MGMT 370 – Fall 2014 pg. 4

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


Travis White  – Johnathon Van Omen – Gina Giuliano – Breanna Schmanski –  David Lebin – Charles LaFontaine

I believe in me.

I believe that there is a leader in every person. The way each person can lead is a little different for each person. Some people are quiet leaders that lead by their work ethic and quality of their work. Others lead by being vocal and making sure others are staying on the task at hand. My vision is a little bit of both. A good leader knows what to say, and when to say it, to keep the people under them motivated. They also are the hardest working person in the group.

I have learned that a good leader is someone who is themself and does not try to be someone that they are not. Personally, I am outspoken and a hard worker. I believe that my work ethic rubs off on members of my group. I have also learned that every person responds to criticism differently and it is important to know how to motivate each member of your group.

I am becoming myself in the process of becoming a team leader by not changing who I am. I am a very vocal person who does not tend to hold back when it comes to my opinion. Being a team leader is about making sure your team stays motivated to achieve the task at hand. If I were to stay quiet when I saw something going wrong with the team, I would not be myself. I also believe that a team leader is someone the team can look up to at times of struggle. I have always been a team first person who would sacrifice individual glory for team glory. In a team, it is important to have a leader that is worried about the success of the team rather than individual success.

Through my learning, I have changed my mind as to what a good leader is by seeing that the leader is not necessarily the best worker in the group. The team leader might not be the best at what they do, but they know what needs to be done that is best for the team. They know that what they are doing is going to lead to success for the team.

– – Travis White, Sterling Heights, Michigan

I Believe in Good Ideals

            Over the course of my soon to be four years of higher education, I’ve been presented with many different ideals that try to symbolize what leadership is. I’ve been a part of many course projects in which groups of students were required to work together to complete a goal. I’ve been a part of student organizations in which students came together as a group in order to further their education and open new doors in their professional careers. And I’ve started my career pursuits in the area of my education as a direct result of the leaders and advisors within my academic program. Over this time, I’ve taken the leadership ideals set forth before me and constructed my own vision of leadership. My vision for leadership is one that not only brings individuals together for the purpose of completing set goals, but also learns from these individuals and helps them pursue their own personal goals. In order to accomplish this vision, the leader must be willing to allocate resources, to the best of their ability, to the individuals, and the individuals must be actively engaged in furthering their knowledge, skills, and abilities.

I’ve tried to implement this vision into situations I’ve been in that call for a leader. When working in groups, this means trying to keep the focus on the goals to be accomplished, while not changing the tone or enthusiasm of the discussions. Along with providing the group with the amount of resources possible in order to complete those goals and the individuals work in general. As the president of a student organization, this means working with the rest of the executive board to complete goals set by the organization. And going the extra mile to help out students with their education and career goals, regardless of whether they’re a member of the organization or not. And in my own career, this vision helps me complete tasks both individually and in groups, learn of the individuals around me, and help coworkers complete their tasks with my knowledge and abilities. My vision of leadership has helped shape who I am as a person. If it were not for the ideals of leadership set before me, I would have a different vision of leadership and thus I would not be the person I am today.

– – Johnathon Van Omen, Zeeland, Michigan

I Believe Leaders are Made- Not Born.

believe that leaders are made- not born. I believe in the power of choice. I believe that everyone has the opportunity to become a leader, though not everyone chooses that path, or is aware of their active choice to step up and become a leader. We choose our own destiny. I believe that it takes a special breed of person to become a successful leader and to choose the path of successful leadership.

A successful leader must posses and display a specific set of traits, traits such as confidence, initiative, motivation, cooperation, and empathy. Without these traits, one is just simply a follower, a passerby, and a space to fill. However, leaders who possess these traits can be successful. A leader who posses these traits can guide others to success. This is because this special person knows the task at hand and will take the initiative to get the job done. This person knows what it must take to motivate others to aid in the accomplishment of these tasks. This person is empathetic and cooperative and understands how to communicate, interact, and work  with different personality styles. This person understands the basis of others actions and feelings. These traits are what make leaders successful.

Warren Bennis once said, “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.” After many learning opportunities, I have personally manifested into a better, more successful”.  I know now what it takes to be a successful leader. I know now, more than I did before, the power of motivation, initiative, confidence, cooperation, and empathy. Now that I know how to awaken these traits within myself, I have grown to be the successful leader that I am today. I am rising to meet my full potential, I am becoming, and growing more into myself than I thought was ever possible.

To become a successful leader, one must be willing to take a step back, watch, and learn from others. There is so much to be said for those who listen before they speak, and think before they act. It’s about knowing your options before making a decision, and realizing your consequences before taking action. Leaders must be confident, but they must also be selfless. Successful leaders are aware that their actions affect others and not simply themselves.

A true, successful leader embodies these traits, and more. They employ these traits on a daily basis. Successful leaders understand that they choose their own destiny, and they choose their own path to success. These individuals are ready, able, and willing to guide others down the same path towards success. It is something they awaken within themselves to reach their full potential and to make it possible for others to reach theirs.

