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John Bishop is a person who never fails to bring forth discussions and insights that are not only thought-provoking, but informational and inspirational also. We typically consider “blind spots” to be those areas to our sides and back that we cannot see very well during driving using mirrors. The “Important-Urgent” grid above has helped many of my mentees over the years understand how to deal with priorities, eliminate fire drills, balance the time-quality trade-off and remove unneeded tasks. Kevin Eikenberry is a world renowned leadership expert, a two-time bestselling author, speaker, consultant, trainer, coach, leader, learner, husband and father. 101 Ideas You Can Do Today to Improve Productivity & Unleash Your Leadership Potential! June 28, 2014 by Marissa Weagly 1 Comment First and foremost I will admit; I am not a leader.
Currently, I am a member of a very small knit community that who are the first parents to embark on the opening of a new Charter school in my area.
What is so sad about this entire situation is that instead of being about the children in the school, the leadership of the school became an egotistical competition. June 27, 2014 by Joseph Ronald Scheff Leave a Comment The past few lessons in leadership have provided me a new perspective. As an example, I recognized this past week an individual that is in a assigned leadership position and began to assess his leadership abilities through the light of leadership as a process and not position.
This week I traveled to Tobyhanna Army Depot in Northeast Pennsylvania where I participated in meetings with many of the management level people.
I went for several walks throughout the industrial areas and talked to people working on the shop floor.
The trait perspective believes that leadership “resides in select people and reflects leadership to those who are believed to have special, usually inborn, talents.” (Northouse, 2013, p. While leadership is certainly a process that involves both the leader and the followers, traits play an important part in the situation. As you might imagine, that was not necessarily the best way to find people with leadership traits.  It did result in the promotion of some good leaders, but simply put, it was a real hit-or-miss proposition.
Following that transition, the new promotional test consisted of a written exam, followed by a structured interview and several role-playing scenarios.  Seniority was no longer a factor in the process.
I don’t know if I completely agree with the trait approach, but I can say with certainty that the revised testing procedure, which featured extensive personal interactions with a review board, seemed to produce a more consistent result which made it a better predictor of future performance than the previous testing process. Being a CHRO is an important part of being a servant leader because it is how a leader can show employees that they are the priority. June 27, 2014 by Patti Jean Keith 1 Comment Since this will be an ongoing dialogue with some of my classmates, it makes sense to introduce myself in this initial blog. Personal experiences in my last few years with the agency I worked for inspired me to study leadership. I believe that I was an “accidentally” authentic, transformational leader in my former job. So far, we have looked at the Trait and Psychodynamic theories or approaches to leadership (Northouse, 2013). Emotional intelligence (recognizing your own feelings as well as the feelings of others) and social intelligence (feeling empathy and acting in accord with it) were severely lacking in the administrative team that I worked under (PSU WC PSYCH 285 L.2, p. As with the trait approach, the psychodynamic approach relies upon the lifelong development of self-awareness. June 27, 2014 by Willie Edward Mathis 2 Comments I would consider myself a thinker and a very open minded individual and I have personally thought about what makes up a good leader a time or two. Before reading one sentence of formal leadership literature, my definition of a leader would have been defined as: A person with the ability to influence an individual or group of individuals to accomplish a task.
The table describes the distal (trait-like) and proximal (state-like) attributes that “good leaders” possess. Filed Under: Uncategorized Tagged With: #novice, #psych485, #williemathis, leadershipThe power to lead others or the ability to accomplish goals, which makes a better leader? There are five major leadership traits; intelligence, self-confidence, determination, integrity, and sociability (Northouse, 2013).
So overall, I think it’s important to distinguish between the power of being a leader compared to the ability to get things done.
I, however, was cursed to inherit a team of three leaders that in every regard exhibited one or more dark-side personality traits. In 1994, brothers Bert and John Jacobs, founders of the Life is Good Company, came up with an idea that changed their lives forever.
Transformational leaders “recognize the problems of a present system and offer a vision to overcome these problems,” while also being “talented at sharing their visions” (Lesson 10: Transformational Leadership, 2014, p. Transformational Leaders are able to build trust in their followers through personal example and an image of self-confidence (Lesson 10: Transformational Leadership, 2014, p.
