Posts by AmyLynnV:
Servant leadership has been the theme of this semester. Peter G. Northouse defines servant leadership in his book Leadership: Theory and Practice. Hopefully, this quote can help everyone be the leaders they want to be. It has definitely helped me understand what servant leadership is and how I can apply it to my life: “Servant leadership argues unabashedly that leaders should put followers first, share control with followers, and embrace their growth” (Northhouse 234).
Over the semester we’ve learned that serving our community and using teamwork are important parts of learning how to lead. However, it took me until the end to really learn that being a leader shouldn’t be completely selfish. It isn’t about just learning what qualities make a good leader, but it’s about having awareness of the people around you and your impact on them.
The leadership lessons that I’ve been able to apply to my life this semester come from many places; however, Abraham Lincoln has taught me the most in the book Lincoln on Leadership Donald T. Phillips.
As we approach the end of our leadership seminar and get ready to share with the class what our personal leadership styles are, it’s important to reflect on what makes us, as young people, leaders. What gives us the right to be leaders in a world where leadership means power?
Our class has experienced what it’s like to be a servant leader in the community, reflected on what leadership styles we’ve observed in our employers, and discussed how we have acted in leadership positions in our lives. Now, as some of us prepare to graduate and some of us continue into our last year of college, we must recognize the places and situations we can step up and use our leadership skills. We have the ability to lead and use our leadership skills even if we aren’t the president of an organization or in a managerial position.
As I was browsing the Internet looking for young leaders, I came across several organizations that rely on the leadership of young people all over the world. UNICEF is an organization that advocates for children and promotes young leaders internationally to help aid in advocating for children’s rights.
“Young people make up more than half the world’s population. They are speaking out and taking active leadership roles throughout society to ensure children play a central role in building a world truly fit for children” (Unicef – Young Leaders)
If children are making a difference and standing up for their rights, how can we also stand up for what we believe in and make a difference in the world?
I believe it’s as simple as Kelly Curtis, author of Empowering Youth, says. “The way we guide young people today will ultimately determine the world’s fate – and our own. But valuing the contributions of youth to our society – viewing youth as worthy of adult respect – is a relatively new concept” (Curtis 12).
We are a in a time of our lives where we aren’t completely taken seriously and we are competing to find jobs among veterans in our field. Preparing ourselves to be rookies is a daunting task. However, if we apply the leadership skills we’ve learned in this class and stay true to our personal leadership styles, then we can succeed and inspire. We may even be able to teach older generations a thing or two.
I challenge everyone to use their leadership skills to inspire and make a difference in their lives. You don’t have to change the world single-handedly, but we’ve learned valuable lessons in this class. It’s time to stop taking the back seat and step up to make a real difference. How will you use your leadership skills?
Last Monday, our class became a yoga studio for about an hour. We learned the importance of breathing, basic stretching anda few sun salutation poses. After the final breathing exercise, I’m sure everyone felt completely relaxed, but did everyone feel more like a leader?
Yoga isn’t only a great physical workout, but it’s a wonderful mental workout. There are several mental exercises that a yogi cycles through during a yoga session. Relaxation isn’t the only state of mind. Over the last three years of steadily doing yoga, I’ve learned a few important leadership techniques that I believe will benefit anyone who practices yoga.
1. “You’re doing it wrong!!”
I’m joking; you can’t do it wrong if you try and pay attention. When you’re doing yoga, it’s really not about looking exactly like your neighbor. Yoga is a slow practice that takes time. Some poses will be easy, while others will be unachievable. The catch is that you can never do it wrong and you should never give up. When you can’t master a pose immediately, it’s ok to attempt it without being in the full pose. Yoga is about finding a better you and breathing into the poses as far as you can. Remember: You aren’t doing it wrong if you are trying your hardest. Just don’t give up!
2. You can do the impossible.
This is a fact and you should believe it. Like I said before, yoga is a practice that takes time to master. No one is asking you to do something you can’t, but don’t be surprised if after a few yoga sessions, you can. This is another reason you shouldn’t give up right away. Take risks and believe in your abilities to conquer even the hardest poses.
