Thoughts and reflections of undergraduate students from MGMT 302 Class – Ferris State University campus in Traverse City, Michigan
Posts From Students:
Michael Gosnick – Corey Neuman – Elizabeth Jenkins –
I Believe in Doing the Impossible
When thinking about leadership qualities many things come to mind. Personally, I think a great leader is someone who knows the strengths and weaknesses of the group they lead. They are able to take a group of people and give them organization and focus towards a common goal. Knowing who the best for each individual tasks is and how to guide each individual differently. Some people might like to work more on their own while still in a group, and might not like having the group leader watching over their back. Others will want more guidance and enjoy knowing there is someone who has their back and helps them when it is necessary. I believe it is necessary to know when to step in and give guidance, and when to keep a watchful eye from a farther distance. A leader is able to join many people together in a single cause and push them to better outcomes than they would have had on their own, achieving the impossible.
Thinking back a few years in the past and comparing myself to where I am now, I know that some of my personality and character changes are because of becoming a better leader. While in school along with at work I have had many opportunities to be a leader of a group. While I can admit that at first it was a little rocky. I think that through experience and proper training such as from this class I have honed my skills greatly. I have learned better techniques on communication with others which is something that I feel I need much improvement on. As I said before a great leader is someone who pushes people to new heights, I believe that during this process a leader will also learn about the possibilities that they themselves can achieve. When push others to exceed and they do, you start to realize that you also can. My leadership style has remained mostly the same as it has been, but I am always realizing new characteristics that a good leader should have. I envision myself being a good leader in the future but I believe that I will need much more experience until I feel I can truly succeed.
– – Michael Gosnick, Traverse City, Michigan
I Believe in the Individual
American scholar and expert on leadership, Warren Bennis once said that “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 enjoy the process of becoming.” Although the initial presentation of this quote might sound contradicting, the message relayed is quiet clear; becoming a leader is a byproduct of becoming yourself to the fullest. I disagree but have similar thoughts. I believe an individual can learn to lead, but to become a leader they must develop their defining traits and skills.
Leadership is by no means an automatic result of developing yourself, nor is it something one can be born with. Leadership is a learned skill acquired through a combination of classroom theory, field training (i.e. practice), and real world experience. By varying the weight or intensity level of each factor in this combination an instructor can customize the teaching process to better mesh with the traits and skills that define an individual. Regardless of the specific combination, the overall goal is to prepare an individual to engage in a mutually beneficial relationship which requires them to apply personal knowledge, experience, and skill to guide subordinates in the best way possible. However, achieving this aim is limited by the simple fact that no amount of teaching can equip an individual to handle each and every situation they may be face with as a leader.
To deal with these untaught situations a leader calls upon the traits and skills that define them as an individual and, depending on how well they are developed, will result with either success or failure. A leader whose defining traits and skills are well developed knows both their capabilities and limitations. This personal knowledge allows them to quickly identify what they can use, and react to the situation at hand. Development of an one’s defining traits and skills also facilitates the success of their initial learning, and thereby sets them apart from other, less developed, leaders allowing them to be noticed and put to good use.
Leadership is a mutually beneficial relationship that requires an individual to apply personal knowledge, experience, and skill to guide subordinates in the best way possible. It is a skill learned through education on theory, hands on application, and experiences gained in the real world. But education is limited, and in order to weather what remains untaught a leader must call upon the traits and skills that define them as an individual. Development of these traits and skills is central to their initial learning, overall quality of leadership, and ultimate success as a leader. This is why I believe an individual can learn to lead, but to become a leader they must develop their defining traits and skills.
– – Corey Neuman
Path of a Great Leader
I believe that this quote effectively sums up my vision of leadership:
“A great leader never looks back to see who is following him. He probably doesn’t even know if he indeed has any followers. All he does is look ahead to find his own way through the thickest of jungles and create a new trail so crystal clear that his ‘followers’ will not have the slightest hitch in treading that path for times to come.” -unknown
It pretty well says something very similar to what Warrren Bennis said, just in a more eloquent manner. I found this quote when surfing the internet a couple years ago. I think it is saying that you should not follow other people if you want to do something great. It is also saying that you need to be persistent. I think that this is also saying that you should not care what people think of you and you should not let other people’s influences cloud your own judgement. It is not saying that you should completely disregard the social and ethical standards of society. My views of leadership have changed a little since learning about leadership theory. I believe that in a work environment it is sometimes important to look back and see who is following, after all you don’t want to leave your coworkers in the dust. It is better to be a part of the team with your coworkers. I think that it is important to be a task oriented person, but to also be participative in you leadership style. I think that it is also important to set a good example for people to follow, especially when it comes to being ethical and socially responsible. I believe that I have always been myself. There is no way of becoming yourself. I believe that people can transform who they are and people may change when becoming a team leader. Since I already have many years of experience in the working world I don’t believe that my learning has changed my view of what my leadership style should be. I do believe that my education has given me a better understanding of how to lead people in working together more cooperatively and how to solve problems that arise within a group.
– – Elizabeth Jenkins, Traverse City, Michigan