Chapter Reflections

Lauren Hashem – U30342188                                  Chapter 11 Reflection 

“Change means movement, movement means friction, friction means heat, and heat means controversy”. Dealing with change is not easy. There are many factors when dealing with change. What change are you willing to make? How far are you willing to go? How do you plan on getting there? With whose help? Are you ready to encounter struggles and accomplishments? That quote may be a little scary for people who are not ready for change. I believe that to want and strive for change you have to be ready for the hardships it may bring upon you. One of the hardships that many people will enounter during change is conflict. Conflict within yourself and with others. Conflict is inevitable when people want to create similar changes. I think this happens because they want a similar change but have different way of approaching it. One person wants to take one route and the other wants to takea different route to get to the same ending change.

I have categorized myself as a person who influences personal change. I like to create a positive change in my family and for my friends who are in need. I have become a person that my family and friends go to when they need new ideas, or help in certain aspects of their lives. After being an influencer for personal change I would say I am then a person who likes to influence organizational change. I like to create change in my organization at church and, when I was in high school, student government. I would like to be a person who creates, on a large scale, social change. If I could create large social change I would like to do it through documentaries like “Room 335” or “It’s Not Over” by Andrew Jenks.

If there is no sense of community it makes it harder to create change. Wouldn’t it be easier to create change with the help of others than by just yourself? With others helping you there are more options in research, references, ideas, organization and help. It can sometimes be hard to work with others but I think once you find people who have the same value, mission and goals as you for this change, then your change will become a reality and will benefit many.

“Service as Change Making” was the section of Chapter 11 that I connect with the most. I am a huge advocate for service work and I believe it is one of the biggest causes of positive change in the world. I wish more people would do it, but many don’t know the benefits of creating this type of change. Service helps bring change to the community and around the world. To complete service work one must have the ability to work well with others, have a sense of social responsibility, and a commitment to the service. One of the best benefits of service is that you are not making a change for your community or to the larger world, the community/larger world is making a change in you simultaneously. It’s such a beautiful and hard feeling to describe, you just have to experience it firsthand.

Lauren Hashem – U30342188                                    Chapter 10 Reflection

Chapter Ten goes over the major component of leadership – change. I agree with the author when it is addressed that we simply no longer manage change when it come our way; we strive for change. That is all people are saying they want to do in the business, organization, and around the world: “Let’s make a change, a difference!”. I think Schlossberg’s four resources that can be used to manage change are really important. One of the most important out of the four, is your support system. People (friends, family, and professionals) can be a huge assistance when a person is faced with change; they can help you accomplish your goals, take courage, assess the situation from a different view point, and support you in your decisions.

I can relate to one of the hypotheses as to why people are resistant to change. Fear. Fear for me is my biggest factor to why I may not take certain opportunities to create change. I fear the unknown of the future and of failure. I think the cause of fear can also relate to the other hypotheses: lack of self confidence. I believe that if someone had a strong amount of self confidence they would fear less, take more courage in their decisions and be more adamant to create a change.

If a person wants to create change, “The Eight-Stage Process of Creating Major Change” is crucial. I think these eight steps are laid out easily to understand and act upon. A person cannot even begin to make a change happen without a sense of urgency. If the change does not come with a feel of urgency is it even important to create it? I like the idea of bringing the outside in when trying to create urgency. when you bring other organizations, people and groups from the outside you are showing how important this truly is,  and showing the emotional ties it has to you. I think that’s what people mainly look for; how much this change deeply means to a person, organization or business and that they have the persistence to keep going for it no matter what.

I can relate to the section “Service as Change-Making”. I am a huge advocate for community service and missions. I believe that this kind of service can make a change in the world, big or small. I want to spend the rest of my life completing service for people in my community, country and around the world. I have already been on five mission trips and the high I get from this type of work is unreal. I have noticed though that the best part about this type of change is that you’re not only making a change in someone else’s life but these people are making a huge change in yours. I don’t think a person can aim for change without receiving some back.

