MGMT 370 – Fall 2014 pg. 3

Posted here are the thoughts and reflections of undergraduate students from MGMT 370 Class – Ferris State University


Holly Austin – Cailey Pawluk – Marcus Harry – Benjamin Tesner –  Kendall Barnes – Leesa Deadwyler


                Leadership to me, like many other people, is being able to be both a leader and a follower. I believe that you cannot teach or lead others to do something if you at first do not know what is being done. It is much more than just leading and following though. A person needs to know how to lead, when to lead, and who to lead. To lead you cannot be too strict or to easy going because you want to encourage the people to follow in what you are doing. If you are too forceful, the people may fear you or not retain what you are saying, something we all like to call “brain dumping”. They will learn or do what you say to get the task done but not recollect it. On the other hand, if you are too easy going then you may get walked on and taken advantage of. In order to know how to lead, you need to figure out the balance between strict and easy going but also remain true to yourself.

As Warren Bennis said, “The point is to become yourself, and to use yourself completely”. This is key because if you lose yourself, what are you showing to others? Leading people in one direction when you wish to follow another is not a way to lead. In order to be a trusting leader I believe the leader must stick to what they think and know. Another thing I said a leader must do is know when to lead. People look for a leader when thinks go downhill. A person to hold everything together is always nice and that is exactly what a leader is, someone to be the “glue”. Depending on the situation a group of people could either need to work together and need more of a follower or they may need a leader. This goes along with the factor of a leader needs to know who to lead.

Being a leader is not just about the person leading, the people being led highly influence the outcome of any event. I believe a great leader is someone who can work with anyone in any situation. As a leader someone has to be able to direct people but also take in other peoples inputs if they help out the group. Being a leader is not just a one person job, I think a strong leader is someone who can take advice and opinions and actually consider and use them. Any person can be a leader as long as they have the right skills.

I believe that being a leader takes three things. The knowledge on how to lead, knowing when a leader is needed, and seeking out the people who need to be led. Not only should a leader lead, they should also experience following someone else and learning from every situation.

– – Holly Austin, Muskegon, Michigan

What it takes to be a Great Leader

            I believe being a great leader does not come easily. By definition a leader is the person who leads or commands a group, organization, or country. In my eyes anyone can be a leader, but to be a great leader takes a lot more than what the dictionary defines it as. It requires traits in a person such as hard work, dedication, passion, determination, confidence and commitment. Great leaders have the ability to inspire others and make positive differences in other peoples lives. Being a great leader involves a vision, values, listen and learn, tough love, and relationships. If you are able to understand these 5 important qualities it takes to be a leader you have a good chance of being a great leader yourself.

The first quality in a great leader is that they have to have a vision. The leader needs to be able to see and know what they want to accomplish and they can never stop working towards their vision until it is finished. With a vision of how they want things to be they need to also take the initiative to set goals and then make a plan of how they are going to accomplish their goals.

The next quality in a great leader is that they have their own set of values that they follow. They have set values to reflect on in order to remind them of who they are and what they believe in. These values help leaders make decisions and give them structure.

A great leaders’ next set of qualities goes hand and hand, it involves the ability to listen and learn. The ability to listen to what others has to say and absorb it all in gives leaders different perspectives and ideas of things. Listening leads to learning and only a great leader is open to learning more and more throughout life. In fact, to even become a great leader you had to of learned from another great leader at one point. You also have to be willing to listen to critiques from others and learn from your own mistakes.

Tough love is the next quality in a great leader that is not easy to do. Great leaders need to have a backbone at times and inform people if they are doing something wrong. This is where they have the ability to separate business from friendships.

Which leads to the last quality in great leader, relationships. A great leader needs to be someone that can have many different relationships with people. They need to be a very well liked person to everyone. People need to feel comfortable around a great leader.

As you can see a great leader does not come easily. My opinion on what it takes to be a great leader requires the following 5 qualities: vision, values, listen and learn, tough love, and relationships. If you are able to accomplish those I believe you have what it takes to be more than just a leader, but a great leader.