Now years after the first drawing of Jake, Bert Jacobs speaks as a motivational speaker at a number of conferences and their image of positive energy continues to grow along with their business.
An evidence to this is his tight knit following he has developed throughout the years; which he refers to as his Leadership Is a Verb Community. This includes my mental state, the mechanical performance of the cycle, security of cargo and attentiveness of my favorite passenger.
Unfortunately too many leaders put performance reviews, communication and mentoring in this group. Make sure you and your boss agree on the category, limit the task, extend the due date or get these officially canceled.
That doesn’t mean I haven’t been put in leadership positions, and that doesn’t mean I have failed in those positions. Being the first parents to enroll our children means we get to see all of the successes and failures of the new school.
But it is ironic that as I am watching this, I am also studying leadership and all of the various approaches and theories on what leadership is exactly. The vision that was painted for us when we first heard about the school from the director was amazing. Maybe being scared of crashing and burning with the rest of “could be leaders” is enough to keep anyone away from trying to be a leader. Many people in assigned leadership positions demonstrate many of the concepts that we have been learning about in our PSYCH485 course. I always made the assumption that this individual was a good leader because of their management position, rank, and external traits. The people in attendance were all high quality leaders in their own right and they fit my stereotypical idea on how a leader should look. They can influence other by providing ideas to improve processes, speak up when they see unsafe acts, or just encourage others that may not be having the best of days. Emotional intelligence concerns the “ability to understand emotions and apply this to life’s tasks,” (Northouse, 2013, p. It is important to decipher a leader’s personality traits in order to determine how well they will work with their followers.
Following a major change in administration, I was fairly certain that I was learning far too much about what leadership isn’t.


While I don’t believe that personality traits or types necessarily make a leader, they can certainly influence a leader’s effectiveness.
I have also thought about what makes a “good” leader and I would define a good leader as the following: A person with the ability to influence an individual or group of individuals to accomplish a task happily and to the best of their abilities. It combines both the innate traits of the individual with the skills that are learned throughout life to describe a successful leader.
Many of my personal beliefs will now be changed based upon the research that has been done in this area. I’m sure everyone has had a boss or coach or any other form of person in a position of power who didn’t have one or more of these traits. Is it more important for a leader to lead those who follow or to be able to accomplish a task. There are plenty of inept bosses who are completely outdone by their employees every day, yet they remain in a position of power while the employee remains in a lesser position. Bert and John, through their creation of a vision and spreading of a positive idea, converted from two young men selling t-shirts out of an old, used van, to not only the founders of a $100 million company, but also transformational leaders. Transformational leaders focus on sharing personal bonds and appealing to emotional states of their followers (Lesson 10: Transformational Leadership, 2014, p.
By embracing the characteristics that transformational leaders possess, Bert and John Jacobs prove to be excellent examples of transformational leaders for their followers at Life is Good.
John continues to deliver pieces on not just leadership, but also mentoring, diversity and career development. I have found that blind spots exist in our leadership and job performance skills in the same way.
Being these parents also means we get to have front row seats as the newly minted director of the school fails. Of course when I am studying a topic, I can’t help but apply what is being learned to everyone around me.
These fears are probably why motivation is listed so high on the needs of successful leaders. Under routine circumstances, most of my previous everyday experiences with these individuals would not have included an assessment of certain leadership traits or techniques. Now I realize that my vision of what a leader is included factors that might not have been all that valuable when making an assessment.
The men all wore either suites or shirt and ties while the woman wore dresses or paint suites; there was nothing out of place. It was great to have a chance to catch up with some of the friends that I worked closely with in the past.
The process based perspective of leadership defines it as “a phenomenon that resides in the context of the interaction between leaders and followers and makes leadership available to everyone.” (Northouse, 2013, p. I have no doubt now that leadership is not something reserved for those in the assigned management positions, but something much more. My verbal response was “Wow, where do I begin?” However, my first line of thought went to traits. The trait approach assumes that a leader that works better with their followers will result in a more successful organization, (Northouse, 2013). My current major is Organizational Leadership, with minors in Human Development and Family Studies, Labor Studies and Employment Relations, and Sociology.