Lauren Hashem – U30342188                               Chapter 9 Reflection 

Chapter 9 goes into depth about organizations. Organizations are large groups of people that interact continuously with a complex structure to achieve a specific purpose. I always used to get groups and organizations confused with each other. What made a group different than an organization? This chapter made it clear to me that groups are not as complex as organizations. Groups are comprised of a small amount of people, tightly knit, and have simple structures while organizations are made up of a mass amount of people, there is no close proximity, and have complex structures. Organizations can be made of one of the four structures: traditional pyramid,  the inverted pyramid, the web, and then no hierarchical structure

In my opinion the best type of organizational structure is the web. Instead of either focusing on the president or focusing on the members, the focus is on the common purpose of the organization. Everyone is working around that common purpose. The people are in this type of organization because of its purpose and its goals. I think this type of structure is more beneficial because it is focusing more on what needs to be done for the organization and does not let the members lose focus on why they are particpants in reaching this goal.

The most important part of a organization is its mission statement. Why does the organization exist? The mission statement is the icing on the cake, it is why everyone decides to become a part of the organization. People don’t become an active member in a organization if its mission (core values, goals, over all purpose) does not coincide with their beliefs and values.

I completely agree with  Gardner in the idea that organizations that are just newly born they are more flexible, motivated, willing to try new things and have respond faster to challenges than those who have matured. Whenever I see a new organization emerge it’s like I can’t stop seeing all of its signs everywhere, getting its name out, stating their mission, what they have or are going to accomplish, and more spreading the word. Once that organization isn’t the “new kid on the block” they become less apparent, flexible, less focused on the new challenges and more organized. Yet I think, every organization needs the “young” stage when just starting out as it gives the organization a spark to get motivated with their mission and gives them opportunities to learn the tricks of the trade.

I am a strong believer that people mainly learn from mistakes and finding new ways to improve. When an organization can look at its mistakes and grow it has reached a remarkable point in its time. I think this shows that the organization is well aware of the environment around them and how members and outsiders are reacting.

Lauren Hashem-U30342188                                     Chapter 8 Reflection  

Group development include forming, storming, norming, performing and adjourning. The book states that if the group can handle important issues at all of these stages then they will stay healthy and vibrant. I find it hard to believe that a group could handle a important situation through all of these stages without a glitch in their system because every group runs into problems, I think it is a matter of how they fix the problem they run into that will determine if they are vibrant and healthy.

Some of the most common roles in groups are: information seeker, opinion seeker, opinion giver, summarizer, clarifier, gatekeeper, encourager, mediator, and follower. When I am in a group setting I would classify myself as a mediator. I am always the person that looks to solve any conflict in a situation and provide a clear alternative. I’m not good with confrontation but I am better at helping other people solve their disputes than getting into a dispute with people.

Before reading this chapter I did not realize that were many differences between working groups an teams. Some of the major differences that stuck out to me were the forms of leadership. A working group has a appointed leader and a team has shared leadership. I find myself to be in teams more often than a working group. I like being able to share leadership with other people because it allows for people to give equal amounts opinion and teamwork ideas.  In working groups individual work provides the only product while in teams, team and individual work develop the product.  I can see benefits to both sides of producing a product. In working groups, having an individual create the product can result in more products (if each individual is looking to create a product). In teams, when the team and individual work create products it gives room for more opinions and open ideas.

The SMART rubric helps provide teams with the basics to have clear goals and achieve success. Specific – the goal must be clear to everyone (I think is the most important), Measurable – it is quantifiable, Attainable – the goal must be in reach and realistic (I’ve known many people who have unrealistic goals and the outcome is always depressing), relevant – the goal is alignment with the goal of the organization, time- bound – a time frame for the goal to be achieved. I think SMART is a good, realistic, and helpful way to make sure a team stays on track with keeping clear, attainable goals.

Groups are building blocks to communities but being able to understand and applying the diverse ways of leadership from team members to groups makes a more well-rounded community. This will increase production, diversity, and create better engagement.

Lauren Hashem – U30342188                                     Chapter 7 Reflection

There is no such thing as a Utopian community. They just do not exist in reality. Just like every human being, every community had its faults. But there are such thing as successful and effective communities. Gardner’s elements of an effective community are right on point. There are eight elements that create an effective community: diversity, shared culture, good internal communication, trust and teamwork, group government, shared leadership, developing young people, and links to the outside world. Out of those eight elements I believe trust and teamwork, shared leadership, and communication are the most important. I don’t think there can be an effective community without good communication. Without the aspect of communicating on all levels, things become misinterpreted, ideas and thoughts get scrambled and organization is lost. Trust and Teamwork is so important to keeping a community strong because being able to confide and work alongside multiple people coincides with communicating and it creates a stronger foundation.

