Members will be divided into groups to discuss and generate lists
Armed with an action plan created by making one action step for each temptation, they can now break into groups to make master lists of how to hold each other accountable for avoiding these temptations.
Avoiding the Five Temptations of a Student Leader
Amma MarfoSGA Spring Training Day January 15, 2012
Quick Write Write down the name of someone who you consider to be a good leader. Below his or her name, write something about that person that you think makes him or her a good leader. On the other side: write down the name of someone who you would consider to be a bad leader (no one in the room, please!) Below his or her name, write something about that person that you think makes him or her a bad leader.
Making Some ListsCreate two columns. On one side,list qualities of “good” leaders. Onthe other, list qualities of “bad”leaders. Be prepared to share thetop three with the group.
“Good” v. “Bad” Leaders Good Leaders Bad Leaders Concentrate on results Worry about status Hold people accountable Want to be popular Strive to be clear Have a need to be right Encourage dialogue Prevent dialogue Engender trust Aren’t vulnerable
Overcoming the Five Temptations Choose trust over invulnerability Choose conflict over harmony Choose clarity over certainty Choose accountability over popularity Choose results over status
Temptation #1: Valuing Status Over Results Think about your proudest moment as a student leader. Was it accomplishment-based, or role-based? Role-based thinking represents concerns about status. Consequences: lack of focus on fellow leaders, lack of focus on stakeholders Accomplishment-based thinking represents concerns about results. Consequences: understanding of how others can help in creating success, understanding of how decisions made will affect stakeholders
Beating Temptation #1 How do we combat the temptation to value status over results? Make results the most important measure of success. Consider the success of those you work with, your success as well. Go out of your way to help others be successful. If you see someone doing a good job, speak up! It’ll create a culture of recognition where people can praise one another for good work. What one step could you take tomorrow to curb your own temptation?
Temptation #2: Valuing Popularity over Accountability Think about what you do when a fellow SGA member makes a mistake, forgets to follow up, or doesn’t do his or her job. Do you strive for the affection of your fellow SGA members and students, or for their respect? Striving for affection means watering down feedback, ignoring poor performance. Consequences: lack of accountability, difficulty meeting deadlines or producing quality work, inconsistency in performance. Striving for respect means giving people the opportunity to do their best work, treating them as responsible and mature Consequences: efficient and excellent work, relationships with people who appreciate your skills
Beating Temptation #2 How do we combat the temptation to value accountability over popularity? Hold people accountable for the work they’re here to do. Speak up! If you’re not getting what you need from someone to do your job, say so. Be mindful of what you say and do in mixed company (“in a fishbowl”) What one step could you take tomorrow to curb your own temptation?
Temptation #3: Valuing Certainty Over Clarity Think back to the last time you had to make an impactful decision. Were you more concerned about being right, or being efficient? Overvaluing certainty can delay decisions and promote vagaries. Consequences: difficulty in other parts of processes, team members in trouble if circumstances change. Overvaluing clarity keeps work timely and structured. Consequences: Easy adaptation in the event of change, all team members know what part they play in completing a task.
Beating Temptation #3 How do we combat the temptation to value certainty over clarity? Repeat after me: “it’s okay to be wrong!” When making a big decision, give yourself a (reasonable) time limit in which to make a call. After making the decision, take some time to determine what role each affected party will take in carrying it out. Remember that people will appreciate decisive action; delays could give an appearance of undependability. What one step could you take tomorrow to curb your own temptation?
Temptation #4: Valuing Harmony Over Conflict When an issue arises in a meeting and you don’t agree, what do you do? Do you stay quiet, or do you speak your mind? Placing a premium on harmony stifles conversation. Consequences: resentment when unpopular decisions are made, less creative problem-solving Placing a premium on conflict invites conversation. Consequences: all opinions are heard and decisions are informed
Beating Temptation #4 How do we combat the temptation to value harmony over conflict? If you are leading discussion, ask for any questions, objections, or concerns. When these opinions arise, listen to the position- even if you disagree. Don’t confuse disagreement on a position, with dislike of a person. Whatever decision is reached at the end of the debate, all must agree to abide by the result. What one step could you take tomorrow to curb your own temptation?
Temptation #5: Valuing Invulnerability Over Trust Do you have a hard time admitting that you’re wrong? Placing a high premium on invulnerability means risking alienation. Consequences: fellow students or SGA members won’t approach you, those who are strong where you might be weak won’t want to help Placing a high premium on trust means letting others in. Consequences: an organization that is happy to use its strength for the benefit of the group, a group that is closer interpersonally.
Beating Temptation #5 How do we combat the temptation to value invulnerability over trust? Repeat after me: “I need your help.” If someone is good at something, cede control to them and let them lead the group. If you make a mistake, admit to it and apologize. What one step could you take tomorrow to curb your own temptation?
Back to the Diagram! Choose trust over invulnerability Trust lets healthy conflict occur Choose conflict over harmony Conflict leads to clarity Choose clarity over certainty Clarity allows for accountability Choose accountability over popularity Accountability ensures results Choose results over status