Leadership Journal-Set #5

1 – Turn your page 92 to 94 responses into a cohesive paragraph discussion.

I think it speaks wonders in Discovering the Leader in You when it says, “Your life outside work surrounds and influences your work as a leader (and vice versa).” When reflecting back to my own personal life and leadership roles I can clearly see the connection of the two being intertwined. While rating the statements of work-life balance on pages 92-94 I contemplated back and forth. I believe I struggled while finding some of these answers because I don’t think it’s this cut and dry. For example when asked to rate my work and personal life in a positive or negative way, it’s complicated. I can find both positive and negatives that come from this parallel, and wholly I think it’s extremely situational.

For the statement, “I have a good understanding of the ways in which my work affects my personal life and vice versa,” I felt very strong in my rating. I know how maintaining a balanced lifestyle all around is essential for my daily life. Consequentially, I have a dark and personal example for this behavior – a couple weeks ago on Easter my family experienced a tragedy. My uncle’s fiancé died on Easter morning, and their families winded up meeting at a funeral rather than a wedding this month. Now granted, I never miss work, but that week I barely went to work at all, or merely left my room for that matter. I missed class and work… and my work ethic was dwindled down to purely nothing. Also, that week I dealt with disrespect from my boyfriend and decided to end things – adding to my stress level. In addition, finals week is coming up and all my final projects/exams are approaching.

The reasoning behind my expression of sadness is simple, I completely agree with how a balance in ones life is vital. Now this is all within a week or two, but this is also a perfect example of how emotions, experiences, tragedies, stress, and relationships can be someone’s biggest downfall. For me to miss class and work is unheard of, but I felt broken. I wasn’t concerned with a work-life or any type of balance.

However, on the opposite side, I have also felt the joy and drive coming from both my personal life and work life. I find it’s common for one to strive off of the other. For example, “My personal life affects my work life in a positive way.” When I’m propelling in life and feel as though nothing can go wrong, I have a positive attitude. With a positive attitude it creates more room for leadership opportunities and experience. I fully believe positivity is an essential character trait for a successful leader.

2 – Review the lists on 99 to 104, and then discuss how these (your current roles) affect your current Work/Life Balance. Which of Shakespeare’s plays hint at our contemporary concepts of Work/Life Balance, and what are the lessons that we learn about W/L Balance when we read that/those play(s)?

Key insights and skills pertaining to temporary or permanent roles can create useful lessons as a leader and overall person. In my life, I am a daughter – and if I may say, a very independent one. A few years back, my family went through an extremely rough patch. Due to serious heart problems time and time again, my father is now on disability and not allowed to work. My family went from having a fairly wealthy income to absolutely no money at all. However, by sticking together and doing the best we could… we made it work. I worked two jobs constantly and found myself not only providing for myself, but also helping my parents financially a lot more than I intended I would be at 19 years old. As a daughter, I’ve learned a lot. When I was younger I was nothing but a spoiled brat, I got basically whatever I wanted. And now, I am a responsible and independent daughter with a great sense of moral values.

I think it’s interesting to compare Shakespeare’s plays and the contemporary concepts of Work/Life Balance. Now, I might be way far off, but the first thing that came to my mind is the extravagant lifestyle portrayed in many of Shakespeare’s plays in comparison to the wealthy routine instilled in a large chunk of today’s society. The play that stood out to me the most in comparison to this theory I have is King Lear. In this play you have a wealthy man (a King) who is basically power hungry and striving. As he hands over his power to his daughter in an un-thought out way, he winds up essentially screwing himself over. In today’s society the drive of power and wealth commonly outweigh the work ethic given by average human beings. King Lear’s work/life balance was simply not balanced at all because he was the King and powerful. In today’s society more frequently than not, people are driven off of the “life” side rather than the “work” side.

3 – Respond to #5 on page 107; discuss your own energy wellsprings. Did you surprise yourself in any ways? –And does this information shift your perception of your own leadership style? Were Shakespeare’s leaders in touch with this level of self-knowledge? –If so, which ones?

While documenting twenty things I “love to do” it came with quite ease. I didn’t exactly have any surprises in any way because I feel as though I have a clear understanding of what makes me happy and what I like to do. One of the first things that came to my head is I enjoy being busy and active. As we discussed retirement the other day, I said I couldn’t really imagine myself not working or doing anything. I am the type of person that constantly has to be doing something, not necessarily have everything planned, but merely be constantly active. On the opposite note I have a ton of outside “life” interests I enjoy, such as cheerleading and getting tattoos. I don’t think this exercise shifted my perception of my own leadership style, but simply enlightened it. I have a strong work ethic, but along with this work ethic I have a clear sense of creativity. I mean really – how many tattooed, business ambitious, cheerleaders do you know?