– – Gina Giuliano, Lowell, Michigan

This “I Believe” is Not the End, but Only the Beginning

Leadership cannot be defined as a singular string of words in the dictionary. It is not simply “being in charge.” Personally I like a quote by Mother Theresa, “You can do what I cannot do. I can do what you cannot do. Together we will do great things.” What I like is that it stresses the importance of working together. Alone they could only make up part of the picture, but as a team, their potential is unlimited. Being a leader means you are a part of a team.  It means being patient and supportive, it means inspiring and guiding, being a leader means giving a team the tools to succeed and a goal, then letting them run with it and being their cheerleader. It is about leading by example and holding yourself to an even higher standard than your team.

It takes time to develop these skills. Leaders aren’t born, they’re made.  Regardless of a person’s initial skills, it takes practice and experience to hone them; even failures are opportunities to become a better leader. By looking at past experiences and finding out what went well and what didn’t, can only benefit the future. I analyzed our teamwork a lot after each presentation. I figured out by giving my team goals and guidelines then helping them in what ways I could, we became stronger. It wasn’t necessary to micromanage, it actually hurt our moral, but it was necessary to give guidance and to change the way I had explained my vision. Then, as a team sit down and discuss what we wanted and it became my responsibility to be quiet and listen.

What I learned was that I wasn’t a very good leader and I had to fix it. I had to look at myself and find all of the positive qualities I have as well as all of the negative ones and make it work. Everyone had to pull their weight, including myself. But this is what I believe; I believe that I’m not done with my journey, I believe I have years of growing into myself and who I am meant to be, and I believe that it is going to be an amazing ride, preferably with cotton candy since popcorn gets stuck in my teeth.

 – – Breanna Schmanski, Alpena, Michigan

I Believe Everyone Has a Leader Inside Them

         At the beginning of the semester, I thought I had a good grasp on what it meant to be a leader. To me a leader was all about guiding people to the desired goals of the team. A leader to me meant someone who always focuses on the bottom line and strives for perfection. After spending a semester in Frank Armstrong’s Organizational Development & Team Dynamics class, I have completely changed my view on what leadership means to me.

Being a leader is more than guiding people through a task. A good leader requires many traits. Good listening skills, quick decision-making, critical thinking, and open communication are just a few of the skills people find desirable in a good leader. To me though, a good leader is more than just measurable traits. A good leader to me is someone that can rally people even when the team doesn’t think they can be. They are able to cohesively bring together a group of people for a greater good. It is more than a goal or task for a leader. It is an achievement for a team.

Becoming a leader is like enlightening a human being. It is achieving a higher level of awareness within the group. The ideas I am learning in this class I’m carrying towards my goal to becoming a better leader. One piece of knowledge I use every day is how to handle different personality types. I am able to interact with everyone from drivers to amiables. Knowing how to deal with all walks of life is an invaluable trait to have.  One of the main themes touched upon in Warren Bennis’ quote is becoming yourself. Above all else, this to me is the most important thing one can learn from becoming a better leader. I’ve always lived my life by the motto, “you can’t love someone else if you don’t love yourself.” I feel this translates well to the idea of becoming yourself. Becoming yourself means you are comfortable not only with who you are, but also with your comfortableness in being decisive and being confident in the decisions you make.

Leadership isn’t obtained overnight. Nor is it completely definable. Regardless of where someone is in their journey to becoming a leader, we can always learn more. “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.”

– – David Lebin, Indianapolis, Indiana


I Believe Anything Is Possible

            When you mention the word “leadership” many people have different images or thoughts that come to their mind. Some of these thoughts might be a very knowledgeable, outgoing person, the biggest lion of the den, or anyone that someone looks up to in order to receive directions or orders. In order to be a good leader, I believe that it requires a wide variety of knowledge and skills. Some of the main qualities that many good leaders have are being honest, good communication skills, commitment, having and maintaining a positive attitude, and being able to use creativity also helps lead to success.

A good leader will show his/her leadership skills by being honest which is a major priority. You are inspiring all of your fellow employees when leading them. In a business your employees are a reflection of you, so leading in an honest and ethical way will make your workers follow suit. Leaders have to come up with ideas in order to figure out the most efficient way to complete tasks and duties. In order to do this you have to have a creative way of thinking, while holding a positive attitude even if some outcomes don’t go as planned. When trying to make all operations work smoothly as a good leader, having good communication is a major key to success and shows great leadership. You have to make sure everyone knows what duties they have to perform, or tasks that need to be completed, having good communication as a leader will allow this work out smoothly.

When you start working somewhere, the majority of the time you begin your career at the bottom of the totem pole. Then it is all in your hands from there to show what kind of worker you are, learn some skills and tactics from your leader in order to better your knowledge and make your way up the totem pole. Teaching yourself all these work ethics and learning from others will help you on your personal leadership skills. Being and bettering yourself with knowledge and experience throughout a job will help you to fill the shoes of a leader one day. Then it is your job to teach the employees that are looking up to you your skills and the cycle of being a good leader is completed and repeated.

Every job, company, and business has a leader. There may be multiple, depending on the overall size of the operation. A leader helps to keep the company operating smoothly, communicating all the tasks and objectives that need to be completed, and inspiring their fellow employees in order to become a leader in their future.

 – – Charles LaFontaine, Richmond, Michigan


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