All posts by Rhonna

This is the End

On a scale of 1-5 (5 being consistently), how consistent and timely were you with submitting your blog posts and learning activities in a timely manner?

3

On a scale of 1-5 (5 being consistently), how consistent and timely were you with participation posts on your peer’s blogs, GooglePresentation Discussions and VoiceThread comments?

3

Please describe what you think your strengths were with regard to blogging and participation.

I think that my strengths were that I took time when trying to evaluate each chapter and answer the questions as thoroughly as possible. I also believe that when I would read my classmates work, I would really try to give them feedback from a completely different perspective, mainly to have discussion use more critical thinking than anything else.

Please describe how you think you could improve on your blogging and participation.

I believe I could have been a bit more timely with my responses.

What were strengths of the course (optional)?

I believe that the strengths of the course consisted of great material (I really enjoyed the textbook as a whole) and great learning experiences. Learning how to use a plethora of different technological advances was really amazing and I know they will definitely come in helpful in the future.

What suggestions do you have for this class in the future (optional)?

I think that the layout of the website could be constructed a little differently. In my opinion the weekly assignment tabs got a little clustered with breaking it up into blog post, participation and assignments rather than just what is due on Tuesday and what is due on Friday.

At least one more face to face meet up would have been beneficial.

What advice do you have for individuals who take this class in the future (optional)?

I would advise others who take this course to make a timeline to work on assignments according to what best works with their schedule and to stick to it. Also, I would advise others to check the website as frequently as possible as you do not receive notifications when something is posted.

 

 

 

The Complexity of Ethics

Post a link to a current event involving unethical or ethical leadership.

http://www.latimes.com/sports/usc/la-sp-josh-shaw-plaschke-20141113-column.html#page=1

What would take for more people to engage in the ethical actions presented?

I think that it is just people’s conscious and integrity that it takes for people to engage in the ethical actions presented. Although not everyone can see the ethical side of this story (and I can admit that it took me a couple reads through the article to see it myself), when looking at the larger picture, Shaw eventually decided to come clean about his acts, and not everyone would be able to do that.

What actions are needed to change the unethical behavior into ethical behavior?

I think that I use the term integrity loosely in the prior question, as to me integrity means do the right thing at all times, and clearly that is not the first decision Shaw chose when the incident first happened. However, he eventually came around, whether that be because of his integrity or other reasons.

 

Based on your responses to the Core Values Questionnaire, what are your core values?

My core values, according to the questionnaire, are justice and integrity.

To what degree would you say that your actions align with your values?  How would you want to improve in this area?

I think that my actions align with my values often, but definitely have space to be improved. I think that justice is an important value to me, but also covers a lot of areas that can sometimes be overlooked. A way of improvement would be to review all areas/perspectives to keep them all on the “front burner” as often as possible.

Do you think other people know your core values?

I think that people who have worked with me would be able to identify my core values. However, friends that have not worked with me in a professional or even somewhat professional setting would probably not be able to name my core values.

Are you comfortable talking about your core values with others?

Because integrity became a new value that I hold near and dear to my heart within the last 5 years, I try to talk about it as often as possibly and share my personal belief on integrity. I even try to subliminally teach my students (grades 1-5) integrity whenever I get the chance. I have no problem talking about my core values with others.

In your planning for the future (e.g. next five years), how will your values influence what you do?

I think that my values are going to influence what I do daily and positively. I am constantly trying to gain people’s opinions on matters and/or self written definitions to gain perspectives on the values I know I hold for myself to see how I am able to constantly enhance those. With being able to enhance them I have to potential of influencing a child’s life when I work with them.

 

The Odd Ones Out

Here you can see that Regina George would be considered a part of the out-group, along with anyone else who doesn’t follow the “plastic” rules. Gretchen and Karen share their opinion that Regina cannot sit with them, and Regina tries to contradiction that. With Regina being a part of the out-group, she is not agreeing with the majority. By tone and body language you can see that Karen tries to step in to be the leader, saying that everything should be fair amongst the group. I think that Regina does not identify with the larger group because she sees herself as “queen bee” and more privileged than the others. If the scene was continued, you would eventually see that the group decided that listening to one another they realize that their group dynamic was not ideal and could have been more inclusive.

