In my personal opinion, I stick with the concept of “encouraging the heart”.

As a leader
it is always important to show appreciation for people’s contributions. Many times we
used to get discouraged if we do not have a driving force to move forward in any given
task. We always need someone shouting in our ear, "Come on, you can do it. I know you
can do it!" We need to feel connected to others and, in turn, they to us, because
greatness is never achieved all by ourselves-alone. Encouraging the Heart is the
leadership practice that connects us with one another. Most of my students get
encouraged and try to move forward and improve their scores by the positive feedback
that I give after each exam. As a leader (professor), I feel it is my responsibility to
acknowledge the efforts taken by each student.

Today, leaders need to be aware of various audiences including colleagues, coworkers,
customers, board members, and the public at large. As a leader, you need to be aware of
what it takes to "bring them along." Followers want to know that the leader cares about
them. Followers want to hear from leaders that they are interested in them as persons, not
only as followers or employees. Leaders should take time to ask followers about their
personal lives; their families, their health, etc.; by doing this they will show that they are
trying to know them better. If the leaders are unwilling to ask the followers their needs,
there occurs a long gap in relationship.

I work for a Christian University. The mission of the organization is to transforms lives
by equipping students to pursue academic excellence, integrate faith with all areas of
knowledge, engage a diverse world, and live worthy of the high calling of God in Christ.
Teaching is central to the role of all academic staff. It is expected that a professor will
seek continuing improvement in academic standards rather than merely maintaining
them, and will make a distinguished contribution to teaching in the faculty and
University. A professor should be expected to provide leadership in curriculum
development, design of courses, and innovations in the delivery of teaching in the
discipline. As an academic leader I am expected to demonstrate competences in teaching
and intellectual skills often associated with active research reflecting high academic
esteem and reputation.

From my perspective not everyone has been called to be leaders although everyone is
required to possess some leadership skills. Acting like a leader is different from being a
real leader. When I think about this situation two things come to my mind.
1. If everyone is leading then who’s following? it is like asking folks at a
shopping mall: If everyone is selling, then who is buying? Each one of us
possess certain leadership skills based on our area of strengths. We are all
leading and influencing in certain areas.
2. Leadership means power and power corrupts.
Over the years we have witnessed many leaders who have exercised the power
of leadership in a wrong way. “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power
corrupts absolutely”, If everyone has been given the power of leadership then
everyone will have the liberty to do what they wish which leads to more chaos
and confusion

Discussion Day 2

In my opinion, I believe that leadership is a privilege with which we can take the
responsibility to inspire others, and direct them to attain the vision and goals of an
organization. I basically trust in the Servant Leadership Philosophy where we give less
preference/priority to our own self-interest. I have seen leaders who have never taken any
personal credit for successes and have always admired it. The very best example that I
can quote here is the life of Jesus. Though being a leader, HE never hesitated to wash the
feet of his disciples. Does anyone like Hitler's leadership style?

A good leader is one who reflects on how they want to lead. Every leader, who wants to
add value or want to know that they are contributing or making a difference, should take
an effort to find their voice. We have to analyze the self so as to find our voice. Once we
learn to find our voice it gives us inner confidence as our values/principles stand as a
strong guidance for our life. It will also earn the respect that we deserve.

I definitely agree with the authors in this case. We always try to spend more time on the
things that interests us.

Personal life Experiences: When I was a teenager, I was not focusing much on my
studies, as I did not know the importance of studies. However, later in life I realized the
importance of gaining good education and was investing much of my time in it. One
great example, I could think of right now is, sometimes people in the present world try to
spend much time on social networking sites such as Facebook, twitter etc. This
apparently shows how people are very much interested in what is going on in other’s life.

Good leaders consider time as their precious resource. They will try not to waste it.
They will make best use of their time so as to ensure that they generate a good return of
the time that has been invested.

Few insights on point number 6.

We (At least myself) always admire/look for the appreciation of others whenever we (I) do a task with
utmost satisfaction. However, no matter what we do or how well we do it, there will be some criticism that
will come in our way. We always get disappointed when we don't get enough appreciation or receive
negative feedback for any task for which we put in much effort. Under those circumstances hearing
potentially negative things about ourselves is probably not our favorite activity. In my opinion, there is
nothing wrong in giving or receiving negative feedback. But your intention towards giving/receiving
negative feedback matters the most. If the negative feedback has been given/taken constructively it
helps. I receive requests for reviewing manuscripts submitted to journals chemistry. First, I had no idea on
how to go about giving feedback. But later on, I made a set of guidelines putting together the expectations
of the journal with respect to the research methodology applied, originality of the research, formatting style
etc., and aligned the submitted manuscript with those expectations. This helped me give a proper feedback
on content of the submitted research articles.

I certainly agree with the quote, “If you have not endured the most difficult, you
cannot become the most successful” . When I think about this, another quote comes into
my mind: “Learn to run with horses,it will be easy to run with men”. In my opinion a
man who faces no challenges in his life has less or no experience. Experience can teach a
man many lessons that can never be learnt through books. When you accept challenges
you are giving an opportunity yourself to learn new things. We get a fresh
encouragement from for every challenge that has been faced successfully.