A community is a group of people who have made a choice around a common center. This definition sounds just like the leadership definition: working alongside people to create a positive change with common values, beliefs, and a goal. The inclusion of values, beliefs, others, and teamwork is a main priority to creating a community and that is why relational leadership is what a community must depend on.

I’d like to think I am a member of multiple communities (churches, school, clubs, friends, and events) but this chapter made me realize that being a part of a community is more than being a name on a roster or just showing up to one meeting. There are certain communities I wish I could devote more time and energy into, such as Religious Studies club and my ministry, but I have to understand that some communities need more of my attention before those. I am an active member in my school community and my work community. A person cannot be forced to join a community, it is a choice and it is the community’s job to involve and welcome individuals.

Lauren Hashem – U30342188                                      Chapter 6 Reflection

I think one of the hardest things for people to accept is the fact that people, EVERYBODY, makes mistakes, so when people think a group or organization needs to be perfect, and not make mistakes it is just unfathomable. Group and organizations need to make mistakes, there is no way we can’t; then we have the opportunity to learn from those mistakes.

Leading with moral purpose is probably the most important thing a leader can do. Not only does it lead to better outcomes but it creates better relationships and makes it easier for people to connect with the group or organization. It’s a wonderful thing that our society is looking for leaders who are committed to doing the right thing, but I think one of the biggest problems in this society is peoples different thoughts of what is the right and wrong thing. What classifies something as leading with integrity? What defines what is morally right? Everybody’s views are different.

Kidder’s Nine Checkpoints for dealing with Ethical Issues seem as they would be very helpful. They are helpful because when people are put in the situation where something happens that is an issue, not many people know how to stand up or even deal with the issue. Most importantly, identifying the issue is the first step. I have been apart of a group where I saw major issues that everybody else in the group was blind to and trying to mention this issue when they thought everything was perfect was a hard situation. Making the decision on what to do with the issue, once presented, can be very hard because there could be multiple view points to which route to take. On the other hand it takes people of courage and openness to finally make the decision for the better of the group even if it was not their original opinion. The main goal is to find a solution that will benefit the group and not just one individual.

I love the relationship provided in the textbook of good and bad leadership to light and dark. Those who cast light are the leaders who facilitate ethical processes and keep their principles in mind an in their actions with how they lead and treat others. Those who cast a darkness create a shadow and this shows that they abuse power, manipulate, and do not act properly. At some point in life, everyone is going to encounter a toxic leader: someone who does not encourage and make better their followers, mislead, have large egos, don’t take responsibility for their false actions, and are cowardice. Whenever in these situations it’s hard to find fixes, stand up for yourself and find a way to make it better. In my opinion, the best thing to do is leave. Leave the group if it is not fitting with our ethics and morals. Leave if you are not being encouraged, appreciated, and being a partner in the organization. If leaving is not  possibility, there is always the chance of talking to the leader, but if they are toxic there is a rare chance that they will listen.

One of my favorite bullet points about ethical leaderships is that “everything we do teaches”. Role modeling is the most influential way to teach. Even though you may not think you are a leader, at least one person looks up to you and the things you do portray your views and influence your admirer. Being a role model does not only mean that person has positive views and makes the right decisions. Some people look up to people who do wrongly things and this encourage them to follow in their footsteps. For example, my best friend has a little sister who looks up to her with the greatest respect (why wouldn’t she, it’s her older sister) and even though she says bad things and does bad things, her little sister follows in her footsteps because she is her role model. Role Modeling is a tough situation and must be done wisely.

Lauren Hashem – U30342188                                       Chapter 5 Reflection

I am a person who believes that something, big or small, bind one person to another, not matter how different they may think they are because of personality or cultural differences. I enjoy the “I> You> We” concept and think it’s a smart way to always be consistently thinking of others to create a whole. “I truly need to be deemphasized to truly understand and engage with another (you) as equals, so that all can move to become a community (we).

