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Introduction: Meet Our Team!

This blog was created and recorded by the front row Team 1 from the 9:30am class: Lindsay Bernstein, Veronica Everest, Emily James, Ricky Mammone, Evan Quinn and Maddie Welsh. In this blog we will discuss the following topics that we studied in class:

– Personality
– Emotional Intelligence
– Attitudes
– Diversity
– Ethics
– Leadership and Teamwork
– Final Integrative Blog

We will compare these topics to examples from various YouTube videos, real-life examples and our own personal experiences. As a team we make up a variety of personality types, we have a variety of interests, we are pursuing different majors and concentrations within the business school, and we come from different parts of the United States. Below is a little bit about each of us, and how we feel we contributed to our team:

Ricky Mammone: I’m a junior BEM major. I’m from Warren Township, NJ and Wake Forest was a big culture jump for me. My personality type is ENTP. I started a t-shirt company in high school with my friends that was for a charity. I take pride in my creativity and my sense of humor (even though some people don’t find me funny, especially Emily)

Evan Quinn: I am originally from Princeton, NJ but I currently live in San Clemente, CA (an hour south of LA). I am a junior BEM major, a music minor, and a Wake Forest football equipment manager. I love the Philadelphia Eagles. My personality type is ESFP. I plan on pursuing a career in either sports management or the music industry.

Veronica Everest: I am a junior accounting major. I am originally from Delaware, but I currently live in Avondale, PA. I enjoy music, art, and sports. I would like to pursue a career in accounting after graduation. My personality type is ISTJ.

Maddie Welsh: I am a junior from Baltimore, MD. I am a BEM Major, concentrating in Non-profit Management and Consulting, and double minor in Dance and Latin American Studies. I love to dance and travel! I am on Dance Company (the Fall Dance Concert is coming up at the end of November) and last semester I studied abroad in Chile and had an awesome time. My personality type is ESFJ.

Emily James: I am from the small state of Rhode Island. I am a BEM major and an ESE minor. I am also member of the Wake Forest Dance Company. Dancing, listening to all kinds of music, and surfing are my favorite things to do. I would live on a tropical island if I could. My personality type is ESFP. I hope to pursue a career centered around creativity, innovation, and adventure.

Lindsay Bernstein: I’m a junior Accounting major and I live in Pittsburgh, PA. I would like to pursue a career in public accounting and hope to stay on the east coast. Some of my favorite things include hockey, funny movies, chocolate, and dogs. My personality type is ENFP.

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Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is a person’s ability to be self-aware, detect emotions in others, and manage emotional cues and information. Emotional intelligence has been controversial due to its lack of objectivity and measurability, and many believe it is not a valid concept in the field of organizational behavior. It is true that EI is not a silver bullet. It is not a valid form of intelligence and does not predict job performance as well as other factors, such as IQ. Although EI is not perfect, it is an important skill to have in conjunction with others. Those who demonstrate high levels of EI in their professional lives tend to have improved performance in interviews, jobs, and teams, and superior leadership effectiveness and interpersonal relationships. EI is related to professional success, which is why it is important for members of organizations to understand and develop each of its components.

Self-awareness is the first element of emotional intelligence. Self-awareness is the ability to recognize and understand who you are, your strengths and weaknesses, and your areas of development. Those who possess this skill are able to see themselves in the same way that others do and can accurately identify their emotions and tendencies. Knowing how you react to certain people and situations is an important component of self-awareness.

In this cartoon, Calvin displays a lack of self-awareness. He is unable to see himself in the same way that others do. There is inconsistency between the feelings he is expressing about others and his own behavior. Although Calvin and Hobbes is just a cartoon, the conversation between the two characters could be similar to one between coworkers in the real world. There are several steps that can be taken to improve self-awareness. One option is taking self-assessments, such as the Myers Briggs Type Indicator or the Big 5 Personality Assessment. Reflecting through observation, introspection, and analysis is important. In order to be self-aware, you must be honest and display humility and confidence.

