Twyman – Final Exam 1 Final Exam Organizational Leadership and Ethics LEAD 505 Ashley V Twyman Discuss five specific things you've learned in this class that impact your understanding of the relationship between leadership and ethics. Explain what impact this new learning will have on your professional life. What behaviors will you change, if any, as a result of this new learning? 1. During my interview with Jan Lanie, I got some vary valuable advice that leaders/managers should “act but not react”. I found this to be something I think about daily now, as I am faced with conflict situations amongst my co-workers and have even found myself thinking of these words outside of work as well. I think, many times, people react unfavorably because they simply act of their feelings, instead of thinking through situations and trying to find a good solution to the problem. But that doesn’t mean you don’t have to do anything about it! You can act, and Jan likes to empower her employees to act as they see fit, but she discourages “reacting” or getting emotions involved in anything. She spoke of an incident where a manager had to terminate someone’s employment, and because emotions were involved the situation proved to be a very hard thing for the manager to do. I have found myself thinking through difficult or controversial situations more now as a result of Jan’s advice and find myself trying to come to a diplomatic solution to the problem. 2. I have come to the conclusion that the difference between a transformational leader and a pseudo transformational leader is purely a question of ethics. If, eventually, a leader is found to be or believed to be unethical, then they become a pseudo transformational leader. Our text claimed that there is a distinct difference between these two types of leaders and implies that it is possible to see at the conception of the leader’s career, but I tend to disagree. Again, I will use the example of Hitler. To me, Hitler was a transformational leader. All the defining characteristics of a transformational leader describe him perfectly. Many people would argue that he was a pseudo transformational leader because he assassinated an entire race of people. However, many German’s believed in the mission that Hitler presented so to many people he was a transformational leader, and in other people’s minds he was completely unethical and, in those people’s minds, becomes a pseudo transformational leader. 3. I firmly believe that ethics and moral character is in the eye of the beholder. From one person to another, moral and ethical beliefs can be different. It depends on the standard set of accepted practices and faiths from one area of the world to another. The question of faith, I believe, is irrelevant when discussing morals and ethics. Although I agree that most
Twyman – Final Exam 2 morals and ethics are founded on religious aspects, they don’t necessarily rely on religion to be present and accessible. I don’t agree with the Jewish religion and their belief system but most are still moral people. 4. The requirements of a leader/manager, when listed out in The Human Side of Management in our HBR text. “For starters, we ask them to acquire a long list of more or less traditional management skills in finance, cost control, resource allocation, product development, marketing, manufacturing, technology, and a dozen other areas. We also demand that they master the management arts – strategy, persuasion, negotiation, writing, speaking, listening. In addition, we ask them to assume responsibility for organizational success, make a great deal of money, and share it generously. We also require them to demonstrate the qualities that define leadership, integrity, and character – things like vision, fortitude, passion, sensitivity, commitment, insight, intelligence, ethical standards, charisma, luck, courage, tenacity, even from time to time humility. Finally, we insist that they should be our friends, mentors, or guardians, perpetually alert to our best interests.” (page 149 – 150) This gave me a real idea of what a leader is and what people require/expect from them. I have come to find that I have a new respect for my boss and other superiors because of this quote. The text earlier makes reference to the fact that most people think they can do a better job than their boss does, and I know I am guilty of feeling this way, but when Teal spells out so many expectations, it is hard to believe that any one person could fill all of them and find time to do anything else! In the future I will have this understanding and be able to cut my superiors a little more slack! 5. American management is at a crossroads. The eternal question of how, when, where, how much to train managers still remains. Nohria and Berkley present their ideas of the pragmatic manager in their article Whatever Happened to the Take-Charge Manager? I loved their article and fully agree with them! They state that pragmatism has started to make a come back in academic aspects and hopefully that will reverberate through the corporate world. They state, “American management may stand to gain the most from looking back to this indigenous style of thought, particularly to its pragmatic successes of the past.” (page 216) From this reading I learned that combining an education (and by that I mean a continuous learning about management and leadership) and a pragmatic way of thought, managers will be able to great leaders. I hope to emulate this combination in my own life. What are the most important ethical issues facing leaders in today's organizations? Why is it important for leaders to study ethics? I think in today’s society, it is important for leaders to remember how to stay true to themselves and their own ethics and morals even when those around them aren’t. It’s basically adult peer pressure and even though we believe, as
Twyman – Final Exam 3 adults, we are immune to it, we aren’t. When the people who are around us everyday are unethical, these mannerisms and attitudes effect us negatively, even though we many not be aware of their impact. To respect and acknowledge this will heighten a person’s awareness of the possibility, and one should be more in tune to the perception of any negative influence. This is one reason why it is so important to study leadership and ethics; because the study makes us more inquisitive of our own situations and styles and actions when we apply them to the things we are learning and reading. It is also important for leaders to study ethics so that they can have a good understanding of the type of foundation is needed to maintain ethical judgment in difficult situations. Out of all of the reading you've done for this class, which essay was the most instructive for you? Which made you think the most, had the most value to you as a leader/potential leader? Why or why not? Be specific. While I enjoyed both text books, my favorite was the Harvard Business Review on Leadership. My favorite reading was The Human Side of Management by Thomas Teal because it contained good information; raised interesting questions to ponder; and applied the information to you on a personal level. I love the opening statement of “Something about management looks so easy that we all think we could succeed where others fail. But management is really not easy.” (Teal, 147) This essay really helped me learn how involved management and leadership really are and it also pointed me in the direction of becoming more analytic toward my own leadership styles. It emphasized that most people set out to be “good” leaders, but, as the text states, “capable management is so extraordinarily difficult that few people look good no matter how hard they try.”(Teal, 149) This statement made me realize that I will never do everything right all the time, and that to error is human, and even managers and leaders have their human faults. However, I believe that pushing one’s self in the attempt to strive to be a good leader is what keeps leaders and managers alike in the rat race. It’s the desire to be great that propels us. This essay spelled out the many requirements of managers (as quoted under question one, number four in this paper) and this list of managerial requirements has helped me see what a large and dominating task management will be, but it also encourages me to be all these things and more, and this will help me be a better leader and manager when I apply my the things that I have learned in this program.