Final 425 Leadership Project

 

My Project Proposal

For my final project in this course, I will be writing about theories that are similar, but have noted differences. My research should be helpful to leaders who are interested in effective leadership strategies. I will be comparing Transactional Leadership and Transformational Leadership.  They both have been effective means of moving towards a common goal, but they have many different tactics.  For example, Transactional leadership is common in organizations.  The followers are accomplishing tasks for the leader for positive rewards or to avoid negative punishments. The commandments of this leader are clear and concise. Communication between the leader and followers should make the leader and the followers distant in their power.

In Transformational Leadership, the followers and the leader will be transformed by the journey to the end goal. The leader is lively and persuasive. Unlike other leadership strategies, the transformational leader’s positivity makes the followers want to accomplish the same overarching goal.  The enthusiasm spreads from the leader to the follower and vise versa.

I hope to establish a relationship between this too in a work setting and personal setting. Which of these leadership strategies is most beneficial to the leader, followers and the accomplishment of the goal?  Looking at leaders who have shown these tactics in the past will help me dictate which is most powerful in various settings. One may be more beneficial to getting followers excited about the journey, while another may foster a faster accomplishing of goals.

A successful leader knows how to maintain good relations with his/her followers to accomplish a goal. Many methods can be used to reap success within a group, but I believe these two are more successful.  Though they are drastically different, they are working towards a goal.

Bio, Philosophy & Experience

Bio

My name is Leah. I am a Communications major with a Communication Sciences and Disorders minor. I am currently taking a Leadership class and this portfo13924954_10207351175837869_1851465940393578261_nlio is a composition of my studies for the course.

At the beginning of the semester, I chose a topic to study closely throughout the semester and analyze in a Final Course Project. This, along with several other papers, are a compilation of what I have learned about leadership.

My Leadership Philosophy

Leadership is advocating change. For whatever someone believes in, they have the power to motivate others toward the same goal. Being a leader does not necessarily mean you have a title. Being a leader can solely be the result of others looking up to you. With this being said, if you have something positive to contribute to the world, or even your neighbor who’s having a bad day, why not inspire positive change?

Something as small as making someone smile is a sign that you have the power to be a leader. Secondary, for effective leadership, building coalitions is extremely relevant to its effectiveness. I believe servant leadership and transformational leadership styles are both beneficial to the leader and the followers of an organization. When a leader and his or her employees can communicate effectively and lessen the power distance between each position, they are all able to contribute creativity without feeling inferior or superior.

 

Experience

I have enjoyed having leaderships and I have enjoyed being led by others. What constitutes someone as being a leader? I believe leaders are those who are willing to speak on their beliefs and are willing to make a change. It is likely that other people feel the same way and want to put energy into making that difference as well. This is why forming relationships and advocating something of importance is vital to being a good leader.

I have enjoyed having leadership positions in the past. Mainly because I like when I can contribute something positive or make a difference. Being a middle child, I have always hated fighting and disharmony. Growing up, I disliked leaders being bossy, but also understood leaders needed to gain respect. I think the best way to gain respect is work with others so they will want to do well, not just for the leader, but also for their own satisfaction.

 

Ethical Leadership & CCAR

Ethical Leadership

The simplest way to understand ethical leadership is to simply look at the meaning of ethics. Behaving with ethics is making smart decisions based off what is right. Being an ethical leader is being free of selfishness and looking at the bigger picture. Ethical leadership is the consideration of tough choices leaders must make everyday. From politicians to environmentalists, being ethical is a core concept in being a successful leader.

This is an extremely important skill to have in order to be a successful leader. Although, that does not necessarily mean that all leaders are ethically intelligent. Some of the most famous leaders in history were more persuasive and manipulative than ethical or compassionate. Does this mean that that leaders, free of ethics, are not as effective or just different?

When determining a leadership approach, laying out your ethical values and rules will foster the most success in determining which styles will compliment you.