Profit from small wins
It is the tendency of humans to achieve more and grow big in any sector, whether it is personal or
professional life. We always aim at high things and would like to accomplish big things in a short
period of time. Nevertheless, it is important to understand that short-term goals are very important to
our long-term success. When I was a PhD student, I had a burning spirit to publish many articles in top
peer-reviewed journals. At that point, I realized that my dreams were so high that could not reach it. It
took a while for me to understand that I should take one step at a time towards reaching my goal. So I
set up small goals that I can achieve with full confidence. I was able to publish my first article within
the certain time limit. That served as an encouragement and boosted my confidence to publish other
articles. As the saying goes, Little drops make a mighty ocean, small wins make a big profit when it
has been all gathered collectively.

I am a person who always hides behind the screen when it comes to performing a task
that I am not familiar with. Because of having such a fixed opinion about myself I could
not expand my boundary in my career. At one point, I realized if I keep doing this I can
never grow in any area. So I tried to create opportunities for myself leaving behind my
fixed mindset. I have always wondered about some older professionals in my
organization as how they keep updated with the modern technologies and perform well in
their career even in their old age. Their effort to learn new things has encouraged me and
has made me to embrace challenges. I believe responding to all our failures by working
in the areas where we perform poorly can certainly result in big success.

In my opinion leaders should accept challenges as every challenge opens a channel for
growth. By taking a challenge, leaders not only grow their skills but also their value and
relationship with others. Accepting a challenge in a firm makes a person valuable to the
organization. The leaders should also keep in mind that whenever they try to improve
themselves they are improving the people around them. You will also gain deeper
appreciation for taking a challenge. Most importantly accepting a challenge gives job
satisfaction for any leaders who enjoys their work.

As a chemist who wants to be vibrant in research, it is absolutely necessary for me to
have collaborations with scientists in my field. I have launched an extensive collaborative
work with other universities and research facilities located nearby. I can strongly assure
that research collaboration will remain as a valuable tool to accelerate the progress and
the quality of work produced. I currently mentor students in undergraduate research in
the present institution. However, the facilities (instrumentation and equipment) that we
currently have in the institution are not sufficient to produce high quality results, which
can be taken up for a publication. So I collaborate with some of the researchers from the
nearby universities to use their equipment/research facilities and share their ideas. In my
opinion collaboration definitely enriches one’s knowledge and always leads to better
outcome.

One of my long time desires is to publish a book. However, I had less or no confidence
in doing it all by myself. Meanwhile, I got an invitation from one of my colleagues to be
a coauthor for a book chapter along with two other persons. I gladly accepted it and
worked towards it. Writing a book chapter is not so easy when you are doing it for the
first time. It takes a lot of time to compile all the resources and structure the contents.
Though it seemed to be a heavy task in the beginning, when we started working together,
things became much easier for us. With less than a month’s time we were able to
complete writing the chapter together. During this process, we definitely learnt from each
other. Each member of the group gave their cooperation in publishing the book within
the required timeframe.

I remember the verse Luke 12:48 from the Bible which says, “For unto whomsoever
much is given, of him shall much be required; and to whom men have committed much,
of him they will ask the more”. In my opinion I prefer to have more choice with more
accountability. When it comes to performing a task, I do not restrict myself to use just
one resource. I like to think and act in all possible directions to make the work
completed. However, when it comes to others, the answers may vary depending on their
level of managing and accountability. Some can handle only a few things at a time and
would prefer to have less choice and less accountability. I also remember the verse,
“Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much” if we prove to be
faithful in little things, we will also be faithful in large ones.

During my probation period while working in a pharmaceutical company, I had
opportunities to work under five different project coordinators. They all had different
personalities. One of those project coordinators was highly domineering. He never
listened to the problems of the team members. Nor did he show interest in the
professional growth of his team members. All his focus was laid upon the completion of
the project. There was also one another project leader whose primary aim was also
successful completion of the projects while at the same time he cared for his team
members. Every time the team members faced a problem in the project, the project
leader gathered the team members for a special meeting to find the solutions for the
problems. Not only that, the project leader also made an effort to explain the chemistry
existing behind every synthetic scheme which team leaders were not aware of.

For the most part of my MBA program, I had the same set of classmates who studied
along with and we all together made a good team. We spent time together doing
homework and project work, solving problems, preparing for group presentations etc.
Apart from studies, we all had some personal fellowship time through which we got
connected with each other’s family also. I should tell that it was the best team that I have
been with so far in my life. One aspect I liked about the team was, everyone in the team
was so unique and different, yet everyone showed respect to other member’s thoughts
and suggestions while dealing with any project work. We all had a very good
understanding and cooperated with one another. Yes, definitely the team brought the best
in me. I never knew that I had the talent of compiling resources and make a good
presentation slides out of it until I was one in that team.