Gender role perceptions are still alive today. I basically see or hear them daily. “Women are terrible drivers, better in the kitchen” and “men are just more athletic”. I even find them apparent in LGBT enviroments. “Look at what they are wearing, they must be gay” or “gays are just more fun to go shopping with” etc. These are shaped by the messages we receive from the environment. I think they used to be worst in the past, but I don’t believe they will ever fully diminish. There will always be people who don’t accept gender diversity.

In the Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity, I have defined myself at the stage 4, “Acceptance of Difference”. I enjoy experiencing  cultural differences in context; I see cultures as having something to offer and am able to accept their worldview. I catch myself saying a lot “Their culture is not as different as I thought it was” and being intrigued to emerge myself in cultures. I can recall on times of being in stages 1 through 3. I used to not be open to other culture views, see my culture as being better than others, and that I have nothing to learn from others. Once I started doing missions, traveling over the U.S and out of the country I began to understand that I have the opportunity to learn more about others and their world views and possibly incorporate them into my life. To further my development into intercultural sensitivity, the steps I need to take are fully emerging myself int a culture for a longer period of time. By doing this I can see how I maintain my values and behavior in a different environment. My main goal is to travel to a vast amount of countries, journal the experiences I encounter, and to not be defined in terms of any specific culture.

Lauren Hashem – U30342188                                        Chapter 4 Reflection

“No one can teach you about yourself except you. You are your own best teacher.” There is no better quote than this one to explain that you have to stop looking to other people to tell you what you are good at, what you need work on, your qualities, and how you learn. Each person is their own best teacher. Wouldn’t you get annoyed if someone was telling you that you’re teaching yourself the wrong way? I know I would.

Self esteem is a huge part to being a leader. How you think and feel about yourself creates your attitude; if one day your feeling down about yourself and you don’t think you have it in you to make it through the day, you’re not going to have motivation throughout the day. Yet if you’re feeling confident in your personality, looks, and potential there is going to be a huge attitude difference, like the world can’t bring you down. I think we all have experienced both kinds of days. One way to continually work on having a higher self-esteem is to become comfortable with your strengths and weaknesses and to know that we can work on both areas but also accept ourselves. I think many people have a hard time with cognitive reframing. When I was younger I had low self esteem, and thought there was no way of changing it or myself. I kept focus on my weaknesses and thought that was what everybody was thinking about when really it was just me.

I can relate to the effects of mindfulness because I try to practice yoga religiously. Through yoga there are certain states where I focus on breathing patterns, meditation, and postures. I have been practicing yoga for about a year now and have seen an abundance of changes in my life; I have noticed that it has helped me mentally (thought processes), reduced my stress and anxiety levels, and physically (flexibility, better blood flow, and digestion). I definitely agree that quieting your mind and becoming aware of all the environments around you leads to greater congruency with your values and actions because it allows you to take a step into your mind and analyze your thoughts, actions, and clues around you.

I don’t think that anybody should ignore their weaknesses. Trying to forget that you have weaknesses is like trying to tell yourself you are not human. Everybody has them. To build up your weaknesses it is a good idea to surround yourself with others that have different talents and strengths that you are looking to build upon. I think that is a good approach, but can also cause low self esteem and make one feel like they are out of place. We all just need to remember that each person’s talents are unique and different and our personal self is the factor that will allow us to grow.

Lauren Hashem –  U30342188          Chapter 3 Reflection

I think the Relational Leadership Model is a good reminder that relationships are the main focus in the leadership process. Even the definition of leadership has the word “relational” in it: a relational and ethical process of people together attempting to accomplish positive change. Out of the five primary components in the RLM I think that purpose is most important. The purpose includes others, empowers the followers and the aim is to make a difference; it’s the most important because without these there would be less of a commitment from the followers, the “can do” attitude would decrease and there would be an exclusion on of others in the main vision.