The second element of emotional intelligence is self-management. Self-management is the ability to manage emotions and behavior to positive outcomes. A key part of self-management is self-control, or thinking before acting and redirecting disruptive moods and impulses. In the professional world, losing your temper or having emotional outbursts can be detrimental to your career. The inability to control emotions in front of customers or superiors can result in the loss of business, damage to your reputation, and even termination. It is important to understand what your triggers are so that you can remove yourself from emotional situations and deal with them at another time when you are more calm and rational. Another way to improve self-control is reframing, or using negative emotions or events to energize positive action. Other components of self-management are adaptability, initiative, and optimism in the face of failure. Those who have high self-management are self-driven; they have the propensity to set goals and pursue them with energy and persistence and can manage time and stress effectively.

The third element of emotional intelligence is social awareness. Social awareness is the ability to accurately read others emotions and moods when interacting with individuals or groups. Social awareness requires that you understand the emotional makeup of others and treat them accordingly. You need to adjust your behavior according to others’ emotions and change your management style depending on who you are dealing with.

The above picture from the Wall Street Journal article, “Dealing With a Boss Who Yells”, lists some of the negative consequences of low social awareness. The four bosses in the picture are using harsh tones to deal with their employees, who do not respond well to this type of management. Some consequences of this are: less competent employees, increased turnover, less creative employees, and less conflict resolution. At their level, success is less about their own skill and more about the ability to manage others well. Increasing their social awareness would make the four bosses in the picture more affective leaders with more productive employees. In order to develop your social awareness, you need to understand diverse others and listen without advising or controlling.

The last element of emotional intelligence is relationship management. Relationship management is about building teams and creating constructive work relationships. Important components of this are influence, building bonds, developing others, teamwork, and collaboration. In order to be successful in your job, you need to have common ground and trust with others. In business, you have to work in teams with others to accomplish common goals, and healthy relationships among team members are essential for success. Relationship management is also important for networking. The majority of jobs are obtained through networks and relationships with others. In order to develop relationship management, you can get coaching and seek opportunities for leadership. Other alternatives are developing your influence through networking and mentoring and learning effective conflict management and teamwork skills.

Emotional Intelligence is one of the keys to professional success. EI is related to many of the other topics covered in the Organizational Behavior course. Decision-making is improved when you are able to understand your own tendencies toward certain biases. Companies are more capable of managing diversity and relating to those who are demographically different when their employees’ social awareness is increased. Team members with high EI have greater cohesion and are more productive, and EI is an key factor in leadership. Understanding yourself and others better and being in control of your behaviors can provide a major advantage in your career.

Personality

When one contemplates personality, some general, common sense ideas come to mind.  One might define personality as the set of traits that make a person unique, what sets a person apart from the rest of society, the way an individual acts and handles situations etc.  However, our team has learned throughout this course that personality is comprised of several different systematically derived components and complex definitions.  On the surface, personality is the set of preferences and tendencies for how individuals engage with the world. Our textbook also includes Gordon Allport’s definition of personality as, “the dynamic organization within the individual of those psychophysical systems that determine his/her unique adjustments to his/her environment” (41).  What this tells us is that personality is not merely what makes us unique as individuals, but that it is an internal system that defines how we react to various stimuli in our environment.

There are numerous different components to each of our personalities that professionals have systematically derived and grouped into personality traits that individuals can determine through personality assessments.  These assessments include the MBTI and the Big Five (OCEAN).

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) whittles the overwhelming number of qualities that personality might involve into four vastly-encompassing categories; Extraverted versus Introverted, Sensing versus Intuitive, Thinking versus Feeling, and Judging versus Perceiving.  As described in course readings and lectures:

Extraverts draw their energy from interacting with others, being outgoing, sociable, and assertive.  Introverts on the other hand process information internally, and are often quiet and shy.  They are drawn to their inner world and focus on things in depth, taking time to reflect and be observant.

Individuals of the sensing type pay close attention to detail.  They are practical, prefer tangible information and hone in on details.  Conversely, intuitive types focus more on the big picture and rely on unconscious through processes.

Thinking individuals use reason and logic to handle problems.  They think objectively, and focus on fairness and logical consequences.  Feeling types on the other hand rely on emotions, and believe that individual needs are greater than the overarching principle.

