Weekly Journal Update 14
It’s amazing how far I’ve gotten in this class and how much I’ve learned. This semester really flew by in my eyes seeing that this is the last weekly journal I will be writing. As a result of writing weekly journals for this class, I’ve decided that I will be buying my own journal to write down my thoughts and experiences throughout the day daily. I’ve realized that doing this helps me express myself and remember certain things. Writing journals has also taught me how to retain information better than just reading the information and trying to comprehend it without writing it down.
As stated in one of my past weekly journals, I took this class during freshman year and did not fully appreciate the lesson. I always showed up late, never payed attention, and did not consistently submit my assignments. I also irresponsibly missed the final and was greatly embarrassed when I showed up to take the final for the wrong class. After taking the walk of shame out of Douglass, I told myself that I will one day take the class again and prove that I’m a better student. That semester was an overall terrible one for me as far as academic performance. I refuse to make excuses for myself, but my freshman year was a definitely a period of immaturity and not being able to balance having fun while being studious. It took one more semester for me to finally realize what I’m here for and that I need to graduate on time to pursue my future career. The second semester of my sophomore year, I earned my highest gpa while at Howard and I proved to myself that I am actually capable of earning high grades if I stayed focus and put my mind to it. This semester, I feel like I am doing extremely well and plan on doing even better than last semester. I registered for this class and already had an idea of the curriculum which really helped me throughout the course of this semester as far as the difficult and time consuming assignments. I planned my schedule accordingly in order to complete all my weekly journals on time. The only issue I had in this class were the quizzes, but that issue was resolved close to the end of the year when we, as a class, were allowed to submit our own questions. I made it an obligation for me to not miss any assignments and to do my absolute best in this class.
During these last 3 days, we discussed the rest of The Life of Alexander and the traits he showed, today’s global leaders of technology and their accomplishments which includes, reading articles about Amazon and it’s creator Jeff Bezos, and the 14 leadership principles their employees must follow.
Tuesday 9:40 AM — 11:00 AM
During this class period, we discussed The Life of Alexander. Alexander was born in the year 356 and died in the year 323. He served as king from 336 until his death. We brought up the fact that Xenophon had written the Education of Cyrus years after Cyrus ruled which were the years 600–529. It was written closer to the time of Alexander’s rule. We discussed the traits Alexander showed in the readings. These traits were:
- Philonikia — the love of victory. People who possess this trait tend to always want to compete and be victorious whether it is a board game, a race, an argument etc. These people are highly competitive. This is a trait that both Cyrus and Alexander possessed.
- Praotes — gentleness. People who possess this trait have the ability to be gentle in order to ease certain situations. The opposite of praotes is omotes. Omotes is someone who is very aggressive. These people have trouble easing situations in a gentle manner.
- Phtonos — envy. Anyone who shows disdain towards someone because of who they are or something they have possesses Phtonos. Many people show this trait towards the great leaders such as Alexander and Cyrus. People who show this trait tend to be close to the person they are showing envy towards. For example, Cyaxares showed phtonos towards Cyrus because he believed that Cyrus was showing him up and proving that he was a better leader than he was.
- Philomatheia — the love of learning. This trait describes people who love to learn new information.
- Philanthropia — the love of humanity. Philanthropia is something that most leaders possess in which they strive for what is best for the people they are leading.
- Philodorotatos — the love of gift giving. People who possess this trait are normally very generous.
- Grandiosity — “malignant narcissism.” Most psychopathic leaders possess this trait. Grandiosity is having a sense of prestige or respectability that he/she doesn’t actually have.
- Philia — the love of friendship. People who possess this trait love the idea of friendship.
- Charis — charm, charisma. This trait is similar to the term glibness, which also means charm.
In the reading, there was a scene where Alexander rode a horse that was, according to others, impossible to ride. Alexander claimed that he would be the only one able to ride the horse. Although people doubted him, he proved them wrong, rode, and tamed the horse. In this scene, he showed megalopsychia, boldness and daring (philokindunia), philonikia, and praotes.
Megalopsychia, or possessing a big mind, is another way of saying someone being optimistic. Alexander was, in a sense, being optimistic in thinking that he was the only individual who could ride this horse.
He also showed signs of philokindunia, which is the Greek terminology for possessing a love of risk taking, boldness and daring.
Alexander also possesses philonikia, the Greek terminology for the love of victory. He always felt the need to compete and excel in the most important contests and be victorious. In this case, the challenge of riding a horse that was unable to be ridden by anyone else was a contest that Alexander felt was very important. He made sure he was victorious and earned the respect of many.
