Welcome to Course Reflections

Ethical Leadership Courses                          Claremont Core Courses

Professional Assessment                                 Mindfulness

Ethical Frameworks                                           Dialogue

Leadership Literacy                                            Collaboration

Ethics & Globalization                                      Change

Money, Meaning & Power


Shadow Sides of Money, Meaning & Power

Identify and analyze how money, meaning, and power are regarded broadly and used by organizations

Dialogue Post Week Two: After reviewing the week’s readings on self-serving leadership and corruption, this week’s discussion board asks you to apply this understanding to one of the worst global oil spills in history, the BP oil spill of 2010. Review the Frontline documentary, The Spill, and review other media sources as needed. Elaborate on the reason, from a leadership prospective, why the BP oil spill happened. Suppose you could hold a leadership role among BP’s “Turtles,” what would you do? Can you propose an alternative sequence of events, from a BP leadership or regulatory body perspective, that could have prevented the distaster? Discuss if there are evident cases of self-serving, pro-social, or individualistic leadership according to the video.

D w2 1.0D W2 1.2Collaboration Post Week Two: This week’s collaboration builds on the environmental theme by looking at a case that is more recent and impacted less people, but also centered on poor decisions and mismanagement. In a similar tone to the aftermath and handling of Hurricane Kristina, the Flint water crisis raised questions of political interests, race, and socioeconomic class. Review the materials below. How would you evaluate the response of community leaders? Compare this case to the BP oil spill from the perspectives of power and money.

Trounstine, J. (2016, February 8). How racial segregation and political mismanagement led to Flint’s shocking water crisis. The Washington Post. Retrieved from (Links to an external site.) (Links to an external site.)

C W 2 1.0C w2 1.1Assignment #2: How do money, meaning, and power become resources for reinforcing destructive leadership? Address each category of money, meaning, and power in your response. How can we treat these resources differently to avoid destructive leadership in the organization? 

Based on what you have learned in your course of studies at CLU, what strategies can you, as a leader, develop or enact to avoid a harmful environment in the workplace?

MMP Assignment 2 SCorpuz 021917

Generally, most organizations exist for profit, thus money is a driving force and the sole basis for measuring success (ROI). Meaning is not important to most organizations, unless they are in the social sector and are specifically trying to make a positive change in the world. Some non-profits exist to help others as well, but even then, many organizations lose focus (mainly due to destructive leadership) and meaning gets lost amidst money and power. Power, although not always used for negative purposes, tends to be a psychological incentive for people to increase profit and either keep their position and power or increase it. Power, to me, is an illusion of strength and superiority, and is necessary for those who struggle with identity and self security. These are generally the charismatic leaders that hunger for power or cannot feel valuable without it.

Artifacts one and two show the complete disregard for meaning and people by big business and government organizations, where money is the prime factor for action or inaction. BP focused on saving money, so cost-cutting, neglecting maintenance on equipment and entire facilities was common. In addition, they neglected employee concerns about safety, and they ignored failing equipment incidents which ultimately led to their downfall.

In the Flint water crisis in Michigan, the importance of power and money over people led to failing leadership processes in government agencies which then led to mistakes, issues, cover-ups, and finally the lead poisoning of an entire US region. The utter neglect for people’s health and well-being was blatant in this case while government leadership acted irresponsibly, carelessly and without concern for people. In these two case-studies, money and power were the priority.

Money and power are used by organizations for self-serving agendas versus socially responsible business practices. Human rights are not a matter of importance for organizations such as BP, the Governor of Flint, Michigan and its government agencies. There are many incidents such as these occurring as I write incited many national and international organizations. Many times, governments are involved in the neglect and irresponsible actions for the sake of profit.

I included Assignment # 2 as my final artifact. The paper explains How Money Meaning and Power Reinforce Destructive Leadership. Money, meaning and power all play a role in the psychological make-up of the destructive leader. The intense desire for material things, the personal search for purpose, the unconscious longing to live on after death, and the un-relentless quest to affirm egos by being better than others — all of these components, given susceptible followers and a conducive environment, can drive one toward destructive behavior. Jean Lipman-Blumen and Barbara Kellerman helped us define the toxic/bad leader, and to be aware of why we are drawn to them. This analysis helps us to understand reasons behind why leaders of BP and Flint government agencies behaved the way they did and the key role money and power played in those behaviors. The first step in addressing changing this world view on money and power and the neglect for meaning is by understanding why we adopt these behaviors and perspectives in the first place. If we can go to the source of the problem, we can start to define prevention strategies in the workplace.

I am fully aware of the role money and power play in the world today. I have a good understanding of why, as a result of this program and the resources written by Jean Lipmen-Blumen. I was introduced to Paul Piff’s video on how the mind makes sense of advantage and it helped me to better understand the psychological phenomena that takes place when we feel we have more money than others. Piff’s study shows that our feelings of compassion and empathy decrease while feelings of self-entitlement and self-interest increase. Greed becomes somewhat of a virtue (or that’s how we justify it in our minds) and the pursuit of self-interest is suddenly favorable and even moral. This explains why most leaders are plagued with the desire for money and power, and helps us to to understand why BP and the Flint government made the choices they made. I am now able to articulate why people fall prey to money, power and destructive leaders. I am also now aware of how to avoid and protect myself against these worldly pressures as I now realize they are simply the mind reacting to pressures, and the lack of societal values and morals.


Assess leadership’s ability to affect environmental, political, cultural, and economic issues relevant to money, meaning, and power

Dialogue, Week Three: Building on the themes on meaning and power, organizational structures and hierarchies (or lack there of) can strengthen (or hinder) power dynamics and reinforce organizational values. In this discussion board, discuss Zappos’s holacratic organizational structure and its connection to (1) employee and leader relationships (i.e., power dynamics) and (2) its organizational values, purpose, culture, mission, and vision (i.e., meaning). Imagine and express the potential benefits and challenges of a distributed leadership approach. Reflect on how the Zappos case connects to your own experiences working within organizations and teams.

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We all have the ability to change our own perspectives on money meaning and power and as a result, change environmental, political, cultural and economic issues. People like Ghandi, the Dalai Lama and Mohammed Yunus have shown us the possibilities and what a simple change in meaning can do. We, in our western society, have assigned value to money and power, and we can also change that value, however we don’t realize it. Zappos is a relevant example of changing meaning with structure, whereby people are valued over profit and power. The holocratic model used in organizations is a new way of distributing power, creating team leadership and encouraging and valuing autonomy. The key take-away from studying an organization like Zappos, that is shifting focus from money and power to meaning, is that in the long run, they end up on top in terms of profit, because they focused on people, and in turn, people supported the growth of their business. It is really not rocket science; take care of your customers and your customers will, in turn, take care of you. Zappos has had a lot of success and it is a direct result of their focus on values and ethics and how they are committed to upholding those values and ethics throughout the company. They are a role model for other organizations who are looking to do business the “right” way. Other organizations can shift their focus from money and power to meaning as well, and will reap the same benefits. It comes down to the leaders of the organization and their values, morals and focus. Zappos is a leader of change, I hope to see more and more organizations conducting business in this manner.

The change in me personally and professionally is that I realize there is hope. Companies like Patagonia, Zappos, the Grameen Bank and others that are committed to socially and environmentally responsible citizenship are beacons of light in a world of darkness. It gets very discouraging reading daily headlines about unethical people and organizations who contribute to the pollution and death of anything good on this planet. These responsible organizations are inspiring for me, and I hope for others as well, to move in a direction of change in organizational mindset, putting meaning and people above profit and power.


Critically evaluate unethical and toxic uses of power by those in positions of leadership

Assignment #2: How do money, meaning, and power become resources for reinforcing destructive leadership? Address each category of money, meaning, and power in your response. How can we treat these resources differently to avoid destructive leadership in the organization? Based on what you have learned in your course of studies at CLU, what strategies can you, as a leader, develop or enact to avoid a harmful environment in the workplace?

MMP Assignment 2 SCorpuz 021917

Dialogue Post, Week Five: After reading the articles and watching the material from Dr. Lipman-Blumen and Dr. Kellerman, which conceptual approach presented do think is most helpful in understanding the phenomenon of poor leadership and abuses of power?  Why? How are Lipman-Blumen’s and Kellerman’s concepts and the articles’ perspectives presented similar?  How do they differ?To what extent are followers culpable for allowing toxic or bad leaders to abuse their positions of power?  More than one person in history has suggested that followers “get the leaders they deserve.”  Do you agree or disagree with this assertion?  Why?

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Assignment # 2 discusses the psychological phenomenon at play when a destructive leader emerges. It analyzes and evaluates symptoms, signs and behaviors of which we, as leaders of change, must be aware in order to avoid and prevent toxic uses of power in our environments. It explains the toxic triangle (Padilla 2007) which points out that destructive leaders cannot exist alone; they need susceptible followers and a conducive environment in which to thrive. The paper and the dialogue post for week five explain the importance of knowing about group think and how that can be used to manipulate large groups of people by destructive leaders and how to get out from under it or how to avoid it. It is dually important to understand the psychological effects that occur when people go through emotional trauma, come into success and/or feel they are at an advantage in terms of money and power (Piff 2010). The Bathsheba Syndrome and the Emptiness Syndrome (Ludwig, et al. 1993) are common “states of mind” that leaders experience which can lead to destructive behavior. Megalomania is another syndrome; it is the “I am the center of the universe” phenomenon that can occur when leaders are successful. We need to know about these mental affects in order to recognize them, navigate through them, address them, and avoid them in the future.

Throughout this course and this Master’s program, destructive and toxic leadership has been a primary theme, and my main area of interest as well. I have had many experiences with unethical leaders who have destroyed people, organizations and poisoned the workplace. Upon reflection, it is not always about money, but more about power, self-meaning and ego for these types of leaders. I have become somewhat of an expert on bad leadership as a result of this program, accompanied by several life experiences with toxic leaders. The change is one of understanding and awareness where I was once ignorant. All of the experience I have had with destructive leaders, where I didn’t know what to do, I didn’t understand what was happening to me and to others mentally, I just knew something was not right. Now I can recognize signs of toxicity, I can process why the behavior has emerged, and I know I can analyze and articulate with confidence. I also know I have a choice in how I handle the situation, based on the factors and circumstances. I don’t have to just “live with it.”


Evaluate current practices in the areas of social entrepreneurship, social business, and corporate social responsibility

Dialogue Post, Week Nine: Bornstein and Davis note that philanthropy has changed from the old model of strangers donating to strangers to a model based on connection and accountability. What has changed in society that might account for this change in philanthropic attitudes? How will this help and how might it hinder social entrepreneurs?

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Collaboration Post, Week Nine: What is the role of collaboration in social change? What are the obstacles? How is this aligned with other issues of power, money, and meaning? How can leaders create an environment of positive social change?

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In the first artifact, different and emerging models of philanthropy are introduced. Venture philanthropy, strategic philanthropy and impact investing are the current models used by both non-profits and social enterprises. In terms of specific practices dialogue and collaboration are essential techniques for positive change and for creating new meaning among groups. Businesses in the social sector focus on these types of forward-thinking methods of communication as they withhold assumptions, uphold listening, respect, empathy and openness to many perspectives. These businesses focus on meaning over money and power and stress the importance of human rights and dignity.

