Here is my final project website link


Essay 4

Leadership Success and Its Effect on You.


In recent discussions of leadership a controversial issue has been whether successful leadership is based on what position of power you hold or if you have followers. On the one hand, some argue that successful leadership is based solely on the fact that you have followers. From this perspective, you can gauge successful leadership from everyday experiences and if you have people following you based on these experiences. On the other hand, however, others argue that successful leadership is based on the fact that you have a position of power. In the words of Gregory Stone, a professor at Regent University, “Leadership is an effort of influence and a power to induce compliance (Stone).” According to this view successful leadership is limited to only those who have a position of power in which they can cause others to follow them. In sum, the issue is whether successful leadership should be based on the position of power you hold or the fact that you have followers regardless of your position of power.

My own view is that successful leadership is based on the fact that you have followers to lead no matter if you hold a position of power or not. Though I concede that yes individuals in positions of power do partake in successful leadership, I still maintain that in order to have this successful leadership they have to have followers to place them in a position of power. For example, where would Martin Luther King Jr. have been without his hundreds of thousands of followers, nowhere; and he would have gained nothing from this type of leadership. Although some might object that it doesn’t matter if you have followers or not successful leadership still happens, I would reply that if you do not have any followers what is the reason to go after successful leadership and making a change to better yourself and others. This issue is important because too many individuals feel that they cannot be leaders, cannot enable themselves let alone enable others.

Born January 15, 1929 he became one of the greatest leaders of our time and is still revered today for the impact he made on the United States. Martin Luther King Jr. lived a hard life. He was faced with many challenges as he grew up under the holds of racism and also a preacher’s son; he questioned his faith as he grew and was determined not to follow in his father and grandfathers footsteps to become a pastor. But he soon changed his mind when he entered into his junior year of college and was enrolled in a Bible class; this renewed his faith and he decided to further his education in seminary and become a minister. As a young child King’s parents attempted to shield him to the racist views of the white American people; King knew little of what his father’s fight against racial prejudices. But as an adult he soon found out just what his father dealt with in his life (Bio.).

Soon after finishing seminary King received a pastoral position at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama. He began working with civil rights activists in the community and they appointed him as their Montgomery Bus Boycott leader after Rosa Parks was arrested for not giving up her bus seat to a white man. The civil rights leaders elected King to lead the boycott because “he was young, well-trained with solid family connections and had professional standing,” (Bio.) the people wanted someone who understood how to lead and could bring them to a resolution in the midst of the chaos in their lives. He led several peaceful protests, was jailed and still he prevailed. He continued his work and led the march on Washington and brought with him 200,000 followers that stood and listened to him give his famous “I have a Dream” speech. He eloquently spoke that day, August 28, 1963, of his dream that one day African Americans and white Americans would be able to hold hands in the promise of brotherhood and thank God for their freedom together (Bio. King).

King is what we would consider today a successful leader. Not only was he successful but he built on these successes and grew personally with each leadership success he had. Each outcome of his success gave him a hope for the future, a renewed spirit and renewed mind in who he was. Success in leadership results in personal growth through confidence, happiness, rewards and clarity.

Before beginning on the outcomes of a successful leadership life we must form a definition of leadership and how to be successful in leadership. The definition of leadership has evolved greatly in between decades and even centuries of how people see leaders. Oxford English Dictionary defines leadership as, “The dignity, office, or position of a leader, esp. of a political party; ability to lead; the position of a group of people leading or influencing others within a given context; the group itself; the action or influence necessary for the direction or organization of effort in a group undertaking,” (Leadership). But does leadership really only have to be about what title or position you hold? No. A leader is truly any person/group that has followers. A leader is someone who has enabled others to work towards a shared common goal between the leader and the followers. A true leaders takes action and does not merely sit on the sidelines hoping that someone will step up and take the position; they step up, take the position, gain followers and move towards a goal that they have for the organization or group.

Although other theorists who have studied leadership in the past may not agree with me, this definition is the best possible one for the current time. Other theorists may say that leadership is strictly based on a positon you hold or it is a position in which you have power. Gregory Stone a professor at Regent University states, “Leadership is an effort of influence and the power to induce compliance (Stone).” In other words leadership may be affected if you are in a position of power and these theorists may prove to have a valid point, however, how are individuals in a position of power considered leaders? What makes these people actual leaders? Is the fact they call themselves leaders good enough? Even if the individual is in a position of power they must have followers, a group who considers them a leader, or no one would consider them a leader. If they didn’t have followers who would call them leaders?

Within nearly two centuries the focus of leadership has changed eight times with the circumstances that the world is in; each time the world reaches a new crisis there is a new leadership focus to combat it. Such as in the industrial revolution when leadership was based on the skills you had previously acquired for the new technology being introduced into the workforce. There was also a shift in leadership focus from the 1960s to the 1980s where there was a shift in “societal focus from increasing economic wealth to ensuring social rights and equality (Stone).” In other words the shift in what society viewed as important changed in the 1960s to 1980s causing a shift in leadership focus as well. But throughout every change one thing remained the same; leadership was focused on what their followers needed at the time or whether the leaders had followers to back them and give them credibility (Stone). So although an unlikely candidate for the position, from this definition we could label Adolf Hitler a successful leader. He had many followers and literally got an entire country to follow him into World War II and to believe in his anti-Semitist views (Bio. Hitler). Some may say that many of his followers were brain washed into believing every word he said but Hitler as a whole was a very successful leader. I can now only imagine what would have come if his power in leadership would have been used for greatness rather than the destruction of lives, cities and entire countries during World War II.