I think Shakespeare does a good job displaying characters that are in fact in touch with their level of self-knowledge. For example, Hamlet is a well-developed character that gives us the logic of struggle between intelligence and insanity. I personally believe that even though Hamlet sees “the Ghost” he is 100% self aware of his level of intelligence. Now, it’s common for Shakespeare to add in these levels of magic/supernatural to throw off the balance of these leaders. However, I feel as though Hamlet is a perfect depiction of a leader who shows a shift in his leadership and overall knowledge.

4 – Focus on one to two of Shakespeare’s leaders. Consider what stress assessment descriptions apply to that/those character(s). Also, which stress assessment description most applies to you? Include specific examples in your discussion and compose a realistic and specific plan for yourself, so that you can and will

The majority of Shakespeare’s leaders throughout his plays are developed and/or broken by different elements of change. Like any other human being, stress is a factor that applies to just about every life situation. For example, in Othello the main character Othello is tested by the hidden ounce of jealousy inside of him. Along with the constant manipulation and jealousy, he is tricked into thinking his love is with other. Here’s where the stress comes into play – something that I have also encountered in my lifetime. Because the stressful aspect of Desdemona is crawling at Othello more and more, he drives himself to act upon what he believes to be true. He acts out of pure emotion instead of thinking with logic, which is also something very prevalent in today’s society.

On another hand, King Henry is faced by the element of stressed and prevails with honor. He is seen as immature and merely not prepared or capable of taking over the French throne. With that being said the element of stress that comes to my mind is doubt. However, instead of letting these accusations and components break him – he uses it as fuel to win.

I am the type of person that will stack things up and up and up until it explodes… and this is exactly how I am with stress. With that being said, once I get to the point where I simply can’t take anymore, I break, just like Othello. Conversely, even though I can be compared to Othello in this sense, I am never tested by jealousy and deceit.

On the other hand, I can see where I compare to King Henry as well. Sometimes I face the sense of doubt from others, but most of the time I glide right past this notion. For example, I am the first person to go to college out of my entire family. It could be considered that it wouldn’t last, or I wouldn’t get there, but I have made it a point to prove everyone wrong. I figured out all the college process alone and stayed on top of everything with determination. Also, I made a goal to be on the Dean’s List every semester so my Grammy could attend them all – which I have thus far. In conclusion, I think stress is a make or break factor in any given situation. You can either let it break you, or let it push you towards something positive. I am by no means perfect, but I’m moving forward to not end up exploding with stress like Othello.

Leadership Journal-Set #4

1- Define and discuss authentic leadership.

An authentic leadership style refers to the way in which your values, vision, and leadership are directly in line within yourself. I think one of the most prominent characteristics in a leader is individuality. I pride myself in being an individual and unique leader, however, to do so – it’s important to “stay true to yourself.” They idea is kind of how I perceived authentic leadership, the style and solidity of ones own success by the strength of their moral ethics.

I found an interesting article written by Kevin Kruse, titled “What Is Authentic Leadership?” where he discusses what it means to be “true” to their work and goals. Kruse compared the idea of authenticity to the works of Greek philosophers, and even our very own Shakespeare adding, “To thy own self be true…” commented by Polonius in Hamlet. This article discuses the importance of self-awareness in an authentic leader. He says, “Authentic leaders are self-actualized individuals who are aware of their strengths, their limitations, and their emotions.” I couldn’t agree more with this statement; I think it’s imperative that a good leader knows exactly what they stand for.

In addition, I believe authentic leadership has a lot to do with the sense of innovation. In my business classes we are always discussing new, innovative ways to move forward in the world, whether that’s in regard to ideas, technology, the economy, etc. We continue to move forward in the world today by creating authentic leaders – people who aren’t afraid to think outside of the box and generate motives/initiative based on their personal opinions and beliefs.

One other concept I would like to touch on is the idea of authentic leaders leading with their heart. Kevin Kruse said, “Authentic leaders lead with their heart, not just their minds…” and this basically sums up my idea on how authentic leaders trail their own innovative path. They create use the collaboration of their mind and heart to produce a notable leadership characteristic, success

2- Define and discuss inauthentic leadership.

Inauthentic leadership refers to the behaviors in your leading-self that are inconsistent with your authentic self. Meaning one is not leading in a way authentic to their true self. This leadership behavior is the exact opposite from what I’ve previously commented on. Instead of an inauthentic leader being driven by their heart, creativity, and innovation…they are typically driven by subjects, such as, power, money, and wealth.