3. Don’t be a show off.
Once you have a handle on yoga, you may want to move to the front of the class. Why not? “I do downward dog better than any of these know-it-alls.” Don’t go there. Being too confident, even a little pompous, will only hurt your practice and the safe environment everyone expects in the studio. No one likes an arrogant yogi. In the studio, everyone is equal and attempting their own personal feats. It’s not a competition and never should be. If you’re focusing on everyone else, then you must not be focusing on your personal growth.
These three lessons are important in leadership building because they teach not only on practice, but on character. To sum up the lessons: Try hard and don’t give up, take risks, and don’t be arrogant. Yoga can be a very spiritual process. I would suggestyoga for anyone, not only for the amazing physical results, but also for the mental workout. Even just a mediation process once a day can improve the quality of your body and mind.
“Whenever I hear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally.” – Abraham Lincoln
Lincoln on Leadership: Executive Strategies for Tough Times is a wonderful illustration of President Abraham Lincoln’s leadership strengths during his presidency and the Civil War written by Donald T. Phillips. Lincoln had true American spirit and used his skills to unite our country during its toughest time. While most Americans think of Lincoln and only bring to mind his nickname “Honest Abe,” I have been able to improve my leadership style and gain valuable leadership lessons from learning about his life.
The lessons listed below outline Lincoln’s identity and the characteristics that have given him the title of one of the best leaders in American History.
- Get out of the office and circulate among the troops
- Build strong alliances
- Persuade rather than coerce
- Honesty and integrity are the best policies
- Never act out of vengeance or spite
- Have the courage to handle unjust criticism
- Be a master of paradox
- Exercise a strong hand – Be decisive
- Lead by being led
- Set goals and be results-oriented
- Keep searching until you find your “Grant”
- Encourage innovation
- Master the art of public speaking
- Influence people through conversationand storytelling
- Preach a vision and continually reaffirm it
A good question was brought up in today’s class. Do people volunteer to feel good or to really help other people? I agree with a comment made about American culture – it is self-centered. However, there are different types of volunteerism and reasons why it’s done. In this blog post, I’m going to focus on the volunteering our class is doing and the volunteerism most people can relate to. It’s not the same as a business donating money or time to a charity or as a retired person spending their time by volunteering.
While community service is used as a punishment in some cases, it isn’t the only reason people give back to the community. If you haven’t seen the movie Role Models, then you must because it’s hilarious and in the end there’s a message that can further my point. There is a mix in volunteerism between people who must give their time and the people who volunteer the extra time they have, but I think the end result is always the same.
Personally, I’ve grown up with a mother who constantly volunteered for the Special Olympics. I still remember going to events with her and seeing her work from distance. When I was old enough, my mom put me to work as well. In this case, I believe it is in her nature. She gravitated toward a teaching career and truly enjoyed volunteering with Special Olympics to help others. She always tells me how gratifying it is to see smiles on the faces of those she helps and after years of volunteering, I agree.
As I’ve grown up, I have volunteered my time to many different organizations. This weekend was a sort of volunteer weekend for me because not only did I go to the orange-picking event, but Sunday morning I volunteered at a Reducing Euthanasia at Shelters Through Commitment and Underlying Education (RESCUE ) event with my other Fiesta Bowl court members. These events are gratifying because there is never a time when after volunteering that the people you helped aren’t extremely thankful.
To answer the question whether volunteering is for a better self image or really to help others, I believe that even if someone walks into a volunteer situation with bad intentions they will walk out with a different perspective. Volunteering is individually gratifying, but I don’t believe that people do the act of volunteering solely to gain a better image. Someone may volunteer seeking a better reputation and in the end others do see them as a better person, but there’s an element of volunteerism that truly changes the heart.
It feels good to give back. Whether someone has personal motives doesn’t change that they have volunteered their extra time. I think if someone volunteers and doesn’t do the job they’ve been asked to do with 100% dedication, then it is a selfish act. Why volunteer at all?