Not only would Hitler be a leader based off of this definition but nearly every individual person would be a leader. If you are a sibling, parent, teacher, preacher, businessman, politician, rancher, spouse, public speaker, mentor, aunt, uncle, grandpa, grandma you have been a leader. You have followers that you may not even know follow you but they do because if you are a family member there are always little eyes watching every move you make and for the most part modeling their life off of yours. People look up to you, they believe in you and want to watch your success in leadership blossom. They want to be just like you are and follow you because to them you are a leader. Even if you don’t know it or don’t want it, you have followers; which, by default, makes you a successful leader.

The first outcome of successful leadership is confidence. When achieving success in your leadership you will reach a point where people begin to believe in and trust in you; this will build up your confidence. At first when you begin your leadership walk you may have little faith in your abilities or what you may accomplish and it can be difficult for others to believe in you as well. Not only do you struggle but the people who want to follow you also take a step back to see what you can do before deciding to follow you. But as you begin to become successful you will see that others begin to believe in you and you start to believe in yourself as well. This belief in yourself means you have gained confidence in your abilities as a leader and you may even be looking forward to other leadership opportunities for yourself. Or others may already believe in your ability and you doubt yourself because you have little experience in the task ahead or have a fear of failure. One such time this happened to a woman named Carla Connor. She had been laid off from a sales job and had a fear that if she started her own business she would fail; but her former customers were not giving up on her. Her former customers wanted her to start her own business selling the safety equipment they needed and although she had followers she doubted her ability. She wouldn’t make herself the president of her company because she feared the pressure of the title would sink her business so she gave herself an imaginary boss and started her business. Connor’s business flourished and she began to gain confidence in her ability as a leader of the company with many customers/followers that had already believed in her. She said, “As the business grew, I came to believe in myself (Connor).” In other words, she eventually saw what they had seen all along, an ability to lead and run a company all by herself with very little help until it became successful. The company has made hundreds of thousands of dollars in profit and continues to flourish and Connor continues to be successful. She began to believe in herself and have confidence because she was truly a successful leader (Connor).

Another outcome of successful leadership is happiness. Even if you don’t enjoy what you are doing and you are successful in it you are still happy that you have success; this happiness may not be as much as it could be if you enjoyed what you are doing, but you are still happy. One example from my life would be making a great score on a test in a subject that I can’t stand; for instance biology is a very difficult concept to understand at times but I made a great score on my last test. I’m happy that I made a great score but not as happy as I would be with a great score in an Ag leadership class or a class pertaining to my major. Happiness from success also continues on into your life in leadership. But the happiness that stems from successful leadership is true happiness; you are happy because you enjoy what you are accomplishing and it makes you wish to continue in leadership. This happiness makes you want to conquer new obstacles and tackle new goals.

One such instance was a man working for a company; he was a manager and was very important to the company and what he worked with. This manager believed in incremental development and said that “Every big system that works started out as a small system that worked.” In other words this manager didn’t go with the flow of the company but stayed with what worked from the beginning and he was very happy with this method of leading and so were his followers. He was happy and his part of the company was successful, therefore, he had nothing to worry about. Until the company CEO’s decided that he needed to begin being a team player and following in the footsteps of the entire company not what he believed worked from the beginning. So he began to be a team player, he promoted the CEO’s product lines and got along with his peers. Soon after this manager had left the company he wasn’t happy with his success in leadership anymore because he wasn’t doing what he wanted to do. He had changed and no longer had an outcome of happiness but one of dread for the work he did. This manager went from happiness as a successful leadership outcome to leaving his job in a year because his success no longer gave him happiness (Lewis). You have to believe in the leadership success you are acquiring in order to get the outcome, happiness, of successful leadership you desire. This happiness will help you to grow in successful leadership by accomplishing new dreams and help you to be happy in others leadership situations. You will also have happier followers if the leader her/himself is happy.

Another outcome of success in leadership is rewards. When you achieve success as a leader you are given rewards or are recognized for the success you have. Because of these rewards you may have a sense of happiness and confidence because you are successful and people believed in you enough to reward you for what you had accomplished in your life as a leader. But these rewards also lead to a sense of personal growth beyond happiness and confidence; they give you a sense of completeness and that your life has been meaningful. You begin to believe you have accomplished something even though before you were recognized you may have not felt this way. These rewards and sensation you receive when recognized for your abilities gives way to a drive to continue to succeed in ways you have never felt possible. The feeling of being recognized will give you a sense of accomplishment and others will know who you are and what you have done to be recognized. Others may say that not everyone revels in rewards or recognition; but, even if you do not enjoy recognition it still empowers you and gives you the drive to continue on in your leadership and find new successes every day.