Judging individuals get energy from getting things done, finding closure on decisions, and moving to the next task in situations.  They are very structured and enjoy control.  On the other end of the spectrum are perceiving types, who are flexible, spontaneous, and enjoy a change of course.

Our team decided to look at our own personality types and draw any relevant conclusions on how our different personality types may have affected our group dynamic.  Our personality types were as follows:

Lindsay- ENFJ
Maddie- ESFJ
Evan- ESFP
Emily- ESFP
Ricky- ENTP
Veronica- ISTJ

We tried to look at each of the four different groupings and see if we noticed how different personality types were evident in our group work.  When we did this, we realized that the MBTI truly did make accurate depictions of how each of us was inclined to interact with our environment.  For example, when reflecting on our own personal tendencies, Veronica described how she preferred taking time to process information and thinking through everything thoroughly before stating her ideas.  Lindsay, on the other hand, had a greater propensity to state her ideas out loud as she thought of them.  This displayed the differences between introverted and extraverted individuals, and our group took note of this in our meetings.  Another example of evident personality traits involved Ricky, an intuitive type, and Maddie, a sensing type.  At the beginning of the meeting Ricky would focus on broader, bigger picture goals by asking, “Ok, what is our overall plan for this meeting, what do we generally want to accomplish?”  We also took note that when Maddie came to the meeting, she presented a YouTube video, honing in on the specifics of our final integrative blog entry.

What we found through these observations was that recognizing the differences among our personalities enabled our group to work even better as one cohesive unit.  Although Maddie and Ricky pay closer attention to different things (detail versus big picture), the combination of their efforts enabled our group to have a broader range of information (big picture goals as well as specific goals) to work toward our ultimate goal of creating a thorough, in depth, and comprehensive blog.

Another personality assessment is called the Big Five.  The Big Five includes five major components: Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism.

Openness involves one’s range of interests and fascination with novelty.  Open people are very creative, curious, and artistically sensitive.  If an individual is low on openness, they tend to be conventional and find comfort in the familiar.

Conscientiousness is a measure of reliability.  People high on this trait are responsible, organized, dependable, and persistent.  Those low in this trait are generally distracted, disorganized, and unreliable.

Extraversion measures a person’s comfort with relationships.  Extraverted individuals tend to be gregarious, assertive, and sociable, and if an individual is not extraverted they are usually reserved, timid, and quiet.

Agreeableness refers to an individual’s propensity to defer to others.  Agreeable individuals are cooperative, warm, and trusting, and people on the other end of this spectrum are cold, disagreeable, and antagonistic.

Finally, neuroticism is a person’s ability to withstand stress.  People that are low in neuroticism are calm, self-confident, and secure, whereas highly neurotic people can be nervous, anxious, depressed, and insecure.

In our course lesson on the Big Five, we discussed how neuroticism (otherwise referred to as emotional stability) was not related to job performance, but it was certainly linked to job stress and satisfaction.  An example of this that we found in the real world involved Fleetwood Mac member Christine McVie. Although McVie was an outstanding contributor to Fleetwood Mac’s success, her neurotic tendencies, making her susceptible to panic attacks and irrationally afraid of flying, ultimately led to her forced retirement.  It is evident in this example how McVie’s neuroticism had absolutely no impact on her job performance as she was a great performer.  However, her extreme job stress and low satisfaction was directly linked to her emotional instability.  (http://www.wmmr.com/music/news/Story.aspx?id=1161589)

Another important personality trait is type A.  Type A individuals are competitive, imbalanced in their life, often hostile or angry, and impatient or urgent with their time.  Miranda Hobbs from HBO’s Sex and the City is a prime example of a Type A individual.  In an attempt to make partner at her firm, Miranda constantly took on more at work, often having more work than leisure in her schedule.  In addition, her highly competitive attitude allowed her to take on an overwhelming amount of work as she attempted to overcome the boundary of being a woman in a predominantly male workplace.  She often felt the urgency of work deadlines, and was known on the show for her angry, snappy attitude.

