Look up the Michael Jordan commercial, “Maybe,” on YouTube. What is the main message of the commercial? What do the supporting images tell viewers about Jordan’s extraordinary career? Recall specific examples. What traits of Jordan’s are suggested by this commercial? In what ways might the traits of an excellent leader be demotivating to a follower?
Be All That You Can Be
Go online and check out several different websites using the search term, “leadership traits.” Typically these sites will have multiple lists of traits and skills. Distinguish between items that are truly traits (stable personal attributes) and those that are more like skills (learned competencies). Select one leadership trait that appears across several sites. What advice is given on these sites for how this trait can be developed and strengthened? Create a learning plan for someone who desires to develop this trait over a period of several months, citing their internet sources. One suggested site: www.charactercounts.org.
Look up a podcast from “This American Life” (NPR) from August 11, 2012, on amusement parks. The segment profiles Cole Lindbergh, a full-time employee of a Kansas City amusement park, who runs the games department. He delights in his job and excels at motivating employees.
- What traits does Lindbergh have?
- What is he doing well?
- How is he managing his and others’ emotions?
- What can you learn from him?
Tweeting Like a Leader
If you are following a thought leader on Twitter throughout the term, write about how the leader manages his or her image on Twitter. What personality traits are communicated (intentionally or inadvertently) through their manner of texting and posted images?