Walt Disney is an enthralling character and great example for rewards as a motivator and outcome of success. When Disney was very young he fell in love with drawing and artistry and he continued this love throughout his lifetime. He was a cartoonist for the paper at his high school and took night classes at the Chicago Art Institute during this time as well. In 1919 Disney began his early cartoons which was based on cutout animation and he also began experimenting with a camera; from this Disney decided to open his own animation studio. It wasn’t always easy and in his first attempt at business he had to file bankruptcy but Disney didn’t give up. He continued working and creating animated shorts but this time he had a new character, Mickey Mouse. The shorts became an overnight success and Disney was rocketed into stardom and began making animated movies: Snow White, Bambi, Dumbo, Cinderella, Peter Pan, Pinocchio and finally Mary Poppins, which was his last major work produced by himself.

Disney was awarded 22 Academy Awards for the films and shorts he created. These rewards for his success in leading the nations animated film industry caused him to continue to make movies and films until his early death in 1966. These rewards he was given may only be faded away but people knew Walt Disney’s name and you can barely go anywhere without M-I-C-K-E-Y-M-O-U-S-E. Disney’s success was made stronger by the recognition he was given; his rewards made him into a household name that everyone remembers to this day. The recognition of successes in leading the film industry empowered him to never give up through adversity but to keep pushing to the next goal and to reach the next success in his life (Bio. Disney).

Our final outcome of success in leadership is clarity. A leader who achieves success is given to have happiness, gain confidence and receive rewards but all three of these point back to one essential thing to a leader, clarity. Clarity is a sense of knowing where you are going with your life and you are confident in your abilities in your leadership roles at the time. Clarity doesn’t always come this easy and there are problems that inhibit clarity such as feeling overwhelmed, pressured, unhappy, angry, nervous or stuck, which are all reasons that drift in your leadership life occur. Drift can be expressed in a number of ways but essentially it is when leaders “express doubts about their capabilities, have questions about how best to leverage their talent or are simply confused about the leader within them (King).” In other words when you simply feel that you do not know where your life is going or you are confused about the direction you should take in your life. This drift can stop successful leadership all together and inhibit leaders from reaching clarity in their life. King discusses this in her book, Discovering the Leader in You, to point out reasons successful leadership is inhibited and how you can combat this and reach clarity. Successful leadership directs you to clarity through happiness, confidence and rewards. This clarity then pushes you to continue on the path of leadership success and allows you to continue leading others through your life. You can then show them what clarity can and does look like in an individual’s life to inspire them to strive for clarity in their own life (King).

One such example stems from my own life; when I first began thinking about what to do with the rest of my life I had no idea what I wanted my career to be or where my life was going. I began thinking about different career options and I couldn’t think of one that suited me or what I wanted to do. This affected my confidence and I felt I couldn’t even lead my life let alone someone else’s. When I first arrived at Oklahoma State University I had declared a major in Entomology: Bioforensics but I quickly discovered that was not the major for me. I was distraught; I didn’t know what to do or where to turn. I cried, called my parents and begged to go home because college life was not for me and there was nothing else here for me to do. But my mom told me tough it out and finally I found the major for me. It was entitled Agriculture Leadership; essentially you are allowed to be a leader for the rest of your life and you go into almost any field that you believe suits you best. I had found my niche and discovered where I belonged. This change in my life pushed me back into leadership and without even realizing it I had people believing in me and following me all along. I regained confidence, was happier and experienced rewards from the College of Agriculture Sciences and Natural Resources at Oklahoma State University; these included scholarships, new friends and a set of people who were all backing me and believed in my abilities. All of these items gave me clarity in my life and pushed me back into successful leadership.

Success in leadership gives you confidence in your abilities and empowers you to take on roles you never imagined you could. Martin Luther King Jr. could never have imagined the life he was going to live as an advocate for civil rights or that he would eventually be killed for his actions. In fact he wanted to steer far away from believing he had leadership abilities or followers. But in fact King had 200,000 followers at one event and had many more during the civil rights era. King’s leadership not only allowed him to have personal growth but it also helped others to grow personally. He enabled his followers to have happiness, confidence in their ability to make change and they were eventually rewarded for their efforts with the passage of the three civil rights amendments. The true goal of any leader should be to meet the needs of the followers. By taking your leadership responsibility and enabling your followers you gain confidence, reach happiness and obtain rewards not only for yourself but for your followers as well.


Bio. (2014) Adolf Hitler Biography. Retrieved from

Bio. (2014). Martin Luther King Jr. biography. Retrieved from

Bio. (2014) Walt Disney Biography. Retrieved from

Connor, C., (1994, February). Personal growth, and personal success. Nation’s business, 82(2), 6. Retrieved from

King, S. (2011). Where does leadership fit in your life? In Altman, D. & Lee, R. (Eds.), Discovering the leader in you (1-19). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Leadership. (n.d.). In Oxford English Dictionary online. Retrieved from

Lewis, B. (1997, June 30). Changing your colors to fit in doesn’t mean you’ll find happiness or success. Infoworld, 19(26), 74. Retrieved from

Stone, G., & Patterson, K. (2005, August). The history of leadership focus. Servant leadership research round table. Retrieved from

Essay 3

Managing and Planning

It all began on a hot, sweltering September day, or maybe it was chilly or rainy or windy; anyways, I’m sure there wasearthquake or two. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so prepared for something as the day I began the dreaded annotated bibliography but, then again, it wasn’t the bibliography I hated so much. It was the research. I have done research before so I knew what this entailed but I had never used a database and the “3/4 of the sources must come from a database” rule was a little scary to me. But by managing my time and having a step by step process the entire essay came together quite nicely and in a timely fashion.