The final major personality type that we explored in this class was self-monitoring.  Self-monitoring individuals adapt their behavior to fit situations.  They are sometimes referred to as social chameleons.  Although this can lead to professional success, self-monitoring can also come across as fake or insincere in certain situations.

close up of chameleon in greenery

http://www.dianabarshaw.com/chameleons.php

Overall, the main takeaways that our team gathered was the importance of understanding our own personalities, others personalities, and the differences among various personality types.  By understanding ourselves and others, we realized that this increased self and social awareness allowed us to understand other perspectives and act more empathetic as co-workers.  It also provides a neutral framework for understanding other people and communicating with them.

In addition to this, we took away how personality can be a great predictor of work elements such as job success (extraverted individuals being more successful in sales and marketing), job satisfaction, job performance (conscientious individuals usually have higher job performance) and training proficiency (individuals high in openness).

Attitudes/Job Satisfaction

When asked how satisfied with your job you are, you may base your response on the level of enjoyment you receive from the work or how much you connect with your co workers.  However, job satisfaction goes even deeper than that.  Evaluating a summation of job facets is often a good way to rate overall satisfaction.  For example the nature of the work, supervision, present pay, promotion opportunities, and relations with co-workers all help determine overall satisfaction.  Jobs that provide training, variety, control, complexity, and mentally stimulation tend to satisfy most employees.  Social context also plays a substantial role in rating of satisfaction.  Feedback, social support, interdependence, and interaction with co-workers outside the workplace are strongly related to job satisfaction.  One of the most common misconceptions regarding job satisfaction is that money will create this overall satisfaction.  This is wrong.  While it is true that money does motivate, what motivates us is not necessarily the same as what makes us happy and satisfied in the workplace.  Job satisfaction is more of an internal feeling.  It is an attitude.   Being an attitude, the first component of job satisfaction is cognition, or an evaluation of the situation.  This might be a statement like, “My boss is rude.”  Evaluative statements set the stage for the affective component of an attitude, which is the emotion or feeling linked with this evaluation.  This would be a comment like, “I am offended by my boss’s rude actions in the workplace.”  Ultimately, this leads to behavior, intended actions resulting from your feeling toward someone or something.  An example would be, “I am going to seek employment in another division and report my boss’s inappropriate conduct.”  Therefore, attitudes people hold, such as job satisfaction or dissatisfaction, determine what they do.  Below we discuss some of the behaviors that tend to accompany job satisfaction.  Employees are the foundation of an organization.  Although the amount of customers and clients seems to be the driving force behind organizational success, it is the employees that ultimately generate the business and drive the company internally.  Thus, keeping the employees happy will bring many positive outcomes.

Job Satisfaction and Job Performance

It is clear that the relationship between job satisfaction and job performance is complex.  For many years, organizational researchers have put a considerable amount of work into demonstrating how the two are positively related: a happy worker is a good worker.  When employees are satisfied with their salaries, company benefits, and working environment, there is a much higher possibility that he/she will express gratitude and loyalty through productivity and work ethic.  We related this to the “get what you give” approach.  If employees are treated fairly, given incentives such as favorable company benefits, and inspired by the variety of work, they will be more inclined to perform well on their tasks.  Because they are satisfied with their job, they will want to maintain their job performance in order to keep the job.  However, this scenario can also be reversed.  If an employee is unsatisfied with how their boss treats them, how they interact with co-workers, etc., he/she can have no authentic desire to represent the company in a positive light.  Below is a scene from the movie “Wanted” portraying a highly unsatisfied employee.  His disrespectful supervisor pushes him past his breaking point, causing him to explode and quit his job.  The recurring abuse and disrespect that this employee (Wesley) experiences from his supervisor results in poor performance, poor management skills, and poor relations with co-workers.  The supervisor should have recognized how her actions were affecting Wesley’s job performance and consequently his job satisfaction.  It was evident to our group that this particular company would require a great amount of change, or they would risk losing other once talented employees. (Disclaimer: there is profanity in this video clip)

Below is another clip from the movie “Office Space”.  This clip is a perfect example of an unsatisfied employee (Peter Gibbons) leading to what his supervisors call “laziness”.  Gibbons explains how specific examples of poor management and poor incentives in the company lead to his poor performance, and he even admits that his only goal is to “work just hard enough not to get fired”.  Therefore, he has no desire to be productive or to gain a positive reputation within the company.