As a PR-centric student at the Cronkite school, I know better than to offer a journalist any type of “gift” if there is an intention to bribe or gain favor. However, it made me question where the line falls between gift-giving and simply supplying a journalist with a story. It happens all the time with travel, music, fashion and food writers. Free stuff just comes with the job.
Seeing as how my interests and those of many others in this class are similar to the leisure and lifestyle topics like those above, it is a wonder to me if there is a line being crossed by all the free merchandise, meals and travel some journalists receive. While routines have made it appear harmless to offer a food writer a free meal to write about a restaurant, it actually counteracts the ethical code all journalists should have.
Truth-telling should be a journalists number one priority. If a fashion writer is showered with the latest trends on the market, how could he or she not be swayed to write favorably. Not only is this interference with judgement, but it also makes it difficult for a writer to offer the truth for fear of hurting the brand. Why is no one thinking of the consumer who deserves the truth?
While it’s nice to read through travel columns and discover the best of the best in the hotel businesses, it would serve consumers better to get a non-bias opinion. Obviously, a travel writer isn’t going to a hotel and not having the time of their life (unless they are using ethical judgements and not in the best suite with champagne waiting in their room at arrival). It’s a line that many readers don’t think about when reading the travel section or the lifestyle section.
The consumer demands an honest portrayal of what the food is like or what the hotel offers. My question is: Is it possible to be a journalist and separate yourself from doing public relations work?
I thought I would include some of the New York Times Company’s policies on travel, sports, and entertainment journalism:
“65. No staff member of our company who prepares a travel article or broadcast — whether on assignment or freelance, and whether for us or for others – may accept free or discounted services or preferential treatment from any element of the travel industry. This rule covers hotels, resorts, restaurants, tour operators, airlines, railways, cruise lines, rental car companies and tourist attractions. This prohibition does not rule out routinely awarded frequent-flier points.”
“67. Writers of travel articles must conceal their identity as journalists during the reporting, so that they will experience the same conditions as an ordinary consumer. If the affiliation becomes known, the writer must discuss with a newsroom manager whether the assignment can be salvaged. In special cases, the affiliation may be disclosed – for example, when a permit is required to enter a closed area.”
“59. Except for properly issued press passes for event coverage, members of the sports staff may not accept tickets, travel expenses, meals, gifts or any other benefit from teams or promoters. (At their discretion, unit newsroom managements may permit journalists to accept the light refreshments routinely offered in press boxes during games.)”
“61. Staff members covering entertainment and the arts have a special duty to guard against conflicts of interest, real or apparent. Arts coverage, whether national or local, can often make or break reputations and commercial success. In theater, movies, music, art, dance, publishing, fashion and restaurants, critics and reviewers have an obligation to exert our newsrooms’ influence ethically and prudently.”
“62. Except in their published writing, reporters, reviewers, critics and their editors in the arts may not help others to develop, market or promote artistic, literary or other creative ventures. They may not introduce artists to agents, publishers, producers or galleries; chefs to restaurant owners; or designers to clothing manufacturers. They should refrain from unpublished commentary, even informal, on works in progress. They may not offer ideas or proposals to people who figure in their coverage or make investments in productions in their field. (Food writers and editors may not invest in restaurants.) They may not serve on advisory boards, awards juries or other panels organized by people who figure in coverage they provide, prepare or supervise. They may not accept awards from such panels.”
Social media has played a vital role in helping Egyptians voice their concerns with their government. Mona talked about “Revolution 2.0″ on Wednesday’s global conversation, where she explained how two Facebook movements and Twitter cries have boosted spirit in the Egyptian people. Through this discussion and an article I read in the Wall Street Journal called Egypt’s Revolution by Social Media by Gordon Crovitz, it’s clear that social media has become a platform for individual leaders to voice their opinions and rally followers.