Include the Unincluded

Based on the scores you received on the Organizational Climate Questionnaire on page 190 of the text, what are your strengths and weaknesses regarding establishing a constructive climate for a group or organization?

 

What strategies for establishing a constructive climate for a group or organization discussed in the text could you employ to improve your skills?

An important aspect of establishing a constructive climate is giving recognition to others. Is rewarding or praising others something that comes easily for you as a leader? Discuss.

Preparing the Young for the Future

I decided to take a look at the vision statement for the Boys and Girls Club as I worked with this organization a few years ago.

Provide a world-class Club Experience that assures success is within reach of every young person who walks through our doors, with all members on track to graduate from high school with a plan for the future, demonstrating good character and citizenship, and living a healthy lifestyle. 

I think that their vision statement is sweet, short and to the point. After working for this organization for about a year, I can see how this fits into the environment to which I worked. I can see structure within this statement because it discusses multiple areas of the children’s lives that we work with. There is a focus within academics, fitness and individualism. When it comes to synergy, although there is not a direct mention of it within the statement I know from experience that the outcome of the club is larger than the individual contributions. The point of this organization is to set youth up for success by providing resources and positive environments for them. By having a statement such as this and by enforcing it I feel as though there is able to be a constant sense of cohesiveness within the group members. Although the children may be “blind” to it because of their ability to understand, their parents are often able to understand the goal of the organization. Lastly, standards of excellence. Again, these are not bluntly listed in the vision, however I do not find that a negative thing. I think that if they were to touch on all areas of standards of excellence the vision statement would be too long and lose its “umph” if you will.

Seeker

I am a seeker. I seek to help others in need. I seek to educate and be educated. I seek to make a difference in children’s lives. I seek to stay within my local community to make change where I have grown up to see change needed. I seek to continue growing as a leader. I seek to stay open minded and help others have that perspective as well. I seek to instill not only academic knowledge but life knowledge to the children that enter my life. I seek to maintain my integrity through the good times and the bad. I seek for the future, both yours and mine.

9699625magnifyingforweb

Skittles

What skill area and specific skills (discussed throughout chapter) are your strongest?

I believe that a specific skill discussed in this chapter that I would consider to be strong is implementing a vision. In my opinion, the person articulating  the vision  does not have to be the person implementing the vision. In the leadership positions that I have had, I can think of several instances in when a vision was articulated by one person and implemented by another. I truly believe in the idea that you shouldn’t ask someone to do something that you wouldn’t do. I think that because of that, I often model and exert the vision at hand for those I am working with. Also, after recently reflecting on my relationships with others, I find myself able to set expectations high for others in the way that I build a relationship with them. Because I have a strong focus for my relationships, I am able to have a good relationship with others, yet still gain the respect when needed to be an authoritative figure.

What skill area and specific skills (discussed throughout chapter) are your weakest and how can you build upon them?

Often times I find myself having trouble articulating a vision. I think that this is because articulation takes a lot of time a consideration. I do see myself as a detailed oriented person, however, to be completely honest, I can be a big procrastinator. I feel that articulating takes a good portion of time that I often do not give myself in these situations. I think that being more aware of my time would help me in multiple aspects of my life, including articulating visions.

What impact do you think your leadership skills could have on your role as a leader?

I think that my leadership skills could have both a negative and positive impact on my role as a leader. There are many instances were certain skills would not be applicable and could have a negative impact on you role. However, on a more positive note, leaders are made to adapt and work well in many environments, therefore I think that leaders, myself included, may have specific leadership skills and styles that we have and believe in, but we also know how to adapt to what is necessary. That alone is a skill within leaders.

Do you think some of the skills discussed in the chapter are more important in some situations compared to others? If so, explain.

I think that if you have a position in a more passive environment there are still opportunities to be in a leadership position but there may not be as many opportunities to create visions. I think that when an event planner would be a prime position that creating, articulating and implementing visions would be very important. Also, teachers would be another position in which they would be able to often and effectively use these ideas.

Do you think individuals in “lower” levels of leadership require the same skills as those in “upper” levels? Discuss

I think that positions differentiate between “upper” and “lower” because of the skill requirement or necessity that is need to complete their tasks. If both “upper” and “lower” positioned people all had the same skills there would be no differentiation. I believe that there are certain skills that should overlap between “upper” and “lower” positions, but not their entire skill sets.

