The course provided an extensive body of information on managerial and leadership issues that may help every practitioner improve his or her performance and enhance team collaboration. The content that helped me improve my understanding of managing people is related to psychological aspects of employee motivation, as well as leadership ethics, and styles. During the course, I have learned that leadership largely defines the overall workplace atmosphere and the quality of employee interactions within an organization. When leaders value their subordinates, empower them, and allow participating in organizational decision-making, the latter feel more satisfied and become more committed to their work. I have become aware of the need to modify my behavior and apply the principles of transformative and ethical leadership in practice to foster collaboration. An anticipated result of this understanding will be my transformation into a more attentive leader that will consider the interests of colleagues and subordinates.
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Like many other people, I used to see professional and personal lives as two separate things without noticing a deep interconnection between them. The course, and especially the self-reflection assignments, helped me understand that one should always set the right priorities to succeed in all aspects of life. It has led me to formulate the goal of finding a proper balance between work and family activities. Moreover, it allowed me to comprehend that, as a manager, I should attempt to facilitate positive changes in the organization and the community by teaching my colleagues about the ways to identify their own priorities and aiming to create a more favorable corporate climate for them to reach professional and personal self-realization.
As stated by Christensen (2010), “management is the noblest of the professions if practiced well” (p. 49). To be a highly-efficient, successful, and noble manager, I should recognize that my responsibilities go far beyond the need to maintain the operational activities and productivity in my organizational department, and to stimulate employees to perform their tasks effectively. One of the most important responsibilities and values of a transformational leader is the contribution to the well-being of others. Therefore, to make sure that I will be happy in my career, I should learn new ways to acknowledge and reward subordinates for their achievements. As Christensen (2010) notes, money is not the primary motivator for higher employee engagement and loyalty. To ensure workers’ happiness, the workplace environment should be abundant with opportunities for professional development and growth. Thus, it is my obligation to think up the strategies to provide such a supportive environment for them.
Personal integrity is another important element of happiness in a career. Ethical dilemmas and conflicts of interest happen in almost every company once in a while, and one should know how to address them without harming oneself and others. For me, the best way to preserve personal integrity is through compliance with the principles of non-maleficence and beneficence, which imply that a person should strive to multiply benefits for those with whom he or she interacts and keep away from anything causing tangible or intangible harm to stakeholders. It means that when an ethical dilemma arises, I will evaluate it from the perspective of these ethical principles. Additionally, I will aim to follow my personal values and principles that urge me to avoid committing fraudulent and illegal actions. In case I face a situation in which I have to choose between losing my job or doing something wrong, I will try to discuss all the ethical implications of the action I am forced to do with the management constructively. Then, no matter how frightening and stressful it may be, I will attempt to find a solution to not engage in unethical behavior.
As for my family relationships, they may become an enduring source of happiness in case I spend enough quality time with my kids and spouse. Currently, my family already motivates me to be the best version of myself and supports me throughout various life challenges, both professional and personal. To secure our connection, I will attempt to develop trustful and meaningful parent-child relationships, regularly communicate with all my family members, and involve them in the decision-making process regarding the distinct choices I make.
A specific goal for my personal and professional development will be as follows: To become a truly transformational leader who can inspire and motivate others, as well as mobilize resources required to achieve any formulated objective. The goal is directly related to the resources I reviewed during the course because it stimulates organizational and behavioral changes. A transformational leader is a person who can provoke substantial shifts in the mind of his or her audience/collocutors either by communicating with them or by serving as a perfect example of positive, productive, and ethical organizational behavior (Colquitt, Lepine, & Wesson, 2013). In their turn, the induced changes in the way of thinking lead to behavioral shifts which allow the recipients of the leader’s message to achieve extraordinary results.
This goal is important because the given leadership style can help address the psychological core of individual behavior, which can be considered more effective when compared to conventional task-oriented management and generalized, coercive stimulation techniques. Thus, it may help avoid conflicts and communicate constructively with both my family members and colleagues. It is worth noticing that individualized consideration is an essential component of transformational leadership. It means that I will have to find a personalized approach towards the motivation of every individual with whom I work and interact. It also means that, as a transformational leader, I should align the personal interests and needs of every employee with the organizational mission and goals. Since the alignment of individual and corporate interests is key to higher job satisfaction and self-realization, by achieving the formulated goal, I can contribute to positive social change by modifying the behaviors and lives of my colleagues.
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The first objective that may help attain the formulated goal is the development of emotional competence/intelligence. The given skill includes the ability to perceive, evaluate, and express emotions accurately; make use of emotional knowledge, and manage emotions in a way that promotes emotional and intellectual growth and well-being. The expected outcomes of emotional competence are better communication habits and learning capabilities. It is valid to say that emotional integrity is crucial for leaders and managers as it helps gain confidence and regulate the emotions of others more efficiently. Moreover, emotional competence plays a significant role in the creation and maintenance of positive organizational culture.
Another objective, which is also partially interrelated with the first one, is the engagement in self-reflection over personal attitudes, values, and worldviews in order to identify perceptional biases that can adversely affect communication with colleagues and overall workplace equity. It is hard work yet it is crucial for turning into a transformational leader because when a person acknowledges his or her own prejudices, he/she becomes able to control them better and become more sensitive towards others. Continual self-reflection along with gained emotional competence can make one more empathetic and may assist in conflict resolution and management.
Christensen, C. M. (2010). How will you measure your life? Harvard Business Review, 88(7/8), 46–51.
Colquitt, J., Lepine, J., & Wesson, M. (2013). Organizational behavior: Improving performance and commitment in the workplace (3rd ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.