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Leaders should be ready and willing to take risks when working towards achieving their organizational, regional, national, or global goals. They are bound to face many threatening situations in the course of their duties. Hence, they should be prepared to tackle them for the benefit of their followers or businesses. Few leaders understand how to deal with risks. As such, risk management training should be conducted involving all institutional leaders to enhance their understanding of the subject. People in charge of organizations need to be aware that they may record profitability or substantial followership in some situations and losses or the lack of supporters at other times. In addition, they should appreciate that not all people will be interested in their products and services or even their leadership styles. Such administrative individuals should be sure that they might need to compensate their supporters, clients, or workers if their services do not match some laid-down standards. This compensation can affect the profit margins of all affected organizations or the global standing of a particular leader. These crucial ideas and principles form the basis of discussion in this paper as presented in the reading for this week. Hence, as a leader managing a team of 20 salespeople, this discourse has helped me to appreciate the role of being skilled in how to deal with potential risks.
Ideas and Principles
It is evident that the world lacks many leaders who are willing to take risks for the benefit of their companies. However, the Jesuit group offers valuable insights regarding the process via which great leaders undergo in their lines of duty. The reading unlocks various mysteries that surround leadership. Through the story of Jesuits, the public becomes educated on a management model that is different from contemporary leadership techniques (Lowney 233). Jesuits disapproved of quick-fix frameworks that portrayed leadership as a status that entailed people leading by manipulating their followers.
Various important ideas on risk-taking can be derived from the reading. Such aspects include those of Giulio Cesse, an official historian who helped Jesuits in addressing various leadership issues (Lowney 230). He believed that, for leaders to deal with any uncommon misfortunes, they had to employ some exceptional means. He acknowledged the fact that being daring was a crucial leadership element. Another great insight emerges from the notion of heroic leadership. In this case, Jesuits had many European enemies who threatened their administrative powers because of numerous reasons such as their well-calculated management values. As a result, their leadership was strategic to the extent that they could make bold steps against their European enemies. Nonetheless, Jesuits were later driven out of many countries. Moreover, Pope Clement XIV parted ways with them. After a period of forty years, Pope Pius VII rescued this category of people (Lowney 236).
The idea of servant leadership has been portrayed in the reading. In particular, these leaders demonstrated the willingness to take great risks on behalf of their followers. This enthusiasm was manifested at a time when Jesuits were under attack from various entities. For example, “Jansenists and Enlightenment” thinkers viewed Jesuits as their biggest opponents (Lowney 230). Enlightenment champions who embraced reason and freewill claimed that they harassed Jesuits because of their stance as the most prominent and visible Catholic Church defenders. However, Jansenists attacked Jesuits’ passion regarding their adherence to the freewill doctrine. Despite these assaults, the group facing violence vowed to risk its lives to protect what it believed in, including all principles that governed its members. In addition, the fact that Jesuits were harassed because of their role in defending the Catholic Church shows that they were not only responsible in their duty but also willing to do anything to fight for the Christian ministry. Moreover, their passion for adhering to the self-rule principle indicates that they were enthusiastic to follow their principles.
Another important idea portrayed in the reading is the virtue of obedience. Paraguay Jesuits expected their leaders to lobby for better living standards. Instead, they were ordered to obey and resist any calls for transferring the seven “Reductions” (Lowney 233). They were also supposed to use their status to ensure total obedience from Indians. The notion of heroic leadership is also explored in the text. However, many people are not fully aware of their heroic capabilities. Heroism can only be demonstrated by promptly responding to situations using an appropriate approach. As such, the Jesuit teacher found it easy to demonstrate heroism, especially through Ribadeneiras, whose parents encountered challenges when controlling them (Lowney 233).