The Challenge-Context-Action-Result Model

Challenge:

When I worked as a swim instructor at a fitness center, I was faced with weird and unfamiliar situations multiple times. Being a leader meant I had to keep people happy while motivating them to be a better athlete. The problem with teaching children how to swim, is the parents having incredibly high expectations. Working at a pool with parents surrounding me on every corner, it is hard to catch a break. Being a swim instructor to little kids, I am a leader. My students look for me for guidance, information and confidence. Because one student went down the slide too early with no one to retrieve him at the end, his mother responded immediately with terror. After going underwater for the first time, I picked him up immediately and encouraged his courage. His mother came to complain of the situation and convinced her son that he was in danger. Moments later, he started crying and refused to get back in the water.  At that point, he believed my assistant and I did not care about his safety and that swimming was not for him.

Context:

At this specific gym, I directly was responsible for working with the parents and coming up with plans to render their child’s success in the pool. This provides fluid communication and an opportunity to form a relationship, but can sometimes be difficult. With this situation at hand, I had to communicate with my assistant, the lifeguards and with my manager. It was overwhelming at first, but open communication ensured each person that we were on the same page and ready to tackle the same problem.

Action:

Addressing a challenge can be scary. Taking action is giving your thoughts a shot. I was not entirely sure how to deal with this situation. I doubted whether or not I should appeal to the child or the concerned mother. Once I apologized for the inconvenience, it was easier to find a solution with the mother. I advised her to encourage her child that going under water to blow bubbles was a good thing. I knew that the child was having a hard time assimilating with the group because he thought the water was dangerous. His mother’s response confirmed to him that he should not go under water and that the instructors were not looking out for his safety. This was not true, but the child looked for reassurance and was surprised to see people scared for him.

Result

After talking to my assistant and my manager, I came up with a solution to the problem. Since, my assistant was learning, I felt it was my responsibility to speak on her behalf. of course, multiple people were responsible for the incident, so we all worked together to form the solution. My manager crafted smaller classes to ensure the problem would not occur again. My assistant solely focused on the kids I was not directly looking at. The mother positively reinforced being confident at swim class and looking to me for guidance. The lifeguards were urged to pay more attention, especially with large classes. The student promised me that he would try his hardest and trust his teachers in the future. Lastly, I promised to be clear with instructions and seek help when given large classes.

CAVE

Teamwork is vital to making smart decisions in an organizational situation. When only given a small period of time, speaking and allowing others an opportunity to speak is the key to success. In this course, we analyzed the aspects of CAVE. This is a creative method of making smart and beneficial decisions in situations with other individuals. Below is the elaboration of the communication style:

Combine: The “C” stands for cohesive thinking. This portion of SAVE is referring to the understanding that you are working with other teammates. Therefore, it is important to understand that your opinion is one of many.

Analogue: The “A” stands for allowing others to speak and knowing how to listen. Being a good team member is using your intelligence to understand the group members deserve respect and a chance to prove their own points.

Visualize: The “V” stands for being creative and open to ideas. This involves taking every aspect into consideration and visualizing how these would contribute to the final solution.

Elaborate: The “E” stands for building off of others’ ideas to reach a decision. After working and communicating as a team, the entire group should infuse all the best ideas into a final decision.

Competencies

Creativity & Innovation

Creativity is arguably one of the most important factors of being a successful leader. Being creative offers one multiple solutions to an issue and provides new approaches to different situations.

Walt Disney: Creative & Innovative Leadership

From the beginning of Walt Disney’s life, it was apparent he was different than other children his age. Instantly, he possessed a creative quality that persuaded him to constantly expend his energy to new tasks and accomplishments. Early on, he had an immense love for art. He even drew cartoon characters for his school’s newspaper. Disney showed prominent leadership tactics at a young age. This quality helped him become one of the most influential motion picture producers in the world.

Although not all of Walt Disney’s qualities are agreed methods of urging people to follow in one’s path. For instance, Disney’s perfectionism and determination resulted in passive aggression towards his workers. Placing reminders around the Disney World theme park during construction could be viewed as a communication problem. We can assume that because of this behavior, Disney was stubborn and adamant about his wishes and commands.

Walt Disney received little support from his family and friends growing up. He faced multiple bankruptcies, but committed to his dreams regardless the circumstances. While his brother, Roy, received miniscule recognition for maintaining the finances and helping Walt stay mentally sane. Walt Disney was intelligent in the branding of himself. For example, he would not do activities in public that could harm his reputation. He created images based on ideal embodiments of culture.