Before beginning my research I sat through not one but two library orientations on how to use databases and the library website. I had never been instructed by anyone who so thoroughly helped the student and wanted them to succeed like our librarian. She not only wanted to help you with database searching but would take the time to, which might have been her job, but still she wished to help the student unlike any librarian I had seen. She gave me several databases that would be good for my topic and question, how can success in leadership affect personal growth. I began my research with Business Source Premiere and moved on to others such as ABI Inform when my research continued. Eventually collecting resources came easily I found a few that were very unhelpful but for the most part the sources I found helped expand my knowledge of my topic and stayed within my main question focus. I also found sources from classes with related topics; my President’s Leadership Council class gave me a lengthy but very resourceful Harvard Business Review article. This article explains a process of focusing your leadership on four main areas of your life and determining how you measure success. Success measuring in this article is done in a very detailed Kaleidoscope method with four separate pieces to the Kaleidoscope puzzle; when put together they are said to give you a successful life. (Nash) Considering success is a main portion of my question and research focus this source has given me hope on how to write about success and gives me an example for measuring success that I could refer to or use in my paper.

My first process for writing my annotations was to write them as soon as I got the source but when I acquired eight sources in one day that method was quickly thrown out the window. When I had all of my sources I had about two weeks left to work on my annotated bibliography. I soon found that if I wrote two annotations a day I could have the essay done in five days and have time to work on the intro or abstract portion of my paper. At first I was great at sitting down and writing two a day getting them done and moving on to other homework; but I would soon begin to distract myself with other items such as the TV, social media or friends and annotations would take me an hour and a half to write. I kept telling myself that this was getting ridiculous and I needed to stop distracting myself and getting on Instagram every five minutes was not healthy or helpful in any way. I finally decided that I was right and the annotations could be written faster if I focused myself on them when I wrote; when I switched to focusing as my method in writing, the annotations began getting easier and only took around thirty minutes to write.

I got the annotations done a week before the paper was due and remembered that I had written an abstract a couple of weeks before in class. I started off writing my new abstract for essay two with ideas from the first but added a few new ideas and quotations from my sources to add to the paper. It mainly deals with the quantity vs. quality measurement of success which will more than likely end up being a part of my thesis. Since my question is dealing with how success pertains to leadership you have to set up how success is measured and that is what I plan to do with my quantity vs. quality examples. I did come to a sort of epiphany during my research in which I realized that not only does success in leadership affect the leader it also affects the follower. I’m not sure that I will use this in my final essay as it would veer away from the question a little bit but I am sure that I might use it in some way to help my ending of research during essay four.

All in all my research process was very meticulous and planned in my head to work well from the beginning. Yes there were a few bumps of procrastination but I didn’t let that stop me. Planning and managing my time ultimately help me in every process that I do but it was exemplified well in this process particularly. I am glad it is completed and to be moving on to the actual writing of the paper and maybe when I start the next one there will be an earthquake or two.


Nash, L., & Stevenson, H. (2004, February). Success that lasts. Harvard business review. Retrieved from

Essay 2

How Can Success in Leadership Affect Personal Growth?


In recent discussions of success in leadership, a controversial issue has been whether leadership should be measured in quantitative or qualitative variables. On the one hand, some argue that quantitative is the way to go. From this perspective, you should be involved in as many leadership roles as possible. On the other hand, however, others argue that qualitative measurements will make you a more successful leader. In the words of Brooks “the quality of leadership is low,” (Brooks 1) leading one to believe that the quality of leadership is what is important in a successful leadership framework. According to this view, the quality of leadership is more important than the quantity of leadership roles. In sum, then, the issue is whether leadership should be measured by quality of the leader or quantity of the leadership roles.

My own view is that leadership success should be measured by quality because that is what truly helps you with personal growth. Though I concede that leadership can and will be measured by quantity because there are those that believe it is better, I still maintain that leadership should be measured by quality. For example, honesty, integrity, competency and forward looking are all good qualities of leadership. Although some might object that quantity is a measurable factor and quality is not, I would reply that quality can be measured by how successful you are in leadership and how these qualities help you grow as an individual. The issue is important because quality vs. quantity is a major aspect of the leadership process and your qualities could be far greater than any amount of quantity.

Brooks, D. (2014, January 13). The leadership revival. New York times. Retrieved from