Learning about the social sector has been enlightening, heart warming and inspiring! I am challenged in thinking about how social organizations can find ways to fund themselves… there are different models but it will always be a difficult road that calls for creativity. When thinking about going into social business myself, my first thought is, NO, I don’t have the money, I have to make money to live so I would need to either find an organization that had a for-profit side and a social side. I can anticipate that it is very difficult to start a social business when resources are scarce. If we had banks like the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh, obtaining money to fund socially responsible initiatives would be more of a possibility.

The change is that I am thinking about social enterprise and how I might fit in or make it work. I am also inspired by the social organizations I am discovering, such as The Women’s Worldwide Initiative (TWWI). I chose TWWI for the focus of a social enterprise paper in this segment of the course; and I am excited to say TWWI is one that is truly changing the world by stopping the poverty cycle for girls and young women globally.


Build the interests and gain the skills needed to strategically plan and lead projects for ethical, sustainable ends

Capstone Project, summarized in Collaboration Post, Week Ten.

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E-Portfolio: Note: my Capstone Action Project can be found in my e-portfolio.

My CAP is an example of how I have built interest in the community, used the skills I have been acquiring in this program through excellent resources, and strategically planned an executed a project that ethical and sustainable. To expand on sustainability, the compassion campaign is the first of many. We plan to execute five campaigns each year, and each one impacts hundreds of people, inspiring them to new heights of compassionate action through random acts of kindness. The idea is that the good deeds will 1) cultivate compassion in people’s lives 2) inspire them and others to continue due the benefits of personal well-being.

My e-portfolio includes my CAP and is a showcase of what I have gained throughout the MEL program.  This is a comprehensive way to show how I have gained the knowledge necessary to design and conduct ethical, sustainable programs and a glimpse into how the program has impacted and changed my behavior and way of thinking. In addition, I plan to participate in Stanford University’s C Care Center programs, including compassion cultivation training so I can take my knowledge to the next level and become certified to teach people about compassion and how it works!

As a result of this course, and of this entire Ethical Leadership program, I have changed in many ways. It has been a journey of self-discovery; sometimes painful but filled with truth and increased self-awareness and the joy and confidence that comes with that. I’ve gained a better understanding of interpersonal communication and respecting that people have different social worlds and different acculturation, which shapes their perspectives and mindsets. Most importantly, I have become a better listener. In learning about the social sector, I come away with a new hope that there is something better — a better way of doing business that honors people, human rights and human dignity. I am inspired that good people still exist out there that are dedicated to meaningful change, as I am. I will move forward, connecting with those that share my values and quest for meaning and compassion to create new meanings in a world that so desperately needs to find a better way.

Ludwig, D.C. and Longnecker, C.O. (1993). The Bathsheba syndrome: The ethical failure of successful leaders. Journal of Business Ethics 12 (4), 265-273.

Padilla, A., Hogan, R., and Kaiser, R.B. (2007). The toxic triangle: destructive leaders, susceptible followers, and conducive environments. The Leadership Quarterly 18 (3): 176-194.

Piff, Paul. (2013). Ted Talk. Does money make you mean? Retrieved from: 8#q=paul+piff+money.

Ethics & Globalization

Analyze the impact of Ethics from a global perspective

Dialogue Post, Week Four: Read the 1993 Parliament of the World’s Religions’ “Declaration Toward a Global Ethic (Links to an external site.)“. Share a few lines that you found interesting and/or beneficial. Overall, how persuasive do you find the case for commonality between the moral cores of different religions?


I don’t see that ethics is having much of a global impact. I don’t see that MNEs are using sound judgment or creating and upholding ethical codes in their business practices. In week four we focused on global documents which attempt to establish some type of moral and ethical guidelines for people (moral agents) to follow. I am glad these resources are in-place, I was not aware they existed and I feel this is a good place to start addressing our global ethical issue. However, these documents are powerless unless they are visible and living (being utilized).

I realize there is a problem with the absence of ethics and values in our world. I understand we have covenants and codes and declarations, but they are not visible and are not used, and are not required.  I realize the world needs to come together and create a global ethical code for which we can operate and for which we can be held accountable.


Articulate the affect of globalization on culture, the environment, and the global economy

Dialogue and Collaboration Posts, Week Three: D3-Our purpose in this discussion is to put together a picture of what humans are doing to our environment, using globalization as a lens. For example, you can research and describe what’s occurring globally (i.e. ocean acidification, water pollution, deforestation, etc.). OR you can also look at what is going on in a specific culture or nation-state (such as Nigeria, Brazil, India, China, etc…).

Once the problem is described, identify two or more causes for this effect. Is it something in the culture or legal system? Perhaps conflict, poverty or a bad leader contributed to the effect. As one of my bosses told me, “A problem properly defined is already half solved.”


C3: Identify the relationship between liberalism and globalization. How does one affect the other? Analyze the ethical considerations and frameworks when addressing the topics of liberalism.


Rationale: In week three we learned about the negative effect globalization is having on the environment and other factors involved, such as cultural (a bad leader) or economic (poverty). We also addressed liberalism in terms of globalization and different views on whether or not liberalism is good for globalization. In essence, globalization can have detrimental effects upon an area or several areas across cultures. Because we do not have a global ethical code for MNEs to follow, responsibility is largely up to the leadership of the MNE and the government of the culture with which it works. The environment, the economy and the people will pay the price of unethical, socially and environmentally irresponsible behavior from MNEs. Liberalism offers some regulation within globalization and therefore is not supported by many MNEs, governments and those profiting from the exploitation.

My understanding of poverty and why it exists in this world has increased. I see the connection between the MNE, a location’s land, economy and working class people. I understand how MNEs are using (and abusing) these people of all cultures for profit. I realize globalization is having a negative effect in most areas and we need more MNEs like Patagonia if there is going to be an improvement. I have become more aware and thus more empathetic with the people of the cultures in which MNEs operate.


Evaluate different national and cultural contexts in terms of ethical theories/practices and related leadership theories/practices

Dialogue Post, Week Five: Discuss a scenario (from the readings, videos or your own life) that involved a cultural difference that resulted (or could have resulted) in misunderstanding or in your offending someone. How can we apply “cultural intelligence” to our personal and professional life to avoid cultural gaffes? Why is respecting another’s culture so important?

Resources relating to the artfact:


Until we have some type of cultural intelligence, we cannot address ethical and sound leadership practices in other cultures. That being said, week five’s resources on cultural intelligence are a good place to start. The two videos and the Peterson text were on the mark for emphasizing the importance of cultural understanding before we enter into situations with different cultures. We really have a responsibility to internalize as much as possible if we want to build a business relationship. We cannot be blind (cultural blindness) and we cannot think our culture is superior. If we do, we risk missing out on the relationship as well as better ways of doing business. I also want to pull in Hofestede’s dimensions (week nine) for assessing national cultures as a tool for learning about these differences and as a guide when designing a intercultural management strategy. Knowing about the culture’s norms in terms of business aspects is key (individualism, masculinity, uncertainty avoidance and more).

The paramount change in me is a better understanding of the importance of the differences and the similarities of every culture. We must understand the differences in order to respect one another and we must also celebrate the differences as well as the similarities. If we can be intelligent enough to do this, we have a chance of building meaningful relationships with intercultural people.


Evaluate the relationship between global and local perspectives today in terms of ethical theories/practices and related leadership theories/practices 

Collaboration Post, Week Nine:  How can you apply these concepts (from the videos below) in your own organization or how could you apply them in your future career?

Collins, R. (2011). Intercultural management . Retrieved from (Links to an external site.)

Creating Cultural Synergy. (2012, June 22). Retrieved from (Links to an external site.)


Attempting to apply a global ethic across cultures seems to be a feat of gigantic proportions. Local perspectives on human rights, morals, ethics and values vary greatly across cultures. Look at Hofestede’s cultural dimensions… every culture is different, not one is the same in all of the dimensions… how do we accommodate that when trying to find common ground? How can we find a common thread that every culture will relate to, embrace and implement within their ethical practices and leadership practices? On a smaller scale, week nine offered some resources on managing interculturally and preparing for interactions in business. Different cultures view the world and business in different ways and understanding these differences is key if one wants to be successful in international business. We cannot forget that there is opportunity to learn from other cultures and adapt new ways of doing business. Approaching diversity in a synergistic manner is best and the manner in which will bring the best possible outcomes.

Aside from the frustration of realizing that creating a global ethical code is daunting, I have hope in the thought that we are all part of a whole. We are segmented and separated but we are all a part of the human race. The Dalai Lama reminds us we are all different, but we are all traveling on the same road. Professor Sonnier’s slideshow on Creating Cultural Synergy was a great resource because it warned of the dangers of cultural blindness, superiority and explained the potential for synergy among cultures working together. I will take care in the future to use the leadership approach which will maximize cultural synergy.


Apply ethical theories/practices and related leadership theories/practices to issues of global ethics

Dialogue and Collaboration Posts, Week Two:

D2: View the two videos about Nike. (Links to an external site.) (Links to an external site.)

Discuss the ethics and leadership at Nike in a Global context. What is the general impact that Nike is making on its market niche? Then, examine whether the organization is really achieving sustainability, as suggested by one of the videos. What is the impact of Nike on the suppliers and workers in it’s supply chain? Is this ethical?


C2: Deontological ethics endows all human beings with an absolute moral status. This has significant implications for thinking about ethics in the global marketplace. In particular, discuss the specific implications that a deontological ethic has on the multinational enterprises’ (MNE) practice of outsourcing labor to economically emerging communities (consider Arnold and Bowie’s Sweatshops and Respect for Persons). Secondly, consider how a utilitarian ethic might be used to support this MNE practice, but why this should be outweighed by a deontological ethic? Finally, assuming that sweatshops are a global problem, what might be a global solution to this problem?


During week two, we were introduced to Nike’s sweat shops and discussed Deontological and Utilitarian ethical theories and the leadership of MNEs. We learned about the shadows MNEs can cast upon cultures when they do not operate ethically and choose a model of profit over people. The ethics, values and good will of the company is found in and modeled by leadership. Therefore, when values are not upheld, it falls upon leadership’s shoulders, such as what has happened with Nike. We examined the utilitarian view of any means to meet an end and the deontological view of rules based on higher morals. We agreed that MNEs operating unethically would favor the utilitarian view and would reject the deontological view due to cultural differences in religion. Later in the course we learned about Patagonia, which is an MNE that operates with the utmost care and responsibility. I was refreshed and inspired to learn how well Patagonia manages processes and procedures in order to respect and honor the people and the cultures with which it works.

I became more aware of my responsibility as a consumer, to educate myself on how corporations operate, before I purchase their products. I also became more aware of injustice and how MNEs violate human rights. Just as I was disappointed in Nike, I was impressed by Patagonia and will use some of the methods I learned from their resources in my own life. One such process is auditing. Creating an auditing process to ensure quality is a great idea, and requiring departments to pass periodic quality audits is even better.

Chacon, C. (2011). Patagonia corporate responsibility [Patagonia youtube video]. Retrieved from

Collins, R. (2011). Intercultural management . Retrieved from (Links to an external site.)

Creating Cultural Synergy. (2012, June 22). Retrieved from

Cultural Differences Video.wmv. (Uploaded 2011, May 14). . Retrieved from

Hofstede, G. (2012). ITIM International. Retrieved from:

Declaration Toward a Global Ethic

Olsen, J. (2010). Cultural gaffes at home and abroad . Retrieved from

Peterson, B. (2004). Cultural intelligence: A guide to working with people from other cultures. Yarmouth, ME: Intercultural Press.

