Part 2. A review/summary of the Introduction to Leadership (2E) textbook chapters, and your own personal reflections on the information
Each chapter in the textbook describes a fundamental principle of leadership and how it relates to becoming an effective leader:
- Chapter 1, “Being a Leader,” analyzes how different definitions of leadership have an impact on the practice of leadership.
- Chapter 2, “Recognizing Your Traits,” examines the leadership traits of a select group of historical and contemporary figures and the leadership traits found to be important in social science research.
- Chapter 3, “Recognizing Your Philosophy and Style of Leadership,” explores how a person’s view of people, work, and human nature forms a personal philosophy of leadership and how this relates to three commonly observed styles of leadership: authoritarian, democratic, and laissez- faire.
- Chapter 4, “Attending to Tasks and Relationships,” describes how leaders can integrate and optimize task and relationship behaviors in their leadership role.
- Chapter 5, “Developing Leadership Skills,” considers three types of leadership skills: administrative, interpersonal, and conceptual.
- Chapter 6, “Creating a Vision,” explores the characteristics of a vision and how a vision is expressed and implemented.
- Chapter 7, “Setting the Tone,” focuses on how important it is for leaders who are running groups or organizations to provide structure, clarify norms, build cohesiveness, and promote standards of excellence.
- Chapter 8, “Listening to Out- Group Members,” explores the nature of out- groups, their impact, and ways leaders should respond to out- group members.
- Chapter 9, “Handling Conflict,” addresses the question of how we can manage conflict and produce positive change.
- Chapter 10, “Overcoming Obstacles,” addresses seven obstacles that subordinates may face and how a leader can help to overcome these.
- Chapter 11, “Addressing Ethics in Leadership,” explores six factors that are related directly to ethical leadership: character, actions, goals, honesty, power, and values.
For each chapter, explain how the principles for each chapter can be applied to (real life or imagined) sport situations. Feel free to utilize the contents of each chapter, the questionnaire for each chapter, the associated Harvard Business Review articles, and/or the case study associated with each chapter. Here are questions which CAN be used to help you discuss each chapter.
1. To you, what does it mean to be a/an (effective) sport leader/manager/coach?
Everyone, at some time in life, is asked to be a leader, whether to lead a classroom discussion, coach a children’s soccer team, or direct a fund-raising campaign. Many situations require leadership. First, leadership is thought of as a trait. A trait is a distinguishing quality of an individual, which is often inherited. In addition to being thought of as a trait, leadership is conceptualized as an ability. A person who has leadership ability is able to be a leader-that is, has the capacity to lead. While the term ability frequently refers to a natured capacity, ability can be acquired. Third leadership is a skill. Conceptualized as a skill, leadership is a competency developed to accomplish a task effectively. Leadership is also a behavior is also a behavior. It is what leaders do when they are in a leadership role. Another, and somewhat unusual, way to think about leadership is as a relationship. From this perspective, leadership is centered on the communication between leaders and followers rather than on the unique qualities of the leader. Finally, leadership is a process whereby an individual influences a group of individuals to achieve a common goal.
As an effective sport leader, I think leadership probably includes components of all of these dimensions. Each dimension explains a facet of leadership. And from all this, I can know that people have different views about leadership. So you can not only depend on only one or two dimension to be an effective leader. You must improve your communication skills as well as some leadership abilities.
2. To you, what are the traits of (effective) sport leaders/managers/coaches?
To me, the traits of effective sport leaders are intelligence, confidence, charisma, determination, sociability, and integrity. Intelligence is an important trait related to effective leadership. Intelligence includes having good language skills, perceptual skills, and reasoning ability. I think have more knowledgeable about leadership gives me the information I need to become a better leader. Being confident is another important trait of an effective leader. Confident people feel self-assured and believe they can accomplish their goals. I think confidence is a trait that has to do with feeling positive about oneself and one’s ability to succeed. To build my confidence, I must understand what is required of me and massive practice. Practice makes perfect.