We discussed that Alexander was swift of foot which has a connection to Achilles. The only vulnerable part of Achilles was his achilles tendon.
Wednesday 3:00 PM — 4:00 PM
During this time, I looked at the Leadership Principles of Amazon. This principles include:
- Customer Obsession. In this principle, the leader shows absolute interest and attention towards the customer. The goal is to earn the customers trust.
- Ownership. The leader never does only one job. They own the company meaning they are in charge of everything that goes on within it.
- Invent and Simplify. The leader needs to be an advocate of innovation and inventions. They are always looking for new ideas to imprve the worth and success of the company.
- Are Right, A lot. The leaders are always right in every situation. Every decision they make is the right decision based on their best judgement and instincts.
- Hire and Develop The Best. Leaders are always looking to hire employees that will be the most beneficial to their company. Leaders also develop their employees into leaders who will someday run the company and do it well.
- Insist on the Highest Standards. Leaders are always aiming for excellence in everything they do. They possess high standards for their employees to follow in order to keep the company moving and in the right direction. No setbacks will be accepted. They are all about progression and moving forward.
- Think Big. Leaders always need to think about the bigger picture and take risks that will only make the company better.
- Bias for Action. This also applies to risk taking and also the speed of taking action.
- Frugality. “Accomplish more with less.”
- Learn and Be Curious. Leaders should always be willing to learn new things and be curious about new possibilities to explore
- Earn Trust. Leaders should earn the trust of their employees or whoever they are leading and earn the trust of other important figures that maybe important to the building of the company.
- Dive Deep. Leaders are able to handle any task. “No task is beneath them.” They are able to “operate on all levels.”
- Have Backbone; Disagree and Commit. Leaders should always know that they can disagree with and challenge decisions. There is no compromising.
- Deliver Results. By following all of these principles, the most positive results should be delivered. The company should be at its best. Leaders focus on the key things that are important for their company and adhere to them in a timely fashion.
Wednesday 6:00 PM — 8:00 PM
I read an article about how these principles are implemented. I believe the reason Amazon is so successful is because of these principles. Having these principles is responsible for a long lasting and successful company. I talked to some family members about the principles that Amazon enforces and they said they would like to work for a company with similar ones because it would improve themselves and their work ethic. I researched about the salary of the employees of Amazon. The median salary of a warehouse worker is $13.50 an hour. According to the Human Capital Pay Scale of Amazon, there are a total 387 salaries. These salaries include:
Software Development Engineer (SDE)
$87,402 — $119,258
$78,247 — $127,088
$98,938 — $150,069
$99,863 — $149,095
$54,231 — $112,475
$46,861 — $82,129
$77,568 — $129,594
Once I brought up the salaries of these workers, my family members began taking their statements back. They felt like the pay wasn’t enough to be extremely stressed out.
Tuesday 9:40 AM –11:00 AM
During this time, we discussed today’s global leaders in technology. Some of these major leaders include:
- Steve Jobs — Apple and Pixar
- Sergey Brin and Carry Page — Google
- Mark Zuckerberg — Facebook
- Elon Musk — Space X, Tesla, Solar City
- Jeff Bezos — Amazon, Blue Origin
We talked about one of our first questions about the importance of psychopathic leadership for:
- The military
We discussed the characteristics. Were some of these leaders psychopaths?
Judging from the words of Steve Job’s spouse in which she said that Steve jobs was sometimes very heartless and cruel, it was evident that he was a psychopath. She once said that he chose not to have anything to do with his son. This attitude is based on his very inventive mood and complete focus on his job.
We discussed that sometimes it is necessary to have this attitude when having a position of this caliber. In order to have a successful and thriving company, one has to make decisions that are strictly business related and not based on emotions. This refers to the two Leadership principles of Amazon, Think Big and Bias for Action.
In the Amazon article, Bo Olsen said that he saw almost every employee cry at their desk. He described the workplace as being very cutthroat. The former human resources director used Purposeful Darwinism. The company called there workers Amazonians. If I were to ever work for a company like Amazon
We also talked about how these leaders were mostly socially awkward. Not having a social life can sometimes contribute to being incredibly successful.
We talked about how these leaders are geniuses and showed these genius traits since they were young.
Monday 1:00 PM — 2:00 PM
During this time, I thought of the things this class taught me about leadership that no other class has or would have. Most of what I learned in this class, I have internalized. The ten most important things I’ve learned in this class are:
- Psychopathic Traits. I can now observe our current leaders and point out the psychopathic traits they exhibit. I recall an incident when I was watching the Lion King with my girlfriend and began talking about Scar and how he was an example of a psychopath and exhibited all the traits we learned in class, especially grandiosity and his ruthlessness.