— Cailey Pawluk, Waterford, Michigan

I Believe

                I believe that leadership is a trait that is housed between someone’s heart and brain. Although this trait can be formed by anyone, at any time, I believe the best leaders are naturals. This leader is someone who has the knowledge to make decisions, with the confidence to execute them. When people are working with this type of individual, they will be led in a direction without feeling like they are being forced to do something.  I believe this type of leader is not only open to others opinions but he or she also respects them.

I believe that leaders have a strong personal opinion but are able to set that aside and listen to what others have to say. I think this is one of the many ways they show others the amount of respect they have.  Someone cannot become a leader without gaining the respect of the people around them. This is one of the reasons leaders work best when they are part of a team. They will work to bring out the best in everyone on their team.

I believe that leaders don’t create a set of rules, instead they have standards.  Naturally, people do not like to follow rules. By creating a set of standards they are able to challenge others to work together to arrive at a final goal. A leader has the ability to set standards to a challenging, yet achievable level. This combined with an attitude that encourages employees will result in a team that functions like a well-oiled machine.

By being yourself you are able to have a level of confidence that will make it natural to lead others.  You will not have to second guess your decisions and wonder if you are really doing the right thing because it something you enjoy. Leaders aren’t always the people who are in high ranked positions. I believe a leader can be anyone who has the passion and desire to do what they want to do in life.

– – Marcus Harry, Iron Mountain, Michigan

I Believe In My Reality

                “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.”  That quote is taken from Warren Bennis, On Becoming a Leader. This quote says a lot about leadership and I agree the point is not to become a leader, but rather to become yourself.

My personal vision of leadership is: To help guide others and yourself to mainifest, and achieve goals. I believe being a leader is not just for yourself but also for the people who associate with you. These people include friends, family, and any one else you may cross paths with. You are the only leader of your own destiny, but you can help people move further down their path at well. Some may not understand what they want without a helping hand. In doing this you help improve humanity as a whole which is an ultimate form of leadership.

Take this as an example, You and your friend are running a ten mile race. This race has a reward for anyone who completes the race in the top 10. You are used to running races and find it easy to run the entire race and end up in the top ten. Your friend is having trouble continuing to run a race he has talked about finishing it for weeks. Instead of putting him down or not helping at all, you can be the one to help him continue on and complete the run. To me this a great example of leadership because you are motivating him to reach his goals instead of watching him fall behind. What I’m saying is as humans we all need eachother to evolve towards the future, we cannot do it all on our own.

When it comes to being a leader for yourself there are many things you can do to facilitate this. I’ve learned creating a list goals is a great way to complete your ultimate vision. You cannot start working at the largest goal but rather, start small to get closer and closer to that ultimate goal. I have done things I never thought I’d accomplish, simply by thinking about them for years. Goals take time but if you put in the effort you can reach any height that you’d like to get to. Always let people help you get there, learn from them to better yourself. Even if an association seems negative there is always something to be taken from that interaction. Every moment can add to the vision of yourself as a person if you let it.

Growing up I’ve known numerous people to give up on their visions, or do things they said they would never do. That is a part of becoming who you are, but I believe to really become a leader you have to stick with what you want to do and never give up on that. I become myself more and more in the process of becoming a team leader because I stick with what I think is right. That molds me as a person, I listen to other peoples opinoins, but I ultimatly go with my logic when making decisions. You have to be strong to be a team leader and that helps you hold on to your beliefs and to not become detered. Don’t live through someone else, live through yourself.

Throughout my learning process I have changed my mind as to what my leadership style should be. I don’t always agree with everyones opinoins. I think everyone should have a chance to voice their opinoin in a team, but you cannot forgot to do what you think is best. If you are the leader of quality it is your job to implement processess as you see fit. That is no one elses job other then yours. I will take into account other team members opinoins but overall I’m making the decision. So learning about leadership has taught me to stick to my guns and do as I see fit. You are the leader of your own destiny, and you should use your gift of life to accomplish what you’d like to accomplish.

