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Becca Smart Reflection A UNIV 393 I found the excerpt from Leadership can be Taught to be extremely insightful and

interesting. Park really seems to be aware of the inner workings of what drives people to want to be leaders, yet at the same time she acknowledges her uncertainties on the subject as well. This is something I thought particually interesting, seeing as she has done so much research on the topic, it shows that there may not be a definite reason as to how leaders come about. However, uncertainties aside, her methods of implementing leadership and her critical distinctions are invaluable at explaining leadership today. While reading the article, I found myself applying the four distinctions and trying to see how they fit in to my own lifestyle and leadership technique. The first distinction that Park makes about leadership is the dichotomy between authority vs. leadership. Her argument is that authority is formally recognized leadership, such as a CEO or a President, someone who is obviously in charge. These people are needed for the stability of an organization, but they are not necessarily the leading and moving force of a corporation or organization. She says that leaders are the people who motivate others to follow their lead and addresses and solves problems. In my own life, I have definitely experienced this relationship. The title of VP gives me the authority to make decisions on behalf of the organization, but it is by my ability to solve and address the various problems girls may have that attributes to my leadership capabilities. Being an authority means that I can write checks on the behalf of Phi sig. But being a leader means creating

new payment plans for girls who may not be financially able, or to plan a new budget where the membership dues are historically lower than any other year. There is a definite difference. Another distinction that the author makes about leadership is about the issue of technical problems versus adaptive challenges. Technical problems, the ones that can be solved with rules already in place, are problems that anyone could probably figure out, regardless of their creativity level. Adaptive challenges on the other hand, are constant, pressing issues that need to be addressed and a plan of action needs to be formulated for. Not only does this plan have to be effective, but it needs to be able to be a precedent for future actions regarding the issue. In my position, I fix a lot of technical problems. Someones account always needs updating, and there are always bills to pay. These problems are sometimes difficult, but the way of solving them can never be different, the correct troubleshooting steps just need to be followed and the problem is eliminated. The adaptive challenges I face however are a lot more complex. For example, I have to find a way to eliminate our constant cash flow problem, and since there is no set way to better that situation right now, I am formulating a plan of action that has never been done before and will hopefully provide some guidelines for the next financial chair. The third distinction Park makes concerning leadership is the contrast between power vs. progress. She argues that when an organizations leadership is more concerned about progressing as a whole with their members, the member body becomes less concerned with the issue of the leaders having power and control. This is something I have been noticing in my own life as I am working as a

part of Phi Sigs e-board. When we work along with the chapter and listen to their input, we make more progress as an organization, while keeping the actives involved. This way, we still are making the final decisions, but by valuing the opinion of everyone else, there is peace and e-board does not seem domineering and overpowering. Finally, in leadership, there is a distinction between personality and presence. This is something I am learning to do myself right now. Most of the girls in the chapter know me for my personality, who I am outside of the sorority. They know my character, my likes, dislikes as well as other personality traits. However, now that Ive been given this leadership opportunity, the girls also are starting to get to know my presence as a leader. When I am acting as the Bursar, my charisma doesnt matter as much anymore. What matters are my actions and decisions; how I present them, and how well I execute them. Parks also goes on in the excerpt to discuss leadership in two evolving metaphors. She first describes the older, more widely accepted myth of leaders as heroes, kings and shepherds, making choices for their constituents. Ive always looked as leadership in this light, romanticizing the CEOs of today as the brave and wise kings of ancient times, and viewing leaders as the untouchables. But after reading more about how leaders today are more likely to be compared with artists, as opposed to heroes, Id have to say I agree. Today, the world is changing at an accelerated pace, and we no longer have the need for people to tell us what to do, but rather for people to invent and imagine creative and effective solutions to issues, just like an artist does when envisioning a new piece. It is something that I

am going to take into consideration even for my own leadership practices, and hopefully I can innovate and inspire along the way.