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Final Blog

Throughout this semester we have covered a lot of different leadership styles and theories in our course, Leadership Skills and Development, and I honestly believe that all of these different types of leadership styles will more than likely be more than useful and will find a place in my memorable skill sets to aid me in my upcoming future. Seeing as how I plan on being a Global Management major here at Earlham College, learning new styles of leadership can do nothing but benefit me.

The different leadership styles that we went over are all helpful, but the one that I believe will help me develop the most as a leader in the future is situational leadership. This style of leadership has taught me that there isn’t necessarily one model of leadership that has to work for every single situation that you are going to have to deal with. Hence the name, situational leadership. After breaking down situational leadership, I have come to the conclusion that this style of leadership can be applied to almost anything.

The four different levels that pertain to the Hershey and Blanchard model make situational leadership extremely simple to understand and can be used as a great teaching or learning method. When applying this model, all you have to do is assess what type of person or people that you are dealing with and determine whether they are in the delegating, supporting, coaching, or directing stage. Doing this will allow you to decide which level of followership they are on and respond accordingly.

I can say that I personally believe that situational leadership is the style of leadership that will basically be my go to. I can also personally say that the Hershey and Blanchard model is the best way to apply situational leadership. I will use the Hershey and Blanchard model when I further myself into the business world when I take on my future career. Whether I’m looking over my own sales team or doing something else dealing with other people I will always remember learning about this approach to situational leadership from this class.

Lasting Impact

The thing in this course that I feel will have the most impact or one that I will use in the future is the self-assessment. I feel that this is the most practical thing to do because you can always find self-assessments online and they are useful to track your progress as a leader. I actually told myself that just because my leadership plan activity is done that I would continue to work on the things I did not succeed at. Using self-assessment, I feel that I can track my progress and become better as a leader overall.

I also thought that this is the best thing to know because I feel that knowing your leadership style is less important and that knowing yourself is more important because you aren’t just one leadership type and it is situational, but even then there is not a few things that define you but actually many things.

Image result for knowing yourself

Setting Goals

Throughout this past semester, I have learned many of things. One of the main topics that I will continue to use for the rest of my life, is goal setting. In the class, we learned how being a leader, you want to set goals for your team, and set them to high standards. I truly enjoy this topic, because when you accomplish your goal, there is a sense of entitlement, and it is a reward for the team. In this semester alone, I have set many goals for myself, some of those I have reached, while others I have failed. Though I never want to fail, it is the lessons that I take away from the failures that means the most. Early on in the semester, we had an assignment called “The Leadership Development Plan.” This assignment was for us to chose seven topics, and attempt to reach certain goals that we set for ourselves. At the end of the semester, I have evaluated myself, and I have found out, that here I have succeeded as well as failed. From my successes, I have learned that if you put your mind towards something, the sky is the limit and you can reach all goals. And going along with my failures, I have come to realize that I will have to go out of my comfort zone at times, to get the results that I am after.

In the past years, I have also set goals that I have wanted to achieve. Before graduating high school, I had a list of goals, which included: going to college, playing baseball in college, have a good job going into college, and find an interest in a certain field of study. These were all personal goals that I have set for myself in the past, and they have helped me get to where I am today. Without these goals in mind, I may not be the man I am today.

I can, and will use goal setting in the future workplace, whether it be in a team setting, or a personal goal to get to where I want to be. Leaders will set goals and standards for his/her company, and as long as they have the backing from their division, the sky is the limit. My next few goals in mind will be, to graduate from Earlham with a specialization in Marketing, and find a career in the boating industry. Not all goals are meant to be easy, but it is the demeanor of how you strive to complete that goal, that means the most.

 

Bio-Vert Questions

What challenges does Savons Prolav face in managing its business according to its core values?

One of the challenges that Savons Prolav faced according to the businesses core values had to do with them diluting the product and pricing it at the lower end of the market. This decision arose because the companies product efficiency piece wasn’t giving them enough differentiation from their competitors. This was an ongoing issue with the company because distributors constantly wanted to lower their price and dilute their product. They had to choose between economic profit and environmental value. Also, the company was torn between remaining environmental or building the company. Ultimately, they discontinued all products that contained harmful chemicals and started a new business that focused on being nonharmful to users.

How does Savons Prolav create value for its customers?

Savons Prolav created value for its customers by allowing them a more healthier and less hazardous cleaning product. They backed this up by stating how much research and development that went on to fine-tune their product to perfectly fit the customers’ needs. Their main focus was to be as eco-friendly as possible while also striving for product efficiency, and making sure that their product actually accomplished the task that it was made to do. An issue arose where companies were over qualifying their products, and when they were put to use they didn’t perform as advertised. But a staple in Savons Prolav’s business was that their product actually performed well and that their product was efficient. The value for the customers revolved around the products quality and performance as well as the companies focus on being as environmentally safe as possible.