Style, Not in Fashion, but in Leadership

As you reflect on what has been discussed in this chapter and your own leadership style, how would you describe your own style in relation to task and relationship orientations? What are your strengths and areas you can improve?

I feel as though both task and relationship orientations are relatively important. However, with that being said, I do see myself to be more relationship orientated over task oriented. I love interacting with people, so it is no wonder that I constantly find myself focusing on relationships. I think that one of my strengths is being able to relate to others often and if I have not found myself in a similar situation, I find myself showing support as much as I can and sympathizing with them in their situation. Confrontation was touched on briefly and that made me come to the conclusion that I believe that having strongly founded relationships causes for less confrontation and more “civil”, if you will, conversations and communication tactics with those you are working with. I think that when it comes to being task oriented the descriptors, in my opinion, often describe tasks that call for a more authoritarian leadership style. Now, this could just be my mindset on how I perceive authoritarian style and being task oriented. I think that an area I can improve on is being more clear from the beginning of what our end goal is, as that will helpfully explain why we are doing a task or assignment.

Reflect on the article. What were the most interesting elements? Which did you did you agree with? Hope to learn more about?

I feel as though more and more jobs are allowing people to work from home, especially with the advances in technology. I found it really intriguing that the people found the 30 listed behaviors as more important in virtual settings than face-to-face settings. As an individual who personally prefers face-to-face interactions over virtual interactions, I can see how this idea of virtual communication, behavior and leadership is prominent in today’s day. I hope to eventually become more comfortable with technology and learn how to make myself comfortable with working virtually as it may well indeed come in helpful with future careers.

X or Y? … Or Z?

As you reflect on the assumptions of Theory X and Y, how would you describe your own philosophy of leadership?

Both theory X and theory Y are very precise with their attributes and ideas, if you will. Although the text presents the theories in a way that seems as though you can only be one, I believe that I have attributes and ideals of both. However, with that being said, if I had to make a decision I would say that I fall in line with theory Y. I do believe that people really don’t mind work and that it becomes natural because of the emphasis that has been placed on work by our society. When discussing this, we can also take motivation into play. I believe that everyone can be self motivated, it just takes time and situations for some to realize what their motivation is. From situations I have seen, it often seems like those who are “unmotivated” just need forms or encouragement and support to find their motivation.

Of the three styles of leadership, what style comes easiest for you?  Describe how people respond to you when you use the style.

For me, the style of leadership that comes easiest to me is democratic leadership. I think that because this leadership style is the one that I use most often, people respond to me well. I love working with people and truly getting to know and understand them, not as above them, but as working side by side with them. Looking back a different leadership moments in my life, I would say that because I use the democratic leadership approach, I am constantly gaining new relationships with people and that is one of my favorite parts of life, meeting new people and maintaining a relationship with them. People that I have worked with when using the democratic leadership style seem to be more trusting and willing to build that relationship as well.

One of the aspects of democratic leadership is to help subordinates take responsibility for themselves.  How do you assess your own ability to help others help themselves?

I think that it is important for people to be observant and take responsibility for themselves. I think that I can best explain how I go about approaching this by an example. This past summer I was an Orientation Leader for all incoming freshmen. Throughout their two day orientation, I had a group of about 14 students who I was constantly working with and getting to know. In this role I found it particularly important to maintain my typical democratic leadership approach because I wanted them to see me as “just another student” because in all reality, I am. I have been through what they are about to experience (i.e. college, moving, roommates, classes, and change) and want to be an approachable resource for them. Although I never really lectured them or spoke to them in a way that made me seem superior, there were certain topics that I wanted to stress to them, and this is where subordinates taking responsibility comes into play. One approach I had was to present them with confrontational situations they may find themselves in while at college, whether it be roommate issues or disagreeing with a classmate on a heated topic in class. I think by forewarning them of these situations that may happen to them and to encourage confrontation is a specific way that I allow them to take responsibility. By guiding them and sharing real situations that I have been in personally allowed me to encourage responsibility within themselves.

List three specific activities you could use to improve your leadership style.

1) Being able to recognize when my leadership style needs to change from democratic to authoritarian.

2) Learn how to effectively guide conversations when they are proving to be dragging on, going off topic or time is limited.

3) Always continuing to expand my knowledge on leadership so I can constantly adjust accordingly depending on the leadership opportunities I am presented.