I came across a blog named “Inauthentic Leadership” by Guy Nicholas Mansfield, discussing the key characteristics an inauthentic leader commonly exhibits. What I found to be interesting is these characteristics aligned very similarly with my own ideas of inauthenticity. When I first saw this word in our leadership journal I immediately associated it with the word fake. Then after I continued to think about this leadership style I didn’t exactly focus it around fake as much as I did a “follower”. My conception of an inauthentic leader is merely someone who follows the norm, or whatever else they need to in reach of whatever they’re going after (money, power, etc.). This is a complete parallel to how the blog identified these leaders as “Glory Seekers” saying they “… are motivated by money, fame, glory, and power” (Mansfield).

I don’t necessarily feel that inauthentic leaders completely lack ambition, but simply don’t execute it properly. Instead of staying true to themselves and climbing up the ladder of success that way, they tend to cut their own values down and conform to whatever they have to do to succeed.

3- Reread #5 on page 79. How do the leaders in these plays (the plays from your course reading list) “rate” with regard to learning from their own experiences? Do any of them learn as they go? If so, which characters, and what are the results? Did you sense that some of the leaders learned more than others? What can we garner from this comparison –with regard to the characters, the stated “organizations” within which the characters were functioning, and with regard to take-away lessons that we can apply to contemporary business?

Throughout the Shakespearean tragedies we’ve been discussing in class, the common occurrence of a fatal outcome in result to the leaders “own experiences” is not exactly extraordinary. Some of the key leaders within these tragedies change drastically whether that’s from an unthought-of strip of power (King Lear) or a supernatural force (Hamlet). I think the biggest downfall throughout the majority of Shakespeare’s plays we’ve discussed in class is the power-hunger energy these leaders are driven by. In addition, this relates back to my understanding of an unauthentic leader.

I think the bullet in our Discovering the Leader in You Workbook” stating “New directions – starting something new or making strategic changes” is a significant challenge for a lot of our leaders in Shakespeare’s plays. More recently we’ve discussed the rise off King Henry V and his overall transformation that came along with power. He once was a “wild boy” however; when his father died he straightened up to assume the responsibilities of the situation placed in front of him. This is most definitely an example of a key leader changing his ways for the better. On the contrary, we have leaders like Othello whom allows the constant whisper in his ear make jealously completely evolve him for the worst.

The general idea of a leader changing based on their own personal experiences is quite common in the business world today. In my opinion, a challenge has the capability to change a person for the better or worse. I’ve been in situations were I’ve witnessed a person placed in a challenging leadership position and fail miserably. Then this person didn’t want to come back from this experience and try again. On the other side of the spectrum, I’ve also seen a person placed in a leadership position and succeed tremendously. With that experience they not only grew as a leader but also gained a lot of knowledge on how to handle responsibilities.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/kevinkruse/2013/05/12/what-is-authentic-leadership/

http://management-culture.blogspot.com/2012/12/inauthentic-leadership.html

Leadership Journal-Set #3

1- Compose a discussion of your own common values, using the questions from page 58 to help you to develop your discussion.

In the beginning of chapter four, Your Leadership Motivations and Values, it states, “Your core values drive your life decisions, bear on the way you set priorities, direct your leadership vision, and guide your leadership choices.” This is essential to my understanding of the reading because I think my most prominent core values are determination and respect. Ever since I was little, my parents have always pushed me towards success while instilling a sense of authoritative values. I personally believe in the Golden Rule – treating other people the way you’d like to be treated, so respect plays a vast portion of my everyday life. Also, I am the first generation college student on both sides of my family and that is definitely something I’ve always worked for. Personally, I think once you find a certain way to be successful in a respectable way…you’ve made it.

The chapter continues to say, “Core values come from and are influenced by many factors, including culture, personal history, social milieu, mentors, vocation, and organization…” all of which I agree with. I think as an individual grows and matures their set of core values don’t necessarily change, but they seem to shift. Once more experience and “life” happens to an individual it gives them a greater purpose. For me personally, college was sort of a test of my freedom. My parents were extremely strict throughout my teenage years and when I moved out of the house and onto campus, my core values were examined. I was fortunate enough to have strict parents that cared enough to ensure values in me at a young age – which have so far stuck with me.

My determination and respect have sustained their importance in my daily life. When I went on the Global Citizenship Project last year, it was a whole new experience for me. Just like said in the text, culture could be an influential factor on an individual’s set of core values. My GCP experience was a bit of a culture shock for me. I’ve lived in Winchester my entire life, with West-Virginian parents, whom have themselves never flown on a plane before. So when I had the chance to dive into this new opportunity, it made the word appreciation jump significantly on my list of core values. I began to not only appreciate the opportunity I was given by my own university, but also appreciate my life here in the United States. Now by no means am I talking about my destination, Albania in a bad light, however, the number of times I was told by a local about their dream of one day coming to America is unsettling. With experience comes a shift/improvement in ones core values.

On another note, being a business major comes with a heavy focus on creating leaders. I think for a sophomore in college my leadership behaviors align very well with my core values. I am a firm believer that you have to work for what you get, and as I steadily climb the ladder of leadership… my core values are only intensifying.