 – – Benjamin A. Tesner, Detroit, Michigan

I Believe in Standing Out

     I believe in the importance of standing out and being a leader.  I think that in order to be a successful leader, you must continually stay true to yourself and learn how to properly use your talents for the benefit of yourself and others.  I believe there are two types of leaders, ones who lead vocally and ones who lead by actions.  Naturally, you can have a combination of both, but I think that each individual has the potential to be a leader.  In today’s day and age it is essential to know how to lead and when each leadership type is beneficial.

I see leadership as the ability to start, oversee, and complete what needs to be accomplished, whether that requires working by yourself or with others.  An important aspect of leadership is knowing when and when not to lead.  I think that “controlling” is not an accurate term used to define leadership because in order to accomplish something significant, you are going to need someone to take charge of the project or assignment, but also willing to let others help and contribute.  There is a fine line between controlling and leading.  I think that in order to be a successful leader you must know how to assert yourself, listen to others, be willing to adapt, hold others accountable, and stand up for what you believe in.  Often, it means that you have to go the extra mile, which sometimes does not even get noticed.

I think that this management class has helped me develop my leadership skills in several ways.  First, it has taught me the importance of leading by example, how to effectively work on a team and encourage others to take responsibility and lead.  This class has also taught me how to value others opinions more.  Next, I learned how to effectively bring my opinions to the group in a way that does not offend others or step on anyone’s feet.  I think this is the most valuable lesson I learned because in the real world it is vital to know how to do this and how to successfully work with others, while still standing out.

I have become myself through this process by better understanding my leadership style and various qualities that I possess.  A few of these include my public speaking skills, my ability to effectively convey thoughts, my critical thinking skills, my natural ability to be organized, and be a vocal leader.

I still think that my leadership style should continue to make me stand out, however, I have learned the importance of sometimes taking the role to follow and lead by example too.  I learned that often you won’t get recognized for what you do, but as long as you continue to lead, grow, and develop, then that is all that matters.  Finally, I learned that through each leadership opportunity, you are able to learn more about yourself and your capabilities.

– – Kendall Barnes, Denver, Colorado

I Believe in a Responsibility to Do More

I believe that leadership is not a privilege. Leadership is really a responsibility that one acquires through successfully guiding others, and this responsibility translates into one’s duty to do more. I believe that successful leadership is learned. Any given leader cannot make their leadership style effective, and this effectiveness comes from those being led. Successful leadership is reached when those being led are able to see the vision and accomplish tasks related to this vision accordingly. A good leader has to be willing to adjust their own style when they receive feedback that indicates that current methods are not working well. Another important aspect of leadership is that it is not a trait. Leadership involves an extensive learning process.

The learning that takes place to become an effective leader involves not only classroom knowledge but real world experience as well. The principles and basic concepts I have learned throughout my educational experience are vital to my success as a leader. I will transform this raw knowledge into great leadership by using my own experiences to adapt the principles I have learned to fit my unique way of reaching others. Additionally, throughout my leadership experience thus far, I have learned to have a sense of humor and to be humble. These ideas will help me be an effective leader because leaders have to be willing to admit their faults and lead by example by not taking things too seriously.

My personal leadership experience has changed exponentially every year, and I think that is what leadership is really all about. I can tell that I am becoming a good team leader because I find the faults in my old strategies continuously and improve on the things that I already do well. I rely on peer and supervisor feedback to improve the way I work with others, and I have found this kind of insight to be very valuable. Using results from projects and feedback from others as an impetus, I have certainly changed my idea of what my personal leadership style is.

My first perception of leadership involved more of an administrative outlook and having a serious attitude in order to earn respect. Throughout my learning experience and my experience working with others, I realized that this certainly is not the style for me. Instead, my respect as a leader has been earned through relatability. When I am able to show others that I understand and respect them, I am able to get on their level. This makes my strategy more effective because I am able to have their respect and accurately communicate my vision in a way that they understand. I used to think that leadership was a person in a suit meticulously judging others based on information on a clipboard. Leadership is really rolling up the sleeves of that suit and standing right beside the other workers to accept the responsibility to do more that being a leader demands.

 – – Leesa Deadwyler, Lakeview, Michigan


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