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Westside Toastmasters is located in Los Angeles and Santa Monica, California

LEARNING ACTIVITIES

Activity 1: Self-Assessment—Value Systems

Instructions. Rank the values in each of the two categories with 1 = most important to you, 2 next in importance, 3 next, and so forth. The following is based on Rokeach’s work (1979).

Rank your instrumental values

Rank your terminal values

___ Ambition and hard work

___ Contribution and a sense of accomplishment

___ Honesty and integrity

___ Happiness

___ Love and affection

___ Leisurely life

___ Obedience and duty

___ Wisdom and maturity

___ Independence and self-sufficiency

___ Individual dignity

___ Humility

___ Justice and fairness

___ Doing good to others (Golden Rule)

___ Spiritual salvation

Scoring key: The values that you ranked highest of the work community are the ones that are most important to you. Consider whether your life and career choices are consistent with your values.

Activity 2: What Does It Mean to Be a Leader?

Instructions. Leadership means many things to many people. Take a few moments and think about what leadership means to you.

  1. Ask yourself the following questions:

    What responsibility does it carry?

    How do you do this kind of work effectively?

    What do you need: skills, knowledge, support from others, and the like to be a more effective leader?

  2. Using the responses you developed for step 1 questions, develop specific guidelines for a leader in your organization.

  3. Compare this listing to the professional leadership literature.

    Note similarities and differences.

    What conclusions can be drawn for this exercise about the true nature of top and inner leadership?

  4. Develop a list of leader definitional characteristics you and others might use to guide your leadership.

Activity 3: Spirituality Questionnaire

Instructions. Seldom do working leaders think about their spirituality outside of organized religious contexts. Yet getting in touch with one’s spiritual center is a necessary prerequisite to effective work-community action—whether leader or led.

Completing the following questionnaire will help participants organize their present thinking about their spiritual center and how it may apply to the work they do in leading in the middle of the corporation.

Note: There are no right or wrong answers. Some indication of what other professionals have said in response to this questionnaire may be found in Fairholm (2000a).

  1. How do you define spirituality?

  2. How important is your personal spirituality in shaping your ethics, values and beliefs?

    ___ Very important

    ___ Important

    ___ Not very important

    ___ Not important

  3. How much do you rely on your spirituality in doing your school work?

    ___ A lot

    ___ Not much

    ___ None

  4. Is there a connection between your personal sense of spirituality and your success in leadership situations?

    ___ A significant connection

    ___ It depends

    ___ None

  5. Should consideration of worker or leader spirituality be a part of the school or workplace?

    ___ Yes

    ___ No

    ___ It depends (on what?)

  6. How much do you rely on your spiritual sense in work or school situations?

    ___ A lot

    ___ None

    ___ It depends (on what?)

  7. What are the most important activities in which you engage that inspire, encourage, and renew you?

  8. What are your main sources of spiritual support?

  9. What are the most important values guiding your actions?

  10. What are the most important reasons that spirituality is important in leadership?

Activity 4: Programs Focusing on the Whole Person at Work

Instructions. Make an appointment to interview the personnel director in your organization about the range of regular and special programs and services offered to employees.

  1. Specifically, what programs and services are offered that deal with tasks other than directly related to the job. Examples might include those listed here. (Note: Do not identify these programs to your interviewee. Try to direct questions to elicit these and other programs if they are offered.)

    Tuition assistance toward a college degree—including courses that have no direct benefit to the corporation.

    Employee assistance programs—addiction or marriage counseling and the like.

    Exercise and general health and fitness programs.

    Leisure services—discount tickets, memberships, sponsorship of sports teams.

    Chaplin services or other programs and services.

  2. Distinguish between programs offered executives and those for line employees. Find out why the organization does each of these things. What corporate purpose does providing these services serve?

  3. After the interview, analyze your data and prepare a report of your findings. List each service and the reasons the director gave for offering each one.

  4. Summarize your findings in a brief statement of the extent and purposes of other than direct job-related programs and services for employees. Your summary should include

    The range of such programs.

    The reasons they are offered.

    The purposes they serve for the corporation.

    The purposes they serve for employees.

    Other factors brought to light by your research and analysis.


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