In addition, the Jesuit instructor was also supposed to display fearlessness when leading other Christians towards the right path. Based on the information presented in the reading, acts of heroism are manifested when people realize the need for assessing their missions and vision. Despite working in an organization or functioning alone, this week’s discourse reveals that a mission can only be actualized by personalizing it. In particular, upholding the stated objectives makes leadership stand out as a way of living, as opposed to a job (MacLeod 15). This goal can be achieved by performing duties according to their priorities. This strategy is helpful when one is faced with uncertainties. As such, personal leadership is presented as an ongoing process that is characterized by diverse and risky scenarios.
It is important to note that magic-driven leaders are not contented with individuals who embrace ordinary behaviors. Nevertheless, they focus on goals that seem impossible to achieve. According to Lowney, magic-driven administrators do not express grief when subjected to threatening situations (235). Instead, they turn such scenarios into life-changing opportunities. Commitment is also another idea that is captured in the text. Through dedication, leaders ensure that all people not only exceed their potential but also applaud the underlying benefits of being fully devoted to their lines of operations. As teachers, leaders should be determined to ensuring that their followers’ succeed by giving them continuous attention. As such, the world will experience a network of high-quality leadership education.
According to Jesuits, everyone is capable of becoming an administrator. However, the reading presents time as an aspect that limits people’s abilities to become leaders. The common model often concentrates on the top leadership, thus ignoring any concerns by subordinates. According to Jesuits, subordinates should be molded into becoming potential leaders (Lowney 235). This claim is founded on the awareness that all people lead in immeasurable ways in their respective capacities. The practice of focusing on leaders is a shallow way of thinking since they are not the only individuals capable of making substantial impacts on organizations. In fact, it is imperative for them to realize that everyone has something to offer in the workplace. As such, failing to recognize the potential of other parties implies that some opportunities are left untapped. In addition, leadership should not be influenced by external sources such as books, documentaries, and TED talks. Instead, the course reading reveals that it should be driven by personal principles. The individual vision should be an expression of one’s everyday life. Regarding the company’s mission, as presented in the course, subordinates can only be motivated by managers’ interest in ensuring remarkable organizational outcomes.
My Application of the Ideas and Principles
I am currently holding the position of sales manager in a medium-sized technology company located in Manhattan. In this post, I lead a team of twenty sales professionals. My duties include directing the team’s responsibilities, setting goals, examining data regarding performance, and motivating and training employees. In this section, I will discuss how I can implement some of the ideas and principles explored in the previous section toward improving my leadership skills.
Heroic leadership discussed in the book can help me to transform my organization. According to Lowney, stout management manifested by earlier Jesuit leaders involved energizing their followers’ ambitions with the view of achieving outstanding goals (231). They realized that leadership was a lifelong career that demanded a noble service to followers. Similarly, I recognize the need for adopting this attitude when dealing with my team of sales representatives. Achieving this goal may require me to set high targets that call for all members’ dedication to delivering exceptional results in their respective lines of business. As such, I will need to dedicate my time, including working extra hours, to ensuring that these goals are attained. Eccles et al. assert that successful sales leaders hold their teams to higher standards of accountability compared to their less effective counterparts (2840). As a result, such groups become motivated and committed to actualizing their organizational goals. Therefore, courage is a defining trait of heroic leaders. Similarly, I can now demonstrate the willingness to explore things that my team may regard as impossible.
Heroic leaders are humble, patient, and caring. They establish power by building trust in their teams. In addition, they recognize that without first winning their followers’ confidence, teams may be less interested in following them. As such, to motivate my team, I will develop mutually beneficial relationships with each participant. One way to achieve this result is by holding honest conversations with members regarding their challenges and goals (Olariu and Aldea 382). Further, their willingness to open up to me will depend on my ability to be transparent when interacting with them. In addition, followers want to be convinced that leaders not only empathize with their challenges but also genuinely acknowledge respective teams’ goals. I can attain this standard by being a skillful listener who captures all team members’ views (MacLeod 14).
