I was yesterday the realization of this amazes me but at the same time it does not. “….You must, in sum, become the person you started out to be, and to enjoy the process of becoming.” (Warren Bennis, On Becoming a Leader).

I am not sure what stopped the person I was meant to be, I knew that somewhere in this shy girl was the confident leader just waiting to come out. It is not the action of me having become a leader because I have always been one; it is the leader in me leading my confidence to show itself. I have to admit that I still am a little meek why I first meet a person however I take notice of that and then try and change that. The skills I have gained will allow me to notice new things, be more confident, be a leader but most importantly be the me that was always there and the “person I started out to be.”

– – Marissa Sanchez, Holland, Michigan

I Believe: A Leadership Essay

“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, On Becoming a Leader).

This quote, by Warren Bennis, shows exactly what I think about leadership. Bennis talks about using all of your gifts, skills, and energies you have to become a good leader, and I agree with everything he says. I would say my vision of leadership is close to the same as Bennis’ vision. If you are a leader, you need a couple of traits: you need to be smart, you need to be compassionate, and you need to have the goals of the team in front of your own goals.

In this management class, I have learned a lot about being a leader. A leader in management needs to be in touch with everyone with his or her team, they need to have the goals of the team ahead of their own goals for the project, and they need to listen to every idea their team members come up with. Because I have learned all of this from this class, I will be able to manage any groups I’m a part of a lot better than someone who hasn’t taken this class.

The process of becoming a leader has helped me become myself in a way. I have learned a lot about myself and how I work with groups through the course of this class. Being a leader has helped me with a lot of things managers need to be good at, including being able to talk to anyone, being punctual and on time to meetings, and listening to everyone’s ideas, regardless of what they are. Because of what I’ve learned and because I was put in a leadership position, I am a lot more comfortable with being a leader and talking to a lot of people I wouldn’t normally talk to.

As far as what my leadership style should be, I don’t think it’s changed all that much. When I started this class, my management style was mostly to work together with people and share the work with everyone. I never really wanted to get mad at anyone and give everyone the benefit of the doubt, and that hasn’t really changed. I still like to work together with everyone and share work, but I have realized sometimes you need to come down on people. I’m glad I took this class, and I’m glad it’s taught me about myself and how to be a good leader.

– – Robert Van Auken

I believe in Cake

When preparing to make a cake, the ingredients are separated into wet and dry. This perfectly correlates with how an individual’s skills and gifts are separated. Skills are obtained through practice and dedications. They are something that you have to work towards to get the outcome that you desire. Gifts are the abilities that you are born with. They are what make you unique and individualize you from the population.

When the wet and dry ingredients of the cake are blended they create a paste. This paste is your skills and gifts mixed together to show your characteristics in leadership. When the cake begins to bake, it starts out as merely an unstable, liquid mass. In this stage you find out your best leadership style which is the style that you were born to portray.  When growing into a leader you go through an unstable stage of trial and error. Trying out different leadership styles that were not meant for you to practice but you must try them to understand how they are not meant of you. Your leadership style that you grow into is like a cake. A chocolate cake cannot be changed to be a vanilla cake or a vanilla to strawberry. Your leadership style is meant specifically for you. It is the person or “cake” that you grow into and it cannot be altered or changed.

I have learned though this growing process that I strive to be the best role model possible and lead the teams that I am a part of in the most encouraging way possible. With the things that I have learned about myself I will make sure that in future team projects I will not be afraid to voice my opinion for it will most likely benefit the team that stands below me. I will also keep in mind that other member’s opinions matter just as much as my own and I must keep them in mind. I continue to believe that my leadership style is Transactional. I believe that this is my style because it is the only category that I fit perfectly into. I believe that the team should be rewarded for good behavior and punished for failed tasks. I cannot shape myself to be any type of leader other then what I have grown into. I cannot change the type of cake that I am.

– – Monica Lee, Big Rapids, Michigan

I Believe in Respect

            In all honesty, I have never given much thought into what my vision of leadership might be. I know from previous experience that a good leader listens and responds to those around him or her. It is not possible to lead people in an effective manner if you are not listening to them. You need to listen to their needs, suggestion, and really their thoughts in general. In order to become a good leader, you need to respect the ones that you work with. By listening to them and respecting their thoughts and beliefs, you are more likely to gain their respect. Truly, respect is what being a good leader boils down to. I have learned this both in class and from life experiences.

Warren Bennis’ quote on becoming a leader makes perfect sense because becoming a leader is so much more than telling people what to do, how to do it, and when it needs to be done. The point of becoming a good leader is to learn more about yourself. You need to look inside yourself and essentially you need to learn to respect yourself. Once you have respect for yourself, you are able to respect others and they will respect you. This lesson of respect can be applied to many areas of life and not only leadership. If you are able to learn this lesson, you will be able to “…become the person you started out to be…” and in doing so, enjoy life and the ride it takes you on.