2 – Take another look at the CVI items, from the point of view of one of Shakespeare’s leaders, then compose a discussion of that character’s core values.

After digging down deeper under the surface of the play Macbeth some complex characters struggle and flourish with their inner core values. The leading character, Macbeth, is determined to keep his status as King, against all odds. I think it’s fair to say Macbeth’s character diminished as the play went on and so did his core values. On the common values inventory chart for challenge it states, “continually facing complex and demanding tasks and problems,” which hits the overview of Macbeth head on. Macbeth is a multipart character that struggles with “demanding” situations throughout the whole play.

Loyalty is another common value that seems to be a bit hazy throughout the play Macbeth. Even though Macbeth does stay loyal and loving to Lady Macbeth, he turns his back on his friends and essentially everyone else around him. Although, I think Macbeth’s duty is clearly depicted during the entire play. His idea of carrying out the duty as King transforms as the play goes on. In the beginning of the play Macbeth was content with fulfilling his duty by chance of him being King, however by the end of the play, Macbeth is completely set on doing whatever it is he needs to do to keep his duty/status as King!

Authority is described as, “the position and power to control events and other people’s activities.” Macbeth has a sense of authority over the people merely because he holds the title of King. Although, his idea of power can be signified through murder… he becomes too uncontrollably power-hungry.

What is ironic about the death of Macbeth is the association to justice. Though justice is listed in another way on the common values inventory chart, I took justice into contemplation of all the bad deeds Macbeth followed through with; it was almost a model of justice for him to die.

3 – Re-do prompt #2, assessing a second Shakespeare character (from the same play). Include a discussion of how the values of these two characters might conflict with one another.

Even though the heart of the play Macbeth lays within Macbeth himself I think there is a lot to say for the core values of Lady Macbeth. Of course, it’s obvious to point out the common core values of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, as they are very much together in this Shakespearean tragedy. As I described with Macbeth, Lady Macbeth was just as power-hungry. This deep hunger for authority made it dangerous for this duo to retain power. Another core value both Macbeth and Lady Macbeth shared is competition. Although, Macbeth was extremely battle driven to maintain his status towards the end… it was Lady Macbeth whom starts off this sense of rivalry of winning the title of King.

The biggest issue of Lady Macbeth in the common value inventory items is definitely her viscous influence. Influence is defined as, “having an impact or effect on the attitudes or opinions of other people, persuasiveness.” This statement couldn’t be factual for the values of Lady Macbeth in this play. It can be questioned as to if Macbeth would have even been King without the substantial momentum coming from Lady Macbeth to take charge. She uses her persuasive behavior to manipulate Macbeth into doing what she wants.

The last concept I referenced to Lady Macbeth off of the list of common values inventory items is health. Health is expressed as, “the physical and mental well-being, vitality.” Towards the end of the play Lady Macbeth begins to “go mad” in a way. What I mean by this is for whatever reason, the doctor deems Lady Macbeth as untreatable by him. She comes crashing down mentally due to all the actions that have taken place in the play, and inevitably allows her mental dominance to get the best of her.

Leadership Journal- Set #2

1- Address the age-old question: is a leader born or made?

When analyzing the age-old question, “Is a leader born or raised?” I think a lot of distinctive aspects come into play, For example, how much knowledge do we really acquire at birth? And how do we make that level of knowledge grow over the years of expansion? In my own opinion I imagine a leader is made through process and transfer of information into activities and behavior.

When a child is born, they have communal awareness of their surroundings but do not have the proficiency to apply their learning to leadership scenarios. Even the saying, “natural born leader” has some misconception in my opinion. Yes, it’s understandable to formulate the idea of being born into an excellent bloodline; however, it is placed upon the actions and decisions of each person to take this “instinct” and develop them into leadership qualities.

During my time here at Shenandoah, I’ve been educated on basic social, and academic atmospheres. I’d like to consider myself as a leader on this campus, whether that’s within the classroom or on my cheer team. I have been taught the basics on the university, and “how the college atmosphere works”. To be made into a leader, you have to have the drive to grow and work towards some type of bigger picture. I think parents, instructors, and other dominant figures have a vital impact on “making” leaders. It is the information and knowledge we observe and absorb that gives us the tools we need to become a prominent leader.

Conversely, I can understand where some people can believe one is born a leader. When asking some of my fellow peers their opinion on the question, their answers and explanations varied. For example, an older male basketball player stated, “You are born a leader. Someone can train you to do something, but at the end of the day it’s all on you”. I agree and disagree with this statement because I think it’s important to be yourself, however, I don’t see a problem in looking to outside resources for help and direction.

2- Page 39: What do you think makes an exceptional leader? –How do you match to and gap from those qualities?