Taoism

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Ethics Case

After reading this case which is about a woman who is in a dillemma that is testing her own ethics and morals, I have come to the conclusion that if I was in Tracy’s shoes, I would go ahead and file the anonymous complaint. I would file the anonymyous complaint because it falls under my legal rights under the Act that is set in place by the Firm, in which it is within my rights to be compensated for all of the overtime work that I have put in. The Act and the Firm are also put in place in order to protect employees like me who are being mistreated and taken advantage of for the benefit of an employer. Of course, by filing this anonymous complaint, I, Tracy, would be setting a new standard for all of those who work in the same field as I do that are undergoing the same circumstances that I am.
As a result of filing this anonymous complaint, my company legally shouldn’t be able to retaliate against me. This doesn’t mean that they won’t, it is always possible that my actions will upset my employers and the end result will be me losing my job, but it would be worth it in the end. Like I mentioned earlier, I would be setting a new standard for those who work in the same field as I do. All of these people would be thankful that I took the risk and put my job on the line to change the way that our employers deal with paying their employees overtime. Everyone deserves to be paid the rightful amount of money they are owed for the amount of hours they put into the job. So regardless if I would lose my job or not, I feel as if looking out for my fellow coworkers and other people in my situation is the ethical thing to do. In doing the ethical thing, I will be setting up a brighter future for those who are wanting to work in this field. Although I will risk having a bad reputation with my employer and will forever be seen as someone who goes against the grain, the end result is all that matters.

Taoism Case Stdy

4: In the example of Taoism metaphors from nature such as trees, babies, gender, water and more are all used to support the ideas behind the leadership style that seems more of a religion than a leadership style. Other examples to support a leadership style may include the story of the Lion that rules the Jungle although he is not the fastest or biggest animal he is the most ruthless just like famous leaders in history who did not believe in democracy such as Benito Mussolini or Joseph Stalin who were ruthless dictators juts like the Lion that rules the Jungle with an iron fist. The lion however rarely has a peaceful death as he mostly starves after being banished by a younger, stronger Lion that usurps him. That can be related to the violent ends that mots dictators such as Hitler and Gaddafi have had as they rarely get to have peace after all the horror that they commit in the name of leadership. The wolf pack is also an image that can be related to a successful leadership approach where the wolves would put the pack before themselves and that’s how they survive; that can be associated with successful leaders that encourage team members to focus on the mission ahead and the team’s goal as opposed to individualistic goals.

6: The Taoist leadership compares to other religions mostly in its preaching for peace and humility. Both Islam and Christianity call for modesty and humbleness which can be related to Jesus Christ who was a modest individual and was also a loving man similar to Mahatma Gandhi who is mentioned in the article. Jesus refused to use force and “offered his other cheek” to his enemies. In Islam the Profit and his followers were the weaker party when they faced the Idol worshipers in the early days of Islam but they eventually adapted and overcame their adversaries. Moreover in Taoism it’s mentioned that the weaker people will adapt and the stiff hard objects which can be related to the Idolaters here will break because hardness and dryness represent death whereas tenderness represents life. In terms of Modesty Islam preached for Modesty and humbleness and an Example on that would be the Famous Khalifet Umar who was sleeping in the mosque dressed like a homeless person when a Roman envoy came for him. The envoy was shocked looking at the leader of the Muslims who at the time had a powerful army that was conquering the world. I don’t have much knowledge regarding other religions; Judaism is similar in most ways to Islam and Christianity whereas Buddhism supports Humbleness just like Taoism.

7: this leadership theory supports empowering and designating individuals, it’s like a decentralized leadership approach. We can also relate the Taoism approach to transformational leaders where the leaders know how to assess the situation and sometimes hold back similar to what is mentioned in the article in regards to the Taoism leader. There are also similarities between transactional leadership and Taoism as Transactional leaders promote empowering subordinates as mentioned earlier.

 

Fuad A.