In the process of becoming a team leader, I am learning to help those around me in everyway I am able to without over doing it. By becoming a leader, you learn your limits, and how much you can help. I, for one, have a tendency to stretch those limits as far as I possibly can. However, in stretching those limits, I am able to find a medium between helping others and helping myself. I learn about myself in every leadership role that I take on. So, therefore by becoming a leader, I am becoming myself. This does not change my view on what my leadership style should be. I still believe in the total quality management style. This style really is the core of what I have been writing about. Total quality management is all about getting every employee involved. And in order to do just that you need to listen and respect every employee.

– – Kelly McCann, Big Rapids, Michigan

Some Leaders Are Born To Lead

I believe being a leader is hard work. A good leader in my eyes is someone who stands not only for cause but takes responsibility for actions and motivates other individuals as well. A leader manifests a positive attitude, high-self-esteem, and composure. Warren Bennis said “The point is not to become a leader. The point is to become yourself, and to use yourself completely”.

Playing sports taught me a lot about being a leader. Every sports team has various leaders on their team that has roles to maintain. Having the philosophy of a leader I was able to transfer that over into management class as far as working with my group members of Tech Dynasty. What enhanced my leadership skills was what I learned in this class, understanding the different leadership styles. Knowing this information allows you to scrutinize and conceive your strengths and noticing the weaknesses. The leadership style I express is supportive and group-oriented decision making. I know I can be very supportive of my team and can help team members make important decisions.

I will take what I learned and become a good leader by taking what I abstruse and becoming accustom to it. Eventually the skills will stick with me and nailed in my head which would make the leadership skills natural. Knowing you’re a good leader in your mind will make you a better leader I feel this way because if you’re confident in what you believe in you will perform better at that belief and stay consistent. In other words make my vision of a leader manifest, through all my skills, energy, and gifts that I’m blessed with.

I’m a huge believer in zodiac signs and the zodiac sign I represent is the “Leo” which is known as the lions “king of the jungle”. Lions are known to lead the pack and I feel like being a leader is the way I was born. I’ve always been a person of my own mind and never follow. The process of me becoming a leader has always been within me, I’m just wiser now and that comes from maturing. Leo’s are known to falling in the business field and starting their own business. It is because of their leadership quality and natural hatred to work as a labor.

In conclusion if you were born a leader you were born for glory “Isaiah 62:2–3)”. If you wasn’t born a leader it will take some time to conform the attributes of a leader but can definitely be done. Great leaders never give up no matter the situation.

– – Corey Stone, Big Rapids, Michigan

I Believe a Good Leader has Virtuous Communication Skills

I believe that becoming a good leader requires a lot of work and determination. In my eyes I visualize a good leader as someone who has confidence, honesty, and most importantly communication. As a leader staying calm and confident will make the team feel like things will work out. A good leader must also have decent communication skills; a leader can’t be the best at leading if they are not able to communicate well with others. A leader has to be able to listen and talk to their employees no matter what they are coming to them about. Being a positive role model is an important trait for a leader to express to their peers. On who can converse, can make their statements greatly influential versus someone who struggles speaking to others. Communication with an individual is a crucial skill to acquire in order to become a constructive and confident leader. Without good communication skills a leader can’t be the best that they are able to be.

There is so much information that I have learned about in this management class that I will be able to take away with me; and one day be able to use it in the work place. In this class I learned that being able to communicate with others will make it easier to be a leader. I have also learned that leaders who act as role models, who have positive attitudes and who listen and communicate effectively are the ones who tend to attract the followers. Leaders are most respected by their admirers because they are positive people to look up to. They encourage them to get involved and offer them desirable awards for their accomplishments. Understanding and applying this key information to my leadership opportunities will allow me to become an overall enhanced leader.

The process of becoming a team leader can be acquired in many different ways. I have learned the importance of becoming a leader because it will take you farther in life than being a follower. Being a leader can take you in numerous different directions in your work place or even outside your work place.

I would have to describe my leadership style as path-goal leadership. The type of leader that makes desirable awards in the work place and increases their motivation, by clarifying the paths or behaviors that will help them achieve their goals and providing them with support are the most successful.

– – Devon Kelly, Traverse City, Michigan

I believe: Leadership is an ambiguous figure, with willingness to fail and continue forth.

Searching to be the leader is to never find a leader in oneself.  A leader isn’t made over night, crafted by The New York Times or The Wall Street Journal articles, harping the standards for the epicenter of leadership in the twenty-first century. Leading and being or becoming a leader involves understanding oneself; the personalities, motivations and goals of others and reminding oneself to remain true to the values, ethics and ability to change, that make up who you are among others, along the process of becoming your own true leader.

Deciding to be a leader doesn’t just happen. Leaders and leadership do not fall among the lines of a specific process, but rather ones own unique route. Being a leader is to remain yourself by following what has made you who you are, applying your talents and being comfortable with whom you are, while encouraging, supporting and motivating others to reach their potential and the goals ahead while working among them within the muck.