Nike. Behind the Swoosh. Retrieved from:

Universal Declaration of Human Rights 

Ethical Frameworks

Understand the foundational ethical principles that stem from different cultural philosophical, and religious traditions

Week two discussion post: How do Islamic OR Confucian OR Taoist OR Buddhist traditions relate to some of the approaches to ethics or moral reasoning you read this week? What do you think are the differences between ethics as (or in) a religious tradition and ethics as an intellectual (or secular) pursuit?


Week Two Collaboration Post: Research and provide a definition for the following: altruism, consequentialism/utilitarianism and egoism. Choose ONE as the basis for a rationale for how it applies to personal and organizational ethics. How does the one you chose compare and differ from the work of Kant?



Rationale and Application
By week two we are internalizing the fundamentals of ethics and the three main areas of moral philosophy: the value theory, normative ethics, and metaethics. We have been introduced to hedonism, moral constraints, utilitarianism, egoism, Kant, moral reasoning, moral rules and moral ideals. Natural law and ethics of duty are also introduced. We are realizing that all religious traditions address basic morality in some way and that they are all similar. We are starting to form opinions based on these fundamentals: “I believe, that this is simply because we are all part of a whole, all cut from the same cloth, and we are all part of one, human race. I think ethics, from an intellectual standpoint, is philosophical and focuses on the human condition, whether good or bad. From this view, it is a dialogue versus a rule.  Religious traditions are generally designed as guidelines for us to follow in times of trial. Religious tradition is also very philosophical yet it focuses heavily on the potential failure of human’s to meet moral standards, thus, offering some guidelines or help. Neither is good or bad or better or worse. They have different applications” (Corpuz 2016). Week two’s posts and discussions show that we are understanding different ethical principles and their philosophical and religious roots. Our differing perspectives prove that we are perceiving based on our own realities and social worlds, comparing and contrasting to our own experiences. I am asking myself about what the definition is of moral vs. immoral, but I am not necessarily finding an answer. Pondering the question, however, is progress.

Many philosophies, truths and constraints exist for morality and ethics. I generally relate to the Bible, which is the only “law” or “truth” in which I have been exposed in my Christian religion. Gaining a broad knowledge of different moral principles and how they originated, whether religiously or secularly, helps me to build a larger foundation and a more robust perspective.


Develop personal character, virtue, values and philosophy

Assignment One: One way to operationalize a set of ethics is to focus on one’s virtue and character development. This is not the easiest of tasks. We have a set of virtues, or more commonly, we lack a set of virtues that come into play when it comes to dealing with different types of situations in our life. Very few people have sat down and defined what it means to be virtuous. Not only will you examine and choose your virtues, you will also take the time to practice and critique them in the real world. The assignment should bear the following guidelines in mind and the finished product should touch on the following dimensions:

  • (a) your conception of what a virtuous life is and how your own evolving life reflects and/or fails to reflect that conception (use specific examples from your life and your career that display the conception or, on the contrary, are at odds with it)
  • (b) how that conception is consistent with your own evolving sense of your own conception of leadership;
  • (c) how that conception can inform the practical decisions you make in your life and your career;
  • (d) in what ways this conception is distinctive and reflects (or fails to reflect) your unique identity, personality, family, goals, aspirations, etc…

The finished assignment ought to be thoughtful, carefully crafted, clear and demonstrate evidence of what you have learned in the course thus far, what you have reflected on and discussed during the course, and what you may have learned from classmates during the course.  EF Assignment 1 Scorpuz (1)

Rationale and Application
For our first assignment of the term, we were to focus on virtue and character to operationalize our set of ethics. We had to look deep into ourselves and think about what defines us, our virtues and our character. Upon doing this, we are now better able to find and articulate our own definition of morality. Going through this exercise did help me to define these things for myself, based on my culture, my upbringing and my environment. It is important to note that this will be different from someone else’s definition because our cultures, upbringing and environments vary. The tool I used in my assignment was Kohlberg’s Stages of Moral Development (Kohlberg 2013) and I used it to show how I have progressed in my own moral development. This reflection also posed a valid question? Do we ever progress to the highest level? I like to think we can but the only examples I can give are Ghandi, Jesus, the Dalai Lama, and Mandella.

Generally, we lack a clear sense of virtue and this affects how we handle situations. Just contemplating our own virtues and transferring them to paper helps set me on the path of becoming the virtuous person about which I am writing. Dr. Cervantez stated that very few people write down what it means to be virtuous to them. By experiencing this process of articulating thoughts and turning them into written words, we process what virtues are important and identify those by which we want to live. I chose courage, temperance, compassion, generosity and self-control. Going forward, when I am faced with unfortunate situations, if I can remember my virtues and strive to live them out in the interaction, I can only improve my character.


Identify, analyze and resolve common moral dilemmas that you will face as a leader

Collaboration Discussion, Week Five: Research and find an example based on a contemporary ethical dilemma that involves a right vs. right decision. Post the example with a synopsis of the “defining moments” and the involved reasoning process. Based on your analysis, offer a solution to the dilemma that reflects this week’s course material.




Rationale and Application
Being able to identify a modern-day example of a moral dilemma and offer solutions shows that we are well on our way to mastering the above learning objective. In week five’s post and discussions, I chose a right-vs.-right (RvR) dilemma as I believe those are the type I typically face in reality. We recently learned about Joseph Badaracco’s reasoning process when attempting to resolve RvR situations and his four question framework. This is an excellent tool for thinking through an ethical dilemma. I applied Badarracco’s framework and resolved the dilemma, which had to do with a father’s very real struggle of balancing work and time with his son. As a working parent and student, I deal with this similar dilemma almost daily.

Due to the course material I have become better at logically making decisions when faced with ethical dilemmas. Badaracco’s tool will forever be my guide until I discover a better model. Understanding that I am not always going to make the right decision for everyone, but knowing that I will do my best not to harm, serve other’s rights, stay true to my values and commitments, and to do what is ethical, not necessarily legal means I have progressed well in Kohlberg’s stages and that is all in which I wish to strive.


Identify and evaluate common barriers to ethical decision making

Dialogue Post, Week Six: Think of an example in your organization or from professional experience that presents a legal predicament that has an ethical dimension. Describe the legal and ethical aspects of the case. What are the legal/moral options? What is the morally right action? Finally, consider whether the legally right action is always the ethically right action?


Rationale and Application
There are many common barriers to making ethical decisions, the one we focused upon was failing to understand that just because something is legal, does not mean it is ethical. Some others include failing to integrate ethics into the way of doing business, believing one is above the law (hubris), rushing to judgment, and believing that just because everyone else does it, it is ethical. In the discussion post I shared how ING found themselves in some big debt, changed their name, and knowingly re-introduced themselves to the world as one of the most ethical companies in the world. This action may be legal but I find it unethical. We didn’t discuss overcoming the barriers, but I would like to add some ways in which this can be done in the organization:

  • Establish ethical standards, expectations, and a written code of conduct. Rethink the code of conduct regularly, to ensure that it is current with ethical demands.
  • Hire ethical people. Consider presenting ethical dilemmas as part of your organization’s interview process.
  • Cultivate a relationship with a trusted colleague within or outside your organization who can provide candid, honest feedback regarding the appearance of your personal and professional conduct. Invite colleagues to continually review and enhance your ethical culture.
  • Serve as a role model of ethical standards.
  • Complete an ethics self-assessment from time to time and address areas that need improvement.
  • Establish an ethics committee to address both clinical and business ethics issues.
  • Require ethics training and education of all employees and staff. Ensure that training and education are up to date and widely disseminated. Use of real-life cases has proven to be an especially effective teaching methodology.
  • Ensure compliance with ethical standards that includes enforcement, reprimands for improper actions, and rewards for ethical conduct (Perry, F. 2013 p.5).

We discussed these points in our Professional Assessment course and I feel they are worth revisiting in ethical frameworks. This artifact presents my knowledge of common barriers to ethical decision making and how to avoid or overcome them.

The discovery is in that law and ethics are related, however, they are not equal and the relationship is very complex. The fact that just because something is legal does not mean it is ethical is a fact that all people need to know. This reminds me of Kohlberg’s stages and the universal principle:  “right” is determined by individual ethical principles, not necessarily what society or the law says is right. Philosophers and religious intellectuals have been discussing the concept for centuries.


Demonstrate the ability to develop, evaluate, and defend an ethical position

Assignment Three: Identify an ethical problem, dilemma or scenario where a leadership decision had to be made:

  • Using the readings and other materials from this course, identify and define the legal and ethical aspects of the chosen problem or dilemma.
  • Describe the problem or dilemma, the participants, and the roles of the participants.
  • State and explain your personal ethical position on the problem/dilemma. Where do you stand? Why? Incorporate course material where relevant in explaining your ethical perspective.
  • Develop a plan to resolve the problem. Detail each step of the resolution process. Incorporate course material where relevant.
  • Defend how the plan is consistent with your personal ethical position. Draw on the ethical theories discuss in this course to defend your position.
  • Predict two possible negative outcomes that could arise and and how you would overcome them.
  • Describe the potential impact for each participant listed in section 1.

EF Assign. 3 ACA moral solution SCorpuz

Rationale and Application
Our final paper was a task that showcased how well we internalized the course material and our ability to organize our thoughts and translate them into words. Not an easy task when so many theories, principles, constructs and questions are floating around in one’s mind after nine weeks of accelerated learning. I chose the subject in which I had been focusing which is a topic about which I feel very strongly. The American Care Act (ACA) also known as Obama Care. The project demonstrates my ability to identify legal and ethical aspects of a modern circumstance, evaluate and state my perspectives and discuss how my position is the most ethical one. In addition, I had to create a realistic and achievable strategy for addressing the flaws of the act and modifying the legislation so it reflects an ethically sound foundation. The project has not been graded yet, so I don’t know how my professor felt about my mastery of the course material, but I feel I have a strong handle on the learning objectives and feel the paper reveals this in all aspects.

It has been a nine-week road of preparing for this final assignment and getting to the point where I can identify, analyze, develop and evaluate the ethical and legal aspects of a contemporary issue… this is a big step forward. Not to mention providing a strategy for resolution. Learning the course material, the additional research, and the time put into this final project are all a testament to my progress as a student. My thought process and behaviors have been impacted as well and I find myself going through arguments to determine if they are morally sound, contain fallacies or flaws, or even seem logical. This course has given me the knowledge and the confidence to evaluate and make ethical decisions on my own. I am very grateful.

Shafer-Landau, R. (2015). The Fundamentals of Ethics. New York: Oxford University Press.

Dell’Olio, A. J., & Simon, C. J. (2010). Introduction to Ethics. Plymouth, United Kingdom: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.

Lama, Dalai. (nd.) Video: Dalai Lama’s Guide to Happiness. Retrieved from: .

Kohlberg, L. (2013). Video: Kohlberg’s Stages of Moral Development. Retrieved from:

Badaracco, J. (2015). John Shad Professor of Business Ethics at Harvard Business School Retrieved from:

Buell, J. M. 2009. “Ethics and Leadership.” Healthcare Executive 24 (3): 54–56. Crisp, R. (ed.). 2000. Aristotle: Nicomachean Ethics. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge  University Press.

Dean, D., and C. Webb. 2011. “Recovering from Information Overload.” McKinsey Quarterly January. Accessed July 3, 2012. _print.aspx?L2=18&L3=31&ar=2735.

Freund, L. 2010. “Creating a Culture of Accountability.” Healthcare Executive 32 (1): 30–36.