11/5/2017

Case Study: TerraCycle

• Tom Szaky, a Princeton freshman founded Teracycle in hope of starting an eco-capitalist company
• Moved into partnering with companies who would sponsor the collection of waste associated
• $16 million revenue a year
• Tom was born in Budapest, Hungary
• At Princeton Tom met Jon Beyer
• Tom visited his friends in Montreal and was amazed to find the plants flourishing, by worm poop
• He would use worms to produce fertilizer
• US consumers spent a total of $37.7 billion dollars on their lawns and gardens in 2001
• 60% of Americans bought some kinds of fertilizer or pant food every year
• Negative cost because they would be paid to haul away the garbage the worms would eat
• Putting the worms on a conveyor belt that would slowly turn away from the center of the device where the organic waste would be poured
• No real direct competition
• Competition competitors were landfills and composting sites
• 100 page business plan
• Fourth place in competiton
• Reached $20,00 for idea
• Used all money on idea and not them
• Sleeping on floor of their friends dorms
• Cutting their losses and giving up on the worm project so they would sell the worm gin and use the proceeds to help pay back some of the loans they had received from family and friends
• Investor gave them $2,000
• Investment from Hilary Burt for $6,000
• A lot of Princeton students who attended the parties also offered to volunteer
• Robin Tator joined the company
• Biggest challenge was figuring out what business they were in
• Spray Fertilizer
• Introduced TerreaCycyle to the EcoComples at Rutgers University
• Won the New York City Competition
• TerraCycle Plant Food
• Saw a big opportunity in the fast growing organic Fertilizer and plant food market
• Fastest selling Fertilizer on HomeDepot.com
• 35 employees in 2004
• Big Pitch with Walmart
• Adminster a drink pouch brigade and seth offered
• By spring of 2007 the number of Brigades had grown from 1,500 to 4,000
• Walgreens ordered 10 million pouches

Blog Post 5

When reading the Taoism: Leadership Insights from Nature I thought of several metaphors from nature that are a useful insight into leadership. For example, trees have hundreds of roots under the earth that hold the structure of the tree together. The largest tree in the forest must have the healthiest and strongest roots underneath the surface, supporting the branches and leaves of the tree. The community a leader has to support and guide them are like the roots underneath a tree to hold it up. if the roots of a tree die, the tree cannot survive, like if a leader loses their community, they will not become successful. This tree metaphor is great when thinking about leadership and how a leader must secure a good and healthy base of followers and a community. This also makes me think of interpersonal relationships, democratic leadership, and transformational leaders and how I believe that to be a great leader, one must be aware of others and be intentional with their relationship with followers.

Having divorced parents, I grew up with two different sides of religion. My dad raised me as a Christian, I was baptized, I went to church with him every other Sunday, and I had communion. My mother was not religious but believed in spirituality and a set of morals to live by, if my mother was to conform to one religion she always liked Buddhism and the loving nature of its practice. Not only were my parents giving me different perspectives of religion, but I found out when I was 10 years old that my outer family was Jewish, and that I technically am as well. My great grandmother on my mother’s side was born and raised with Judaism before she passed away when my grandmother was a baby. My grandmother’s father then remarried into a typical Italian Catholic family, moved his family to America, and converted all his children to Christianity. So, as one can see, religion has some history in my family, but I remain agnostic and not totally sure what I believe in.

Taoist leadership principles do pop up in the Christian religion that I am most familiar with, especially the idea that one should be humble and simple if they wish to come out on top. The phrase, “let the line shine in” comes to mind with this ideology, and the idea that you flow with what the world gives you and make peace with how life is. As a leader, this comes in handy when making decisions for a group and having back up plans to adjust oneself with how the world is playing out. At the same time though, a drastic difference I notice is the idea of wanting leaders to be weak in the Taoist belief, while in Christianity I think the norm is to be strong in your leadership to show others to the path of life. For example, I think the Christians would rather see life through the yang spectrum while the Taoist prefer the Yin.

The biggest parallel I see between the Taoist approach to leadership and other leadership theories is the importance of democracy, and patience and the idea that nature cannot be rushed. A democratic leader will take the time to listen to all members and determine the best course of action through their respectful listening and patience. In Taoism, the belief of nature cannot be rushed but takes its own course is much like democracy and the slowness of making the best decision.

 

Blog Post 10/22

I personally think that microcredit is a good tool to alleviate poverty because it creates opportunities for jobs and allows people to get a jump on their business. According to Microfinance of the Masses, the company, Kiva, has loaned over 889 million dollars to 82 countries with a repayment rate of 97%. From this, I believe that giving people who aren’t credit worthy an opportunity for a new start will open their eyes and they’ll take advantage of it and make the most from it.

I think allowing women access to capital via microlending does empower them because it gives them an equal opportunity to grow a business. In some countries, women don’t even think that they’re allowed to walk into a bank because they’ve been told that they’re not essentially good enough to manage capital and start a business. So yes, allowing women access to microlending can definitely empower women all around the world. Plus, allowing women to manage capital and start their own businesses can add help to alleviate poverty.

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