- In this scene, Scar uses instrumental aggression. He uses Simba as a decoy so that he could kill Mufasa, the current king, so that he could be king. He uses deception and frames Simba for his father’s death.
I have also mentioned in my previous weekly journals about the movie the Perfect Guy.
- This trailer doesn’t fully display what happened in the movie. But it gives an idea of who the psychopath is.
- In the movie, Michael Ealy, who played Carter Duncan, was a stalker who’s goal was to make the main character’s life, Leah Vaugh played by Sanaa Lathan, a living hell after things go wrong in their relationship. There are several scenes in the movie where Carter is being investigated by the police and displays cockiness and grandiosity. He also shows pride in his horrific actions.
- Throughout watching this movie, I pointed out almost every scene where Carter Duncan displayed a psychopathic trait. This was a definite example of how I was learning a lot from the class.
2. The 4 levels of leadership: responsibility, accountability, prestige, authority. Every leader I encounter whether on television or real life, I observe if they have these 4 levels.
3. Solitude. I learned that solitude is one of the most essential parts of leadership and that being in solitude is knowing how to be alone with your thoughts and developing your own ideas.
4. Emotional Intelligence: Self Awareness, Self Regulation, Motivation, Empathy, Social Skills.
- Social Awareness is about knowing one’s strength, weaknesses, drive, and the impact you have on others, It’s also characterized by feedback from others
- Self Regulation is about controlling or redirecting disruptive impulses, having the ability to do what a situation calls for, someone that is open to change, and someone who is reflective and thoughtful
- Motivation is about relishing achievement for its own sake
- Empathy is about understanding another person’s emotional make-up, having perspective from others, and is the gateway to building emotional relationships.
- Social Skills are about building relations with others and extensive networking. They are also experts at building and leading teams.
5. How leaders sometimes have to use Instrumental Aggression to make decisions
6. The meaning of Hybristophilia which means dominance.
7. How people show attraction to leaders who exhibit psychopathic traits.
8. Major figures in Ancient history such as Alcibiades, Cyrus the Great, Socrates, and Alexander the Great. Before this class, I had minimal knowledge of who Alcibiades was.
9. How some people are born natural leaders and exhibit leadership qualities at a young age. An example of this is Alcibiades who was a natural leader since his childhood days.
10. The problems with leadership: Developing a Strategy, Communication, and Maintaining Morale.
- With Developing a Strategy, you must know how to handle dissent and conflicting agendas, and show praotes which is the ability to be open to disagreements and have a tolerance for rivalry. You also must know who to trust.
- With Communication, a leaders words will always be misconstrued by someone, so it is important to make sure everyone understands you and your point of view.
- With Maintaining Morale, you must have multiple motives for being a successful leader and maintain the passion for your position.
Ten things I learned about myself throughout this course are:
- My work ethic
- My dedication
- My determination
- My grasp of time management
- My ability to multi-task
- My writing ability
- My study habits
- My communication
- My ability to retain information
- My organization
Although I didn’t have any major turning points in this class, I know that in the future I will experience them.
Wednesday 5:00 PM — 7:30 PM
In the future, I plan on studying black leaders such as Malcolm X and Marcus Garvey. I have begun reading the Autobiography of Malcolm X. I have reached only the 3rd chapter and already noticed some of the traits we talked about. I have watched a number of interviews of Malcolm X and they are some of my favorite and most inspiring videos.
- This is one that I particularly favor. I admire how he stands by his word and shows no signs of fear or intimidation when asked certain questions.
I thought about how I would use the information in the future. My plans go as follows:
After graduation, I plan on taking a year off to work and to study for the MCAT (Medical College Admissions Test). During this time, I also plan on getting certified as a Personal Trainer. Being a personal trainer requires teaching, helping people, and being able to attract clients. This position is a form of leadership because it requires leadership traits in order to be successful, especially charisma.
After a year of working, I plan on taking the MCAT and getting accepted into medical school. I have no preferences when it comes to what area I will attend school but I would definitely enjoy being on the East Coast, preferably the south in states such as Georgia or Texas.
I plan on being a primary care sports medicine physician, but I have also been thinking about going into orthopedic surgery. Both of these positions require leadership.
The leadership traits that I will work on to improve myself are Solitude, Empathy, Authority, and Responsibility. I know that if I work on these traits and fully exhibit them to my best ability I will be a great leader.