Gershon, H., and G. Buerstatte. 2003. “The E in Marketing: Ethics in the Age of Misbehavior.” Journal of Healthcare Management 48 (5): 292–94.

Hosmer, L. T. 1995. “Brief Summaries of Ten Ethical Principles.” Academy of Management Review 20 (2): 396–97.

Nash, L. 2009. Ethics Without the Sermon. Boston: Harvard Business School Publishing.

Nelson, W. A. 2005. “An Organizational Ethics Decision-Making Process.” Healthcare Executive 20 (4): 9–14.

Rice, J., and F. Perry. 2013. Healthcare Leadership Excellence: Creating a Career of Impact. Chicago: Health Administration Press.

Van Hook, S. 2013. “Ethical Public Relations: Not an Oxymoron.” All About Public Relations. Accessed April 30.


Leadership Literacy

Leadership Literacy had a profound impact upon my perspective as a leader and a follower. Our materials (Northouse, Chaleff, Bolman and Deal) were enlightening and relevant. A new understanding of what makes a leader authentic; what it means to be a courageous follower; and how the leadership frameworks need to come together to build a positive and robust organizational structure is established and embraced here. The tools and concepts fortified my abilities to lead (and follow) with purpose. I found the extensive annotated bibliography activity useful and very much appreciate the synthesis chart tool, which has simplified and organized my resources.

The following is a synopsis of the course’s leadership outcomes and a small example of how each segment impacted my life and how it can  enhance my future.

Evaluate leader-centric leadership paradigms

Discussion Post Dialogue, Week 2: Comment on how the foci for understanding situational, path-goal, and leader-member exchange models challenges or adds to the way you previously thought about leadership in your organization.



Rationale & Impact
This discussion post explains the leader centric paradigms: situational, path-goal, and leader-member. Each paradigm is defined, applied and both strengths and weaknesses are identified. As stated in the discussion post I can enhance my knowledge of leadership with these theories.  I hope to be able to use bits and pieces from all that I learn here to apply to some organizational training. These new management theories focus on the premises that leaders can lead better if their follower’s needs are satisfied. Leadership theories work differently, each based on its own unique lens and attitude of the surrounding environment.

Evaluate value or culture-centric leadership paradigms

Discussion A, Week 4: After reflecting on the content of chapter 14, do you see ways that gender affects leadership style in your workplace?


Rationale & Impact
As a woman leader/follower in the American workforce, I can relate very well to gender issues. As noted in the above discussion post, Northouse enlightened me to the fact that I am part of the problem because I am assimilating to the stereo type awarded me versus countering it. Assimilation is a common psychological effect of bias upon people, especially those with low self-esteem. When I realized I was assimilating I made a change. Clearly this culture centric paradigm is part of my reality professionally and personally. I understand gender in leadership issues all to well, better than I would like to admit. In addition to gender in leadership, other culture-centric areas Northouse discussed were: Transactional, Transformational, Pseudotransformational Team Leadership and Ethics in Leadership. Transactional is contractual management. Transformational Leadership occurs when one or more people engage with others in such a way that leaders and followers raise one another higher levels of motivation and morality.

Pseudotransformational Leadership is personalized leadership. Team leadership obviously focuses on the team and it also provides answers to what constitutes excellent teams. It also provides a cognitive guide that assists leaders in designing and maintaining effective teams; recognizes the changing role of leaders and followers in organizations and can be used as a tool in group leader selection. I am a big fan of both team leadership and transformational leadership and use both in my leadership role. I build strong teams that work effectively together, autonomously and I only need to intervene if there’s an issue or guidance is needed. It’s very “hands-off” and followers are given the responsibility to act on their own. I am also a fan of ethics in leadership and follow core values when leading and making decisions.

Analyze the role of followership in values-based leadership

Dialogue Post, Week 5: Consider the clearly articulated purpose(s) of your organization. How can these purposes provide guidance for leader-follower relationships?



Rationale & Impact
The above discussion post analyzes my role as a follower in my organization in terms of values-based leadership. We have guiding values which we all share and live by and we also have a guiding spirit which defines our values-based culture. We review both documents at each staff retreat and have ongoing conversations of our mission and values. I’ve also worked in environments where shared values were not lived and not discussed, only written and forgotten. As Chaleff has taught me, I, as a follower have a responsibility to support or challenge the leader who is or is not living organizational values. Courageous followership was a new concept for me in theory, but I have experienced having to make a decision to leave a leader who did not uphold the values in which he professed. Reading Chaleff was new and refreshing and at the same time validating. I am now able to articulate past experiences from the perspective of a courageous follower.

Evaluate and apply leadership frames to organizational problems

Dialogue Post Week Seven: For your discussion post, evaluate the effectiveness of the structural frame in meeting the current needs of your organization. Identify what you believe to be the top needs of your organization. Analyze the extent to which the structural frame can provide insights and applications for those needs.


Collaboration Post Week Seven: Identify top organizational needs – including needs you may have realized after your post for 7-A . After identifying those needs, discuss how the human resource frame might meet those needs.


Dialogue Post Week Eight:  Search the internet for a case example of the political frame at work in an organization. Post a summary of that example, along with a link to the case.  Evaluate how well the political frame was used in that case example, and extrapolate applications for your current workplace.



Collaboration Post Week Eight: Search the internet for a case example of the symbolic frame at work in an organization. Post a summary of that example, along with a link to the case. Evaluate how well the symbolic frame was used in that case example, and extrapolate applications for your current workplace.


Rationale & Impact
These discussion posts include analysis and application of all four of Bolman and Deal’s leadership frames: structural, HR, political and symbolic. To save space I posted only one of the posts. However, all posts show my knowledge of the frames by discussing each and how each is used or not used in my organization. My least favorite is the political frame because it lacks an ethical recourse. My favorite is the symbolic frame. All frames are important, however, many organizations do not put enough focus on the symbolic frame and this is detrimental. Culture is vital  and cannot be overlooked. Another frame Bolman and Deal do not discuss is the moral frame. They need to add it to their next edition. The moral frame is vital as well and deserves to be explored.

Create a personal and organizational leadership approach based on evaluated theory and tools

Collaboration Post, Week Nine: Describe how you can continue to study and apply the leadership resource that you identified in post 9-A. Since reinforcement and accountability are a critical part of any development plan, explain how you will both reinforce and hold yourself accountable to continue learning an applying that resource.

Rationale & Impact
The above artifact displays the concepts of Leadership Literacy that most impacted me and my strategy for applying the concepts personally and professionally going forward. The plan is designed with all of the important concepts in mind and focuses on the transformational style. It also addresses gender issues by including diversity for robust talent acquisition and team/HR focus with mutual support and trust being key.

To conclude this sample of learning outcomes for Leadership Literacy, I want to express my gratitude for my classmates and their supportive and thoughtful input, and to Dr. Robert McManus for his leadership and active participation on the discussion boards; he challenged us all to dig deeper and reach farther. I can only speak to short-term at the moment yet I know positive outcomes await my classmates and I as we are now better prepared to go out into the world and affect positive change as leaders.

Professional Assessment

Construct a personal vision, mission, and values statement for ethical leadership that reflects and synthesizes your current and expected future organizational perspectives, including perspectives on culture, ideology, worldview, and economics

Discusson B, week three: Share your most up-to-date statement of your mission and values. Your post should include citations and/or references from the readings and academic material covered thus far in the class. For this post you can use the material and/or ideas from your paper.

PA DB w3

Professional Assessment, Assignment #1: Construct a personal statement of your mission and values. Consider and discuss your core values; the cultural, ideological, worldview, and/or socio-economic forces that influence them; what is non-negotiable for you; how do your core values relate to your current career and/or future plans. PA Assignment1 Scorpuz FINAL 013116

The discussion posts definitely challenge my thoughts: reading others’ perspectives, that are written so eloquently, challenge me to dig deeper to identify my own values, virtues, morals and ethics and to reflect upon how I have been applying my values at work and at home and in the community. Writing Assignment # 1 caused me also to reflect and dig deep, yet even deeper to define and articulate my thoughts and feelings about my mission on this planet. I now am able to: explore the concept of value-based leadership; analyze how personal values impact the workplace environment; and understand some of the basic principles of leadership that influence organizations. Artifact 1 discusses the beginning of my own, personal mission statement and values. Artifact 2 is a paper discussing my developed mission statement, values, where they originated and where they can potentially take me.

I’ve noticed active improvements in how I listen more carefully to others, and SEE and acknowledge and respect others’ differences. I can only hope that my behavior continues to change for the better as I continue to explore values-based leadership, my mission and my role in creating the ideal workplace. The materials are validating my feelings about what character traits and what leadership methods should be most important in the workplace. I am having discussions with my professional and personal families, we are actively discussing core values and the importance of them. Personally, I am gaining a better understanding of who I am and who I want to be.

I was challenged to go into my past to understand where my own values came from. Creating my own mission statement helped me immensely in discovering who I am, which, according to Kouzes and Posner, is the first step in becoming an exceptional leader. My behavior has changed; writing down my virtues and values reinforced them in my mind and has inspired me to live them out fully. I believe it will now be harder for me to falter and if I am feeling uncertain, I can simply refer to my mission statement for guidance. As I mentioned in the application area above, as these changes I am experiencing overlap into application, the lessons I am learning are validating my feelings about what character traits and what leadership methods should be most important in the workplace.


Assess your personal skills, strengths, weaknesses, and potential as an ethical leader and how they compare to your vision, mission, value statement, and future goals as an ethical leader

Assignment #1: Construct a personal statement of your mission and values. Consider and discuss your core values; the cultural, ideological, worldview, and/or socio-economic forces that influence them; what is non-negotiable for you; how do your core values relate to your current career and/or future plans. PA Assignment1 Scorpuz FINAL 013116

Assignment #2: 1) Define what toxic leadership is using both assigned resources and observed examples. 2) Give three contemporary examples of toxic leadership and describe the situation, the specific behaviors, and the impact of those behaviors. 3) Describe how you can draw on your identified strengths and leadership styles to address toxic behaviors in both yourself and your organization. PA Assignment 2 Wk 6 Scorpuz 022116 (1)

Discussion B, Week Four: Research an example of an ethical dilemma in an organization (think of an example that attracted national attention–e.g., the recent Volvo scandal, Peanut Corporation of America, Brain Williams, BP oil spill, Bernie Madoff, Enron, etc…). Report on the discussion by another identifying what the dilemma/crisis was and why the case is an example of toxic leadership or not. Where relevant, answer these questions: Were policies in place that fostered the toxic environment? How did the event effect the organization as a whole? Did group think come into play? Were there whistle-blowers and, if so, what roles did they play?





What I learned from Assignment #1 (vision, mission values and future goals as an ethical leader) overlaps into this learning objective. We assessed our strengths with the Gallup StrengthsFinder 2.0 survey and that helped me to better understand my strengths and how to apply them for maximum results in both the workplace and in my personal life. With the Mindtools article, I was able to identify and articulate which leadership styles I related to most and thought about how I have used them in the past and how I can utilize them in the future. For Assignment #2 I had to explain some of the major themes discussed to date and present how I would potentially apply them as an ethical leader. I prepared a slide show on Toxic Leadership which showcased my strengths and personal skills as a leader. I defined toxic leadership, and connected that to how I can make a difference using what I have and what I know as an ethical leader.