Being a leader involves the knowledge and experience [I’ve] gained from the past and combining the continuous knowledge gained each day.  It knows no limits but can be destroyed by fear. When you translate a vision or goal into reality with the help of others, this demonstrates leadership. Not being in command, but influencing others to forge through a goal and make it real and have the respect of others in the process, demonstrates leadership.  Listening to the voice of others, showing direction, taking into consideration their thoughts while standing ones ground but being fair and flexible demonstrates leadership. When one can stand among a crowd of people, as any other person, and be respected, listen to and have all’s voice heard and achieve goals with the motivation and belief of others, this represents leadership.

Leadership entangles the willingness to fail and retain the motivation to continue forth against all odds, motivating others to continue. I’ve seen good and bad leaders, taking note of what’s worked and what has failed. I’ve learned to open up more to ideas and opinions of others and to empower them to fulfill the goals we’ve set.

As I become a team leader, I will remain true to myself, not allowing outside influences to manipulate and change my values I hold. Being a leader doesn’t mean it is only about the leader, it involves the contributions of others to accomplish goals and continue forward.  Forgetting who you are in the process means losing touch of the inimitable style each person possesses. My unique style has shifted and developed more over the course of gaining new knowledge. I’ve become receptive to change, open to opinions and understood the willingness it takes to remain flexible in your style, as each situation is different from the latter.

A leader is unique to the person; it holds it’s own definition. In the end, leadership is an ambiguous figure that molds to its subject.

– – Nicole Dennis, Midland, Michigan

I Believe I Found My Inner Leader

Leadership is an evolving discipline and the concept of leadership will continue to develop. I believe that leadership is a reciprocal action. The leader influences the follower, but the follower also influences the leader. An important aspect of leadership is influencing others to come together around a common vision to bring about change for a desirable future. I feel that an effective leader discovers their own unique strengths and capabilities and learns how to make the most of them. Since each leader has different strengths, they really have to tap into their key strengths that can make a difference. It isn’t about having all the “right” characteristics, but rather about finding the strengths one can demonstrate and apply as a leader.

One thing I have learned that I need to do to become an effective leader is gain self-confidence and maintaining drive. I know I possess qualities such as passion, energy, knowledge, optimism, integrity, and honesty, but the two puzzle pieces I am missing would make me a well-rounded leader. I will take what I have learned and improve those skills I was slacking on. From now on I am going to have confidence in myself and my judgments. The confidence I will show as a leader will create motivation and commitment among followers. I also have to continue to maintain my drive (especially when things get rough) so I can provide high motivation. I will apply all of this to my daily life because the characteristics I portray as a leader will get me through life with my head held high.

I feel like I have found myself through becoming a leader. When I hit rough spots during this process I found my weak spots and my core strengths. I am not going to lie I was quite the push over making sure everyone was happy before myself. I was the “supportive leader” where I am friendly and approachable, but that only goes so far. I needed to stand up for myself because I was getting walked over as a leader. I applied being assertive in the right ways which now even in my daily life I take control if I feel like I am being knocked down. I now have a voice, but I am maintaining the friendly positive leader. I found a balance between the two.

I don’t feel that I need to change my leadership style because it truly fits my characteristics and qualities I provide as a leader. However, I just need to improve it. I have to find the balance between being assertive and being friendly. During this process of learning how to become a leader I felt that I wanted to be the friend more than the leader. My team was falling because I lacked the drive and self-confidence, but once I realized what I had to do things fell into place. I created a change which bettered our future.

– – Shannon Vandenberg, Big Rapids, Michigan

I Believe That I Am a Good Leader

                 Before taking this class, I believe that I had most of the skills needed to be a good leader.  The major that I am going for is PGM.  I have been working at various golf courses since I was 15 years old.  I have been in charge of many different aspects in the golf business.  I have been in charge of outside staff members that work on cleaning range ball off the driving range, washing and parking of the golf carts, and making sure that all of the golf carts are locked up at the end of the night so that no one can come and steal them.  Therefore, what I am saying is I have had some experience working with other people, being in charge of them, and making sure that all of their duties that they have to do are done and done correctly.

After taking this class and being the operations manager for my group, I feel that I did a very good job with being the leader of my group.  There were some parts of working with my group that I felt were the same type of things that I have dealt with in the past.  Some of the tasks were making sure that my group had all of their homework and projects done on time and making sure, they had all of the materials on them that my group members needed to be successful.  There were other parts that I was not used to like making group meeting and making sure that everyone was able to meet, and also make sure that everyone could meet at times that met every ones schedule.  This was all new to me but I feel like I handled the tasks to the best of my ability and it always worked for my group members.  I believe my vision of leadership is a good one.  Since I was the operations manager for my group  I believe that I should treat all of my group members with respect and to make sure that they understand exactly what we are doing and what needs to get done.

I feel that before I took this class that I was a good leader and my leadership skills were good, but after taking this class I believe that my leadership skill have even more.  I now see the different aspects in being a leader and how I should try to handle different situation.  I believe that once I have completed this class and as I go on in life that this class will have given me more of the tools and skills that l will need to become the best leader that I can be and to manage people with kindness and respect.  I feel that if I manage people this way they will respect me, be kind to me, and will want to come work of me and not dread coming to work for me.

– – Dean Mehlberg, Big Rapids, Michigan



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