Posted here are the thoughts and reflections of undergraduate students from MGMT 370 Class – Ferris State University
POSTS FROM STUDENTS :
Brett Graham – Dominique Redmond – Barton Stafford – Muhannad Alofi – Lyndsey Lampe – Cody Ferrell
I BELIEVE that people should look up to leaders
To start off a semester being an Operations Manager of my group I will not lie I was stressed. And the stress really never left. It is my job to keep people on track and to complete all work by scheduled times. Well to be honest that was a little more difficult than I ever imagined. I had some good workers underneath me that wanted to learn and get good grades and then I had a couple employees that did not seem to get work done in a timely fashion and also a low quality of work. With that being said I put that blame on myself for not being hard enough, but in this certain circumstance that is great and was an awesome experience for the real world. If this were the real world a couple employees would have been disciplined and maybe even let go.
Leaders are born with experience from what I have learned. You must earn trust and respect from others underneath you. If you do not get that from your employees then it will be a tough road to go down. With good trust and respect your company is already starting out on a very positive note! Leading this Chinese Component Company really taught me that trust is the number one thing. With that it leads to work ethic and if that’s poor then you need to evaluate your work staff.
After this whole learning process it’s tough to imagine not knowing what I learned in this class when I get out in the real world with a real business like job. I am a man who likes to learn and lead and this class is a must take to learn the proper ways of all of that stuff combining.
– – Brett Graham, Muskegon, Michigan
I Believe A Leader Is…
Leadership is a trait that not everyone is born with, but is indeed something everyone can learn. Leadership to me is an amalgam of a bunch of different characteristics all rolled together. A person that shows the leadership trait to me demonstrates diligence, integrity, trustworthiness, intelligence, is not bias and has above average communication skills. A leader shows diligence by putting in the work to be the best at whatever it is they are doing. A leader doesn’t count the hours left before something is over. They count how many hours they have left to get done as much as they can. A leader shows integrity by doing what is right in the situation. A leader has to be able to communicate what they are trying to teach. If a leader can’t get his point across in a way that is understandable by everyone, they can put the group in bad positions.
However, a leader doesn’t always have to be vocal to lead. A leader not only can tell and help others to understand the difference between right and wrong in a certain situation using words but by their actions. A leader should be able to practice what they preach and be able to teach those that need it. A leader doesn’t need to be in the spotlight; nor need acknowledgement when things go right. A leader is content with sharing the credit with those that helped and is more focused on the common and greater good than his/her agenda. A leader uses “we” in good times and “me” when things go array. These characteristics make-up how I define leadership.
With all that being said, a leader to me can be anyone; man or woman, black or white, young or old. If a person is willing to give their all, 100% of the time and not expect anything in return. Or has the initiative and drive to lead a group of people and willing to take a bullet in failures and passes the praise in success. Then they showcase the rare leadership trait to me.
– – Dominique Redmond, Big Rapids, Michigan
Lead or be led: What does it take to be a leader?
I BELIEVE that in order to become a leader you must embody that of what you see a leader as. Most people see leaders as people who are big in stature, strong, and intelligent. For someone who is aspiring to be a leader, you must have more than that. A leader must also have an exceptional character. Honesty, integrity, and respect are at the top of the list of requirements I have for a leader.
Anyone can be a leader; all it takes is enough confidence in yourself and your abilities. That is what I discerned from Warren Bennis’ quote, “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.” In most cases, when groups are created not everyone gets excited about being the leader but there is something inside all of us that wants to be the leader. The reason why we do not get excited about being the leader is because of lack of confidence and fear of failure.
Henry Ford once said, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.” Once you start doubting your ability to lead, you sew it, and what you reap is failure. A leader is confident in their ability to lead. This is how I am becoming myself in the process of becoming a leader. I have skills and talents that I never share because I am afraid of being wrong. I am starting to not let my fear of failure dictate what type of leader I am. There is no clear road to success. You will fail a few times before you succeed. I had to realize this the hard way. There were a few times within my MGMT 370 group where I did not speak up on certain topics and it cost the group points. In my head I rationalized my decision by saying to myself, “The operation manager is the leader and if something is wrong he will catch it. From that point on, I gave my input. A title does not make you a leader, it’s who you are, what you know, and believe that makes you a leader.
– – Barton Stafford, Ecorse, Michigan
I believe in leading, not bossing!
People often confuse leadership and management, even though there is a difference between them. You can be a manager without being a leader, the difference is in which way a manager is taking when dealing with any situation. I believe that leaders leads by example not by giving orders, they lead by motivating not by controlling.
Upon studying this course, I came across many great debates or dilemmas. Those dilemmas made me think about it in a critical way, it was never an (either, or) dilemmas, I had to put myself in their shoes to understand the situation. I never knew the right answer, because there isn’t any wrong answer, and I think the scenarios that was given to us each weak made us understand how to think in an ethical way, and how to be a Leader!
