Respond to classmates: Please begin your reply by addressing the student by name.
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The most important point I learned in this course is that of the importance of perspective, which I extrapolated from two other points: (1) the idea of the infinite game offered by Sinek (2016) and (2) the idea that regardless of the lens by which one views leadership, virtue must be the foundation. The reason I chose these points, beyond their importance, is that they seem to precede the various lenses through which to view leadership offered by Northouse (2020) insofar as they provide necessary perspective. If, for instance, one is skilled at understanding and acting upon leadership through a situational lens yet lacks the perspective provided by the virtues, one’s leadership will go off course. If, on the other hand, one possesses proper perspective, one can utilize different leadership strategies and extrapolate truths from various lenses.
As noted, the first point that helped me to recognize the importance of perspective was the idea of the infinite game. According to Sinek (2016), those who view business (and life) in terms of an “infinite game” are free to strive after greatness more freely as they are not focused on “beating” their competition. Focused on delivering the best product or service possible, those engaged in the infinite game do not lose heart when their competition comes out ahead, because those engaged in the infinite game know there will always be another day and another opportunity (Sinek, 2016). Thus, through the perspective of the infinite game, individuals are set free to focus more on their goals and ideals than on beating their competitors.
The second point that helped me to recognize the importance of perspective was the idea that virtue gives leaders a unique foundation. As Havard (2007) notes, “virtue is always original, creative, and multifaceted” (p. 145). Due to the fact that they possess unique human perfections, virtuous leaders see the world from a unique perspective. The virtuous leader, for instance, recognizes through humility that they are a creature alongside their peers, and thus that they are answerable to a Creator. Through magnanimity, this leader strives after high ideals and recognizes the potential in others.
By viewing business and life as an infinite game and striving after virtue, which gives a unique and original perspective, individuals are freed from self-focus to strive after greater things.
This has been a very interesting class to say the least. I have taken leadership courses in the past, but I cannot recall being so interested in the material. This class is applicable in real-time to the point where, I find myself thinking back to my old jobs over the years, and assigning a type of leadership style and theory to my former supervisors. Not sure if others did that. Since it is probably not a good thing. The other thing I am doing a great deal is assessing myself when I counsel people. In some areas I look good, but I can certainly tell you that I am a working progress. For me, the difficulty lies in trying to decipher what information I found most valuable. There were a lot. I think I can safely say that the prayers at the beginning of each module was great for me and would be at the top. If I opened the site in the morning it was my morning prayer and if I did it at night it was my betimes prayer. That was pretty cool. Secondly, as stated above the material was all awesome but if I had to choose it would be servant leadership and the participative type of behavior theory.
I enjoyed learning about being a servant leader. It is the most selfless type of leadership that you can have. My parents told me to always tip because they said it is always better to serve them to be served, and when people are serving you, you need to be appreciative of them. They would always say, it is more blessed to give than to receive. Servant leadership happens in an organization where the leader is more in tuned to the employees needs than the organization’s profit margin and I want to be like that. Leadership should indeed about being able to see what’s going on with your followers and peers and to be sensitive to their needs. Gandy believed that all people are traveling together, and that we needed to work together in order to get there. His leadership style and that of people like Martin Luther king and Mother Teresa, have changed the world. They were servant leaders. To be a servant leader you have to be meek though. In our Virtuous Leadership Text, Harvard said, “If you practice meekness, even your fiercest opponents begin to listen, however reluctantly” (Harvard, 2007, p. 90).
Everyone wants to know that their ideas and input is needed and valued. The participative type of behavior leadership is combined with both the instructions from the leader, and input from the subordinate. That is a great approach to me and one that I will use going forward because working with people allows you to get to know and understand them. You can certainly make better decisions that way and allow the situations to dictate how the leader behaves. Nothing beats do-it-yourself. People understand better if they are part of the process and I think this is a theory that I can use when appropriate. I get that it won’t be all the time but what I will be doing is help others to feel valued. We all have strengths and weaknesses, and as a leader I will try to tap into the strengths and help strengthen the weakness by getting people involved.
Finally read and enjoyed all of your thoughts throughout this class. This was Awesome.