When asked to write down ten words that describe my own depiction of an exceptional leader I came up with:

  • Integrity
  • Purpose
  • Power
  • Sincerity
  • Confidence
  • Commitment
  • Intelligence
  • Compassion
  • Determination
  • Humor

By essentially listing out what I thought of an exceptional leader, it put into perspective the importance and amount of work into being a solid leader. When I was making this list I started to picture the characters of leaderships all around me. First, I visualized my parents and realized the leadership skills it took to raise both my brother, and myself. Along with my mother’s compassion, comes purpose and definitely commitment.

Next, I pictured my boss, the director of Admission, Andy Woodall, and contemplated the level of intelligence and power he holds. From an employee standpoint, this is extremely imperative because surrounding myself by these authority figures exemplifies how I strive to be in the future.

With that being said, I believe I match to my list of qualities found in an experimental leader to a certain extent. Yet, I realize I still have a far distance to reach in the overall goals I would like to achieve in my leadership behaviors. I think my body overflows with confidence, and this is a quality I am extremely thankful to have. With confidence comes success, and I utilize this skill to the best of my ability. Lets be real, “you live and you learn” and I have a lot more living to do in my lifetime.

3- Relate the page 22 charts to Macbeth…. Discuss what strikes you about his leadership style and decisions?

In the play Macbeth, many different forms of leadership depict through both good and evil. One thing that I find intriguing is the contrast between the internal and expressive leadership styles seen in the play. For example, Lady Macbeth is an expressive leader in the sense that she is upfront about what it is that she wants done. However, she is also an internal leader regarding the power she holds to manipulate Macbeth into her malicious desires.

On page 22 in Discovering the Leader in You Workbook, says, “Leaders are defined by position. The leader’s power and authority come with the job and the title”. This quote specifically relates directly to Shakespeare’s Macbeth, because the hunger for power resonates throughout the entire play. Macbeth’s desire to be King united with Lady Macbeth’s vindictive persuasion is surrounded by the idea of authority. Even though Macbeth uses his weighted supremacy for good instead of evil, he is still looked at in a leadership position by his title.

On a more positive note, the chart also states, “Leaders are heroes. Charismatic and attractive, they perform feats that are beyond the abilities of ordinary people,” which can be centralized on the character Malcolm in the play Macbeth. No, Malcolm does not overthrow and kill Macbeth alone, but he uses his pedigree and intuition to proceed with the leadership qualities he needs to succeed. One thing I did find intriguing was how Malcolm didn’t exactly have a dominant attitude, and remained in sort of a drift period until the end. However, he still carried out his actions with pride and leadership.

4- Complete the workbook pages 26 and 27, then compose a response relating these concepts to your understanding of Othello and the play, in general.

In general, the word diversity is on the upraise through culture, experiences, society, and overall humanity. Because Othello is set back in the past, and has a prehistoric setting, the idea of “experiencing a different culture” is not a concept that jumped right out to me. Rather than now, the diverse understandings of people generate either progression or hatred. With that being said, a strong sense of jealousy and envy was seen in Othello. More so, the prominent hatred is manifested from the love and relations between the character… deceitful or not.

In Shakespeare’s Othello, there is not really a dominant portrayal of leadership, or leadership activities connected through the characters at all. The characters let envy blur their growth in leadership and turn them towards an even larger disorder… murder. For example, Roderigo is envious that Othello has his love Desdemona, and Iago is envious of Cassio for meeting the position of Othello’s lieutenant.

On the chart on page 26, it states, “Need to watch what I say and how I believe,” and I think this similarly relates to the tragedy Othello. I ponder the characters in Othello lack leadership skills on a broad aspect. Furthermore, even the characters that possess some leadership-like behaviors or characteristic use them in the wrong way, for evil instead of good.

Leadership Journal- Set #1

1 – Discuss either leadership role prompt on page xiii.

A leader is someone who directs a group in a particular direction, using desire and management without having to command and intensely force actions. Even though I am only twenty years old, I pride myself in obtaining plenty of leadership behaviors and deeds in my life thus far. When I was in high school I was determined to keep my grades high and go to college. I was determined to go to college because it was something no one in my family had ever done before. I watched around and saw my elder cousins slithering by in high school, only to graduate and then instantly settle, but that’s not me. I also took an additional look around and saw the rest of my younger cousins seeing the same thing that I saw… and I decided I would be the change in my family. Personally, I think a leader goes hand in hand with the term “role model”, and here I am. I am not only a role model to my younger family members but I strive to be someone anyone can look up to, whether that’s on the cheerleading team, in the community, at work, or even in the classroom. I believe it’s beyond essential to get involved in as many organizations as you can handle, because with each experience comes a new lesson. To be a successful leader, you must be diverse, considerate, and well rounded… All of which I’d love to think I have ultimately locked down.

