Thoughts and reflections of undergraduate students from MGMT 302 – Ferris State University Big Rapids, Michigan
Posts From Students:
Cody Dingeldey – Katelyn Reed – Hannah Mackey – Daniel Trudgeon – Rebekah Meeker – Jared Zanstra
“I Believe in People”
I believe in people, every person is leader and part of leadership in some way. People are what make leadership possible, without people leadership would not exist. I believe certain people are made out for leadership more than others, but I also think any individual can exert leadership with the right state of mind and support. Some people may be more outgoing and more vocal in leadership roles than others, but that does not mean the quiet ones are not showing leadership. For example, in a group setting each person shows leadership by doing the things they are expected or by helping others in their group. In addition, leadership is shown by the members of a group following the head of the group because it takes leadership to listen and follow another person’s commands. A person who is responsible and willing to help others is a leader. Therefore, everyone shows leadership in their own way, whether it is showing a child how to tie their show or being the CEO of a company.
Leadership is not just being head of a group or running an organization, leadership is helping a person who is struggling or making sure everything falls together when necessary. Leadership can be the littlest gesture; my whole group displays leadership by helping each other when there is a topic or assignment someone does not understand. I believe leadership is shown in every individual at least once a day. Leadership can even be shown without helping someone else. Leadership could be an individual deciding to start eating healthier to better their life. That individual is taking the lead in their life and being in charge of something therefore showing leadership. I believe leadership is not always a something big, leadership can be small too. CEOs of huge companies show small and big ways of leadership. They show it in a small way just by saying “hello” to someone on the way to their office in the morning and in a big way by making a decision on whether the company should go international. Leadership comes in many shapes and size, just like people, that is why I believe that the every single person makes leadership possible.
– – Hannah Mackey, Kaleva, Michigan
What I Believe Leaders Are
I believe that leadership is not just about being a ruler over a group of people to get a job done. Being a leader is much more than that. It’s about making the best possible results happen with the people who are under your leadership. Leadership is dynamic in the sense that not all situations require the same amount of direction from the leader. Leaders should not be rulers over the group. They are simply someone who sets the direction for the group to go in.
Becoming a good leader is not as simple as one might think. Learning that everyone has different personality traits requires some flexibility on the person designated to be the leader. To me, being a good leader requires patience as well as the ability to work with every personality well. Leaders are different than managers. As a leader you don’t want to run the group with an iron fist. Take the opinions of the group members seriously. Their input can create new ideas and bonds between the members of the group, and could ultimately aid in the project being worked on. Leaders need to influence their group to strive for the best instead of manage the work they do.
As a leader you don’t want to be someone you aren’t. Others can tell when you are trying to change your personality or tactics just to try to influence people. I could only run the group the ways I know how. It would be confusing not only to me, but to everyone else in the group if the leader doesn’t seem completely sure on their actions. Stay true to your personality and don’t conform just because the majority isn’t the same as you. Team leaders need to stay true to their beliefs, yet be open to the possibility of change. My mind is very open to change and I listen to everyone’s opinions whether I agree with them or not. I learn about myself through other members in the group when sharing ideas. Learning who you are throughout group work helps you understand what it takes to become a leader.
I’m pretty sure my leadership style hasn’t changed too much. I’ve always known that it a special type of person to be an effective leader. To me, staying open minded toward all ideas, being responsive to all group members, influencing everyone to do their best, and still doing your part of the work makes a great leader.
– – Daniel Trudgeon, Bessemer, Michigan
I Believe Bonding is Key
I think that everyone has the ability to become a great leader if they are just aware of the people around them. For some people it is not as simple to notice how someone is feeling by just taking a glance at them and that is when you need to put in the most effort. This means making sure that as a leader you make sure that everyone on your team has a good healthy, open, and honest relationship with one another. The main thing that I have taken away from Professor Armstrong’s class is that working with a team is only hard if you make it hard and at the beginning of the process, if you take time to create things, like a team charter, and lay down “the law” of that particular team and you have many social gatherings that do not involve work, then your team as a whole will be more stable, reliable, and creative. Tension is what gets in the way of team members reaching their full potential and as a leader I need to encourage group cohesion. I feel like as a leader that is your biggest job.
I learned that being a leader doesn’t mean that you always are the only one that can make a decision. That trusting your team members to do their jobs is important because you cannot do everything yourself, that is why you formed the team to begin with. The main thing that I will take with me to become a good leader in the future is that to have a good team, you need to keep spirits up and everyone happy! I realized that just because you are creative and you have something that you are good at does not mean that your team will be successful. You need to have members that get along and mesh well in order to do a good job and that all starts at the forming stage of a group. You need a solid foundation to grow and build from, kind of like a marriage.
I am being more myself because through this experience I have seen that everyone thinks and works differently and paying attention to the people that might not be the same as you is a good place to “find yourself”. By being a member of a team you learn what kind of person you are and learn how to be honest, trusting, understanding, and patient. All of these things are what shapes you to be a good leader and I believe that it also shapes you into become a well-rounded individual.
In some ways I will change my leadership styles and in other ways no. I’ve always been understanding, honest, and I think a pretty good mixture of controlling yet lenient. But I have picked up good things, like making a team charter, making sure that you meet up and have a relaxed time with one another rather than just always work, work, work. The things that I have gained from this class are tremendous and I feel like my leadership as I get more and more experience will only get better too.
– – Rebecah Meeker, Ludington
I Believe in Leadership
My vision of leadership is someone who is a selfless leader. Someone who is not focused on themselves and does not put their own needs first. A leader makes decisions based on what is best for the whole. Leaders are slow to speak and quick to listen. They must be proactive instead of reactive, and not run away from problems but run to problems. A leader keeps his word and sticks to his guns. They make decisions on what needs to be done and do not base them off of their emotions. Leaders are not focused on themselves; they look to build others up. Leaders are ethical and have solid morals that do not change or bend. A leader makes the right decision, not just the easiest one, and is willing to go the extra mile. A leader must be good at communicating; they must be responsible and have respect for other people so in turn they receive respect. A leader must have integrity in every choice. A leader has to set an example and live up to that example, for they cannot demand things from others that they themselves would not do. A leader has to be reliable and you have to be able to count on them. They must be good listeners. They must be resourceful and consistent.
In order for me to become a leader I need to apply this to my life. It is easy to learn about what it takes to become a leader. It is easy to read about past leaders that were a great influence and learn from their mistakes and wisdom. The hard part is to apply it. Not just talk about it but actually take those principles and apply them to my life. Leaders must be excellent problem solvers.
– – Jared Zandstra Highland, Indiana