Bio James MacGregor Burns

James MacGregor Burns was born August 3, 1918. He was a n inspiring man who looked for an approach to understand transformational leadership. Burns was one of the first authors to touch on a more philosophical approach to understanding and describing leadership. He was a political scientist, a historian, and a president biographer. Burns distinguished leadership scholar at the James MacGregor Burns Academy of Leadership, and he received the Pulitzer Prize for his biography. Burns focuses on research regarding the transformational leadership theory, which has a main focus on how leaders approach power. The transformational theory is as follows:

When one or more persons engage with others in such a way that leaders and followers raise one another to higher levels of motivation and morality.


Leading To Inspire

Inspirational Photos

Award Ceremony

The OZ award will be givin to Lizzie Jager. I think her blog is very fun and has a lot of thought and creativity involved. When I read her blog I feel she has so much passion tied into her writings. I enjoy seeing her updates as the semester moves forward.


The Jobs award goes to James Roit. I feel his blog is very innovative and has a ton of creativity. He is doing a great job on keeping his blog colorful and inspiring.


The Keep Em Coming award will be given Emily Olivero. I enjoy reading her posts each week and I feel from the beginning she has been very excited about learning how to blog and I feel her blog page has come so far. Great Job!!!

Contingency Theory & Situational Leadership

In most employment situations your boss can be either very easy to relate to or demanding and difficult to build a trustworthy relationship with. In professional situations it is important to have an effective and positive relationship with your boss. Fiedler’s contingency model and Blanchard’s Situational Leadership theories have similarities and differences about the relationships between leaders and their subordinates. Here I will explain the two theories and give some examples of leaders who show each style.

The Fiedler Contingency model is a leadership theory that describes specific traits and characteristics in relation to leadership styles and behaviors. The contingency model is based on ‘situational contingency’, which is a result of interaction of two factors. One factor is the leadership style known as the least preferred co-worker (LPC) and the other factor is known as situational favorableness.

The LPC is used for measuring an individual’s leadership orientation. The assessment has leaders think back on individuals they have worked with and whom out of those people they worked the least well with. When the results show a high LPC score it relates to a leader being relationship oriented. An example of someone who would be considered a relationship-oriented leader would be a person who does not like superiors to assign and structured tasks. These types of leaders normally have good leader member relations but their power is normally weak.

If the LPC score is low it relates the leader to be more task oriented. According to Fiedler, if there is a natural disaster, like a flood or a fire the best type of leader would be a task oriented leader. Someone who can get things accomplished in an efficient and timely manner with no questions asked. When I was lifeguard in high school my head guard was very focused and alert at all times while on duty. When there was an emergency and the pool had to be cleared he would get it done in a very quick and organized manner. Immediately when a situation occurred he knew exactly how to respond and what to do step by step. According to Fiedler he has a high LPC and is considered a task-oriented leader.

According to Fiedler both the high LPC as well as the low LPC leaders can be equally effective only if their leadership strategies and values fit the situation they are dealing with. There are three different situational components that determine situational favorableness: Leader-member relations which is the degree of mutual trust between leaders and employees, Task structure which is related to making sure all group tasks are clear and structured, and then Leader Position Power which relates to the power In the leaders position itself.  A favorable situation is related to good leader-member relation, a highly structured task, and a higher leader position power.

The Hersey-Blanchard Model of Situational Leadership is broken down in to four leadership styles:

* High Relationship-Low Task (Participating)

* High Task-High Relationship (Selling)

* Low Relationship-Low Task (Delegating)

* High Task-Low Relationship (Telling)

Each one of these task behaviors relates to the leader and how they spell out the duties and responsibilities of each group, and how they are told to do it. As a leader developing a management style is a life long process. There are many situations where employees and leaders will have their own styles, so it is important to find staff styles/behaviors that match the situation as well as the leadership style used at the current job. At my last job my boss was a high task-low relationship person. He would walk in and a let us all know our duties for the day and then he would go back to what he was doing in his office. He would never ask how we were or small talk on down time. He wasn’t interested in relating he was most interested in working and believed if there is time to lean there is time to clean at every moment. This is a great way to get things done but I did not see the employees look up to him with respect. Some of the employees who had been there a very long time, knew exactly what they were doing and how to set up each thing perfectly would clash with him because they felt he was constantly repeating himself about things they had already been told. I feel these employees were very relationship oriented and our boss was very task oriented, because of this there was a clash and most situations were very awkward and felt negative at times.


The Leadership Practice Inventory questionaire was difficult for me to complete because I have never been in a mangement position in a work place. As I was taking the questionaire myself I answered the questions based on my values and how I see myself in a leadership position, and the other person who scored me did it based on my personality and what they knew about me.