Job Satisfaction and Turnover

When an employee is dissatisfied with their job or work environment they are more likely to quit.  If an employee goes to work each morning dreading the tasks of the day, the people in the office, or the work environment itself, they are less likely to stay in that job.  They are more likely to quit if they believe they deserve better management, benefits, co-workers, etc.  If they think there are other opportunities available elsewhere, they will leave willingly.  When an employee has high education and high ability (high human capital), they are more likely to quit if dissatisfied.  This turnover can lead to increased expenses for the company from increased training and hiring costs.  The cost of an employee quitting is 1.5 times their salary, an extremely costly consequence.  The following clip is from the movie “Joe vs. Volcano”.   In the clip, our team recognized how the employee, Joe finally decided to quit as a result of feeling trapped in a concrete cell with no windows, a buzzing fluorescent bulb, poor co-worker relations, and poor pay.  And he not only quits, increasing turnover, he takes matters a step further and acts out.  He explodes into a long awaited heating argument with his boss.

Job Satisfaction and Workplace Deviance

In addition to turnover, job dissatisfaction can lead to Workplace Deviance.  If unhappy, an employee may adopt a “get even” mindset. Whether it is tardiness, substance abuse, stealing at work, undue socializing, or simply just quitting, employees often act out due to dissatisfaction.  Thus, our team felt that employers should not invest much time in attempting to control the different deviant responses.  They instead should attack the problem at its core-the dissatisfaction.  Below is a clip demonstrating Workplace Deviance in the form of using work time to play a game on the internet.  The video clip is actually a video game commercial, but it uses a scene from “Office Space”.  At the end of the “Office Space” scene, a narrator speaks the line “somewhere else you’d rather be?”  Our team felt that this line appropriately summarized the innate feelings of employees that experience Workplace Deviance; they are acting out because they would rather be somewhere else besides work.  It is clear that the employee’s (Peter Gibbons) dissatisfaction leads to his deviant behavior and decrease in productivity.

Another scene in “Office Space” shows three employees responding to their high job dissatisfaction.   They not only quit, but they also steal and damage property from the office.  Although this clip is meant for comedic purposes, it is a good exaggerated demonstration of Workplace Deviance.

Our team ultimately felt that attitudes and job satisfaction were crucial components of the “bottom line” in any business, low turnover rates, low absenteeism etc.  In order to minimize job dissatisfaction from the get-go, we feel that it is important for managers to focus their efforts on a few theories during and after the hiring process.  Person-Job Fit Theory is the first, as mismatches between a person’s strengths, interests, and values and the company’s values and environment generally result in job dissatisfaction.  Next, we focused on the Social Learning Theory, which states that people construct their attitudes based on what they observe.  Referring back to our “Wanted” clip, Wesley’s supervisor’s continual abusive and violent attitude ultimately led to his abusive and violent explosion before he quit.  Had his supervisor been more aware of her attitudes, Wesley may not have constructed his attitude in the way in which he did that day.  After this, we explored the Violations of Psychological Contract, where expectations that the employee previously held were not met by his/her employer.  Finally, we felt that it was important for managers to pay close attention to Dispositional Theories, and note from the beginning whether or not a person may be inclined to feel satisfied or dissatisfied in general.

Ethics

Ethics is obviously a very complex topic. Even though ethics can be sculpted by a culture and one’s environment, when it comes down to the roots, ethics is determined by the individual. It is a perspective and an opinion. However, it becomes more complicated when the ethical decision is made by a group. If people dispute on ethical standpoints, there is going to have to be a compromise of some sorts. Many people may have the same idea of right vs. wrong in certain scenarios, but then there are right vs. right situations. Other times, there is a group of people that may be behaving unethically, but because you are in the group, you perceive the unethical behavior as the norm. One can only analyze the ethical dilemma and make the choice that he/she believes is the most ethical option.  There are five major ethical reasoning theories that we went over in class: utilitarianism, deontology, egoism, relativism, and justice theories.