Understandably, his leadership drastically altered over time. He started his career as a young boy with a vision and did not allow anything hinder his goals. He lived in a fantasy state-of-mind and ignored the negative input that most people would accept. These are some of the characteristics that set Walt Disney apart from the average leader. His tactics during his lifetime suggest he was an autocratic leader. He lacked collaboration skills and based most of his decisions solely on his desires.

I believe Walt Disney’s method of leadership could easily hinder the organizational relationship between the leader and his/her followers. Disney’s personality made up for his lack of convergent thinking, but that is a rarity. Disney was very creative in all aspects of his life. Therefore, I believe creativity and creative problem solving is the main leadership skill that sets Disney apart from other famous leaders. His creative and meticulous nature was the perfect recipe for a leader to overcome the circumstances.

External Awareness 

Being aware is vital to performing as a leader. Knowing who you are speaking to will make all the difference when constructing a method of reaching a group of people. Based on the audience you are communicating with, you can gather the tools to effectively persuade others to work towards the same mission.

Stories can be more useful than you think. They can elicit a personal reaction from the audience, if you know what audience you are speaking to. Recognizing the importance of being aware of external influences will change the way you use your leadership strategies. Stories can sometimes justify the action. Using stories as a leader is the most significant means of acknowledging the external contingencies and allowing them to relate to a personal experience.

Flexibility & Resilience

Leaders are not always subjective to perfect situations. More than not, being flexible and resilient foster more successful leadership.

Comparable to problem-solving strategies, being flexible is an effective mean of getting respect, which is important to have as a leader.

Strategic Thinking

In organizations and marketing situations, being a strategic thinker is a huge benefit. based off past problematic situations or successes, one can effectively use the data to their advantage to foster success. This ensures that a leader can effectively analyze and plan for making the future as promising as possible.

Vision

Having a vision starts with an idea and implementing the idea into a strategic plan. Being a visionary thinker and doer is imperative to maintaining a high level of motivation. Leaders should be consistently motivated. Not only should they be motivated for their own wellbeing, they should also encourage others to stay motivated.

The Milagro Beanfield War

In class we watched the Milagro Beanfield.  This movie is an example of the importance of cultural and servant leadership. Cultural leadership is concerned with family, community and cultural understanding. It is imperative, for the community, that the leader is willing to sacrifice to be an effective leader.

Living in New Mexico, the main characters of this film reach annoyance and discomfort when faced with issues using the water on their landscape. When Joe is lucky and able to access the water, he does so without the discretion of the government.

Emotional Leadership: Stone of Destiny

Emotional leadership is recognized as the ability to connect with followers on an emotional level. This is an effective form of leadership because the more a leader connects with his/her followers, the more he or she can be trusted. Emotionally intelligent leaders have the skills necessary to persuade their followers through compassion and reliability. Leaders should possess this form of leadership to form bonds and establish connections.

The main character in Stone of Destiny, Ian Hamilton, goes through extreme measures to return the stone of destiny. As this proves to be very complicated, Hamilton has to exhibit emotional leadership skills.  At first, he is very assertiveness and his independence. He is overtly confident about stealing the rock. As a member of the Scottish Nationalist organization, he hopes to end the acceptance of being enslaved by England.

It is important that members inside of the group have confidence in themselves and each other. Trusting each member to complete their tasks correctly is coherent with qualities of emotional intelligence.  The interpersonal relationships throughout the film show how reliant they can be. Some characteristics of emotional intelligence are being self aware and determined. One must also have a passion for the work he or she is doing that goes beyond superficial things like the desire for money or power. An emotionally intelligent leader should also be proficient at understanding different cultures and social considerations. Stress is tolerated and controlled in this movie proving to be a component of leadership success. When they get caught in the chapel during the movie, they handle the situation well by not running and handling it head on. Also, the characters exhibit hope and coherence when they follow their goal until it is obtained.  The group is optimistic in its journey and has a strong foundation based on emotional connections.