During adversities, leaders tend to come forward and take charge with ease. This statement is precisely true concerning my cheerleading experience here at Shenandoah University. Due to unfit issues, our coach and assistant coach were released last year, leaving our team in pieces. We were looking at only three girls returning to the team this current school year, including myself. I decided to step up. I used my resources working in the admissions office to begin recruiting. I contacted prospective students via email, phone, and face-to-face contact. Whether it was dealing with waking up early on Saturdays to give new families campus tours then out to lunch to answer questions, or having long phone conversations with parents, it all instilled a deep responsibility throughout my core. Now, we have a team of about twenty girls working towards not only building the cheerleading organization up at this university, but also forming a competition team.

2 – Discuss your own leadership strengths and weaknesses as you see them at this point in your life.

Presently, at this point in my life, I am a sophomore Business Administration undergraduate student and I find it exceptionally significant to be able to evaluate ones own strengths and weaknesses, especially in hope to accelerate and succeed. I’d have to say one vital strength I portray in any given leadership position is respect. I’m a firm believer in “what you give is what you get,” and I treat everyone with the same respect that I anticipate getting back. I think if you earn a evident respect from your colleagues and peers, you are more likely to succeed in having a positive environment, and more so a flourishing end result. For example, my hall of the dorm style building I live on this year is full of “non-boring” students. I’ll be the first to admit we can be a bit loud and obnoxious at certain times. However, our Resident Assistant (RA) strives as our leader… because he has acquired all of our respect. He doesn’t attempt to treat us like we’re any lower than he is, and we understand that he truly does have our best interest in his mind.

Even though I believe I have the strength to think on my feet, and it’s extremely important to have quick problem solving skills when dealing with “leading” other people. I understand everyone has weaknesses, or things they are still working towards fixing. My biggest weakness ties directly to the communal concept of time management. Procrastination is and always has been a best friend of mine. Even though I have the ability to think fast on my feet, I procrastinate because in the end I know I will finish what I need to get done. However, even though I always manage to complete my tasks well, waiting to do things until the last minute sometimes causes me a great deal of stress.

3 – Explore the topic prompt on page 7 (“analyzing a sample” writing prompt).

One key person who I’ve not only been privileged to get to know personally, but also look up to as a driven role model is Dean Miles Davis, of the Harry Byrd School of Business, at Shenandoah University. He has undoubtedly showed his students and collaborators that he genuinely cares about the well being of everyone around him. Dean Davis has a contagious smile and upbeat energy that shadows him on a daily basis. This is extremely significant because just as I learned in my class with Dr. Enders, the brain is more likely going to efficiently take in and store information if it’s involved with a positive atmosphere.

If I had to decide what I think Dean Davis’s purpose for leading is… I would say the fact that he sees a future and hunger in all of his students at Shenandoah. He makes it clear that he believes in each and everyone of his students, which I consider to be one of the characteristics that make him such a great role model/leader. I interviewed Dean Davis for a paper I was writing last semester and he shared his own personal story. He told me about how he, just like everyone else felt the struggles of reality, and even with odds stacked against him… he came out on top. What I think is compelling about Dean Miles Davis is how he’s already made it with a successful career, however, he continues to not only push himself, but also clear a path of guidance upon his fellow learners. I feel 100% comfortable contacting Dean Miles Davis with any questions or concerns, and he is definitely an influential, optimistic adult I not only look up to, but also admire for his leadership.

4 – What are your thoughts on drift and flow? –in general, and with regard to your own leadership style and situation….

I think the idea of drift and flow paints a realistic picture of an individual in their leadership journey. Nobody can effectively get from one place without passing through other; it’s all about how you get there. In the Workbook it states how every leader will go through a stage of “drift” at some point or another. The way I understand the notion of drift is merely a person moving along, but not moving up or drastically changing anything… almost a period of doubt.

On the other hand you have people with a leadership style like myself; I often catch myself in a sense of “flow” because I get so immersed in what I’m doing. When I feel myself flowing, nothing else typically matters to me at that point in time. I think by constantly reaching towards innovation, it helps each person continue to flow without hitting that “drift” stage.

What do you do when you feel stuck in a “drift” period? I think this question can be answered in many different ways depending on each person, because lets be real, we all have comfortable ways of dealing with issues. Comfortable, just may be why we find ourselves in the “drift” period in the first place. I feel like sometimes when I get overly comfortable with a situation or scenario, I can get stuck in that repetitive pattern, without growing at all. On the other hand, I can see how somebody may feel the complete opposite. What I mean by this is, sometimes it takes the feeling of being comfortable to grow and start to flow upwards.