Jesuits were unafraid of making sacrifices for the common good. This attitude of selflessness is a common factor among heroic leaders. I can perform some activities in my leadership to demonstrate the idea of self-sacrifice. For instance, I can organize dinner for my team members as a reward for their great performance in the workplace. The above strategy not only motivates them but also enforces collaboration. Jesuits valued the input of all their members by training each one to be a leader (Lowney 233). This approach defies the universal notion that some people are born leaders while others are meant to be followers. By empowering everyone to lead, a team becomes strong and ready to face any emerging challenges (Hacker 9). In particular, Jesuits were well known for their drive to innovate and adopt new ways of changing the world.
Innovativeness is a critical leadership skill in today’s business. Competition forces companies to look for novel ways of addressing various problems. In my position, I recognize the existence of numerous challenges that can be resolved through innovative ideas such as maintaining sales consistency and embracing time management. Reliability requires accurate tracking of data and reaching the target bazaar using the appropriate message. As such, borrowing from the course reading, I now appreciate the need for recognizing my organization’s market niche because it helps me to decide the level of innovation and customization that clients expect from the goods and services I sell to them.
The concept of sales coaching is another crucial task. As sales managers become overwhelmed by responsibilities, they neglect the need for developing their representatives. Therefore, I need to overcome this challenge by identifying new ways of equipping my team members with the necessary skills to handle their responsibilities. I will achieve this goal by helping them to develop ways of tackling different situations, rather than dictating what needs to be done. I will also need to share success with them by acknowledging their remarkable performance. As observed from this week’s readings, Jesuits believed in the concept of love as a pillar of leadership (Lowney 225). Leaders were seen engaging their followers positively. Their management approach means that I should avoid treating my colleagues as objects. Instead, I should dedicate my time as a leader to inspire them to perform beyond their institutional expectations.
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Self-awareness helps in the identification of weak spots that derail the achievement of organizational success. As a sales manager, I wish to achieve it by conducting regular sessions of self-reflection that will identify areas in dire need of improvement. I am aware that my credentials and skills alone cannot earn me the stature of an effective leader (Handel 171). Instead, I am supposed to continue enhancing my skills and capacity to lead effectively. By knowing my strengths and weaknesses, long-term objectives will be achievable, thus motivating subordinates who look up to me for direction. The world is becoming increasingly competitive following various advancements in the technological space (Hacker 8). Leaders are expected to adopt strategies that boost their organizational operations and performance. However, they need to be equipped with knowledge regarding the way various technologies can be tapped to enhance business profitability. As such, the aspect of continuous learning and development is essential for the achievement of success. Self-awareness presented in the reading will help me in identifying barriers to the achievement of my team’s full potential and the realization of its agendas.
Leadership involves taking risks while pursuing organizational goals. As revealed in the evaluation of this week’s course reading, all leaders should undergo training to help them in identifying risks that threaten the achievement of their objectives. Jesuits used unique approaches that enabled them to remain functional in the then challenging environment. Through heroic acts, leaders can earn respect and admiration from their subordinates. In addition, as manifested in this study, Paraguay Jesuits were asked to practice obedience as a means of achieving their set goals. Sales managers can apply the above principles and ideas advanced by Jesuits in real-life scenarios to achieve success because skills and credentials alone cannot yield remarkable results.
Eccles, Robert, et al. “The Impact of Corporate Sustainability on Organizational Processes and Performance.” Management Science, vol. 60, no. 11, 2014, pp. 2835-2857.
Hacker, Michael. “Integrating Computational Thinking into Technology and Engineering Education.” Technology & Engineering Teacher, vol. 77, no. 4, 2018, pp. 8-14.
Handel, Steven. “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People Who Want to Do Ecological Restoration.” Ecological Restoration, vol. 34, no. 3, 2016, pp. 171-172.
Lowney, Chris. Heroic Leadership: Best Practices From a 450-Year-Old Company That Changed the World. Loyola Press, 2010.
MacLeod, Les. “Listening More Than What Meets the Ear.” Physician Leadership Journal, vol. 3, no. 4, 2016, pp. 14-19.
Olariu, Cristian, and Cosmina Aldea. “Managing Processes for Virtual Teams–A BPM Approach.” Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, vol. 109, 2014, pp. 380-384.