Saturday, March 31, 2012

Ethical Leadership

My Personal Code of Ethics: 
     I will strive to emulate the example Jesus Christ set in all of the ethical choices that I make. I will cultivate a love of humankind and I will respect each individual as the child of God that they are. I will express my love for others through selfless service and I will extend grace to others because Christ has so willingly offered me His divine help. I believe that the most important people in my life are my family and I will only make those choices which support the potential of my eternal family. I will gain these attributes of love and respect through being exactly obedient to the teachings of Jesus Christ. I know that He will lead me by the hand in making ethical decisions as I am humble and recognize that my life is in the hands of my Savior. In every choice I make, I will strive to lead myself and others to the true happiness that the Gospel brings.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Self-Respect and Moral Actions (for my Honors 240 class)

       Research has observed that 85% of the world population gets married at least once (Eaves & Robertson-Smith, 2007). Within these statistics, a significant number of people engage in extramarital affairs or abuse their spouse. Considering the various factors that contribute to these inappropriate behaviors—unhappy family lives, addictive behavior, loneliness, the need for excitement, feelings of neglect, and the inability to resist temptation—an underlying foundation for each of these explanations is low self-esteem.    
       A study was conducted in 1985 which researched the correlation between self-esteem levels and maritally violent men. The study was conducted by Diane Goldstein, a private practicing psychologist in St. Louis, and Alan Rosenbaum, an Assistant Professor of Psychology and Director of the Marital Research Program at Syracuse University. A recent estimate approximates that five to six million children, spouses, and elderly adults are abused in the United States each year (Goldstein & Rosenbaum, 1985), and one-third of marriages are plagued with marital violence (Goldstein & Rosenbaum, 1985). Low self-esteem has long been a factor associated with aggressive behavior in marriage, but this correlation has never before been empirically validated. This study was designed to compare the self-esteem levels of wife abusive men with non-abusive men from both satisfactory and discordant relationships. Goldstein and Rosenbaum hypothesized that the abusive husbands would have lower self-esteem than the non-abusive husbands. Further, it has previously been noted that individuals with low self-esteem may perceive certain situations as threatening to their self-esteem, which will then produce violent activity. Because of this, a second hypothesis was proposed which stated that abusive husbands would be more prone to interpret interactions with their wife as threatening to their self-esteem than their non-abusive counterparts.
       The research was performed through questionnaires taken by 20 abusive husbands, 20 satisfactorily married husbands, and 18 martially discordant husbands. To determine levels of satisfaction in the marriage, a self-report test called the Short Marital Adjustment Test was employed. To determine the self-esteem of the subjects, the Rosenberg Self-esteem Scale was utilized. To address the hypothesis that abusive husbands perceive their wife’s actions as self-esteem threatening, the Spouse Interaction Test was given, which presented hypothetical scenarios of common conflicts between spouses. The husband then assessed whether he was hurt or insulted by the situations. Each of these three tests used were valid and reliable. 
       The results of the study concluded that abusive husbands did score lower on their self-esteem than the non-abusive husbands. There was also no difference in self-esteem levels of the two non-abusive groups. Further, the results showed that abusive husbands perceived significantly more situations as self-esteem damaging than did the remaining two comparative groups. The results determined a correlation between wife abuse and low levels of self-esteem.
       A second study was conducted in 2007 by Susan H. Eaves and Misty Robertson-Smith, two graduates who received their PhD in Counselor Education at Mississippi State University, which researched the correlation between self-worth and marital infidelity. The purpose of this study was to determine if there is a significant correlation between self-esteem and infidelity.  A questionnaire was submitted to 300 participants and 186 people responded. The participants stated whether they had ever had an extramarital affair, which was defined as kissing or being emotionally intimate, with someone other than their spouse. They also completed the Rosenburg Self-Esteem Scale, which measured the participant’s positive or negative self-concept. The results determined that men with lower self-esteem were more likely to cheat than those who had higher self-esteem levels. Of the women who answered the questionnaire, there was no significant difference in self-esteem levels for faithful and unfaithful wives.
       General Authorities of the Church have taught the doctrine of self-esteem in conjunction with having an inner knowledge of who you are as a child of God. In the October 1973 General Conference, Harold B. Lee gave a talk entitled “Understanding Who We Are Brings Self-Respect.” He made note that many individuals in the world today lack self-respect, or high self-esteem, and they display their lack of understanding through their dress, manners, and permissiveness. They disregard the virtues of chastity and morality, even though these very principles are our anchors in this tumultuous world. President Lee quoted Sir John Frederick William Herschel and Samuel Smiles concerning their views on self-respect: “Self-respect—that corner-stone of all virtue;” and “Self-respect is the noblest garment with which a man can clothe himself, the most elevating feeling with which the mind can be inspired.” President Lee also quoted a mother who wrote him a note that read, “I love America, I love my husband, I love my children, I love my God, and why is this possible? Because I truly love myself.” He expounded on that statement:
Such are the fruits of self-respect. Conversely, when one does not have that love for himself of which this sister speaks, other consequences can be expected to follow. He ceases to love life. Or if he marries, he has lost his love for his wife and children—no love of home or respect for the country in which he lives, and eventually he has lost his love of God. Rebellion in the land, disorder and the lack of love in the family, children disobedient to parents, loss of contact with God, all because that person has lost all respect for himself.
     President Lee explained that we can come to know who we are when we deeply understand the doctrine of the revelation that we are children of God. He mentioned Abraham and his insight that we were intelligences before the world was created. Because we are on the earth at this time, we are considered noble and great. When we realize who we truly are, we will gain lasting and eternal self-respect for ourselves. Having this self-respect will nurture self-esteem and when we think highly of ourselves, we are less likely to be dishonest, immoral, or uncharitable towards others.   