We can delve into these theories further by using the example of the Enron scandal. This is a prime example of how people can slip into unethical behavior by not speaking up or holding to their personal ethics. Enron Corporation was an American energy company based in Houston, Texas that was founded in 1985 by Kenneth Lay who acted as the CEO and chairman until 2002.  When Jeffrey Skilling became president, he began working with Lay and the CFO Arthur Anderson to hide billions of dollars in debt through accounting and financial reporting fraud. Enron had non-transparent financial statements which made it unclear to outsiders and shareholders how poor the company actually was doing. Transparency is crucial in having an ethical foundation for a company. This became one of the largest bankruptcies and audit failures of all time.

Utilitarianism is an ethical approach that asks what will give the greatest amount of happiness to the most amounts of people. The Enron executives were solely focusing on short-term rewards/consequences with this theory. They were able to establish a fake multi-billion dollar company that had an evaluated market capitalization of 60 billion dollars. The shareholders were temporarily very happy and so was the rest of the company. However, this success was very short lived. Once they went bankrupt, the stock price dropped down from $90 per share to $1 per share in a matter of months.  Shareholders lost around 74 billion dollars within the four years leading to the bankruptcy. All the employees that worked there lost their jobs. Many of the executives did not end up “happy” due to their prison sentences and large fines. The executives did not think through their ethical decisions in terms of how it was going to affect a great number of people.

In terms of deontology, which is essentially following certain established rules, the company was breaking many laws. There was no ethical code for the company and the executives who were running the corporation were behind the major unethical decisions. This led to the executives’ arrests.

Ethical Egoism is when people should do the most ethical action for their own self-interest. The three executives leading the corporation in an unethical way should have realized that they were only helping themselves temporarily by lying about their financial statements. By submitting to unethical behavior, they now have to face prison sentences, (except for Kenneth Lay because he was reported to have died in 2006) and if they do not die in prison, once they come out they will be older, not be able to get a job, and will have very little money. The executives were in all forms of media and embarrassed world-wide on top of having to deal with their other punishments. There was a documentary called “The Smartest People in the Room” that was all about exposing the reality behind the Enron scandal (there is a link below).

The culture relative to Enron was based off of lies. The executives created a structure that would lie about financial reporting leading to entire teams of people committing unethical actions that they did not even have full comprehension of how unethical they were being. Many employees were compensated afterwards due to their loss of their pensions. The corruption was dense in upper management, but many employees had no idea how unethical the corporation was.

Justice has to do with treating people fairly, giving them what they deserve. Applying the golden and platinum rules, treating people how you want to be treated and treating people how they want to be treated, are very important concepts to take into consideration when leading a company. Many innocent people were negatively impacted by the greed of the Enron executives. Shareholders were betrayed and lost money on their investment. The employees, thinking they had stable jobs, lost their pensions, as well as their steady income. Many smart people working for this multi-billion dollar corporation were ethical and did not deserve to waste their valuable time with this corrupt company. The executives clearly did not thoroughly evaluate the effects that their actions would have on other people.

A big problem with the Enron scenario was that there lacked a whistle-blower. Although being a whistle-blower does not sound like a glamorous thing to do to the people you work with and the company you work for, in this situation it would have ended the fraud earlier. If an upper management or executive exposed the lies and stopped cooperating with the illegal auditing, then they could have saved time and money for thousands of people.

In conclusion, ethics is a critical aspect of business to consider, as most employees face ethical decisions in their careers. Most of the time, it will not be as extreme as the Enron example, but their story is a prime example of what unethical actions can lead to. Even though ethics is a multilayered concept, we do have these principles and concepts to help us approach ethical issues.

“If you don’t have integrity, you have nothing. You can’t buy it. You can have all the money in the world, but if you are not a moral and ethical person, you really have nothing.”

– Henry Kravis

http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/0,28757,2021097,00.html

Diversity

Diversity is a valuable and essential factor of businesses that can positively affect the work environment, the production, and success of company. As we have learned in class, creating diversity, managing diversity, valuing diversity, and leveraging diversity is a priority that is required of businesses today in order to be respected in the market place by its own workers and by consumers. In class, we learned ways of managing diversity so that minority groups feel included and valued, and treated equally as any other employee. They must be given the same respect and responsibilities so that they want to stay with their employer, and show engagement and commitment in their job.