“The Leadership Revival,” an online newspaper article, is intended for individuals who have an interest in becoming a successful leader. The article is organized in Brooks’ opinion then three steps that he says will give you successful leadership. Brooks argues that the “quality of leadership is low” (Brooks 1) and he gives three suggestions to begin the process to successful leadership: “apprentice yourself to a master craftsmen, take a reality bath and close off your options.” (Brooks 1-2) Brooks also urges us to revive the quality of leadership using those three steps. In the first he states, “[you] will not be effective in public life unless you find a wise old person who will teach you the tricks of the trade.” (Brooks 2) Brooks believes that leadership is not about technical knowledge but instead practical knowledge. The only way he believes you can learn this knowledge is through imitation of others or expanding your own skill set. Brooks proves that finding someone to imitate is an important aspect of reaching quality success. In support of this argument, he point to several different quality leaders such as the fathers of the Declaration of Independence, Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandela, he uses these to point out truly great leaders and then goes into how he believes you too can become a great leader. Brooks’ claim that “leadership quality is low” (Brooks 1) is convincing because he explains several ways to become an effective leader; however, he states in his last paragraph “I don’t know if these tactics will improve the quality of the nation’s leadership, but something has to,” (Brooks 3) Brooks is pointing out a possible flaw in his paper that these steps might not be effective for everyone. This source does help reinforce my perspective that it is not the quantity of your leadership roles but the quality of your leadership that counts, as Brooks points out in his example of “closing off your options.” (Brooks 2) This article will be useful for me in providing an opinion/example of steps to become a successful leader because they are some that I truly believe help as well.

Champy, J. (2003, November). The hidden qualities of great leaders. Fast company, 76, 135. Retrieved from

“The Hidden Qualities of Great Leaders,” is an article for individuals who are interested in learning more about leadership qualities that are important to personal growth. Champy argues that a leader who displays empathy, understands his behavior and wants to discover the truth has the best qualities. Champy states this about what he considers the best qualities, “The latter hidden qualities are those that lead to sustained greatness.” (Champy 1) In other words, Champy believes that empathy, understanding your behavior, and wanting to discover the truth are qualities that lead to sustained success. In pursuit of this argument, he points out direct examples of leaders in crisis and how others fared better than those who didn’t obtain the qualities Champy sees as vital to sustained greatness. For example, Harry Truman jumping in to manage the country who searched for the truth and Truman told it as he saw it. Champy’s claim that some qualities are greater than others for sustained greatness is convincing because he uses pathos to appeal to the reader and gives examples that remind the reader of their life; however the comparison of the two different types of qualities would be more resourceful to my paper. This source reinforces my opinion that qualities are more important but also shows me that there are different types of qualities that are better than other qualities. This article will be useful in showing the types of qualities that are useful in leadership and help me to assert that leadership is measured in qualities not quantities.

Connor, C., (1994, February). Personal growth, and personal success. Nation’s business, 82(2), 6. Retrieved from

“Personal Growth, and Personal Success,” a journal article, intended for those who wish to learn about how fear of failure can lead to personal growth. It details a timeline of her life from being laid off to owning her own sales business and how she overcame her unbelief in herself. Connor asserts that support from others can generate success and lead to your belief in yourself. In support of this argument Connor explains a rough part of her personal life and the startup of her business. She states, “…as the business grew, I came to believe in myself.” (Connor 2) In other words, as her business became successful she began to believe in herself as much as her customers had the entire time. For example, her business started in her house using the dining table as a shipping department and later she says that it is now in 3,000 square foot warehouse in Florida. Connor’s assertion that others support can generate belief in yourself, is convincing because she details a point in her life where all she had was disbelief in her abilities and others convinced her she could succeed; however, her fear of failure also helped her to succeed and develop personal growth. This source reinforces my opinion that success is directly tied to personal growth and can affect you positively or negatively, if you fail. This article will be useful in demonstrating how personal growth is affected by success because Connor thoroughly explains what she learned from the experience and how it impacted her.

Kozeny, G. (2003). Success, vitality and charisma. Communities, 121, 71-72. Retrieved from

“Success, Vitality and Charisma,” is a journal article on how to measure success by quality rather than quantity and is intended for individuals wishing to learn about success and how it should be measured. Kozeny argues that a way to build effective communities is to take an organizational vision and morph it into enthusiasm for doing work for the organization. In pursuit of this argument Kozeny states four ways to measure success, the members’ inspiration, participation, personal growth and impact on the whole community. He states, “While all these scholarly measuring sticks are mostly observable and quantifiable, my two primary questions deal with qualities rather than quantities.” (Kozeny 72) In other words, Kozeny believes that success should be measured by quality not quantity and by two questions he mentions where he asserts that vitality can only be measured by surveying the community members and that you must determine if members are actually thriving while getting the work done before you can count it a success. Kozeny’s claim that success is built by individuals enthusiasm for the organizational vision is convincing because he specific ways to measure quality of success and has traveled to many different communitites studying ways to measure success; however, the quality vs. quantity he discusses in his paper will be of more use to my research and to show how success is measured or should be measured in Kozeny’s opinion. This source reinforces my opinion that success should be measured by quality not quantity but also shows a point I had not yet thought of, personal growth affects success just as much as success affects personal growth. This article will be useful to me in explaining why success should be measured by quality and how personal growth is affected.