Of all the traits related to effective leadership, charisma gets the most attention. Charisma refers to a leader’s special magnetic charm and appeal, and can have a huge effect on the leadership process. Determination is another trait that characterizes effective leaders. Determined leaders are very focused and attentive to tasks. Another important trait for leaders is sociability. Sociability refers to a leader’s capacity to establish social relationship. And for a sports leader, I must be friendly, outgoing, courteous, tactful, and diplomatic. Finally, effective leaders have integrity. Integrity characterizes leaders who possess the qualities of honesty and trustworthiness.
I think the most important traits of effective leaders are trustworthy. How can you follow a person you don't trust! And ineffective leaders normally don't listen to others ideas, and don't have faith of his teammates. And I think all these traits are important to an effective leader, you must do these all to be a great leader.
3. To you, what is your sport leader/manager/coaching philosophy and style of (effective) sport leadership?
Theory X: 1, people dislike work. 2, people need to be directed and controlled. 3, people want security, not responsibility.
Theory Y: 1, people like work. 2, people are self-motivated. 3, people accept and seek responsibility.
Leadership style is defined as the behaviors of leaders, focusing on what leaders do and how they act. Authoritarian leadership is very similar to Theory X. The authoritarian leader needs to control subordinates and what they do. Authoritarian leaders emphasize that they are in charge, exerting influence and control over group members. They determine tasks and procedures for group members but may remain aloof from participating in group discussions. The democratic leadership style strongly resembles the assumptions of Theory Y and the outcomes of democratic leadership are mostly positive. The laissez-faire leadership style is dissimilar to both Theory X and Theory Y. Laissez-faire leaders ignore workers and their work motivations. Laissez-faire stands alone as a style of leadership; some have labeled it nonleadership.
I think the sport leader must have the adoptability skill. If most of the players are unmotivated, the leader should be Theory X (Authoritarian leadership). If the team members are highly motivated, the leader should be Theory Y (democratic leadership style). But you can never use Laissez-faire style to be an effective leader. And personal, I am a democratic leadership style, but I think I should use Authoritarian leadership style in some situation.
4. To you, how should (effective) sport leaders/managers/coaches attend to tasks and relationships? Explain.
Good leaders understand the work that needs to be done and, at the same time, can relate to the people who help them do the job. I think certain circumstances may call for strong task behavior, and other situations may demand strong relationship behavior, but some degree of each is required in every situation. Task-oriented people are goal oriented. They want to achieve. Their work is meaningful, and they like things such as “to do” lists, calendars, and daily planners. Doing tasks give people a sense of control and self-mastery. The relationship-oriented person finds meaning in being rather than in doing. Instead of seeking out tasks, relationship-oriented people want to connect with people. They like to celebrate relationships and the pleasures relationships bring.
As a leader, there are some tasks you must consider, like make a “to do” list of the things that need us to be done on time, urge other group members to focus on their work etc. I think sometimes if you focus on your tasks will influence your ability to handle relationship with others. I think I will do either, because my questionnaire showed me that I have about the same score at both tasks and relationships leadership styles. You cannot focus on only one of them to be a good leader, and you must make a balance of them.
5. To you, how should (effective) sport leaders/managers/coaches develop leadership skills? Explain which leadership skills they should develop and explain why.
Unlike traits that are innate, leadership skills are learned competencies. Everyone can learn to acquire leadership skills. Administrative skills refer to those competencies a leader needs to run an organization in order to carry out the organization’s purposes and goals. These involves planning, organizing work, assigning the right tasks to the right people, and coordinating work activities. Administrative skills are divided in three specific sets of skills: managing people, managing resources, and showing technical competence. Interpersonal skills are people skills-those abilities that help a leader to work effectively with subordinates, peers, and superiors to accomplish the organization’s goals. Interpersonal skills are divided into three parts: being socially perceptive, showing emotional intelligence, and managing interpersonal conflicts. Conceptual skills are about working with concepts and ideas. Conceptual skills involve the thinking or cognitive aspects of leadership. Conceptual skills for leaders can be divided into three parts: problem solving, strategic planning, and creating vision.