Mix It Up

Leadership Fluctuation:

Business World Clash with Shakespeare Twist

In the business world, the authority and/or lack of leadership roles, characteristics, and styles are stereotypically used to distinguish between good and bad leaders. The constant static surrounding leaders in society wavers between good vs. bad and successful vs. unsuccessful leaders because the concept of an “ideal leader” can be perceived and argued in many different directions. However, it’s agreeable that the outcome of a leader is different in each sort of situation and individual. The controversial topic of whether a leader is born or made also plays into the perception of what truly makes a good leader. In Shakespeare’s tragedies he demonstrates the different leadership characteristics intertwined with leaders whom are born or made. Although, one thing remains constant – in every scenario each personality is driven by a certain defying leadership characteristic.

In Shakespeare’s Othello, it is prevalent that the line between what is morally right and wrong can be quite blurred. For example, Iago is an undisputed leader who strives off of jealousy to drive both the plot and Othello’s mind into a downward spiral. He uses determination to successfully pick apart the awareness of Othello and place everything in his own hands. Iago is described as, “…diseased intellectual activity, with an almost perfect indifference to moral good and evil, or rather with a preference of the latter, because it falls more in with his favourite propensity, gives greater zest to his thoughts, and scope his actions” (Bloom 433). What Bloom depicts here is a man that knows his wrongdoings and the overall initiative between good and evil but continues towards his advances in mischievous actions. Iago is a perfect example of how positive leadership characteristics such as determination can be turned towards the darker scheme of senses. “A great leader has a fierce resolve on achieving goals and is very persistent in forging forward. He is not afraid of hard work and challenges that presents before him (Qualities of a Great Writer). I agree with the text of this article highlighting the idea of determination being a key factor is ones success because determination is the most prevalent leadership characteristic in my personal life. I am a firm believe that if you desire something or crave success… you have to want it – and want it bad. Determination is a leadership characteristic that all of the Byrd School of Business students, including myself, are encouraged to strive towards. But what is the purpose of having determination if one is using it towards an un-honorable cause such as Iago?

On the other hand, Othello and Emilia are examples of honorable characters in this particular Shakespearian tragedy. Even though Othello kills his love Desdemona, he is completely duped by an outside voice in his ear leading up to Scene 5. He allows his compassion to drive himself and his lady towards an unappealing fate. This is completely common in the business world today. What I mean by this is, it’s not unusual to see a strong leader affected by an outside source.

Othello was merely driven by compassion, a constructive leadership characteristic, but yet he still didn’t get crowned a superlative leader in Shakespeare’s work. It’s not far fetched to assume the overall demon clouding over the play in its entirety is jealousy, which is touched on throughout the play. For example, Iago warns Othello, “O, beware, my lord, of jealousy. / It is a green-eyed monster which doth mock / The meat it feeds on” (3.3.169-172). Consequently, it’s ironic that Iago is driven by jealousy, yet essentially manipulating Othello to think he is a trustworthy friend.

Emilia exemplifies a different type of leadership role in Shakespeare’s Othello because she isn’t a leading character. Even though she can be seen as a follower to her husband Iago, she displays both loyalty and courage – two extremely important leadership characters. By standing up for what she believes is right she essentially airs out Iago’s bad deeds and dies trying to remain loyal to Desdemona. When Iago tells Emilia to “charm her tongue” she replies, “I will not charm my tongue, / I am bound to speak. / My mistress here lies murdered in her bed” (5.2.190-193). Even though Emilia wasn’t a key leader in Othello she was a common factor in both the honorable downfall of Othello and the capture of Iago – two dominant leaders throughout the play. By speaking the truth she not only rightfully throws Iago under the bus but she also makes Othello realize that he has been fooled and has made a massive mistake. This is another leadership lesson that adds onto the idea of how leadership cannot be exactly defined. Everything is connected in some way. In both the social-business world and Shakespeare’s tragedies, the actions and roles of one person will greatly affect the success of another person.

The idea of determination influencing the plot of a Shakespearean tragedy remains in tact when analyzing the leaders in Hamlet. It is common to find the protagonist as the main leader of the play, however, that’s not only what I picked out from this play. Because of the added supernatural element of magical realism, I came to the realization that the Ghost displays key leadership characteristics that follow through all the way to the end of the play. The Ghost plants an idea and motive in Hamlet’s head that King Claudius must die for the life and name of his father who once ruled before. Whether or not one will argue about whether the ghost is actually there or not… it doesn’t matter. Once the idea is imbedded in Hamlet’s head, his leadership style shifts completely. His sanity is constantly being questioned – even though I truthfully believe Hamlet let his intelligence prevail as his overall tragic flaw. “Hamlet is too intelligent to be at one with any role, and intelligence in itself is decentered when allied with the prince’s ultimate disinterestness” (Bloom 406). By Bloom stating that Hamlet’s intelligence is decentered it can symbolize the failure of balance to have a steady ground for the leadership duties he intended to carry through. Intelligence is linked to leadership by, “Leaders with strong ability to communicate their ideas clearly, are perceptive, intuitive and can apply reasoning make better leaders. Particular important intellect associates within the context of their leadership environment” (A Closer Look At Leadership Traits).

