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Queens College, Flushing ​hello my name is William long and today I will be discussing my leadership journey through the organizational leadership program at Texas A&M university-commerce I will be discussing where I was as a leader before entering the program how I have evolved as leader throughout the program where I stand now and what the future holds for me as a leader before entering the program at Texas A&M Commerce I began as a music education student at another University my entire life I believe that this is what I needed to do and I had a really interesting passion for teaching in general I taught with several high school band programs which gave me the opportunity to collaborate and work with other teachers and leaders as well as develop a relationship that was professional and worked with students I realized my passion for teaching and helping students grow through at this time after that I worked as a restaurant manager and hotel manager where I began to develop how I worked as a manager and how I worked with other adults in a team environment was a stark contrast from being a teacher currently I am an instructional media aide at South Grand Prairie High School where I hope to obtain my teaching certificate and become a teacher in the fall at this school here I've learned the importance of accountability and work ethic I have developed my leadership practices through my experiences in many different ways because I've been put in leadership positions this has allowed me to develop my own behaviors and characteristics before having any academic knowledge I have not had any concrete academic knowledge of leadership before this program I've just had experience in management and the opportunity to lead which in many cases is good for development and potentially vital to a leader success however there needs to be some kind of concrete knowledge to be a leader upon entering Texas A&M university-commerce and this program organs leadership I didn't know what to expect but I was pleasantly surprised when I began my major courses my first course was issues in organizational leadership in this course I learned about the basic fundamentals of leadership scenarios and theories I finally had application and context for what leadership was and how it worked how a leaders are supposed to behave and how different organizations look to find their leaders there are different traits behaviors and characteristics that most leaders have but are not necessarily essential however there are common ones according to these theories of being collaborative understanding needs and wants of your culture of your community and listening and communicating effectively I learned the behaviors that are essential to an effective leader and their progress this solidified my perspective personal leadership through a personal leadership plan I was able to outline who I was as later how I saw myself and what I needed to do to build on that and where I wanted to be it gave me a perspective of what I actually want to gain through this program I was able to develop a vision statement for Who I am and where I'm going to be in my career as an educator and this was very important to how I eventually progressed the program and it was a good foundation for the next courses I would be taking the next course that was split into two competencies was David German decision making this broke down leadership into understandable methods I didn't really realize that leadership would be so methodical we have so many different processes that could be worked out in detail in a plan on paper for different organizations to work out how they exist and how they prosper I was able to derive variables from research to make decisions use evidence statistics economics and sociology to outline metrics to improve myself and improve my organization in how I lead the data-driven decision-making workbook and the first portion of the course worked on narrowing my leadership focus from my personal leadership plan to solve a problem in my own organization that developed into working on metrics specific things that measured success and measured how things would actually work and what could be used to improve upon my own success and what the specific problem is often in an organization we see several problems we see the main goal and it's hard to narrow down and be specific about what actually needs to be worked on and what needs to be improved upon and what needs to be cast out and later on we will get into what those drinks weaknesses and opportunities and threats are the next two courses that were compiled into one where our behavior ethics and leadership one and two this helped me analyse past leaders decisions and how that affected organizations and their consumers from an ethical perspective we were able to see how leaders treat the needs of their followers and consumers we did this in the Ford Pinto case where leaders made decisions based on personal gain and not public need this was very important to how I see myself as a leader because I have always I've always made it a point to consider the opinions of people me and people that follow me and I work with but I understood fully in this course how important that really is to take every single option into consideration not just metrics and data and how statistics work in the economy but how consumers actually need things and how the culture

of your organization will respond to change or responds to how you work often in a leadership position it's hard to get that actual heartbeat of your organization unless you ask unless you take measures to find out for yourself it's very difficult to get to that last stage of leadership where people are comfortable enough to tell you what's going on what their opinion is and consumers will not unless you give them that platform in leadership Theory 1 & 2 we learned about a SWOT analysis the strengths weaknesses opportunities and threats to an organization that helps provide detail to identify all aspects of an organization from an objective view it's very difficult when you're inside of a program organization community or business and really objectively without a personal bias dissect what your organization is how it works how it doesn't work how it could work and what could work against it internally and externally these details help to improve the organization we talked about weaknesses and threats but this is not to tear it down this is not to just say we need to give up and try something completely different but to improve upon ourselves with our weaknesses we have opportunities from them we can build opportunities from our weaknesses once we identify them if you can identify the problem you can fix it there's always a solution if you cannot dent the problem with the threats it is always good to just be aware to be aware internally and externally what could happen to be prepared at all times successful organizations and leaders are always prepared for what happens in the future and what can happen tomorrow there's always something different a catastrophic ly environmentally economically politically sociologically anything can happen at any time and it's always good to be prepared for the unexpected throughout this we develop plans where we left no stone unturned in our methodology we made an implementation plan the detailed analysis of an