Defining Leadership

What is Leadership?

Everybody defines leadership differently but I think John C Maxwell defines leadership best as, “A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.” Regardless of how you define leadership, I’m pretty sure we can all agree that he or she can prove to be a difference maker between success and failure. A good leader has a long term vision and knows how to turn their ideas into reality and create success stories.

Qualities that define a “good leader”

Let’s take a look at some common leadership qualities that good leaders have, whether they are gained through training and experience or come innately:

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Leading by Influence

To be truly effective, leaders must master the ability to influence others. “Leadership is INFLUENCE. If people can increase their influence with others, they CAN lead more effectively,” says John C. Maxwell, American author, speaker, and pastor who promotes quality leadership in his published works.

Effective leaders don’t just command; they inspire, persuade, and encourage. Leaders have the knowledge and skills to lead a team or group of individuals towards a common goal, and lay out an executive plan to achieve results.

5 Key Skills Needed to Positively Influence Others

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16 Personalities Test

The 16 personality test is generally based on the personality indicator developed by Katharine Cook Briggs and Isabel Briggs Myers. Their development of the test occurred in the 1940’s and was built upon psychological research performed by Carl Jung from the 1920’s.

The type test is based on a series of questions that gather information on how a person usually responds or relates to various situations. The answers to these questions are calculated to determine the person’s individual personality type. Important insights can be gained by understanding personality type, such as optimal career choice, better romantic partnerships, stronger relationships with family and friends, and find paths to personal growth and life purpose.

Personality Types

Tests that draw on the method by Briggs and Myers sort people into 16 different personality types which are organized by four pairs of opposite traits.

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Reflecting on the Links of our Chain

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This blog series was created with the purpose to write about my opinions and interpretations of material within the chapters of A Systems Approach to Small Group Interactions, which was the textbook used for my Small Group Communication class. From one chapter to the next I feel as though I was able to connect the dots more and more to my own life experiences with groups and interactions that I’ve encountered with individuals both present and past.

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Biting the Bullet: Accepting the Solutions to our Problems

In A Systems Approach to Small Group Communication, Chapter 8 is about consequences and finding solutions to our problems. I’d like to start my apologizing to my audience of followers in that this blog post is a day or two late. It’s been a rough week where I have been getting slammed with one problem after a next. My hands are shaking as I type this because I’m on the verge of a breakdown. I am at a point in my college career where I am finally taking classes in my major and doing what I thought I love just to realize that I’ve spend time here and I’m not sure if I even want to continue forward. I’m a semester behind and I don’t even care about graduating anymore. I never wanted to go to college anyway. So reading Chapter 8 last week on Thursday night made me realize that I might need to take some time off. Here is why.

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“Hello, Small Group. What’s happening?”

“Yeah, hi small group. It’s Brittany Rosario again. Uhhh, I just wanted to make sure that you knew about conflict management. So if you could just read this blog below, that would be greeeat.”

This week’s blog relates to Chapter 7 of A Systems Approach to Small Group Communication, which focuses on conflict management. Conflict is an unintentional part of communication. However, we all know what can happen when conflict isn’t managed well and things get out of hand. In this chapter, we study the causes of conflict, the wants and needs of conflict, types of conflict and methods for managing conflict to get a resolution.

I decided to relate the key points in this chapter about conflict management to the 1999 movie, Office Space. If you’ve never seen or heard of this film, please take a moment to watch the trailer below to get a better idea of what it is about.

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Social Conformity & Why it doesn’t work

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Some people are leaders (influencers), while others are followers (influencees). Of course, in either situation we can identify cliques, a small group of people with shared interests, who spend time together and do not readily allow others to join them because they have a special sense of belonging. An even greater way to create a sense of belonging is by having group norms that the people of that particular group must follow.

According to Wood, Phillips, and Pedersen (P. 252), norms are “standardized patterns of belief, attitude, communication, and behavior within groups.” When actually the term norms is used a reference to the written and unwritten codes that identify acceptable behavior (P.253).

In the popular 2004 movie, Mean Girls,  “The Plastics” have a list of group norms:

Rule 1. What you can and can’t wear or how you style your hair during the week.

Rule 2. Be considerate of the group

Rule 3. Dressing in a sexy costume on Halloween instead of something scary, drinking at a party together, and looking for guys to hang out with

Rule 4. Being overly self conscious about the way you look physically but yet comforting each other with positive words (“Oh my god, what are you talking about?” “You’re so skinny”)

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Territoriality! Don’t Take It Personally.

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According to Chapter 4 of, A Systems Approach to Small Group Interaction, (p. 174) there is a term called territoriality. It was originally coined by Edward Hall to describe ‘the tendency for humans and other animals to lay claim to lay claim and defend a particular area or territory.’ It has been estimated that college students begin to identify a particular seat in the class as “their chair” by as early as the second class period. This becomes their personal space, a portable space bubble of about 18 inches in each direction.

If you have never seen, Big Bang Theory, here is a introductory clip related to personal space. Basically the blonde woman sitting in the chair explaining ‘Sheldon’s Space’ is Penny, a hopeful actress and Sheldon is the anal physicist that’s standing at the fridge door. Continue reading “Territoriality! Don’t Take It Personally.”

“…Like A Girl”

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There’s always been a particular complication between the genders. Men are said to be more athletic and stronger emotionally than women. Women are said to be THE irrationally emotion creatures of our species. But there are many cases when things like this aren’t always the case. I’ve met overly emotional men before, just as I’ve met women who are strong minded and think practically. I’d like to compromise and say that no one is perfect. We are all humans who have good and bad days, which can affect our behavior. I’d also like to make the case that many women are misrepresented in our society which can cause complications when working together in society.

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