Monday, March 18, 2013

Courses - Support Course: MHR 450 - Leadership

There are a few different classes that I have very much enjoyed during my time at Cal Poly. Under the “courses” pages, I will talk about 4 of these, including an AMM Core course, an AMM Option course, a Support Course, and a General Education course.
I do warn in advance these are a bit long.

AMM Core
AMM Option
Support Course (this entry)
General Education

AMM Support Course:
MHR 450 - Leadership
Experiences and discussions involving the complexity of leadership. A study and survey of the history and progression of leadership research for gaining awareness of the challenges of leadership. A non-traditional approach to learning leadership concepts by simulating actual experiences.

     I really enjoyed this class and what it had to offer. I learned a lot about what it takes to be a leader, what qualities you need to be a good leader, and different leadership styles.

     I had fun in this class because the professor liked holding group discussions about different topics from the book, and things going on in the world as well. I definitely learned a lot from this class that I’m able to apply to the working world as well. I learned what type of leader I am, what my personality strengths and weaknesses are, and how to better myself as a leader. I got more practice speaking in front of a group with the group presentation and individual leadership presentation. It’s always good to get this kind of practice in school, because presenting is something I’ll be doing frequently in future endeavors. These different assignments taught me different styles of learning by actively participating instead of the professor talking to the class.

We had three main projects in this class. 

     The first was a paper on leadership in The Avengers. This was an interesting paper to write because while watching the movie, we had to analyze the different leadership styles of Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, and The Hulk. We had to determine their personality strengths and weaknesses, and decide who we’d most want to be like.

     Our second assignment was a group project. We had to do a group activity for one chapter from the book. Our chapter was on emotional intelligence, and we did an activity where we got the class in groups of 5, handed them pieces of papers with different situations on them, and asked them what they would do in those situations.
For example:
You and a certain co-worker have just never gotten along with one another. Since the day you started working together, you and this co-worker have just rubbed each other the wrong way. The co-worker is constantly antagonizing and attacking you. You feel like this person is out to get you – and wants to get you in trouble.
You get called into a meeting with your boss and it is brought to your attention that this co-worker has complained about you. You know you didn’t do anything wrong and are upset that you may be in trouble. Inevitably this makes you furious, and it isn’t fair.
What would or should you do in this situation? Has this ever happened to you before?
We then showed Youtube clips of similar situations, and what the best way to handle it was.
This was a great team-building exercise because we learned how to come up with an idea for a class activity, and each took turns as the leader to create a smooth presentation.

     Our third assignment was an individual leadership speech. It had to be three minutes long, with a +/- 15 seconds window. My topic was “announcing the need for cost reductions. The speaker is requesting that everyone look for ways to cut expenditures and immediately begin slashing spending.”
     I took the approach of speaking to my family about how we could cut costs in our house. I “spoke” to my mom, my sister, and my sister’s boyfriend. I used a PowerPoint to illustrate the different points I was talking about.

Hi everyone,
I’ve been keeping track of some of the spending habits in the house, and I’ve noticed a lot of places we can cut out some things. Things need to start changing before we find ourselves in more financial trouble than we’re already in.
Mom, I know you know the place a lot of your money goes to is smoking. Although you’ve smoked for many years now, it’s time to seriously put an end to it. I’ve prepared this slide to show how much you’ve spent over the years on cigarettes. That’s a lot of money that could have been spent on bills or other things. Although over the years that doesn’t seem like a lot, as you can see, it adds up.
I know you’re cold all the time too, but when you’re spending $300 a month on your electricity bill, something’s got to give. There are alternatives you can try, such as space heaters for your room or electric blankets for when you’re watching American Idol on the couch. I hate to see you spending that much, and I think you should talk to both your landlord about more insulation, and the electric company to assure you’re not paying more than you should be.
Another thing I'd like you to think about is how much you’re paying for DirecTV. $100 per month is a lot when you mostly watch basic channels. You should talk to them and ask about taking a step down from how many channels you have right now. We can also set up your TV to hook up to the computer, and you can use Hulu or other sites to watch TV for free.
Stacy, I know even though you’re 16, Nathan is the love of your life and you want to be with him every minute of the day, but mom can’t afford that. I’d like to see you start looking for a job if you’d like him to be over at the house more often. These are some places that are close to the house. You can ride a bike so mom won’t need to spend money on gas to take you to and from work. This way you can help mom out financially so you two can be together all you like.
We should cut down on how often we go out too. As nice as it is to go out to Lucille's or Olive Garden, we can make similar meals at home. That money could instead go toward bills that need to be paid and lowering credit card debt.
We should cut down on how often we go out to the movies too. Going to see the latest movie is always nice, but that’s about $14 a person, plus snacks that are as much as a ticket. We can wait until it comes out on DVD and rent it from Redbox for $1.50, and make popcorn of our own.
Thank you again for sitting down with me today, and I hope this presentation has shown you all that there are ways we can cut costs in the house to reduce financial trouble. Thank you.
     At the end, we heard feedback from two of our classmates and our professor. I was happy to hear my professor say she hadn’t had anyone take that kind of approach to the topic, and she thoroughly enjoyed it. My classmates also said that I did a good job and was well rehearsed. I got an A, and was very proud.

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