King Jr., M. (1963). I have a dream. Retrieved from

“I Have a Dream,” a historical speech, is intended for those individuals who need inspiration in their life to overcome adversity and have something they hope for. The speech is organized with several allusions including Abraham Lincoln specifically the Emancipation Proclamation and several allusions to the Bible. It also contains parallelism and anaphora with the repetition of “I have a dream” and “let freedom ring.” King argues that in order for America to be a great nation the white American needs to understand that we are bound to the African American and that our freedom is bound to their freedom. King states, “Many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny.” (King 3) King uses this to show that a few have realized the importance of the African American and have given up on racist stereotypes and have joined their fight for civil rights. But it also points out how important the white American is in this civil rights walk. In support of this argument King points out the many segregated objects in America such as water fountains; he also states several dreams that point to America being happier if we all just work together. King’s claim is convincing in that he comes from the point of view of the African American and he too has experienced what they are experiencing; jail, terror, and police brutality. One thing that King did not do was to put a timeline on his dreams; this could possibly make it harder to achieve these dreams but he needed to know that he had others on his side before he could achieve these dreams. His strength would be of more importance to me because he understands the point of view the people he is attempting to lead come from and that is a very important aspect of being a leader. This source reinforces my opinion that to be a successful leader you have to be able to inspire others and encourage them so they will follow you. This article will be useful as an example of a successful leader and how this leader inspired others to develop into helpful individuals.

King, S. (2011). Where does leadership fit in your life? In Altman, D. & Lee, R. (Eds.), Discovering the leader in you (1-19). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

“Where Does Leadership Fit in your Life,” a chapter of a book entitled Discovering the Leader in You, is intended for individuals who are intrigued to know how you can get lost in your leadership focus and ways to get back on the path to leadership success. This chapter is organized into challenges leaders face and how they can lead to drift in your leadership profile and ways to reach clarity in your leadership. King argues that challenges facing you as a leader can be overcome if you have a framework for your leadership profile that can get you out of drift and into clarity. King states, “Without an articulate leadership vision, you will have a difficult time evaluating the leadership choices presented to you.” (King 12) In other words, clarity will help give you a framework for your leadership vision and successful leadership in your life, but if you don’t have this framework you may experience what professionals consider drift. In support of this argument King explains clarity and drift to the reader. King states, “Leaders, at one point or another, express doubts about their capabilities, have questions about how best to leverage their talents or are simply confused about the leaders within them.” (King 4) This is what she defines drift as and it a problem that she says faces majority of leaders at some point in their leadership life. King’s claim that a framework for your leadership profile is convincing in that it gives a direct definition of drift; however, possibly more useful to my paper is its extensive explanation of clarity and a framework for thinking about leadership. Prior to encountering this source I didn’t realize that drift was such a problem in our society but I knew I struggled with considering myself a leader; I now think that drift can be a big issue in personal growth and leadership success today. This book chapter will be useful in explaining possible issues leaders face in their life and how creating a leadership framework for their life would be helpful.

Lannon, L. (1990, April). Giving back: the secret of success. Training and development journal, 44(4), 58-62. Retrieved from

“Giving Back: The Secret of Success,” a journal article on how the concept of success is changing that would intrigue individuals who wish to know how the concept of success was evolving in the 1990s. This article is organized by headers that break down the concept of success and how it has changed; these include: Exit the old model of success, Enter a new model, Creating a success environment, Feel the magnetism, Three keys to success and The pendulum is swinging back. Lannon argues that when we give back our personal satisfaction in our everyday tasks will grow exponentially. Lannon states this about giving back, “…giving ourselves a third dimension of depth. Achieving that depth is what success for the 21st century is all about.” (Lannon 62) In other words, success is now a concept of giving back your time to enhance your feeling of personal achievement and happiness. In support of this argument Lannon states direct examples such as the cartoon Cathy showing us the need to become a better observer of our life. Author’s claim that giving back enhances your success and happiness in your personal life is convincing because, she gives direct examples that an individual can relate too and put in her personal life; however, the three keys to success are more important to my paper as a whole but I will still use the fact that giving is a way to measure success and personal happiness in life. This source reinforces my opinion that success is related to personal growth but it expands it to include the concept of success which is something I had not yet considered. This article will be useful for explaining the concept of success and how giving back relates to the concept of success and personal growth.

Lewis, B. (1997, June 30). Changing your colors to fit in doesn’t mean you’ll find happiness or success. Infoworld, 19(26), 74. Retrieved from

“Changing your colors to fit in doesn’t mean you’ll find happiness or success,” is a journal article that would interest individuals who wish to know about the difference of self-improvement and self-denial. Lewis argues that growth is vital to your career but there is a line you should never cross between self-improvement and self-denial. Lewis states, “Bill’s mistake, I think, was that he ignored who he was and tried to succeed by being someone he wasn’t.” (Lewis 2) In other words you should strive for personal growth but check yourself as you succeed because you could be succeeding in a way that is only harmful to your self-worth and what you value. In support of this argument Lewis gives a personal example of a boss he worked for who began denying himself the ability to express who he was in the company and also point to two popular figures Walt Disney and David Letterman. For example, David Letterman took a promotion and his entire show changed including his band name from The World’s most Dangerous Band to the CBS Orchestra. Lewis’s claim that there is a fine line you shouldn’t cross in personal growth is convincing because he gives direct examples of how an individual’s personal growth has been detrimental to their successful career and their personal life. Prior to encountering this source I believed that personal growth could only enhance your success but this source has shown the antithesis that personal growth can also be detrimental. This article will be useful and helpful in explaining the antithesis that personal growth can also be detrimental to an individual’s personal life.