I think the most important skills for leaders are handle chaos situation, and unit the team to a common purpose. Leaders are not like common followers, they will lead thousands of people, and this can be easy chaos. It is very easy to manage a team in a comfortable time, but when the team face hard difficulties and chaos, that is the time show the real leadership. Another thing is unit, mostly a team will not be defeated by their enemy but themselves, so how to unit the team on a common purpose or act like one person is a great challenge for leadership ability. Depends on the text, I think a leader must improve all his three skills through learning and practicing. Step by step. Like the emotional intelligence, that the leaders first need to work on becoming aware of their own emotions, taking their emotional pulses, and identifying their feeling as they happen. The next step is that a leader should train to become aware of the emotions of others. Finally, a leader needs to learn how to regulate his or her emotions and put them to good use. In my case, I think I need to improve my interpersonal skills as well as administrative skills.
6. To you, how should (effective) sport leaders/managers/coaches create a vision? Explain the characteristics they should include in their vision.
An effective sport leader creates compelling visions that guide people’s behavior. In the context of leadership, a vision is a mental model of an ideal future state. It offers a picture of what could be. Visions imply change and can challenge people to reach a higher standard of excellence. At the same time, visions are like a guiding philosophy that provides people with meaning and purpose.
To create a vision, a leader needs to visualize positive outcomes in the future and communicate these to others. Ideally, the leader and the members of a group or an organization share the vision. Although this picture of a possible future may not always be crystal clear, the vision itself plays a major role in how the leader influences others and how others react to his or her leadership.
The characteristics the leader should include in their vision are: a picture, a change, value, a map, and a challenge. A vision creates a picture of a future that is better than the status quo. It is an idea about the future that requires an act of faith by followers. The final picture may not emerge for a number of years. Nevertheless, when a leader is able to paint a picture of the future that is attractive and inspiring, it can have significant impact on his or her ability to lead others effectively. Another characteristic of a vision is that it represents a change in the status quo, and moves an organization or a system toward something more positive in the future. A third characteristic of a vision is that it is about values, or the ideas, beliefs, and modes of action that people find worthwhile or desirable. A vision provides a map, a laid-out path to follow-that gives direction so followers know when they are on track and when they have slipped off course. People often feel a sense of certainty and calmness in knowing they are on the right course, and a vision provides this assurance. It is also comforting for people to know they have a map to direct them toward their short- and long-term goals. More than that, when people know the overarching goals, principles, and values of an organization, it is easier for them to establish an identity and know where they fit within the organization. A final characteristic of a vision is that it challenges people to transcend the status quo to do something to benefit others.
To articulate a vision, the leader must first communicate the vision by adapting the vision to his or her audience. A leader also needs to highlight the values of the vision by emphasizing how the vision presents ideals worth pursuing. The leader also needs select words and symbols that are motivating and inspiring, and use language that is inclusive.
To implementing a vision, the leader needs to be a living model of the ideals and values articulated in the vision. In addition, he or she must set high performance expectations for others, and encourage and empower others to reach their goals.
As we discussed in our class, a vision should have many characteristics. A vision creates a picture of a future that is better than the status quo. A vision represents a change in the status quo, and moves an organization or a system toward something more positive in the future. Another one is value, or the ideas, beliefs, and modes of action that people find worthwhile of desirable. And a vision needs a map that can give direction to followers. And a vision should challenge people to transcend the status quo to do something to benefit others. I think a vision need realistic too. A vision isn’t a dream with no connection to a concrete situation. Instead vision is grounded in the history of the congregation and addresses the context in which the congregation ministers. There needs to be hope that the vision can take place.
Like text book said “In general, to articulate a vision clearly requires that a leader adapt the content to the audience, emphasize the vision’s intrinsic value, select words and symbols that are uplifting, and use language that is inclusive.” I think if you want a vision to be able to articulated, the first thing you must do is you must have faith and believe your vision. And after that other things can make a sense.