While Wael Ghonim is probably the leader that comes to mind when thinking about Revolution 2.0, Internet revolution has given the people of Egypt power to lead their nation. Ghonim’s facebook page, “Revolution 2.0″ works a platform for Egyptian to organize rallies and opinions, while Twitter has been a platform for speaking out. Egyptians are not only acting as leaders for their cause, but also as media makers.
Crovitz compares the revolution to Thomas Paine’s pamphlet, “Common Sense.” In an effort to rally others during the American Revolution, he utilized both social concepts and the media. In terms of social revolutions, nothing has really changed, just improved. As faster and more readily available resources, social media is a new platform in making revolutions stronger and uniting more people.
“Without the pen of the author of ‘Common Sense,’ the sword of Washington would have been raised in vain.” – John Adams
Stephen Buckley’s leadership style gives his faculty the upper hand. Although he admitted it can be a time consuming way to assure he’s doing his job, his calm demeanor implied he knows what he’s doing. It made me think of how women can lead in the journalism field and use similar methods to rally their work place.
Buckley mentioned the “hard” demeanor of many past editors who wouldn’t be as fond of listening or changing newsroom traditions. It would also be impossible to get into an editors office hours to just talk, whether it was about the work environment or the work itself. While that leadership style may work for them, Buckley made it clear it’s not his way of working.
This triggered something in me that made me believe there were perhaps some feminine qualities to Buckley’s leadership approach. It also made me wonder if more feminine characteristics could be of great value to leading. For example, having an open communication rule is more of a feminine attribute that Buckley implores at Poynter. While this works for Buckley, I wonder how this would work for a woman.
Could it be possible for a woman to use her feminine characteristics to lead a newsroom or a journalism school in contrast to a man using the same methods and not get criticized as being too “soft?”
Attributes of the global manager include necessary values, such as adapting well to different environments, communicating
well with other cultures, speaking more than one language and expressing “respect and enthusiasm when dealing with others.” This last attribute gives me an uncertainty about this global manager. Journalism students and the few of us that aspire to practice public relations should be learning to encompass the values of the global manager. After all, our careers are built on understanding different cultures and developing stories that share these cultural differences with the others. However, it crossed my mind that while understanding another culture and certainly respecting them is important, it’s also extremely important to learn to be tolerant.
The global manager, the journalist and the PR professional should all have an appreciation for other cultures. The two words that are used in the chapter of Global Dimensions of Organizational Behavior called “Understanding Cultural Differences” to describe problems with international relations are parochialism and ethnocentrism. These two problems don’t make a leader because they fail to exhibit qualities of being open-minded and welcoming of change.
Parochialsm – assuming the way your culture does something is the only way of doing something.
Ethnocentrism – assuming the way your culture does something is the best way of doing something.
Both of these problems lie within a person who fails to appreciate culture. In fact, it’s so important to learn not only to respect other cultures, but also to appreciate them with enough passion that it’s possible to see the faults in our own ways and learn from others. In order to fully appreciate and learn from other cultures you can learn every part of another like it’s laid out in this chapter, but it’s also important to not condemn other cultures for what they think.
Unfortunately, this chapter did not emphasize enough how important it is to put our opinions away when dealing with other cultures. For journalists and PR professionals alike, the other culture we are sometimes asked to deal with may be completely unlike our own. For the sake of developing an honest story or an honest relationship all opinions must be pushed aside. There is no room in a global relationship to be judgmental. This is the simple message I took from this chapter.
I’ve learned from my time at ASU that I have a genuine passion for writing, problem solving and learning. When I graduate in May 2013 from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Barrett, the Honors College, I want to practice public relations in the fashion industry. I belong in PR because I am patient, yet ambitious, trend setting, yet adaptable, a listener, yet a networker and I have an imagination to work creatively. My background includes working as the head social media producer for a women’s health and lifestyle company and representing the Fiesta Bowl organization as a Queen and Court member. Both of these positions have prepared me for taking on large responsibilities, working with all kinds of people and speaking effectively. I am always seeking more experience to learn more about public relations while also exploring what I can offer to the field.