Some of the similarities that were found after both my participant and I completed the LPI were as follows:

– Actively listens to diverse points of view

– Treats people with dignity and respect

– Gives Team members appreciation and support

– Creatively rewards people for their contributions

– Sets personal example of what is expected

– Follows through with promises and commitments

Some of the discrepancies that were found were as follows:

– Makes certain that plans, goals, and milestones are set

– Appeals to others to share dreams of the future

– Paints big picture of group aspirations

– Talks about future trends influencing our work

– Makes certain that people adhere agreed-on standards

I agree with the similarities findings. I have a huge focus on treating people I know or meet with dignity and respect at all times. I live by the philosophy if you do not know who you are talking to treat them as they are important. You never know, they might be your next employer.  As well, I believe in always following through with my commitments and promises. If I do not follow through in my personal life, people will view me as someone who will not follow through in my professional life. It is important to have a philosophy follow through with as much as possible or dont plan it if you I am too busy.

On some of the discrepencies listed above, I thought the participant who scored me gave me more credit for behaviors that I did not score myself so well on and that could maybe use some focus. I found it interesting after comparing the results to see how my partner scored each category compared to my own self assessment. For example, I gave myself a 7 on “makes certain that plans goals and milestones are set” and my participant scored me as a 9. I always have felt that setting goals is an area I can improve on but it was nice to see that they thought I was a great goal setter. Having someone else score me  was a great way to get feedback on my youth leadership style. I really enjoyed seeing the results of the LPI questionaire.

Taking a Glance

As I was looking through all of my peers Blog’s I learned a lot about each of them and the direction we are all individually headed in. I have never done a blog so I am also coming to find I can add photos and make each post and page very personal. Looking at Eleanor Riants blog, I learned you can add images to each of my posts. I need to learn how to do all of this. I’m sure it takes time since I have no experience blogging. Another thing I really liked is Amy Rochesters title to her blog. I am a very crafty person and that is a great quote/title for this type of assignment. David Kim had a great idea using penguins for his background. They are exceptional leaders as many birds are and they dress to impress everyday.

Pros and Cons of Trait Based Theories

Pros of trait-based theories are that they attempt to explain and investigate how traits are related to strong leadership skills for training and coaching. According to Mumford, Zaccaro, Harding, et al., “leadership emerges from the combined influence of multiple traits.” I agree with this view and feel that in order to be a good leader people need to possess a wide array of traits such as ambition, integrity, emotional stability, honesty and charisma. Some people may possess some of these traits but may have other negative traits such as dishonesty, poor motivation and a lack of approachability that may overshadow any quality leadership traits they demonstrate. Trait based theories help leaders understand the importance of possessing strong core values and well-rounded traits that research shows builds successful leadership.

I believe one con to trait-based theories is that these theories may put limitations into people’s minds that are hiring or making promotion decisions. Management may view the idea that only certain traits make a good leader causing them to over look strong candidates for management and leadership positions simply because an applicant appears to lack certain traits on the first impression. As well, some people may feel they do not have all of the traits mentioned in the articles and they will shy away from working toward long term management goals or applying for leadership positions just because they are quiet or may not fell they have as much creativity as they view others to have.

Traits I Admire & Why

Although there are many traits I admire a few important traits that come to mind are honesty, emotional stability and approachability. I agree with the author of the article Leadership: do traits matter? that “honesty is absolutely essential to leadership” because employees will behave as their leaders do. If people do not work in an honest environment that reflects a high level of integrity they will not perform with honesty and integrity themselves. Emotional stability is an important trait in a leader because they are the foundation of the company and employees need to count on their leader to be strong and confident. I admire people who are emotionally stable and can remain calm in a stressful or difficult hospitality situation. Being able to remain confident in a challenging situation reflects strong leadership skills and control of the work environment, the employees, and guest relations. Approachability is another trait I admire. It is important to be approachable so employees can feel confident that they can share personal concerns or ideas they might have to make the company more efficient and sustainable. I think people are born with certain general dispositions such as being happy or calm but traits overall I fell are developed by the way you are treated as a child, by the activities you get involved in early in your life, and by a persons values about how to interact in social and leadership situations.

Leadership & Me

Growing up I’ve always been involved in organizations that encourage leadership and team building. For example, in my earliest years I was involved in Brownies and Girl Scouts, which encouraged responsibility and leadership skills. By middle school I played on a softball team, which encouraged teamwork and initiative and in high school I swam on the swim team and was a lifeguard, which taught individual strength building and motivation. As a child, I looked toward leaders like my softball coach, my swim coach, or even my mom who taught me to have drive, honesty and self-confidence. Today my education and work experience has reinforced and expanded on these same leadership skills and qualities that make a good industry leader. Being part of the HTM program at SDSU has done so much for my future in hospitality management. Having the opportunity to participate in internships and classroom assignments such as leadership shadows have given me hands on experience and an in depth view of what management and leadership responsibilities entail. Through out the past three years I have grown to be business professional, I have learned to network, and I have developed leadership skills that will be an asset to my future career in the hospitality industry.