Project Management and Leadership Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

Leadership Within Project Management

The leadership class provided a wealth of information that could be used by people who were already leaders, and by those who aspire to be leaders in the future. Additionally, there is great value in the class for people who are followers, because it can help them to understand their leaders and work more carefully and easily with them. By doing that, they will be better able to understand the directions that are being provided to them, and why those directions are important. The class was definitely worth the time and money, and it is something everyone should attend. Even if a person thinks there is nothing else to be learned about leadership, that is simply not true. There are always ways in which new things can be presented, which can help a person find a better way to lead, or find a way to more clearly understand what a leader is asking of him or her (Hersey, Blanchard, & Johnson, 2008).

There are those who have leaders who they do not really like, and being able to have a better understanding of those leaders can ease the burden of being led by those people (Van Wormer, Besthorn, & Keefe, 2007). Additionally, all leaders -- good or bad -- can learn even more about how to be effective in what they do, and how to take charge in certain situations, even if they are uncertain as to what those situations will be (Montana & Bruce, 2008). Preparing for life and leadership is a vital part of being successful in a number of areas that are up for personal and professional consideration, and this leadership class can provide current and future leaders with valuable insight they can use to further their careers and help others do the same. Even the best leaders can still learn more about the techniques that can help them acquire more followers and keep those followers moving in the right direction (Hersey, Blanchard, & Johnson, 2008). With the fresh, new ideas it offers, the leadership class is a great choice for everyone to take. It is definitely worth the money.

Leadership Development Journal

When getting out of a comfort zone it is very easy to make mistakes, and that is true of leaders as well as followers (Miner, 2005). However, those mistakes are not failures. They are part of the very important learning experience that comes into play when a person moves from his or her comfort zone into something bigger and better (Tittemore, 2003). When I have moved out of my specific comfort zone, I have made mistakes, as well. Most often, those mistakes were not serious, but they were "rookie" mistakes because I was trying something new. That is very normal and expected, and it is one of the things that each person who heads out and does something new can really expect. I told myself that I was not going to make those kinds of mistakes, because I had read and learned about them through information provided by others who had already made the mistakes. Unfortunately, saying that I would avoid problems and having the knowledge of what other people had done did not stop me from making the same kinds of mistakes anyway.

That was actually to my benefit, though, because there are both pros and cons to getting out of one's comfort zone and making mistakes. When a person gets out of his or her comfort zone, he or she is better able to explore the world and make decisions about the course of his or her life and the future direction to take (Tittemore, 2003). It may seem frightening at the time, but moving away from a comfort zone is actually one of the best things a person can do. It was the right choice for me, even though I made mistakes. I learned so much by moving forward, and I did things that I was not sure I would be able to do. That is very important, since it allowed me to focus on how much more I could do, and helped me to see that there was a lot more to life than I realized. Getting out of a comfort zone is important in both personal and professional aspects of life.

Making people feel good every day is a difficult thing for me. It is not that I do not care about people, but only that I am not in the habit of deliberately paying attention to making people feel good about themselves. Because I do not focus my efforts on that, I do not spend much time thinking about it. As I became more conscious of how I should make an effort to make people feel good about themselves each and every day, I realized that it would be better to focus on quality, and not quantity. To that end, I decided that I would make at least one person feel good each day, and that one person would be enough. However, I had to do it in such a way that I know I made a real different. Just paying someone an off-hand compliment was not going to be enough, because it might not have much of an impact on that person. I did not have to make a huge, grand gesture, but I did have to do something that showed I was completely engaged with that person at that moment.

I did this in different ways, and through it all I thought about the magic pole exercise and the other leadership activities I learned about. The magic pole exercise was difficult, because no one was organized and no one really wanted to listen to anyone else. Because we did not work as a team, we had a very hard time accomplishing anything at all. This made me realize that there is more to being a teammate than just being forced to work with someone on something related to employment. Life, itself, is a bit of a team sport, and when I compliment someone I am showing them that I am on their team. That is a great way to make sure people understand at least some of their value to others, and can help with leadership and also with making someone feel good. That way, I manage to do two good things instead of just one at a time, which is good for me and also good for other people. By helping others, I also help myself. Those other people, in turn, go out into the world feeling good, and they pass that along to even more people. It starts a ripple effect that can spread a long way.

Leadership Development Plan

Goals are very important. If a person is to get anywhere, he or she has to set and work toward goals that are designed to reach a specific objective (Hersey, Blanchard, & Johnson, 2008). Right now, I am a relatively good leader and communicator. I could always be better, though, and there are ways to work toward that. Setting these goals will help me, because they will allow me to move toward something bigger than myself, and be a part of something that might not even seem possible until I arrive there. I have developed many skills throughout taking courses and learning more about communication and leadership. I speak to people more directly now, and am more easily able to express my wants and needs. However, the most important thing I have learned about being a good leader and a good communicator is to listen. No matter what I say, it may not be as important as simply listening to someone and understanding what that person is feeling and what he or she has to say.

While I have learned a lot about how to speak and how to listen, I still have work to do. If I want to reach my goals, there is a lot to be done in the specific area of showing my leadership skills and proving those skills to others. No matter how much I learn about leadership and how much I understand the value of the skills I have acquired, those skills have to be practiced or there is precious little value in having them. They will also "rust" with time, if they are not used. I need to be able to practice the skills I have learned, so I can continue to use and develop them, and so they can be noticed by others. That is not about ego, but about being able to move forward with personal life and career goals and plans, so I can focus on continuing with the things that matter to me. Until and unless I can showcase my abilities and get them noticed by others, they do not provide me with as much value as they otherwise would, and that is something of which I need to remain aware.

In order to set my goals, I know…

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