Nash, L., & Stevenson, H. (2004, February). Success that lasts. Harvard business review. Retrieved from

“Success That Lasts,” a scholarly article that is intended for those individuals who want to be successful and gain personal growth from their success. The article is organized in ideas with headers that express these ideas and how they relate to personal growth through success. Nash and Stevenson argue that individuals are lacking a “comprehensive framework for thinking about success” (Nash 1) and that this is what they need in order to be successful. In support of this argument Nash and Stevenson created the Kaleidoscope Strategy that gives a route to success that also develops personal growth. Nash and Stevenson suggest that, “In this metaphor, success is about choice, movement, pattern and a structure that holds all the separate activities together.” This Kaleidoscope strategy deals directly with your personal growth and how it deals with your success. It deals with four chambers: happiness, achievement, significance and legacy; these are what Nash and Stevenson consider important aspects to achieving success. Nash and Stevenson’s claim that individuals need a “comprehensive framework” of success is convincing because they use specific examples to explain how different individuals look with and without a framework for success; however the fact that it shows growth in your personal life is directly associated with your success is a greater asset to my research. This source reinforces my opinion that personal growth is related to success and success in leadership would also have an influence on your personal growth. This article will be useful because it gives examples of individuals before and after they were given a framework for thinking about success and also how success can affect personal growth in your life.

Shelton, K. (2007, December). Personal side of leadership. Leadership excellence, 24(12), 2. Retrieved from

“Personal Side of Leadership,” a journal article that would be useful to those who wish to learn about the top leadership qualities leaders have that are at the top of the personal leadership field. The article is organized in an abstract explanation of why they have made a top 100 list of leaders and then states the criteria for these top 100 leaders. Shelton argues that the “standards and expectations keep rising,” (Shelton 2) for those at the top of the personal leadership field. In support of this argument Shelton states eight criteria that Leadership Excellence has used to measure personal leadership: preparation, character, principles, personality, performance, experience, expression and influence. For example Joel Osteen is number four on the list therefore he ranks high in all criteria for the personal leadership model. Shelton’s claim that the top leadership field competition and standards keep rising is convincing in that it gives the top 100 list who have met the criteria and are ranked as the best in the personal leadership field; however, the criteria list will be more beneficial to me because it gives a list of qualities researches have used to scale the top personal leadership candidates. This source confirms my impression that leadership should be based on qualities but also pin points a new idea on ranking leaders and possibly how that could affect their personal growth. This article will be useful in listing off qualities and possible examples for tying these qualities back to personal growth in leadership.

Stone, G., & Patterson, K. (2005, August). The history of leadership focus. Servant leadership research round table. Retrieved from

“The History of Leadership Focus,” a scholarly journal article, which is intended for individuals who want to learn about the history and evolution of leadership. This article is organized with a beginning overview of leadership and how it has evolved and then goes into a very detailed examples of theorists in leadership and how they changed leadership structure over time. Stone and Patterson argue that leadership has evolved for the past two centuries and now deals with organizations “where people are empowered, encouraged, and supported in their personal and professional growth.” (Stone 1) In support of this argument they show specific examples of leadership over two centuries and how it has changed through this time period. One example is the Industrial Revolution, because America changed from an agriculture to industrial age the leadership focus changed as well; “Common people gained power by virtue of their skills,” (Stone 1) those who understood new technology were set above others because of their knowledge in the field. Stone and Patterson’s claim that leadership has changed over time is convincing in that it has specific names of those leadership theorist of the past and their examples of leadership in their time. This source raises a question I had not previously considered; how success in leadership has evolved over time. This article is useful to my research because it gives a history of successful leadership and shows the evolution of leadership strategies over time. This gives me a great basis for the start of my research paper and how even the way success in leadership is measured has evolved.

Essay 1

Throwing Off Waste to Reach Your Leadership Potential

Waste is a major institution for our world today not only in material items but in self as well. We waste valuable time, money and other unnecessary items because the universe says it is ok. But is it really? As a leader we have to put ourselves out there so the public will realize our worth; we should want them to see our potential and abilities. Spending every waking minute in this endeavor should be on our top priority list, right? Maybe, but, we must first answer the question, how we can avoid wasting our leadership abilities and reach our full potential as leaders?

As McKibben points out in Waste not, Want not we are only given about 30,000 days on this Earth; which may seem like a lot but it is really only approximately 82 years. (McKibben, 2012, p. 364 para. 2) The time frame we are given is quite small to be wasting precious moments and opportunities to be leading. We must take every opportunity we get to show our leadership abilities and prove ourselves accountable. So the first step to not wasting our abilities is to admit that we have a waste problem. We may see an opportunity and believe it’s not for us or we don’t have enough time. But if we truly do have the time we are wasting a valuable opportunity to lead others and convince them that we do contain the abilities it takes to lead. So the first step in reaching our full potential as leaders would be to realize that we are wasting our abilities and opportunities to lead. After determining that you are in fact wasting opportunities and abilities we move on to the second step and dive into reaching our full potential as a leader.

Step two in our quest to not waste our leadership opportunities and abilities in order to reach our full potential is, as Thoreau put in his Where I lived, and What I lived for, to live simply. Thoreau states, “We must learn to reawaken and keep ourselves awake,” meaning as a leader you must find your vision and remind yourself of your core values. (Thoreau, 2012, p. 369, para. 1) Your vision in leadership is ultimately where you see yourself going in the future or where you want to go. Your core values can be from your faith, the higher power in which you believe, something you were taught as a kid or practically anything that is important to you. Getting back to living simply is in all of these aspects of your vision and values. This process ensures that you have a clear focus to who you are as a leader and where you want to go in your life as a leader. You must critically analyze yourself and your morals in order to accomplish this vital step in reaching your leadership potential.