I think the most challenge job for a leader is the process of implementing a vision. The leader needs to be a model of the ideals and values articulated in the vision. And he must set high performance expectations for others, and encourage and empower others to reach their goals. I think to implement a vision, you must set some rules to reward and punish the follower’s performance. Another think I want mention is what I said in class, you must give the followers the small steps about your vision. People are very hard to buy in if your vision is very high. It will be very motivated to the followers if you separate the vision to some small tasks. Celebrate when you finish a task, and motivate them go forward. Finally, I think the ability to be a great speaker is very important too. Like we discussed in our class, even you can not persuade all people, but it can give you a big advantage to communicate with much more people at the same time and let some of them buy in.
7. To you, how should (effective) sport leaders/managers/coaches set the tone? Explain the factors they should consider in setting the tone.
Set the tone demands that a leader provide structure, clarify norms, build cohesiveness, and promote standards of excellence. Because working in groups can be chaotic and challenging, it is helpful when a leader provides a sense of structure for group members. Providing structure is much like giving group members an architectural blueprint for their work. The drawing gives form and meaning to the purposes of the group’s activities. Instilling structure into the organization provides people with a sense of security, direction, and stability. In addition to structuring the group, a leader also needs to clarify group norms. Norms are the rules of behavior that are established and shared by group members. They tell us what is appropriate or inappropriate, what is right or wrong, and what is allowed or not allowed.
The third way a leader sets the tone is to build cohesiveness. Cohesiveness is often considered an elusive but essential component of highly functioning group. Cohesiveness is described as a sense of “we-ness”, the cement that holds a group together, or the esprit de corps that exists within a group. Finally, a leader sets the tone by promoting standards of excellence.
I think the leader must have these skills by practice and learning. Setting the tone is a complex process that involves a great deal of work by a leader. A leader who sets a positive tone will find payoffs in remarkable group performance.
8. To you, how should (effective) sport leaders/managers/coaches listen to others – especially “out-group” members? How should they respond to “out-groups”?
Good leaders know the importance of listening to all members of a group, especially the out-group members. The term out-group refers to those individuals in a group or an organization who do not identify themselves as part of the larger group. There are many different reasons that out-groups form. First, some out-groups form because people disagree with the social, political, or ethical position of the majority-they sense that they are in opposition to the larger group. A second reason that out-groups form is explained by social identity theory. This theory suggest that out-groups come about because some individuals cannot identify with the beliefs, norms, or values of the dominant group members. A third reason out-group form is because people sense that they are excluded by the larger group. A fourth reason for out-group development is that some people lack communication skills of social skills that are needed to relate to a larger group.
Why should a leader concerned about the negative impact of out-group. First, out-groups run counter to building community. A second reason that leadership should be concerned with is that out-groups have a negative impact on group synergy. A third reason out-groups are of concern to a leader is that out-group members do not receive the respect they deserve from others.
In my view, as a sports leader, you should have excellent listening skills. Listening is one of the mot important ways that a leader can respond to out-group members. I think you must paying attention to what they said, and it also requires being attention to what people mean. You must set aside your own biases in order to allow them to express their viewpoints freely.
As a sports manager, you must have some strategies to respond with out-group members. First, you must listen to out-group members. As a leader, you need to show empathy to out-group members. You also need recognize the contribution of out-group members. And you must give out-group members a feeling of include and create a relationship with them. Finally, you should motivate out-group members to act and enhance their ability to communicate with others.
9. To you, how should (effective) sport leaders/managers/coaches handle conflict? Explain some of the different types of conflict they might face. Explain some of the principles they might use to deal with conflict.
Conflict is inevitable in groups and organizations, and it presents both a challenge and a true opportunity for every sports leader. I think that people have different ways of handling conflict and that these different styles affect the outcomes of conflict. Avoidance is both an unassertive and an uncooperative conflict style. Those who favor the avoidance style tend to be passive and ignore conflict situations rather than confront them directly. Competition is a conflict style of individuals who are highly assertive about pursuing their own goals but uncooperative in assisting others to reach theirs. There individuals attempt to resolve a struggle by controlling or persuading others in order to achieve their own ends. A competitive style is essentially a win-lose conflict strategy. Accommodation is an unassertive but cooperative conflict style. In accommodation, an individual essentially communicates to another, “you are right, I agree, let’s forget about it”. An approach that is “other directed”, accommodation requires individuals to attend very closely to the needs of others and ignore their own needs. Using this style, individuals confront problems by deferring to others. Compromise occurs halfway between competition and accommodation and involves both a degree of assertiveness and a degree of cooperativeness. Many see compromise as a “give and take” proposition. Compromisers attend to the concerns of others as well as to their own needs. Collaboration, the most preferred style of conflict, requires both assertiveness and cooperation. It is when both parties agree to a positive settlement to the conflict and attend fully to the other’s concerns while not sacrificing or suppressing their own.