The topic of examples of toxic leadership in my real life is something I don’t discuss. I am very close to some of the pastors that I worked with at the church and we have never discussed it, although we have alluded to it. Through research and composing my discussion post, I learned some strategies that are heaven-sent, such as a push back mechanism, bringing the ethical conversation to life and keeping it alive, and the need of leadership to be open to others who may not agree, and may view the world in a different way. As I internalized these newly found strategies, of which I am complete agreement, I started a conversation with one of the Pastors. His response to the statement I made I can only summarize as “healing.” So I now have a vehicle in which to discuss the experience with another who lived through the same experience, without directly discussing it. I have sent some excerpts of the groupthink phenomenon to a pastor who is intrigued and willing to discuss what we experienced at the church.

This is a step in the right direction and I feel I can begin healing by discussing (or not discussing) the experience, without guilt or fear of retribution. The materials, discussions and activities have changed the way I interact with others, they have challenged my thoughts and have lead me to a healthy behavior of expression. All I can say is, “Thank you!”


Explore the moral and ethical conflicts inherent to and in organizations

Discussion A, Week Six: Of the toxic factors you have learned about so far, list and define three that you have seen organizations struggle with. What was the impact of those toxic factors?




Discussion B, Week Six: Find an example of a business case that involves toxic leadership at the individual or organizational level. Describe the situation. Analyze the root cause of the toxic behavior. Post your findings and provide evidence of the root of the toxicity (based on the readings thus far). Propose one or two strategies to resolve the issues.







The beginning of chapter 10 in the Johnson text addressed meeting the general ethical challenges of leadership. Johnson categorized the challenges which created an organized way to explore and evaluate. In the week’s discussion post, we were asked to discuss three in detail as an example of our ability to grasp the themes. Many of the conflicts I understood, but the categorization was something I had never seen this was very helpful in terms of learning and retaining the material. Chapter four was very new to me and it made in impact upon me, as I discuss below in the Change section. Overall, we were to have the ability to: identify the emotions: insecurity, battleground mentality, fear, evil; analyze negative influences: money, social status; research the role of greed in toxic leadership; and analyze the politics and policies that reinforce the behaviors.

Both of our discussion post questions for week six reinforced the concepts presented and shows an understanding of the above points. As we internalized we were then able to articulate the concepts of defining toxic factors and their impact, analyzing the root cause with evidence and propose strategies for resolution.

The application here is a better understanding of humankind’s struggles with ethics andhow unethical decisions can easily and quickly spiral out of control. Having a better understanding gives me an ability to identify and avoid similar situations. At work, I began to notice some toxic behaviors of a particular employee. She was a fairly new employee and her behaviors were starting to reveal themselves in subtle and some not so subtle ways. I noticed I was identifying and assessing the situation in efforts to avoid any issues for the company. I believe that although I have experienced toxic behavior in the workplace previously, I was more aware and more in tune with it’s indiscretions because of what I h ave learned in this section: to identify the emotions: insecurity, battleground mentality, fear, evil; to analyze negative influences: money, social status; to research the role of greed in toxic leadership; to analyze the politics and policies that reinforce the behaviors.

Chapter four of our Johnson text really engaged me. Of all the moral and ethical conflicts I have witnessed in the workplace, I had never thought about unethical people being “evil”… it seems like such a strong word. Yet the more and more I read about toxic leadership examples… Like the massacres in Rwanda, companies raping and killing of innocent citizens, withholding medical care, misleading information about baby formula… The more I realize that it is indeed a kind of evil. Also, the more I read and learned the more I realized I am not alone in this battle against evil. Where groupthink has been at play, I thought I was the only sane person. Now I understand I am not alone. The fact that there are books and articles written on this just validates my questioning of past toxic behavior.


Define and analyze the negative and toxic aspects of leadership


Discussion A, Week Seven: Using one of the case studies from the Johnson text or a difficult case from your own research or experience, examine how cultural differences can cause misunderstandings or miscommunication. Provide a solution or perspective to the case that demonstrates cultural sensitivity and competency. In so doing, also consider how cultural differences could promote innovation and lead to more effective communication.


Discussion B, Week Seven: Discuss the cultural dimensions of the GLOBE study (Johnson text). Use Hofstede’s values orientations or the GLOBE study to explain competing perspectives on an international global issue.



The new concept introduced is cultural differences and the challenges they bring with them. Cultural issues are not necessarily toxic but can present several negative aspects that leaders must understand, be able to identify, and have a means for managing. More of the toxic elements we covered in week six. I am generally able to employ the following points after internalizing the materials for week seven: explore miscommunication and cultural misunderstandings; identify gaps in communication from cultural perspectives; analyze the differences between cultural miscommunication and toxic environments; and develop tools for cultural competency. The artifacts below discuss cultural differences and how that can cause miscommunication. A solution is provided as well. Artifact 2 shows tools to help identify cultural dimensions and anticipate differences/similarities from Hofstede’s tool and the Global Project’s work.

Hofstede’s tool, the Global Projects addition to that tool and my own personal experience are applied in my life in terms of understanding and celebrating cultural differences or managing cultural differences. I would much rather celebrate, personally. In real-life, it is not always the case. I have done some previous research on cultural differences but not as in-depth as Hofstede’s cultural dimensions. We are not all the same and we need to understand cultural differences to avoid making bad decisions. I know I am very sensitive at work and in my personal life of cultural dimensions and differences when interacting with others… more so than most, I think. Because culture is such a determinant of human behavior it behooves us to understand it deeply for many reasons, the main reason being communication.


Being aware of cultural differences is vital. I did know a lot of these differences from my

studies in international business for my undergrad. However, Hofstede’s cultural values were new to me as well as the GLOBE project and extremely helpful in identifying differences, similarities and potential ethical conflicts. I am more aware of subtler cultural differences with Hofstede’s tools.


Evaluate strategies for healthy leadership

Final Paper: Create an organizational plan to solve a toxic scenario. This is a similar rubric to our previous writing assignment with one important addition – I want you to think about your own role in this situation. Even if you choose a hypothetical case, please insert yourself into the story and consider what your contribution could and should be. PA Final Paper Scorpuz 031316

Materials covered from Johnson and Lipman-Blumen were extremely helpful in evaluating strategies such as zero tolerance policies, social responsibility, connective leadership. These strategies assisted me in working through a toxic situation at work. Due to the in depth discussion, research and writing on this objective I am able to: research zero tolerance policies; analyze cases of structural reinforcement; define social responsibility; analyze the principles of Connective Leadership and Behavioral Strategies; develop a strategic plan for resolving a toxic situation. In my final paper, which is my artifact for this objective, it is clear that I am thinking through the lessons learned, anticipating possible negative outcomes, applying my new knowledge of connective leadership and using strategies such as the zero tolerance policy.

My final paper reflects the actual steps taken to assess and employ steps to resolving a toxic situation at work. I believe strongly that the timely situation was a good test for me to facilitate what I have been learning. There was definitely some stress involved but not the degree I feel it would have been without the girding this course has given me. It has prepared me well for tests like these and I am confident that with Professional Assessment, its resources and references I will do the same if not better in the future when handling difficult and even toxic moments in life.


Generally, learning about this course, it’s purpose, it’s materials… all have had such a

positive impact on my life for two reasons: 1) learning is knowledge and this fortifies my mind to face challenges life brings me 2) I realize that just by the existence of this material that I am not alone in my experiences with difficult personalities and leaders. Knowing I am not alone gives me strength and hope.


Bohmian Dialogue defined is a freely-flowing group conversation in which participants attempt to reach a common understanding, or in this case, a common goal, experiencing everyone’s point of view fully, equally and non-judgmentally. According to Bohm, this can lead to new and deeper understanding. For project purposes, the practice of dialogue with stakeholders leads to a more effective collaboration, thus a more solid and robust outcome in terms of the project at hand. Specifically, active listening, withholding assumptions, respect for others’ points of view (and social worlds), letting everyone have a voice makes for a more productive discussion/meeting and a more inclusive meeting that explores everyone’s perspective. I have found that ground rules, presented prior to each meeting helps set the expectation and keep people on track, and reminds them, should they forget in the heat of the discussion, to be respectful of everyone. In terms of relating it to the concept of the project, which is compassion, I strongly believe that dialogue techniques strengthen our compassion muscles, as empathy is required to enter into an effective dialogue session.


Articulate contemporary theories and practices of dialogue

Dialogue Post Week One: Articulate the key principles of dialogue and differentiate dialogue from other forms of communication. Read Pearce, pp. 1–6. From a dialogue perspective, how is this communication challenged? Using the point of view of either the dispatcher or the driver, write a paragraph that describes how you would communicate differently to improve the dialogue.


The above artifact discusses dialogue according to Bohm yet doesn’t address Isaacs and Pearce. Since the first week of the course I have come to better understand and better articulate theories and practices according to all three authors. To review Isaacs, the goal of dialogue is to think together. He explains that listening, respecting, suspending and voicing are the components needed to enter into and sustain effective dialogue. To tie this to Bohm, this thinking together, creates shared meaning that holds people or societies together. Isaacs says that to listen is to slow down, and pay attention to others but also to look for differences that others present. Respecting is to acknowledge; “I see you, I hear you and I am open to your views. There’s an element of empathy required to be open to new ideas and new points of view. Suspending, which is vital, is to step back and suspend any judgments you may have in relation to the people in which you are dialoging. Bohm also discusses the importance leaving assumptions behind and writes that one cannot enter into effective dialogue with bias and assumptions. This hinders the ability for new ideas and concepts to flow freely. Suspending, according to Pearce, also involves learning how to ask good questions such as “What would that look like?” What is missing?” “What is the question beneath the question?” What leads me to view things as I do?” Asking oneself and others these questions present a sound strategy for suspending assumptions and sustaining dialogue.

Pearce presents a coordinated management of meaning which challenges our perceptions of what is real and what is reality. Pearce’s concept of social worlds is that everyone has different social worlds or realities based on upbringing, environment, culture and many other factors. This concept must be understood and put into practice to empathize with others in which we are communicating. This is also a way of suspending; by attempting to understand another’s social world in order to better understand where thoughts, ideas and perceptions are created. Pearce writes that we must consider the following during conversations to allow for dialogue to exist: “What meanings are we making?” “How can I better coordinate my meanings with the other person?” “What effect does this conversation have on my life and others going forward?” To examine the realities you have created and then match these realties to create something new is social construction. Pearce, Bohm and Isaacs write of similar components to effective dialogue and practices such as listening, suspending, respecting, understanding social worlds, and asking questions. These are all techniques required for effective dialogue.

I didn’t touch on Isaacs voicing and wanted to address that voicing is also a manner of suspending from a prior way of thinking. Our speaking should not come from reaction but should emerge unplanned for the sake of dialogue. Our voices should unfold and enfold. To let a voice emerge, wait until someone has finished speaking and then wait a few moments for that meaning to bloom within your thoughts. Then speak. If we can learn from these authors and learn to listen, suspend, respect and voice, then we have a fighting chance at dialogue and new meaning.

Change: The concept of dialogue is new to me. I thought dialogue was two people talking and perhaps learning to manage difficult conversations. Dialogue has nothing to do with that except that it is a type of communication that can create new understandings among different people, regardless of culture and social worlds.  Dialogue techniques and practices have caused me to become a more active listener. When communicating with others, I don’t speak as readily as I used to. Instead, I listen and look for differences in thoughts and ideas. I also relate ideas to my reality or social world and try to find similarities as well. I try to remember to ask those questions necessary to help me suspend judgment and uphold respect for new perspectives. Overall, learning what dialogue is and what it can do, I feel, is vital and necessary for creating a new world view.