Three are college graduates, and I will openly admit that I was thrilled to attend my very last high school graduation on Friday – whew! But, transparency in my relationships occurred naturally, and I worked to facilitiate growth in my staff. By adding “happily and to the best of their abilities” to the definition emphasizes a point that not all leaders and good leaders and I believe good leaders are born with leadership traits that gives the an advantage of those who are not born with those traits.
Zaccaro describes the cognitive abilities, personality, and values of a person combined with the social skills, problem-solving skills, and expertise of an individual yield itself to an effective leader (Zaccaro, 2004). I would say that the main role a leader plays, at least in a work environment, is making sure that everyone is accomplishing the goals that were set out for them. That leader would be intelligent and capable of communicating and accomplishing goals in an effective way.
I once had a boss who, in my opinion, was entirely inept at his job as a supervisor of employees. These often go hand in hand, but plenty of situations can and do arise where the majority of work done is by followers, rather than the leader. Maybe the employee has terrible management skills and would make an even worse boss, regardless of how well they do their job. Bert and John Jacobs accomplished this through their choice of their way of life by being humble and spreading their optimism and enhancing their image of optimism to the best of their abilities. After a few Life is Good Festivals, and raising over a million dollars, Bert and John are still looking to spread more optimism. In working with many people over the years I’ve found that providing them with a tool to help them identify their work “blind spots” has been quite helpful. As Northouse (2013) stated narcissistic leaders aren’t always wrapped up in themselves and vain, but they are proud of their accomplishments and their visions (p.
Successful leaders must really want what they are trying to achieve or else they wouldn’t be so willing to put their pride on the line.
So far, this class has developed an awareness of these characteristics that I would have otherwise failed to recognize.
Tobyhanna is an industrial facility for the Department of the Army that repairs communications and electronics equipment and it is filled with hundreds of blue collar workers. I think now think of leadership more as a verb then noun now that I understand what leadership actually is.
Northouse (2013) suggests that leadership is not a trait that a leader possesses but instead, it is a “transactional event,” (p.
Each of these traits fit in with the traits that a successful leader is likely to possess, (Northouse, 2013).
A leader with a high level of emotional intelligence can understand the emotions of the team members, their own emotions, and use the emotions to lead effectively. Jennifer possessed multiple traits that made her an effective leader and, as a result, her team achieved their common goals.
My direct supervisor freely admitted that she did not feel empathy, that it just didn’t make sense to her. I am a huge fan of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (Northouse, 2013), and plan to enroll in the certification program after graduation. As a person who already believed that 80% of who we are we are born with, the trait approach to leadership obviously caught my attention. This is the best model that I have seen thus far that aligns with my personal assessment of good leadership. I’m looking forward to my transition from a novice to someone who is knowledgeable in the subject. The most important responsibility of the leader is to guarantee his followers are working toward their common goal.


After making a good amount of money the brother joked that “after we got new mountain bikes, we didn’t know what to do… (growing up) we got a sense of what is really fulfilling…friends, family, laughter and love” (Chun, 2012). After receiving letters from people who wore Life is good clothing, the brothers realized how many people they have begun to influence and how important their influence has been. Quite possibly it is because I have watched so many leaders fail, and it is really not a pretty sight. But in this situation, I believe the problem I am witnessing is the failure of a Productive Narcissist. It hit me that I’m sure to find leaders here that do not fit my past definition of a suit and tie leader.
I knew from our leadership lessons that leadership is a process and that it involved influencing others.
It’s good to know that leadership can come from many areas and it is not limited; you really can’t tell who is a leader by just looking. The five traits that are central to this list are integrity, intelligence, sociability, determination, and self-confidence, (Northouse, 2013). Jennifer was aware of the emotional atmosphere in her department and could sense when there was discord among the members. Years ago, I persuaded the former administration of my agency to contract with a professor from PSU Altoona to provide a day-long seminar which included implementation and interpretation of the MBTI.