A good example of this is Time Warner Inc., which is one of the global leaders in the media and entertainment industry. Its top named divisions include Home Box Office, Time Inc., Turner Broadcasting System and Warner Bros. Entertainment. It strives at keeping its diverse pool of consumers entertained and connected through its television networks, film entertainment, and print and online publishing divisions. Recently in April of 2012, it was announced that Time Warner Inc. made it on Diversity Inc.’s Top 50 List of Most Diverse Companies, ranking number 40. This is the 12th year that Diversity Inc. has held a Top 50 Competition, and it is the 3rd year that Time Warner Inc. made it on the list. Time Warner Inc. demonstrates the importance of having a diverse workforce, where its employees feel like they are valued for their unique differences and can contribute to the company. This motivates the employees to use their unique differences and strengths to work to their greatest ability and to create innovative ideas that would gain the interest of a diverse consumer market. The Time Warner Inc. website better describes the importance of diversity in the mission and success of the company,

“We believe that people from different cultures, ethnicities, sexual orientations, disability communities, geographic regions, viewpoints, and genders bring important values and qualities to the creation of Time Warner’s products…We work to make sure that we are not only attracting and hiring the best and most diverse talent, also are retaining that talent as appropriate by creating an inclusive work environment. As of the end of 2007, all Time Warner divisions include identity, expression, or other legally protected classification in all EEO non-discrimination or anti-harassment policies.”

Time Warner also recognizes the need to change and adapt to new workforces and to keep up with modern times. Therefore every three years, Time Inc. conducts an in-depth Diversity Content Review of its properties of titles both in print and online topics. Their goal is for their topics to cover issue that can relate to a wide-range of communities and sources. Some direct examples of how Time Warner Inc. has catered to diverse audiences are with programs like HBO Latino that has offered Spanish-language programming since November 2000, and with Time Inc.’s Essence magazine has been the most respected and established magazine for African-American women for 35 years. Therefore, it is obvious that internal diversity and diversity in the market place are both vital to the success of Time Warner’s Inc.,

“In recent years, growth in the media industry has come increasingly from international and U.S.-based multicultural markets. Audiences are becoming more diverse, both in ethnicity and nationality, and are expecting greater diversity in content. We are therefore striving to become more diverse as a company, both in our content and in our workforce. We believe that achieving more diversity in these areas will enable us to identify the best growth opportunities, deliver the best customer value, and create the greatest returns for our stockholders. Accordingly, we are working to continue to foster and promote an internal culture that values diversity of talent and ideas, as well as to identify and aggressively pursue growth opportunities in multicultural and international markets,” (http://www.timewarner.com/our-company/corporate-responsibility/diversity/).

It is crystal clear that the plan and importance that Time Warner Inc. places on diversity is an ideal model that should be followed by other companies that are lacking in this aspect.

Another way of improving diversity in a company is by hiring a Chief Diversity Officer to be in charge of all diversity matters. According to an article by Diversity Inc. titled “How Many Companies Have a Chief Diversity Officer?” there has been a dramatic increase in the interest of purposefully managing diversity in the last five years,

“Of the companies that participate in the DiversityInc Top 50 competition, the percentage of companies that have a “chief diversity officer” (that specific title) has risen from 12 percent five years ago to 30 percent today. However, 96 percent of the DiversityInc Top 50 have a dedicated executive leading diversity efforts, versus 46 percent of the DiversityInc Top 50 companies five years ago. Further, 86 percent of the DiversityInc Top 50 have diversity leaders with titles at director or above and including “diversity” in their title.”

It is exciting to see the higher attention and importance that more companies are placing on diversity of the workforce and of its consumers. Because at the end of the day, everyone wants to be given a fair chance to succeed, to contribute, and to add value to a company or to the marketplace. Every person wants the same opportunity to apply for a job, to apply to college, to buy a certain product, and to be able to show their strengths that set them apart from their competitors.
As a group of college students, we agree that diversity is essential to bringing a well-rounded perspective and pool of knowledge to the table. Whether it is in a business setting, or at Wake Forest University, it is the diverse pool of employees and students that create an eclectic and diverse learning environment:

Lindsay’s example: While working as an intern last summer, she noticed that the company’s work environment placed a high emphasis on giving an equal level of respect to both men and women. They openly discussed how they would not tolerate women being treated less than their male coworkers. This was evident by the number of female executives in top-level positions they had in the company.