The final step in reaching our full potential as leaders is to revive our very first leadership encounter. The first time I was ever called on to be a leader I knew it was an experience I would never forget. I had encountered leaders many times in my life and I knew that there was something special about them, but I had never yet experienced it, until seventh grade. I had decided to run for Student Council representative for my middle school and won. So, I had won the election, now what? I really didn’t know, except that I would get to represent the people who had elected me in our Student Council meetings and at other events. But when I began to dive into my leadership role and realized that we were there to not only help our peers but the faculty and community as well, I became overjoyed at the thought of being a leader. I love being able to contribute to the well-being of others and truly fell in love with my leadership roles and abilities. I’ve had several roles since then, and I again felt this same feeling on August 18, the first day of class this semester, when I changed my major from Entomology to Agriculture Leadership. The first time I walked into my Ag Leadership class I felt a sense of belonging and enjoyment with everything we did. The class has never felt like work to me because I know it is my passion and something I truly want to spend the rest of my life doing. When we want to reach our full potential as leaders we must call up that first feeling of belonging in a leadership role. In turn this helps us to recall our true vision as a leader and increase our quality of leadership; this will help us reach our full potential as a leader.

Brooks, in his article The Leadership Revival breaks down revival of leadership into three simple steps: “apprentice yourself to a master craftsmen, take a reality bath and finally close off your options.” First, “apprentice yourself to a master craftsmen,” this step is fundamental. (Brooks, 2014, para. 4) Really the meaning is to step away from technical knowledge; rules, books etc. and dive into the practical knowledge of life. Brooks says, “You will not be effective in public life unless you find a wise old person who will teach you the tricks of the trade.” (Brooks, 2014, para. 6) Practical knowledge can only be learned through the use of skills not in textbooks; therefore, you must challenge yourself to learn by doing and to see life in a way other than following the rules. This will not only expand your comfort zone but possibly even your skill set and will further your abilities as a leader.

Secondly, “take a reality bath,” this truly means to go off away from the tunnel vision of the United States; go overseas to a foreign land and truly take in the way life is for them, their leadership, their citizens, their government structure, every single thing. (Brooks, 2014, para. 7) You must understand this culture fully and begin to truly dive into their way of life in order to check your reality. A change in your lifestyle will not only help you to see the fault in the tunnel vision reality of America and will also help you to acknowledge things with perception. With your newfound perception you will be able to see the problems facing leadership today and how you can change these problems. Changing these problems with the skills you obtained from studying practical knowledge will help you to practice your skills and reach your full potential as a leader.

Lastly, “close off your options,” you will be given an array of opportunities but if you plan to test all options out and spread yourself to thin you will lose your vision, energy and be put in a sense of not knowing what you really want to do with your life. (Brooks, 2014, para. 10) Follow the passion that inspired you to become a leader and you will find your true calling in leadership. This isn’t an easy task; you must have the courage to cast aside all other options that are not for you and take on the one thing you feel you are pulled most strongly toward. I have personally had this experience; I have experienced the thought of not knowing how to decide which meeting to attend or which aspect of my life was more important. I’ve had to categorize events in order of importance and truly plan out my calendar months in advance; in order to make sure I could attend every event. I realize now that feeling bogged down by being involved in too many organizations or clubs is only detrimental to your leadership life. This problem can take away a lot of your energy, time and effort; even stretch you too thin to be effective in the organizations in which you are involved. In the end though, if you can find the right organization for your own personal beliefs and experiences, you will be given the greatest reward as a leader; to reach your full potential and know that you have accomplished your goal. And accomplishing your goal is casting off the waste of leadership ability and reaching your full potential as a leader.

Reaching your full potential as a leader is obviously not an easy task to perform. You have to accomplish many time consuming goals, understand who you are as a leader, your personal strengths, determine what leadership role is role fits you just right. But in the end accomplishing all of this hard work will place you on the path to success as a leader and put you on track to reaching your full potential in leadership. Don’t waste your abilities and give up your potential but give up wasting, realize who you are as a leader, live simply, revive your leadership and you may be amazed at the leadership potential you have inside of you.


Brooks, D. (2014, January 13) The Leadership Revival. Retrieved from

McKibben, B. (2012) Waste not, want not. In R. Frohock, K. Sisk, J. Glover, J. Cross, J.

Brubacker, J. Alger, J. Fokken, K. Jones, K. Dyer-Fisher, R. Brooks, (Ed.), Academic universe: research and writing at Oklahoma state university (pp. 363 – 365). Plymouth, MI: Hayden McNiel

Thoreau, H. (2012) Where I lived and what I lived for. In R. Frohock, K. Sisk, J. Glover, J. Cross, J. Brubacker, J. Alger, J. Fokken, K. Jones, K. Dyer-Fisher, R. Brooks, (Ed.), Academic universe: research and writing at Oklahoma state university (pp. 369 – 371) Plymouth, MI: Hayden McNiel