To me, I think the best way to handle conflict is collaboration. This method can make both side win, and build a strengthened relationship, and negotiated solutions are frequently more cost-effective in the long run. But, at the same time, collaboration is the most difficult style to achieve. It demands energy and hard work among participants as well as shared control. In other circumstances, I will choose compromise as an approach. Because if is a positive style requires attending to one’s goals as well as others. Of course, in some situation, I should use other methods to handle conflict too. It depends on the situation.
First, the leader might face conflict regarding different beliefs and values. Each of us has a unique system of beliefs and values that constitutes a basic philosophy of life. We have had different situations as well as education and work experiences. When we communicate with others, we become aware that others’ viewpoints are often very different from our own. If we perceive that another person is communicating as incompatible with our owe viewpoint, a conflict in beliefs or values is likely to occur. Another one is conflict regarding goals. In relationship perspective, conflict can relate to esteem, control, and affiliation.
In my view, conflicts are everywhere, so you can not ignore them. It is very important to have ability to recognize and handle conflict for an effective leader. Especially in sport, the situations are very complex and emotional.
There are some principles when the effective leaders deal with conflict. The first one is separate the people from the problem. By separating people from the problem, we enable ourselves to recognize others’ uniqueness. The second one is focus on interests, not position. Concentrating on interests also helps opposing people parties to address the “real” conflict. Addressing both interests and positions helps to make conflict negotiation more authentic. The third one is invent options for mutual gains. Focusing on the interests of the parties in conflict can result in this kind of creative thinking. By exploring where our interests overlap and dovetail, we can identify solutions that will benefit both parties. The finally principle is insist on using objective criteria. The goal in negotiation is to reach a solution that is based on principle and not on pressure. Conflict parties need to search for objective criteria that will help them view their conflict with an unbiased lens.
In my view, you cannot rely on only one principle to deal with conflict in sport events. You must use these principles together to provide a general, well-substantiated approach to handle conflicts in ways that are likely to be advantages to everyone in a conflict situation.
10. To you, how should (effective) sport leaders/managers/coaches overcome obstacles? Explain the potential obstacles they face and how the obstacles can be overcome.
The leader should first figure out what the problems are; the second challenge is in determining what should be done to solve them. If a leader did this, subordinates will be more motivated, productive, and satisfied with their work. Path-goal leadership suggests that a leader should choose a style that best fits the needs of individual group members and the work they are doing. The leader should help these individuals define their goals and the paths they with to take reach those goals. This mean a leader should help them to navigate around the obstacles or it may help them remove obstacle. The effective leader must clear the goals, guiding the members, and teach them how to achieve their goals.
The first obstacle is unclear goals. When the goal is vague, the leader needs to clarify it. If the goal is embedded in a complex set of related goals, the leader needs to identify a specific goal for group members and explain how it fits with all the other goals. Another one is unclear directions. When this happen, that the leader needs to define the path to the goal by giving clear directions. While giving clear directions is important, it is also important to be aware that individuals vary in their need for direction. It is the leader’s job to adapt directions to the needs of each individual. The third obstacle is low motivation. The leader needs to help others feel competent, help others get what they expect, and help others value what they do. The forth obstacle is complex tasks. When a task is complex, the leader needs to be directive-to “take charge” and clarify the path to the goal. Directive leaders give others instruction, including what is expected of them, how it is to be done, and a timeline for when it should be completed. The fifth obstacle is simple tasks. Like complex tasks, simple and repetitive tasks can also have a negative impact on motivation. There is little excitement in doing the same job over and over again. For work like this, it is important for a leader to use a supportive style. The supportive style provides what is missing-the human connection-by encouraging others when they are engaged in tasks that are boring and unchallenging. The other one is low involvement. A leader should use a participative style to address the issue of low involvement. A participative leader invites others to share in the ways and means of getting things done. They work to establish a climate that is open to new and diverse opinions. The final one is lack of a challenge. Without a challenge, some people find work uninteresting and not worthwhile. As a result, these people work less hard, or they quit and move on to something that they find more engaging. The leader needs to continually challenges
others to excel and pushes people to highest levels of success. He or she sets standards of excellence and challenges others to meet those standards.