Maddie: Her mom is half Peruvian and half Spanish and is proud to represent the minority Latino population with her background. She is part of various Diversity groups in her company. She has been invited to several Diversity events with other companies that strive to acknowledge the minority population and update them on the increasing size of minorities in the workplace. One such event was a gala for minorities in several large companies, and famous Latino celebrities such as Marc Anthony and Jennifer Lopez performed at the event. She always has been very honored and excited about these events that seek to inspire and empower Latinos in the workplace. There was also a time when her mom was getting paid less than her male counterparts. She decided to speak to someone about it and got the situation fixed. However, it is shocking that in today’s age, a difference in pay still exists between men and women who hold the same position.

Diversity allows each person to bring their set of skills, experiences, and knowledge to the environment. Their individual contributions can be a wealth of new information and knowledge for someone else. We learn just as much from textbooks, and set skills, and job descriptions as we do from our coworkers and colleagues’ examples. Therefore we appreciate and value the importance that Wake Forest University places on diversity in regards to race, economic class, geographic hometown, intelligence level, sexuality, religion, intelligence level, interests, and skill-set.

Leadership/Teamwork

This video clip is a speech from the movie “Remember the Titans” given by coach Herman Boone.  Boone, in our mind, displays the characteristics of an ideal leader.  He is a transformational leader, meaning he inspires people and enables them to grow morally and in their level of motivation – Boone takes a strong interest in his players, shown by his demand for one player to bring his test scores to him, ensuring that he understands the material and succeeds academically.  He is also a transactional leader as displayed by his clear presentation of the overall team goal (winning) and through his punishments (running a mile for dropping a pass, missing a block, etc.).  This is also an example of coercive power.  Boone demonstrates both formal and personal power as well, portrayed through his aggressive demeanor and his loud voice volume, and his position as head football coach, but also through his ability to overcome racial tensions and integrate the black and white players on his team.

In terms of displaying competencies, Boone exceeds tremendously.  These competencies include emotional and mental intelligence, honesty, integrity, drive and ambition, self-confidence, extraversion and so on.  Although there is no requirement for a person to possess each and every one of these competencies – no “silver bullet” – to be a great leader, Boone seems to have all of these qualities.

In this speech in particular, Boone demonstrates strong use of the managerial grid – a leader’s concern for people balanced with his concern for production – by teaching his players to show respect for one another and keeping the ultimate goal of winning the championship in the forefront, which the team ends up achieving.

When being a leader of a team, or just being a member of a team in general, the first steps in working with a team are critical.  A good leader, such as Coach Boone, will conduct team-building activities in order to have the team members get to know each other better and figure out each other’s strengths and weaknesses.  Boone’s situation is extreme, but his methods include forcing the players to pick roommates of a different race and learn basic information about each other, and having the buses to camp split by offense and defense, rather than by race.

We have had a lot of experience being leaders and being a part of teams.  For example, Evan was the co-captain of his varsity football team in high school, and though obviously he did not have to deal with racial segregation, the fundamentals of being a leader are the same in all situations.  “The main thing I learned through this experience was the fact that when the morale of the team is down and/or we are losing a game, every member of the team looks to you for motivation and to lead the team back.”  In the work environment, this is relatively equivalent to a situation where a team is not being productive or getting work done on time, and the members of the team look to the group leader, manager or boss to figure out the problem and suggest ways to solve it.  However, having a successful team involves all members contributing, so it is more likely for a group to achieve their goals if problems are solved collectively – together – rather than by the leader only.

“Personally, I believe that the most important trait of a leader is his or her ability to relate to his or her team members or co-workers,” Evan comments.  Building interpersonal relationships is one of the keys to being a leader, and all great leaders, bosses, managers, coaches, presidents, etc. all share this characteristic.  A leader who shows personal interest in and respect for his or her employees will gain respect in return, thus creating strong results and achieving goals.