Hesselbein and Shinseki’s quote, “Leaders promote learning in at least three ways: through their own learning on a personal level, by helping others in their units learn, and by shaping and contributing to an organizational culture that promotes learning” has been very true in my life. My mentors and role models promote learning in at least one of these three ways, and sometimes more than one way. I see my role models helping others most of the time and it seems to be like a domino effect. When a leader has followers, the followers tend to look up to the leader and try to follow in his/her footsteps or gain some of the qualities they have. When a leader takes the initiative to help others learn in a positive way it sparks the followers to take the same route and make a difference as well. The same goes to being a part of an organizational culture that promotes learning; it can cause the domino effect and it is doing something to accomplish a positive change.

I like how Rost proposed that leadership does not happen when the group does accomplish change, it happens when the group intends to accomplish change. I need to think of this quote more often when I am striving to make a change and getting disappointed in myself and the group when we do not accomplish the goal that we intended to. I need to realize that even though my group and I did not reach the final destination we still had the intention to create a positive change and that is what matters the most. To go along with this thought process, people sometimes think that after multiple failed attempts they are not capable of achieving a leap and it is important to notice in life we are always faced with the dynamic tensions of how things are and the way we wished they turned out. These are not struggles that should let a leader or followers down, but they are a way of creating change that moves toward the desired vision.

There have been multiple instances where I have came in contact with leaders who enjoy to hoard power. When a leader hoards power all it stirs up is negative thoughts from outsiders, resistance, and behaviors that contradict what the leader is asking for. Also, a hoarder of power tend to use the word “I” more often and less of “we”. When engaged in a conversation with someone who constantly uses “I'” there is an impression that the person does not care or give interest for others and it does not engage anybody in the conversation. Conversations are always a two way street and if I was walking down the road with another person it would be, “WE are walking down the street”.

Lauren Hashem – U30342188 – Chapter 2 Reflection 

In the beginning of the chapter there was an assessment on what a person’s character really is. I always envisioned the word “Character” as a word encompassing all of one traits, instead of it being a description of who you are when no one else is watching. Character is a very important role in leadership because you always need to be aware of your reactions, emotions, body language and etc when people are surrounding you and even when you think no one is watching. Most importantly, it is key to be aware of these things in others  as well.
Just like Mumford, many people believe that leadership portrays the leader as a controller of events and infers control over his/hers followers. The contemporary leadership definition, I think, is better said as a work together on mutual goals toward some action or change. The Great Man Approach to leadership definitely seems outdated as it is based off the reigning of kings and coincides with Darwinism through the marriage process. The Great Man Approach does not seem like it would be very effective; just because someone is born into royalty and leadership positions does not mean they have the ability to lead. “Leaders are not born; they are made”. For Trait Approach, I do not fully understand how leadership can be seen through particular traits such as height. But I do see how people would use traits like intelligence and self confidence, as many leaders do portray these in many situations.  I agree most with Situational Contingency Theory because leaders should and do act differently depending on certain situations. Not every situation should be handled in the same way due to the fact that cultures, behaviors and values differ. I do agree that the Reciprocal Approach is a beneficial leadership theory. It is important to communicate, share, and interact with followers to create social change. As with all the theories, there are major criticisms with these and I do not believe that just one approach is the way to go. It’s important to have a mix on approaches that can be used in different situations.

Ralph Stogdill’s quote “persons who are leaders in one situation may not necessarily be leaders in other situations” hit home with me.  I have experienced interactions with leadership officials who know how to handle certain situations, events, and people, but when they are put into an environment they were unfamiliar with or had different values/beliefs it was hard for them to communicate and work together. When this happens it usually results in chaos and struggle. The Servant Leadership Approach personally impacts my life because I have surrounded myself with many leadership models in my life that use this approach. My mother and my youth group director are my biggest influence in this area. They have both always been serving before leading and it seems as though their serving has gotten them to leading positions in the community. Both of them are people who are looking to make a difference in the environment first rather for themselves.

In the future I need to incorporate a mixture of the qualities of each theory into my leadership approach. I want to be able to pay closer attention to my behavior in different situations and the behaviors of others surrounding me. Leadership can sometimes get the best of people and I am a victim of having it take over my ego in times when the focus is not on me. I think servant leadership is a very important theory to incorporate into my future. It is always a good characteristic to want to be able to serve others first before serving myself. The point of the service is to make a difference, as the goal of leadership is not always going to benefit you personally; sometimes being a leader will benefit others.

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