As a novice to psychology in general I’d like to discuss a few of the topics that have caught my attention.
Northouse (2013) states that the “trait perspective suggests that certain individuals have special innate or inborn characteristics or qualities that make them leaders”.   One argument of trait leadership is that traits alone do not guarantee a leader. You could relate this to a boss who run runs a tight ship in his office and makes sure his employees are working efficiently.
Transformational leaders exhibit the characteristics of having a vision and rhetorical skills to share that vision, are able to build a trusting image of self-confidence and personal example, and have personalized leadership (Lesson 10: Transformational Leadership, 2014, p.
John took the idea of this hero and drew what is now the face of their company, Life is good, which is a stick figure known as Jake. With regards to growing their optimistic image, retailers helped the brothers build on Jake who evolved from just a man to a man eating ice cream, biking, fishing etc. The depth of the meaning of the brand was ultimately understood by Bert and John when a young girl who was diagnosed with terminal cancer was wearing life is good apparel while doing an interview.
But the fall came when the director had to hire a school board, and the school board questioned some of the decisions he was making.
There is bound to be conflict within a team and if it is not resolved, it could result in the team being less productive. Prior to returning to school, I was employed by a nonprofit organization as a Program Specialist for 33 years.
Working for a narcissist is not a pleasant experience; they don’t know themselves and they don’t care to know others.
This is the reason that the trait argument fell out of favor for so long by the leadership scholars. They would ideally be self-confident, since it would make leading a group of people easier compared to someone with low self-confidence. However, this same boss does little to no work of his own outside of his position of power over his employees.
On the interview, when asked why she was wearing something that expressed “life is good,” when she had only a short time left to live, she replied “before I was sick, I took my life for granted, but now that I might not live so long, I want to make sure I enjoy and appreciate every day” (Chun, 2012).
Maybe if the school board had read Maccoby’s book on how to work with narcissistic leaders they would have realized that they couldn’t smash the director’s ego and still expect positive results out of him.
Integrity is a quality of a person that sense of responsibility for their actions, (Northouse, 2013). She would approach the situation as soon as possible in attempts to diffuse the tension and create peace among the group. Self-awareness and self-regulation are essential to a leader’s success, especially in terms of earning the trust of followers (Northouse, 2013). We teamed up to gain insight into why our perceptions and reactions often differed, and we learned to work with our diversity rather than against it. Many studies have tried to put the pieces of the puzzle together and I came across a table in Wikipedia that was created by Steve Zaccaro, a professor at George Mason University. And most importantly, a leader should be comfortable in any social situations which may arise. And last of all, he didn’t have the work smarts to actually accomplish his job in an efficient manner. Bert and John Jacobs absorbed the fact that their message was truly affecting people in such a powerful and positive way.
Despite this line of thinking, I still immediately began thinking of traits that I believed a successful leader should have. Now, I am a work-study student at the PSU Altoona Campus gym making a whopping $8.50 an hour part-time. It’s important for a leader to make connections and to maintain relationships with coworkers and others. Despite all of this, that man was my boss for almost a year and has been a boss (and still is) for over a decade.
According to the interview, a few days after Jake was created, the brothers went to the street with t-shirts with Jake’s face symbolizing life is good and “sold 48 t-shirts, in 45 minutes” (Chun, 2012) and realized how big this idea can become.
In the effort to grow such a positive, happy image, Bert and John were able to connect with their followers and continue to spread optimism and good vibes.
The inspiration in Bert and John grew and has led them to create an annual life is good festival to raise money to help kids. The director would go around the board, the board would find out and undo everything the director had accomplished, and eventually the director stopped trying.
I began recalling leaders whom I consider successful that I have come into contact with in the past. From this point Bert and John worked on building the image of Jake in effort to spread optimism to as many people as possible. Intelligence is important for a leader because it can have an effect on problem solving skills, (Northouse, 2013). Jennifer was an excellent problem solver and if she ever came to a stumbling block, she sought assistance.
Sociability concerns having social relationships with the individuals in the group, (Northouse, 2013). Self-confidence is the ability to recognize that one’s own competencies, (Northouse, 2013).



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