Model techniques of active listening

Dialogue Post, Week 7: Develop a taxonomy of what you believe to be the best practices in techniques and strategies that you have learned in this course for productive dialogue. (Include at least five strategies/techniques/approaches.)

Definition of a taxonomy:

  • the science or technique of classification.
  • a classification into ordered categories:
  • a proposed taxonomy of educational objectives.
  • biology. the science dealing with the description, identification, naming, and classification of organisms.

You can organize the taxonomy in a list or a chart and post it in the discussion board for this Dialogue. Include the strategy or technique, how it is useful, how to apply it, and provide an explanation for why you have ordered the practices in this manner.

Shannon’s Taxonomy of Dialogue:




Both Isaacs and Bohm have writings on listening. In modeling more active listening, I have done the following: I close my eyes and try to hear deeply when listening to someone. Hearing can be deeper than the other senses and there are little illusions in hearing. So learning to actively listen (and give yourself time to process; don’t react) can make all the difference in understanding and communicating effectively. I focus on what is being said and the tone and the tempo and the context. By focusing, I gain much better understanding where usually my thoughts are wandering while someone is speaking to me. In my taxonomy graphic above which I chose as my artifact for this section, I chose to put listening closer to the outer edge because it is an essential step that must be mastered in order to move on to the rest of effective dialogue. Dialogue allows us to hear a fuller context. But we have to actively listen first. I’ve learned I must be present when listening and I must not respond immediately. I must give myself time to think about the thought that was just expressed. A richer, more robust communication is the result and later, I can better remember certain points and can apply them to new ideas and new concepts which I find myself discussing.

There’s been a big change in my listening skills. I’ve talked to classmates about listening being the key catalyst in moving us into dialogue. It is somewhat like a bridge one must cross first and it lets us see deeper dialogue and lets us start to enter into a new phase of meaning. Listening can move you forward or hold you back. Being aware of the importance of listening is the first step I’ve realized and putting it into practice and continually practicing follows. But until listening is mastered, dialogue cannot emerge.

Demonstrate skills that foster productive dialogue

Core Practices of Dialogue, Dialogue Week Six: Describe a difficult critical incident challenge you have experienced in a professional setting. (Please omit identifying characteristics from the scenario to protect the privacy of the parties.) Articulate the series of events in terms of chronology and causality. When did the dialogue cease being productive? What did you notice? What are the critical moments that shaped the dialogue? What advice would you give to the participants in the scenario to reach positive resolution?


I refer often to the Core Practices of Dialogue and I built my taxonomy with a similar focus. All parties involved understand and be open to dialogue to demonstrate it. They must advocate and inquire and listen thoughtfully to enter into the realm of effective dialogue. I can demonstrate I’ve engaged the core practices best through our Dialogue Activity from Week 6. Here is the prompt:

Describe a difficult critical incident challenge you have experienced in a professional setting. (Please omit identifying characteristics from the scenario to protect the privacy of the parties.) Articulate the series of events in terms of chronology and causality. When did the dialogue cease being productive? What did you notice? What are the critical moments that shaped the dialogue? What advice would you give to the participants in the scenario to reach positive resolution?  Respond to at least two of your colleagues and provide recommendations to improve their communication.

My response and my responses to my classmates demonstrates my ability to foster effective dialogue in practice. In my initial post, not reacting, not escalating, staying present and respecting were difficult but were exercised. This example also shows crisis intervention techniques due to the nature of the incident. I had to intervene in this employee’s negative discussions several times and eventually had to intervene in her own monologue and ask her to leave the office. We tried repeatedly to dialogue with her and come to some kind of understanding but she wasn’t open to engaging.

Being able to demonstrate through verbal communication that I can foster effective dialogue practices is a major change. Being able to put Isaacs, Bohm’s and Pearce’s ideas into practice is something very new to me and the change is that it brings me to a new understanding of communication and how to communicate more effectively with others, especially in the difficult times. Stone’s three conversations must also be noted here as the incident was not about what happened necessarily, but about the employee’s social world, the employee’s feelings and her identity. She had issues with her father and she was projecting those negative feelings upon leadership. There is a parallel with 12 Angry Men and Juror 3 and his issues with his son. All of these were aspects the employee needed to address before being able to move forward with any type of conversation. The fact that I was able to attempt dialogue and not engage in those behaviors that hinder effective dialogue show that this course has changed my thoughts and behaviors in terms of communication.

Reframe conflict for shared understanding, options, and mutual benefit

Collaboration Week Six: Using the techniques learned from the book Difficult Conversations and the Six-Steps handout, develop an action plan for change that includes resolution for possible social, ethical, and religious challenges. Six-step CRISIS INTERVENTION.docx


In the artifact for the collaboration activity on week 6, I used mainly crisis intervention. Although it was a good start, I have since then created a better strategy for every day difficulties that are not of an emergency nature. Here is as the strategy I use for reframing conflict:

  • Clarify the purpose
  • Emphasize learning and inquiry rather than resolution
  • Start from an appreciative base rather than a deficit model
  • Awareness is a better basis for resolving conflict than rules, rights and power

I’ve come to better grasp what to do in those times of difficult communication, at work and at home. Of course, if the other parties aren’t willing to or aren’t open to finding resolution than it may not be effective. The point is to start a dialogue and communicate by presenting other perspectives and ideas until a resolution is created. We aren’t really finding resolution, it doesn’t already exist, we have to create it.

Research and articulate contrasting perspectives among diverse constituencies

12 Angry Men Film and Assignment: Based on the 12 Angry Men film, design a strategy plan for the ONE difficult conversation that you prioritized as the most difficult in your group. Follow the guidelines and rubric below. Your plan should describe how to improve communication using dialogue skills and strategies based on the readings in the course. Be sure to acknowledge the possible cons and to suggest strategies to overcome them. Dialogue Assignment 3 SCorpuz

In our 12 Angry Men project, we analyzed the film, identified difficult conversations among the diverse group of men, evaluated contrasting juror perspectives and suggested dialogue techniques and practices that may have helped the men communicate more effectively.

After this activity I have to say I saw a different side of dialogue. Seeing practical dialogue among difficult conversations and heightened emotion was enlightening. The theory is one thing and the taxonomy was so helpful in brining all the facets of all the authors together into one, complex yet cohesive picture. However, seeing it in practice is necessary to grasp the core and to see the broadness of dialogue come full circle. I don’t know if I would have had the full experience without seeing dialogue in action amidst diverse and emotional people.


Mindfulness is defined as “the awareness that emerges through paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, and non judgmentally to the unfolding of experiences moment by moment” (Kabat-Zinn, 2003). When I was introduced to the concept of mindfulness in this Masters program, I was hesitant. I heard words like “meditation” and “focusing on your breath” and I wondered, “What have you gotten yourself into?” To explain, mindfulness is a process; ever becoming more and more aware through mindful attention. It focuses on the present, not the past or the future- it is here and now. One must be non judgmental and accepting of the thoughts and feelings that arise when practicing mindfulness. Which means the present experience is what it is; it is not classified as good or evil or right or wrong.  One needs to take in all the external sights, sounds, and smells, in addition to the internal sensations, thoughts and feelings. Then one observes them carefully, accepts them, and lets them go, in order to attend to another present experience.

By the second week of the course, I was engaged. I began to understand the key of mindfulness and how it offered the benefits of peace and self-control, and showed me that those things are not out of my reach. I began to wonder how I had lived without mindfulness up until now. I lost my mother roughly a month before I started this program and I began to realize that if I had known about mindfulness sooner, just a bit sooner, I would have had a tool, a friend, to help me manage the emotions that come with the loss of a loved one. Soon I started to practice mindfulness and my life became so much more manageable. Even during this program, going to school full-time, working full-time, being a mother and a wife and all that comes with those roles, I was able to manage my emotions in a more healthy manner by practicing mindfulness techniques. One of my favorite analogies and lessons learned, which I think about almost daily is that negative emotions are like uninvited guests. They show up unexpectedly and all I must do is embrace them, welcome them, knowing that they will soon be leaving.

The practice of meditation and focusing on my breath while clearing and calming my mind helps me to center myself, regulate my emotions, and get my head where it should be during the busy and demanding parts of my day. Mindful exercise and mindful eating have enhanced mundane, daily activities and chores, and I am now more open to joy and receiving joy in my heart, instead of merely “getting through the day.” But Mindfulness goes beyond stress-relief. Mindfulness practice can lead us to reach out and discover the deepest parts of what is means to be human. Nonjudgemental attention and relaxation are gateways to finding the stability, to examine with curiosity, our most challenging emotions, our deepest-held beliefs and the habits that launch us from one moment and one day to the next. Enter… compassion.

Practicing mindfulness has helped me to collaborate with others more effectively, thus, fortifying this project and bringing it to a successful close. When meetings get off track, when people disagree with my or others’ ideas or suggestions, I can feel the negative emotions being triggered and I lose focus. Mindfulness has not only taught me to self-regulate negative emotions but also to cultivate empathy, gratitude and generosity. These are the keys to working well with others. Listening is vital. Actively listening to others, and conveying interest and engagement vocally helps to better understand what another person is thinking, feeling and trying to communicate. This is empathy, this is compassion. Another way to integrate mindfulness into meetings is to take a moment to think about the person or people you will be with and what is happening in their lives. Mindfully listening and practicing empathy has helped me be a more compassionate person and has helped me to not only conduct this project more effectively but to become a more emotionally intelligent person.

Understand mindfulness as a phenomenon and practice

1) Discussion Board B Week 1 3
2)Assignment #1 Paper: Describe the origins of mindfulness as a practice. Assignment 1 scorpuz Mindfulness 012416 FINAL (1)

By way of the week’s (week 1) materials: The Art of Now; Andy Puddicombe: All it takes is 10 mindful minutes; and Henepola Gunaratana, B. (2011). Mindfulness in Plain English. Somerville, MA: Wisdom Publications, I am introduced to mindfulness and grasp enough of it to: describe the basic concepts of mindfulness; explore techniques to achieve mindfulness; demonstrate the application of a technique in mindfulness; Develop a personal plan to practice mindfulness everyday. You will see examples of these abilities in Discussion Board B Week 1 and Assignment #1; a paper on the origins of mindfulness.

I have focused on the Vipassana breathing basics. I’ve had to include counting as a way to keep my mind from wandering. I think about the past and the future a lot while meditating, and when I do I re-focus on breathing. I don’t think I’ve achieved a meditative state yet, but I have felt a serenity that spouts joy… I can’t stop smiling. Change My behavior, in terms of applying what I have learned, has definitely changed for the better, as I start my mindfulness journey. It’s only been a week and I am a much more joyful and positive person! I have hungered for these types of tools and never knew they existed. I have prayed as a way of meditating and calming/centering my emotions and it has worked well for me. Yet, the breath is such a simple tool I am finding myself aware, and using the breathing techniques several times daily. This experience is meeting my needs on many different levels: Intellectually, Socially, Spiritually, Creatively, Physically/Mentally and Emotionally! What more could anyone ask for. What a challenge and what a reward this is turning out to be. I am blessed.

Research the physiological and biological effects of mindful practice

Discussion Board B Week 3 and Week 5:  W3-Discussion about Impulses and how they are created/formed.  Examples can relate to impulse control in terms of the neurobiological aspects and behavior.


w5- Research the psychology of emotion and how that relates to mindfulness. Report to one another how you think emotion effects your ability to practice mindful behavior. Identify one or two emotional responses (triggers) that you have recognized in your own behavior. How can positive psychology assist in mindful behavior?