In my view, I think the leader must have a strong heart and unshakable will. So when some obstacles happen, the leader can motivate others to move forwards. Especially sometimes things going worse, the leader must have the most powerful faith to win. Finally, I think the leader must have optimism personality, because life is difficult, and you must face your life with smile. That is the true character of a great leader.
11. To you, how should (effective) sport leaders/managers/coaches deal with leadership ethics? Explain the factors they face when engaging in (un)ethical leadership.
Ethical leadership is the influence of a moral person who moves others to do the right thing in the right way for the right reasons. Put another way, ethical leadership is a process by which a good person rightly influences others to accomplish a common good: to make the world better, fairer, and more humane. To me, I think it is very important to be an ethics leader in sport industry. For example, I think the biggest ethical issue in sports today is use PEDs. And it is the principle depends on gamesmanship that winning is everything. There are so many examples of gamesmanship, like faking a foul or injury, attempting to get a head start in a race, attempting with equipment, taunting or intimidating an opponent etc. But I think the use of performance-enhancing drugs is the biggest problem. Why? There are many reasons. First, it is unfair to those athletes who don’t use PEDs. Second, it will lead a direction to all the other athletes to use it, because you cannot have advantage without it. Third, some of the drugs are very bad to the athletes’ health, and it will be worse compared with the progress of use it. Finally, it will lead the viewer hard to judge the winner, depends on his or her real ability or depend on PEDs to win. This is only one example of un-ethic thing in sports. Others like cheat are very popular in nowadays too. So I think the sports leaders should face ethical things seriously, take responsibility as a leader/couch/manager in sport industry.
Ethical leadership is about the character of the leader. Character of the leader is a fundamental aspect of ethical leadership. When it sand a leader has strong character, that leader is seen as a good and honorable human being. The leader’s character refers to the quality, disposition, and core values of the leader. Ethical leadership is about the actions of the leader. Actions refer to the ways a leader goes about accomplishing goals. Ethical leadership involves using morally appropriate actions to achieve goals. There are three principles that have particular relevance to our discussion of the actions of ethical leaders. They are showing respect, serving others and showing justice. It is very important to treat others as you would like to be treated. Ethical leadership is about the goals of the leader. The goals that a leader establishes are the third factor related to ethical leadership. How a leader uses goals to influence others says a lot about the leader’s ethics. Identifying and pursuing just and worthy goals are the most important steps an ethical leader will undertake.
Ethical leadership is about the honesty of the leader. More than any other quality, people want their leaders to be honest. In fact, it could be said that being honest is synonymous with being ethical. When a leader is not honest, others come to see that leader as undependable and unreliable. They lose faith in what the leader says and stands for, and their respect for this individual is diminished. As a result, the leader’s impact is compromised because others no longer trust and believe what he or she says. Another factor that plays a role in ethical leadership is power. Power is the capacity to influence or affect others. A leader has power because he or she has the ability to affect others’ beliefs, attitudes, and courses of action. Since power can be used in positive ways to benefit others or in destructive ways to hurt others, a leader needs to be aware of and sensitive to how he or she uses power. A final factor that contributes to understanding ethical leadership is values. Values are the ideas, beliefs, and modes of action that people find worthwhile of desirable.
I think it is very important for a sports leader to consider all these factors. You can not only rely on one factor or aspect to be an ethical leader. Depends on the rising un-ethical events happened in sport industry. It must teach in schools, especially for the schools that teach sport. Because sport has been treated the most fair things in the world, we must protect sport to be an ethical thing in the future. And the leaders in sports industry play a major role in it.