Whether we look for opportunities to give feedback or not, we come across many
opportunities to give suggestions on our opinion about the performance of others. It could
be commenting on the taste of the food someone has cooked or remarking on the way that
a colleague has carried out a task. In such occasions it is important to provide a
constructive feedback without causing offence. Getting feedback definitely makes an
impact in anyone’s life. No matter whether we like it or not we always get some kind of
negative feedback. If we need to do better in any task we should also embrace the
negative feedback as much we do with the positive ones. I have a friend who always
cares about my wellbeing; she never hesitated to give any negative feedback on how well
I have performed a task. I have always gladly accepted any constructive criticism not
only from my friend but also from others.

“Leaders shouldn’t get too close to their constituents, that they can’t be friends with
people at work.” I am not sure how far I can agree with this quote. I have known leaders
who are quite friendly with their constituents but still perform their function as a leader.
It is true that the constituents will take advantage of the leader’s friendly behavior but it is
not true always. There are several instances in my personal experience where friendships
between leaders and constituents had positive effects. My PhD advisor is close to age
and she mingles with me so closely and behaves with me as a friend. However, she keeps
her own boundaries while doing so. Hence it needs to be noted that managers/leaders
should try to draw a line on friendship with those they manage.

I completely agree on the fact that corporate celebrations helped the employees to form
community. Corporate gatherings help integrate the employees irrespective of the
employee’s positions, titles and ranks. A mere conversation between the employees will
help others to respect people’s accountabilities in the firm. In the industry that I worked,
we gathered every month to have some games. Also, the company organized yearly
picnic where the family members of the employees also joined. This gave way for new
relationships and happy memories with co-workers. Even now, it gives me so much joy
to even think about the picnic. Not just me, but also every employee remembers the
yearly picnic.

There is a famous quote which says, “A journey to thousand miles starts with a single
step” If we have a dream and we want to pursue it , it all starts with that first step. That
first step could be very difficult but it is very important in achieving that dream we desire
for. There could be lots of mental difficulties that might stand as obstacles in taking that
first step. Taking the first step requires a high degree of determination within us. A true
leader is one that is highly determined. He/She is ready to take that first step with utmost
courage and is strong-minded to face all the risks associated with take that first
step. They are well convinced with the fact that the best time to start something
productive is to start now. They do not until the situation gets better to take the first step.

“What's merely an image today can one day be made real” I definitely agree with this
sentiment. I could remember an instance in my own personal life. I was doing my
bachelor’s degree at one of the universities in India. I had a strong desire to do my
masters degree in chemistry in one of the highly reputed universities in India. The tuition
was so high that my financial situations did not give way for me to pursue Masters
degree. However, I used to imagine that I am already admitted into the university to
pursue the degree. I organized all my dreams and imagined them that it will all happen
someday. In the same way after a year later, I got admission in the same university but
with 100% scholarship to pursue t he degree. I was so glad and from that time onwards I
started to imagine things that is not into existence.

I work for a co-educational Christian liberal arts university. It consists of about seven
colleges, which focuses on different disciplines. The university has professors staff, and
students from different backgrounds with respect to race, culture and ethnicity. No
matter what, we all realize the brotherly and sisterly love in Christ. I have worked in
different environments and have never experienced the sense integrity that I realized in
OBU. I could definitely tell that OBU provides a unique and pleasant atmosphere to all
staff members, faculty and students.

I always had a question in my heart why all humans are not treated in the same way.
What makes humans special is their humanity. In that sense, all humans are equal and
every human needs to be treated alike. People in the present world are discriminated
based on the color of the skin, race, caste, language and status in the society. There are
many organizations, which say that they are equal opportunity employer. However when
going through the selection process several applications are being denied because of
discrimination. I feel this has to change.

I have always considered my uncle as my role model. He has always been there for me
in times of joy and sorrow. To talk about him he is a man of simplicity. He lost one of
his in a polio attack and was disabled; yet he was so determined and has come up in life
beating all the struggles. He is the most educated person in the family, yet he is very
humble. In India, we all used to live as a joint family and he is the one who leads the
entire family. Even when I am so many miles apart from my family, if I need any
personal encouragement I always used to make a phone call to him to give me a word
encouragement,

To me if I want to know about myself, I always go to the Word of God. I could tell that
it was the Lord’s voice that has shaped to the person who I am today. So many times, I
used to think what I am doing is right. When I go with my justification, I might be
feeling right in doing certain things. However, when I ask God as what I should do with
certain situations, His answers might be different. Then I will know that I am not doing
the right thing.
Leaders should definitely feel that they are very important for others, as they are
invaluable to any organization. A leader should build trust in the hearts of his team
members that no matter how many struggles come in the way they will take the lead.
When the leaders develop trust, it increases commitment to the goals of the team and gets
the team members’ best effort. To the team members, a mere feeling that some as at the
back of them will be a huge mental support.

The Bible also talks about some of the leadership qualities. According to Luke 22:26 A
person who leads or rules should be the one who serves first. Leaders should lead with
integrity and with capability. King David is a great example for this. Leaders should
become wise and not place their people on a trap. They must not put their people in
distress.