In week 3 we began to learn the Neuroscience of Mindfulness. We used the following resources: Cognitive Neuroscience of Mindfulness Meditation (Web Link) ; Cortisol vs. Transmitter Substances, theory of neural nets, neuro plasticity, neural integration, neurogenesis esentation; and Lazar, S., How Meditation Can Reshape Our Brains. (2011). TEDTalk. Retrieved from: We also viewed Siegel’s Ted Talk. From the resources, as you will see in the artifact below, I was able to: clarify the definition of cognition vs. mindfulness; explore the biological framework for mindfulness; analyze the dynamics of neurotransmitters and how they relate to mindfulness; and evaluate the manifestation of Impulse Effects from neuro/biological perspective.

I tried mindfulness while driving to work and later during running. I focused on breath while I was listening to Dr. Kabat-Zinn serenely discuss the practice of mindfulness. I loved it, it created a tranquility in me that I have never experienced, especially when driving. I was thinking about those I love and don’t know if I achieved a meditative state, I don’t think so because I was driving/running and had to be somewhat aware of my environment while practicing mindfulness. But… I definitely felt jubilant and free, which is a first for me when driving to work. So baby steps, baby steps. Change I am interacting more and more with others via the discussion boards and though it is extremely time consuming, it is challenging me in other ways as well, such as thoughtfulness and focus. I have a new appreciation for my classmates and feel a stronger bond with each of them as a result of our communicating in such as supportive and positive manner. One can’t help but feel a kinship towards everyone when everyone is so kind and so helpful. I am blessed to be a part of this program with such intelligent, creative, kind hearted and amazing people! There is definitely a “loving kindness” being cultivated and experienced by all who are open to it. I am a more positive person, more educated and more mindful in almost every way.

Analyze the effects of the physical and social environment on mindful behavior

1) Discussion A Week Four
2) Discussion B Week Four and Week Seven

A4: Research on MRI – changes on behavior when mindful practice is implemented.  Provide at least two examples illustrating how mindful practice changed behavior.


B4: Create a case analysis of how practicing mindfulness changed someone’s biology.  Please use no more than one example of addiction.


B7: Apply a mindfulness technique to diffuse stress that you have learned and analyze how effective it was for you. Report back on how well it worked or didn’t work, and what you could have improved upon, etc.


We studied some great material: A spreading-activation theory of semantic processing, How Chronic stress disrupts neural coherence between cortico-limbic structures; positive psychology; and How can mindfulness change your life, a video on the Center for Mindfulness and what it embodies, just to name a few. After exploring and internalizing week four and week five’s materials, I was able to: analyze the effects of the environment on mindful behavior; explore evidence of the rise of mindfulness in society through psychology and organization behavior studies; research the connection between positive psychology as a science and mindfulness; and research the psychology of emotion and its relationship to mindfulness. Both of the discussion posts for week four are presented as artifacts. Discussion board A focuses on MRI research and discusses studies on how mindfulness can physically change your brain. Discussion B centers around a case analysis of how mindfulness changed someone’s biology. These two examples explain the knowledge gained concerning the positive effects of mindfulness on brain tissue and how some people have overcome stress related illnesses and physical pain using mindfulness practices.

I am still using prayer and a combo of prayer/meditation at night, in the morning, and as I drive or run or eat. It is centering, serene and joyful. I do not believe I have achieved a meditative state and don’t know that I will unless I put more time, more effort and more focus into it. I have heard about the meditative state, that it is like an out of body experience, or as one author referred to it: the buzz. I do experience a tranquility beyond explanation and a joyfulness that permeates my entire being. Change As I learn more about the brain, how it functions and how mindfulness practice can change the brain, I am fascinated and filled with hope. I believe my behavior has changed exponentially and continues as I learn more about this amazing mindfulness. If one compared my behavior now with what it was two months ago, it is a complete 180 degree change. I no longer: react immediately without listening and making certain I understand completely, jump to conclusions, get upset when life doesn’t go my way, spin endlessly on matters of the heart and mind that really do not matter, and there’s more. All I can say is thank you! Learning Objective 4 Develop strategies to identify personal stress-pattern responses and how to overcome them. Rationale After week five and week six I was able to: explore and articulate how one functions in stress; identify a personal stress pattern response; describe the function of the stress pattern; apply a technique to diffuse the stress pattern; demonstrate the ability to disrupt the stress 8 pattern. The artifact chosen discusses my own emotional triggers identified in personal and professional environments, and a plan mindfulness practices I can use to decrease stress.

Assignment # 2, paper: Detail what your triggers are and develop a plan of action to mitigate or decrease your stress reactions. 985

My daughter and I have adopted mindful eating as a fun way to remind each other to be mindful. If she sees me getting emotional, she will hold up the invisible raisin and tell me to focus on it, to smell it, to hear it, to taste it. This reminds me to stop, detach, transition my focus, to re-center and move forward. It is a fun thing between us (she is 8) and when I see her becoming emotional I do the same thing and we instantly re-focus and laugh. Change Had a difficult time facing the fact that my wallet was stolen out of my purse while I was out with my husband and I was so disappointed in humanity! I tried my breathing focus but nothing seemed to work, I felt so saddened and violated… I couldn’t snap out of it. It took me two days to come to terms with it and let it go. The stress of having to cancel credit cards and get a new drivers license… is so overwhelming. I didn’t handle it as well as I could have BUT I didn’t cry or freak out; I faced the fact and did what I had to do. I handled it better than I would have two months ago, prior to my mindfulness journey. I think having my mindfulness tools was helpful, I just am not as mindful as I would like to be yet.

Apply a mindful practice in personal and professional settings.

Discussion Board B Week 9:What three techniques did you use this week in your personal relationships? Which three did you use in a professional setting? What were the results? Why were they successful or not?


By the end of week nine I was able to: apply three of the mindful techniques in a professional setting, and apply three of the mindful techniques in a personal setting. The artifact chosen discuses just that; how I used mindfulness techniques in a personal and professional setting.

I tried mindful breathing, mindful eating and mindful driving. I really enjoy all three techniques and am getting better at not letting my mind wander. If it does, I just bring it back. I think about everything in which I am grateful for while meditating such as the rain, the green grass, hot water, my children, etc. I rejoice in the blessings I have been given. I don’t think I have 10 achieved a meditative state, as I think that feels somewhat like flying but look forward to meditative yoga and experiencing the state soon. Also, I brought Appreciative Inquiry to our staff retreat; transitioning our focus from what we don’t do well to what we do well. It was an aha moment for the staff and they enjoyed the activities of defining AI and discovering our strengths. Change The way I interact with others and my behavior has definitely changed for the better! My thoughts are challenged in the discussions and my emotions are, at times, also challenged. I am proud to say I am much more thoughtful and reflective in the way I interact and respond to others. I am more at peace with myself even during chaotic times. I am grateful for this class and this program.


Henepola Gunaratana, B. (2011). Mindfulness in Plain English. Somerville, MA: Wisdom Publications. (ISBN-13: 978-0861719068)

Kabat-Zinn, J. (2012). Mindfulness for Beginners: Reclaiming the Present Moment – and Your Life. Boulder, CO: Sounds True. (ISBN-13: 978-1604076585)

Merton, T. (1968). Zen and the Birds of Appetite. New York: New Directions. (ISBN-13: 978- 0811201049) The Art of Now

Lazar, S., How Meditation Can Reshape Our Brains. (2011). TEDTalk. Retrieved from:

Bertolini and Gordhamer. The Power of Mindfulness in the Workplace. Retrieved from Collins

A. M., & Loftus, E. F. (1975). A spreading-activation theory of semantic processing. Psychological Review 82(6), 407–428. Neural nets. [pdf]

Oliveira, J. F., et al. (2013, February). Chronic stress disrupts neural coherence between corticolimbic structures.

Frontiers in Neural Circuits 7(10), 1–12. [pdf] Center for Positive Psychology. University of Pennsylvania. Retrieved from

Jha, A. (2013, March). Mindfulness can improve you attention and health. Scientific American Mind. Web link

Spinella, M. Having kindness and compassion toward difficult persons. Retrieved from JjZWxsb3NwaW5lbGxhfGd4OmEyMTYxMjY5MzBmOGYzNg

Thurman, R. We can be Buddhas. Retrieved from =qzR62JJCMBQ&v=h5cZITQDTrE

Imel Z., Baldwin, S., Bonus, K., & MacCoon, D., pp. 735–742. Retrieved from DOI:10.1080/10503300802326038. Published online: 15 Nov 2008.

Kitamura, M. (2012). Harvard Yoga Scientists Find Proof of Meditation Benefit. BloombergBusiness.

Chris Ruane MP. (2013). At Awake in the World, Video: Mindfulness in political life. Retrieved from:
Adyashanti. Is there a path to awakening? An interview with Adyashanti. Scienceandnonduality. Retrieved from:
Ricard, M. The art of meditation. RSA. Retreived from:
Ricard, M. The habits of happiness. RSA. Retreived from:


In the last two years, change has been great in my world. A new job at a new company, I started a Master’s Program, I lost my mother and the one person who always had my back, I’ve experienced and survived many relationship changes with friends and loved ones, my children have become more independent, and I’ve entered the threshold of a new stage of life. Within all of this change, I have changed. For example, I’ve become more self-aware, I have gained a better understanding of communication with others as well as recognizing and respecting people have different social worlds and different acculturation and most importantly, I have become a better listener. I believe the Master’s Program education is the basis for many of the positive, personal changes, in addition to the grief process… I’ve learned so much about myself and others as a result. Change occurs at different levels: individually, relationally, and structurally or systematically (Stein and Vallers 2012 p. 2). Between these different areas or levels of change, most change takes place relationally. Relationships are so dynamic… we focus on and value more relationships in our personal environment vs. our professional environment. Professional, or structural or systematic change is generally temporary and not as meaningful as personal relationships. In efforts to better understand compassion; its roots, science and how we’ve lost our compassion in today’s world, we will focus on the relational area of change and how we can affect positive change within our daily relationships.

Although compassion has been discussed for centuries, it is only now, in the West, being studied as a science that can bridge cultures that have been separated in thought and tradition. I believe that the better we understand the emotion, its triggers, its call to action, and its essence, the better we can harness the good it has to offer and share it with the world through compassion cultivation programs. We can teach compassion to children through various mediums, including games; we can have compassion events in our communities to instill the necessity for its existence in our local neighborhoods and work places. We can teach the world about its value, and how we each play a part in making the world a better place for our children.  

I only hope that my work in this Ethical Leadership program brings others the same hope and ignites the same fire that exists in my heart to find a cure for world’s lost compassion. I hope everyone who reads this will ask the question… “what can I do to help?”  That is the question that needs to be asked and that desire to help must be transformed into action within the dynamics of our relationships.  I have been called to play a part in working to find global healing, and this is a healing of relationships among the human race. We have got to understand our likenesses as well as what makes us different; and we must embrace and celebrate both. Many joined me during the Global Unity Games campaign and we concluded with 256 teams, 500 individuals, 50 support organizations and millions of acts of compassion. Yet relationally, we all connected and forged new understandings of those we knew and and those we just met. A deeper bond now exists among those relationships we had previously, and a “togetherness” now exists within and around our new relationships. The campaign for compassion was a success. I realize that we, as a global world, have a long way to go, but this initiative has enlightened many about compassion and has inspired many more to put their compassion into action; within their daily interactions and relationships old and new. The change has begun.