Monday, March 26, 2012

Leading Change

How have you implemented change or would implement change in your leadership role? 
    Considering that there are less than 12 days left in the semester, I think the greatest change that I could implement at this point, would be a change in the individuals who come to Service Squad. BYUSA's purpose is the create leaders centered on Christ and to build Zion communities. I would like to implement this change within the Service Squad volunteers. I think this is the greatest and most enduring change that should be made. If I can help my volunteers become more Christ-like leaders who serve others, I would consider my job well done. 
     I will implement this change by increasing my service towards my volunteers and by showing forth a greater example of divine-centered leadership. I will increase my serve by seeking out each volunteer individually and writing them a personal note, thanking them for their service and example in my life. Doing this will help them realize that they are precious individuals who can make a difference in other's lives. I will also increase my example by striving to be a more Christ-like leader. I will seek out the "one" and strive to give others the opportunity to lead, just as Christ trusts us to lead. Giving others more opportunities will help them serve and lead others. I will start asking other committee members to share spiritual thoughts and to share the vision and mission of BYUSA at the beginning of Service Squad. 

Monday, March 19, 2012

Public Speaking

1. Where have you implemented public speaking within your role?
     I have implemented public speaking every Wednesday when we meet for Service Squad. I have to conduct the meeting and welcome every one for the night. I also share a spiritual thought and talk about what we are going to do that night. Last semester, I was really scared to do that. I decided to have courage this semester, though, and I have enjoyed doing it.

2. What aspect of public speaking are you going to improve on?
     One aspect of public speaking that I want to improve on is to learn to love public speaking. I want to stop being so nervous and to understand that it is just like having a conversation with other people. Instead of worrying so much about what people think of me when I'm speaking. I want to have the motive to help people learn. I need to change my perspective about public speaking.

3. What did you like best or was surprised to learn in Diona’s presentation?
     The only aspect of the presentation that really surprised me was the principle to converse with your audience when you give a presentation. That really is all public speaking is and when I think back on all the lectures or presentations I've seen, the best ones were where the presenter interacted with the audience and acted as if he were just talking with us.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Conflict Management

1. Write down what physiological responses you have when you know you are in conflict.
     When I'm in conflict, my palms start to sweat and I blush. I ALWAYS blush. I also have a difficult time thinking of what to say.

2. List 4-8 steps you can follow to help you manage your thoughts and emotions in a productive way to manage/solve your conflict.
     a. Take deep breaths.
     b. Remind myself that the situation doesn't have eternal significance.
     c. Remind myself that I'm a child of God and that no matter what I say, or if I don't say anything, I am still important and greatly loved.
     d. Remind myself that everyone else is a child of God and that they are important and loved.
     e. Pray for help in staying calm and at peace and to have help in knowing what to say and do.
     f. Take my time in sharing my opinions. I don't have to answer right away. I can think about it for a second and then answer.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Motivating Others

Of the leaders you interacted with, which leader stood out most for you? Why?    
     I didn’t attend class on Wednesday, but looking over the list of leaders that was assigned to my classmates, one of the leaders that stood out most to me was Mahatma Gandhi. He stood out to me the greatest because he sacrificed a lot for the cause he stood for. He also led his followers through his example of sacrifice, which is the essence of servant-leadership.

What did you learn about motivating others from researching your leader?
     The leader I was assigned to research was Marilyn Monroe. I admit that I have never considered her a leader. However, based off of the definition that leadership is influencing another’s agency, Monroe did influence a lot of people. She is an icon and even though I don’t necessarily agree with all of the images and ideas she represented, I cannot argue that she was not an influential leader. What I learned from her about motivating others is to use your credentials and reputation to make a difference. She came from a very impoverished background, but she built herself a reputation and then she used that to influence those around her. I read that she really helped launch Ella Fitzgerald’s career by making a deal with a popular nightclub to have Fitzgerald sing if she (Monroe) would take the front table every night. She used her reputation to help Fitzgerald go after her dreams and goals. This was quite selfless of her because I’m sure it must have taken up a lot of her time to help Fitzgerald.

What new element of motivating others will you apply in your leadership role? How?
     I think it is important to build a good reputation and those credentials will make people more likely to follow my lead. To do this in my leadership role, I will follow through with my responsibilities, be organized and kind to everyone, and willingly volunteer to help others. As people notice these characteristics, they will be more likely to offer me opportunities to lead and this experience will give me the reputation needed to motivate others.