organization through processes needed to improve it we I did a SWOT analysis of a organization and my next step in the next portion of the course in leadership Theory too was to do a improvement plan to implement change later on in different courses we'll talk about change but this was building on what my personal leadership strategy and datadriven decision-making workbook focused on the narrowing the problem fixing it but on an organization as a whole and what needed to be improved upon I did this through a Ford Motor Company where we narrowed down what was the most likely benefit to an opportunity which was the hybrid car battery and alternative fuel processes and how we can improve upon that process for the future the next course that I went through that was very beneficial to me as a leader was leading change we worked on a change management plan the outline and list steps to make it change often we don't think about what takes us from point A to point B from where we are now to where we are as an organization and community this was a allowed me to detail every single one of those steps from where we need to be who needs to do what how we delegate tasks what meetings need to be tight taking place do we need to have milestones set for us we need to have checkpoints to make sure our metrics are working we need to have every single detail outline so that this can work give yourself the opportunity to succeed and change if you don't then the change is pointless you're not going to make change in your organization unless you and you've clue to everyone if everyone's included everyone is given purpose and a task then there's going to be a lot more willingness to succeed and willing people to make the change happen getting everyone on your side and making sure the plan is detailed and concise we analyze an organization to understand what's needed change and how to change it in a way that outlined every possible need and scenario for the plan we need to make sure just like in our SWOT analysis that we take every measure for every possibility and this really went into detail about that what I found most beneficial about these courses was that I'm not a very detail-oriented person I became aware of this through these and it made me work very hard to put details to plans often I just say this is what's going on I'm just going to do something about it I don't take in consideration what could happen what will have might happen and who needs to do it how I'm going to do it this has been very beneficial for me because as an educator I need to make sure that what I'm doing is going to work and I am very detailed about it in methodical there needs to be documentation for it it's very important in educating a field which leads me to my capstone courses the first capstone one allowed me to research and understand real world leadership in the past courses we were taking kind of a personal view on myself or an objective view to another organization that did not have a personal connection to this allowed me to interview two leaders from differing organizations from a non-profit business and a for-profit business these were two respected leaders and I was able to understand what made them different as well as their commonalities because there are often different scenarios and circumstances for what a leader has to be and do but there are commonalities that make them successful I performed a strategic case analysis on one of the leaders organizations to understand all the internal and external factors that contribute to successes and failures we looked at the history and possible future of the organization and developed recommendations for the leadership in their team what I found through this project and these interviews was the vital commonalities between the two leaders and what made that commonality extremely important and the process improvement plan the strategic case analysis for that organization for the one leader that I chose that was collaboration and communication in the world that we live in today with technology advancing and communication becoming more

fast and more immediate being over communicative is extremely important to succeeding in every part of our lives and our family relationships with our friends and where we work in our careers being over communicative being transparent and honest is the only way that we can succeed if we had lapses in communication or misunderstanding then an organization can collapse morale can be very low and the trust between leaders and followers is broken through these interviews and through this analysis I understood the importance of this which leads me to now how I see my TM you see experience and what what I am as a leader now I've obviously changed since beginning with this program and through these major courses this experience has given me the ability to succeed I'm not just having a piece of paper that says I have a degree or that I went to a university that is prestigious or what kind of program I went to what grades I got but gave me the tools to be an effective leader it has empowered me to improve myself and make changes not just stay static and say that the way I am is just fine and I will do just fine for my students or whoever follows me when I become leader in my job I constantly improve myself and prior to entering this program I didn't have that aspect of my life and how I characterized myself my own perspective and my personal leadership now is that I I believe I've learned the necessary skills to be an effective leader I've learned to carry myself confidently and remain confident in my decisions and always to listen to others and value and feedback I've learned to make little to listen to past mistakes and turn weaknesses and opportunities and always push greater - then what is expected to always raise the bar higher than it is and if I embody this kind of mindset then whoever is watching me or following me or learning from me will inhabit that they will be able to see that and be that with me the future of my leadership when I graduates is uncertain for some degree but I will be obtaining my teaching certificate in a few months and I have a job lined up as a teacher at my former high school where I am currently employed as an instructional media aide as an English teacher I'm very excited to work with past teachers that empowered me to do what I'm doing today and really effective leaders that have made a big difference on a lot of people's lives I'll be able to use my experience and knowledge to educate future leaders and that's what's most important to me is not just helping kids regurgitate information and graduate but to mold them into adults that can lead others that can get to where I am today and be confident and how they are and how they present themselves and I'll be teaching in a field that works with experienced education and leaders everyone that I'm working with currently has been in their position for over ten years and has been successful at it and I am extremely excited to be working with those kinds of people I want to thank everyone in the advising of organizational leadership all of the staff and support that I've received throughout my time at Texas A&M university-commerce I greatly appreciate all of the help hours and competencies and tests and papers and I greatly appreciate everything that has led me to this day into my graduation SUNY Plattsburgh.