This definition of intelligence makes me analyze Hamlet a bit further. What I’d like to believe is Hamlet is not mad, he just seems to have everything figured out that he needs to. His intelligence is over the capacity of some of the other characters because it’s full of the possibilities for revenge and understanding. Hamlet believes that he knows something everyone else acts oblivious to so he feels as though he must take matters into his own hands. Because his understanding seems to be over everyone’s head, he is blamed for a loss of sanity due to the lack of clear communication he is giving to the other characters.

Unlike the courageous actions of Emilia in Othello, Gertrude undoubtedly relates more towards a coward. Whether or not she knows the truth behind her husband’s murder… her quick marriage to the king’s brother (Claudius) suggests weakness and a boundless fault in any type of “leadership role” she is entitled to. The leadership roles surrounding Gertrude and Emilia make an interesting analysis of gender roles in Shakespearean’s time. From what we’ve gathered thus far in Shakespeare’s Othello and Hamlet the men are the characters that show dominance and obtain the majority of power. The men are in charge of ruling while the women are in charge of dealing with more domestic work. However, Emilia and Gertrude are clearly in two different social class standings… where Emilia is simply the assistant of Desdemona, and Gertrude is titled as Queen.

In addition, Gertrude is Queen and Claudius is the new King, however, it is apparent that the King was making the final decisions and rulings. In society, gender roles have been another topic that has fluctuated back and forth under the radar. In Shakespeare’s tragedies it is clear how the gender roles are divided between male and female. Bloom states, “He knew that the love of power, which is another name for the love of mischief, was natural to man” (432). Bloom states that this power-hunger notion is merely depicted from a man because it’s initially when the male characters overstep their power boundaries that they have their biggest downfall.

However, in the business world today the give and take of male and female leaders are continually making advances towards equality. By women stepping up and putting themselves into the light of leadership roles, it’s making a smooth adjustment for the process of change. This climbing alteration in today’s society makes me question the role of Gertrude and Emilia in Shakespeare’s tragedies. If Gertrude would have took a stiffer stance on the compassion for her son and stopped fading behind the decisions of King Claudius, then I think the sanity of Hamlet would have been undoubtedly restored.

Conversely, Shakespeare’s two tragedies Othello and Hamlet both allow question for the “right” and “wrong” actions of an “ideal leader.” Without given the situation and people involved, it is simply impossible to suggest the perfect leadership characteristics to load a person with the intent of success. With the understanding of it being basically unreasonable to characterize perfection as a leader, we can move on to question whether a leader being born or made has any type of definite effect. The parallel connection between Hamlet as a born leader and Othello being made a leader both end in the same manor. Hamlet is crowned power by his appropriate own bloodline and Othello shows strength as a general, but can also be seen as simply a moor from North Africa. In both scenarios passion for a loved one drives them both to their deaths. So all in all can we put a definite answer on the question of whether a leader is born or made – I think not.

What’s important is to evaluate each given leader for this separate characteristics, roles, and styles, then assess their steps and outcome to grow further. The pressure a business man/woman is placed under to be a “good” or “bad” leader shouldn’t be so cut and dry. Depending on the specific situation or individual, it will produce a different ruling each and every time. When analyzing Othello and Hamlet there isn’t a specific “perfect leader” because that does not exist. There are characters that exemplify leadership characteristics, some for good and some for bad. What’s interesting to me is how the same characteristic, determination, that’s used in my everyday life, can be so wrongfully twisted by a character like Iago. The wavering conflict between a good and bad leader is still up in the air. However, by analyzing Shakespeare’s Othello and Hamlet it has become apparent that unless given the circumstances and specific individuals – any type of leader is possible.

Works Cited

“A Closer Look At Leadership Traits.” Lead Without Authority. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Mar. 2015.

Bloom, Harold. Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human. New York: Riverhead, 1998. Print.

“Leadership Traits: Small Business Administration.” Leadership Traits. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Mar. 2015.

Shakespeare, William. “Macbeth.” The Norton Shakespeare, Based on the Oxford Edition. Ed. Greenblatt, Stephen, et al. 2nd ed. New York: W.W. Norton, 2008. 2569-2632. Print.

Shakespeare, William. “The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice.” The Norton Shakespeare, Based on the Oxford Edition. Ed. Greenblatt, Stephen, et al. 2nd ed. New York: W.W. Norton, 2008. 2119-2191. Print.

“Qualities Of A Great Leader.” Career Success for Newbies. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Mar. 2015.