Another great experience in this course was the team work, we started a team in the first week, and we’ve been working together all semester long. We had our ups and downs, we disagrees with each other but we always respected all opinions, it was like a sneak peek of the true work environment. We focused on being the top team in our class, and we did that in the most challenging way imaginable. I remember that we didn’t make any profit in the fourth round, we actually lost over $13,000,000, but we didn’t give up, we all decided to turn this into a successful business, and by the end of the last round we were top in both sales and profit. We were all leaders, we led each other into giving it all that we got to win this game. It was only a game but it was an important one, because our team work made all the difference between us and any other team in class, we had weekly meetings, we made contracts with other companies, and we analyzed all of our competitors, and that’s how we won it!
The dilemmas and the game made me understand the importance of leadership, if you asked about leadership before this class, I would’ve answered that it’s how to manage your employees. Just notice that it’s the same as management definition, but after the class I understood the difference between them, I now know that I can be a great leader, because I like to inspire creativity in any situation, I will always try to make the work environment interesting, and I will always try to motivate team members.
– – Muhannad Alofi, Saudi Arabia
I Believe in Change
I believe that each person possesses leadership qualities, but it takes a certain drive and willingness to put those skills to use for the good of the surrounding people. I believe in order to be a leader, a person must be aware of their strengths, weaknesses and limitations. To me, leadership is a process of discovery and uncovering what works best for every individual, including one’s self, and knowing how to handle any situation that is thrown at him or her.
Over the course of the year, I have been put in leadership roles that I didn’t expect. With the unexpected came many mistakes. I believe mistakes are okay, and the most important thing to do after realizing a mistake was made is to take responsibility for them, and then reflect back on the situation and learn what can be improved on for the future. Any good leader knows they have improvements to make and is constantly aware of who is around, watching their actions. To me, a good leader is a role model and leads by example and suggestion. A leader doesn’t dictate people’s actions.
Becoming a leader takes time and a decent amount of effort. One cannot become a leader overnight. There are many different ways to lead and it stems from a preferred style and one’s personality. Using the knowledge and experience one has gained combined with their personality and style, creates the kind of leader one is and the kind of leader people see. Leadership cannot be copied, but different aspects from different leaders can be modified to fit into a leadership style one has already built for himself or herself. A huge lesson I have learned recently is a leader should follow others just as much as others follow them. Following can produce many new insights into one’s own style. Skills can be learned and experience can be gained. There is only so much one can learn by himself or herself. I believe I’m at the point in my life where my natural leading ability is no longer enough. I believe that because I’m aware of this I can gain more knowledge since I am open to more experiences and knowledge. I think this is helping me become myself and defining my own leadership style because I am learning what I like and don’t like and also what works best for me by following others before I lead.
Every day and every interaction with someone brings new experience and insight into how I like to lead people. With the new learned skills, abilities and knowledge, I have modified what I thought to be my leadership style. My leadership style however covers a large spectrum, and I don’t strictly use just one style. Every situation requires different actions from a leader, so a leader is constantly changing, in my opinion. I think change is an essential part of being a leader because the same style doesn’t work for every group or every project. Leading is a process that never ends, and new traits can always be learned.
– – Lyndsey Lampe, Stockbridge, Michigan
I Believe Leadership Can Be Different
My vision of leadership consists of a person that people gravitate to, has a strong voice, a person that can make tough decisions; these are just a few but will be the main things I concentrate on. What I mean by a person that people gravitate to, references a person that does not need to be some higher up in an organization. But, instead their impact is very valuable and noticeable to those around them. Having a strong voice compliments just that. With a strong voice, it is more likely that people will listen when you have something to say.
Through being my group’s Operations Manager, it has taught me a thing or two about leadership, and how the cohesiveness of a team can affect the kind of leadership necessary. At the beginning of the semester we were paired with one other person, the rest having to be drafted. I didn’t know any of my teammates all that well at first, so I had no idea how I was to lead this group. As the semester went on I learned everyone’s tendencies and tailored my methods around them. We work so well together as a group that I didn’t need to tell anyone what to do or how to do it. Instead, we relied on each other and a “leader” stepped up when needed.
I am becoming myself in this process, by applying the things I’ve taken away from my group experience to other things I’m involved in. In my fraternity I realized I didn’t have to be on executive board to have a valued voice. I then became a part of our executive board because of my peers’ confidence in me.
I view my leadership style as adaptable. So I can’t say that it has changed overall. I adapt my leadership style to the team. If I feel I need to be a more assertive leader, I will take that route. I have learned that not every leader is appointed. Some leaders are without an official title, in my opinion you can be a leader without being told you are the leader. So, no I cannot say that I have changed my mind about my leadership style.
– – Cody Ferrell, West Bloomfield, Michigan