Analyze and reflect on the traditions, frameworks, and concepts in the fields of social and organizational change, including examining the drivers, sources, and these causes of change: need, innovation, failure, and conflict

Dialogue and collaboration posts, weeks three and four.





In weeks three and four we focused on organizational change and the lead players as well as the internal/external drivers of change. In terms of social change tools, we were introduced to Design Thinking, of which, I am a huge fan, and we were re-introduced to Appreciate Inquiry. I have used AI in my organization and continue to use the model as our tool for improving upon our strengths, vs. focusing on our weaknesses. We have worked through the first three areas in the AI process, Discovery, Dream and Design.


Change: I applied appreciative inquiry into my work life. I introduced the concept at a staff retreat and we paired up team members and discussed strengths, wins and dreams for our organization. We have now clearly defined our strong areas and our dreams, as well as some concerns, for those areas. We have talked about what can and should be and are working towards designing how we think we can put those ideas into action. As we move into what sustains and inspires, I can reference learning objective number three.

Analyze the dynamics and elements of change processes as they impact the trajectory of change


Week three dialogue and collaboration posts (see above)

This is my post for week three’s drivers of change post:

In any organization, an internal driver for change would be change brought about by factors within the organization, such as:

  • strategy
  • employee attitudes
  • stakeholders
  • workforce
  • culture

External drivers are external factors, which tend to be out of the organization’s control, such as:

  • government laws and regulations
  • labor markets
  • economic changes
  • competitor performance
  • social changes

Internal drivers would affect for-profit organizations, non-profits, government agencies and hybrids differently and also would vary by industry. However, economic changes of the external market, federal/state labor law changes, and external political factors (like an election) would have an impact on all types of organizations.

Here is an article on how internal and external factors drive change: (Links to an external site.)

Change: I am now able to identify and recognize change drivers and have a clear understanding of the dynamics of a change process (need, innovation, failure, and conflict). This is a good place to start. Being able to plan for anticipated change is empowering, yet simply being able to realize, or make the connection between the cause and possible effects internal and external factors may have on me increases my peace of mind. I am also knowledgeable enough to share my knowledge of change management with others. I can design a training and present it to my team members at work.


Understand alignment and learn to identify resources and processes that sustain change

Week five collaboration post.




A ToC that includes  no surprises, constant communication, team decision making, frequent recognition of wins, transparency, and a vision for change in which most could support and own is  key to aligning the team with organizational change and ensuring sustainability. A leader must create a culture that embraces change and sustains that change. I want to integrate Clarke and his video “Embracing Change” because it reveals an understanding of why people resist change and a way to introduce change in a way that decreases resistance is so very vital to alignment and sustainability. If the team is prepared and ready to embrace the change, they are also much more open to efforts of sustaining the change. Overcoming fears and resistance, aligning the team before implementing the change; these are things a change leader knows and understands how to do. I also listed tips for driving change that can be embraced and sustained. Small, mid-size or large, I believe any size organization can create and drive successful change by following these guidelines:

  1. Clearly state your vision for the future

Teams are more likely to embrace change when they are aware of what is happening and when. Don’t create a culture of secrecy. Instead, be transparent and frequently communicate your vision so everyone is on the same page.

  1. Set short-term goals

It is much easier to focus on goals and tasks that can be achieved in the immediate future than the end result that’s years away. Introduce change in bite-size chunks that are achievable and manageable.

  1. Start at the top

Employees will look to the CEO and C-level for support and direction. Ensure leadership buy-in and make sure they are a unified front.

  1. Ask employees what they think

Make time to talk to the people on the ground to understand how they feel. You need to hear their needs, concerns, and fears to successfully implement something new.

  1. Stay on top of resistance

Doing things differently will make some employees uncomfortable. Be aware of anyone who has a sudden negative attitude, and address any unhappiness or issues the moment they arise.

  1. Create new communication channels

Your team will be hungry for information and updates, so beef up your steam of communication. Maintain visibility, be more accessible for impromptu conversations, and keep your employees regularly updated.

  1. Become an early adopter

When you walk the walk, your employees will be more inspired to follow you. You will be seen as a role model adapting to this change rather than someone telling everyone else what to do.

  1. Keep a positive attitude

Change can be stressful and confusing, but you can keep the corporate climate positive by remaining upbeat and enthusiastic.

  1. Give frequent feedback

Personal, immediate feedback can be very motivating as employees’ jobs and culture change. Build their confidence and shape expectations by providing real-time feedback (Wang, 2015 pp.1).

I am fortified with the ability to plan for change. I can design a ToC for several types of change. I am able to access resources such as the guidelines above to execute a ToC properly, aligning myself and the team for the best possible outcome.  One thing I remember from this particular week’s discussion with classmates is that with change, adapting is a stronger trait to have than other traits. One’s ability to adapt to change is beyond survivability, it can take one to a state of flourishing, when others who cannot adapt are merely struggling to survive.


Analyze practices and acquire tools needed as an agent of change

In week two, we had a video by Clarke as a resource. It had such an impact upon me and made me reflect upon how I have experienced change in the past and whether it has been introduced to me in a manner in which I am likely to embrace or not. Clarke gives an excellent tool and explains why people resist change… which is key to designing a method for implementing change. We must understand the fears and the reasons why people do not like change so that we can design change and tools for change around those factors. Clarke’s four door tool is one I will use going forward when introducing change to a team.

Clarke, J. (2010). Embracing change. Retrieved from: .  Other excellent tools are Design Thinking and Appreciative Inquiry. During week six, we were asked to list tools and resources we have available to us to implement change. I listed several in my post:



I now have a better grasp on why people resist change. I have some insight into the human mind and why it behaves the way it does when change is introduced. This knowledge is powerful because it gives me the ability to design ToCs around these factors of resistance, thus increasing the chance of the best possible outcome.


Develop approaches to creating visibility and generating insights for change

Week seven resources and discussion posts.


The greatest resource from this course is the MIT toolkit:  introduced to us in week seven. This tool includes many insights for change and real-life tools and examples we all can access and apply anytime in our personal and professional lives for seeking help, creating visibility within the community, and examining potential ways to implement change. My week seven dialogue post discusses how I could have used the toolkit for my Capstone project:

Within the Tool Kit what I found useful was the module on “help taking action.” Under this section there is a “model for getting started” and “conducting a direct action campaign”.  For my Capstone, I created and launched a compassion campaign with a group of local community members. All the elements in this toolkit were either 1) what we did as part of our planning process or what we SHOULD have done (some are not applicable). For example here’s a list of elements, and I have identified which we employed and which we did not:

Another area in which I found useful for my Capstone was ‘best change processes”. Under this umbrella, I found “changing community conditions and systems” and “achieving widespread change in behavior” great resources. Specifically “making outcomes matter” is what I took to heart and really, what all agents for change I’m certain area looking to do. Making Outcomes Matter is a process that uses feedback on progress and differential rewards (i.e., incentives and disincentives) for change and improvement. It is not simply about “accountability” – a thumbs-up or thumbs-down final assessment of the merit of the effort. Rather, the process of Making Outcomes Matter occurs over the lifespan of an initiative, and aims to use information about progress to prompt action and make adjustments. Feedback — on levels of change and improvement and incentives for progress — are used to enhance levels of organizational capacity, implementation, and community change and population-level improvements (Fawcett, Francisco, Paine-Andrews, & Schultz, 2000; Paine Andrews, Francisco, & Fawcett, 1994). This process works best when linked to other key processes that help to (a) outline the conceptual roadmap and indicators for change (Developing a Framework or Model of Change (Links to an external site.)) and (b) measure and understand what an initiative is doing (Documenting Progress and Using Feedback (Links to an external site.)). My project, a compassion campaign, had a means for measuring change and improvement on a digital map and a channel for people to tell stories about what acts of kindness they conducted. Sustaining the changes we initiated is what we are interested in now, and the toolkit also offers resources for this.

I can draw on this MIT resource to bring about durable changes in my personal and work environments. I can also use it to plan for continued implementation through times of change. It will help me to refine and combine perspectives with other resources and community partners to help particular issues are addressed, and to build an organization capable of carrying out meaningful work.



Clarke, J. (2010, December 21). Embracing Change. Retrieved from: .

KU, Community Toolbox: Developing a Framework or Model of Change.

MIT Center for Reflective Practice, Critical Moment in Reflection. Retrieved from: (Links to an external site.)

Phalpher, R. (1999). Leader Values. Change; Sustaining Organizational Change. Retrieved from: .

Simkovitz, H. (2002). Business Wisdom. Creating, Supporting and Sustaining Change. Retrieved from:

Stein D., & Valters, C. (2012), Understanding “theory of change” in International Development: A Review of Existing Knowledge. JSRP Paper 1. London: The Justice and Security Research Programme (JSRP) and The Asia Foundation.

Wang, D. (2015). Tiny Pulse. Successful Organizational Change Examples You Need to Copy. Retrieved by:


According to the Engagement Streams Framework, pp. 5, people need a safe place in which to collaborate. This is the premise for my collaboration plan. collab-plan-e-portfolio Our text for our Collaboration course, (Mattessich, et al. 2004, p. 4) supports this in terms of environment; the environment is first of the six success categories for collaboration.

People with a common goal and shared values respond positively to ground rules, commitment, and guidelines for enhancing communication. Most people see enjoying in the rewards after the work as a positive and even an incentive. People generally are willing to put in the hard work if they can see the prize at the end and feel it is attainable. Also, sometimes people simply forget the steps to effective dialogue and collaboration and reminders can be a thoughtful and welcome addition to meetings. Ground rules and guidelines can also keep the collaboration focused and on track. Mattessich et al., (2004) explains a commitment to a common goal and the sharing of rewards and resources as major aspects of what makes collaboration work.

I have learned that I cannot “make” effective collaboration happen by controlling others’ views. What I can do is take ownership of my part of the collaboration and do not jump to conclusions, use practices of effective dialogue (active listening, suspending judgment, respecting others’ perspectives) use my best compassionate communication, self regulate, use conflict as a tool, know the difference between peacemaking and conflict resolution and when to use each, pay attention to what is not being said and non verbal communication and leave my ego at the door. Learning and practicing these lessons has made me a better communicator, listener, collaborator and leader.

Together with the stakeholders for my project, I can and we can, within our communities, increase the knowledge of compassion and its importance. If we can articulate well the benefits one gets when committing random acts of kindness, we can be more effective.  These aspects support the main goal of raising awareness of compassion and the need for its cultivation. The over-arching goal is to make the world a more compassionate place and I believe, with the efforts of the stakeholders, the collaborative process, and compassionate hearts, we can be successful.

Explore concepts of collaboration in human interaction

Dialogue and collaboration posts for week one and assignment one – Success and failure of collaboration, experience with successful or non-successful collaboration, and a current real-life collaboration situation.


collab refl artifact 2.JPG

Rationale and Application
These two discussion posts for week one show our grasp on components needed for successful collaboration, as well as a practical example from our lives on our collaboration experiences. My life experience includes many collaboration attempts, along with several successes and failures. I point out in my posts, what I feel are the most important components of collaboration from our text: Commitment to mutual relationships and goals, jointly developed structure and shared responsibility, mutual authority and accountability for success and sharing of resources and rewards (Mattessich et al, 2004, p.4). Without this combination of components, collaboration efforts are futile. In addition, it is important to understand that the individuals’ level of commitment, sharing of resources and rewards, definition and execution of the collaboration plan, etc. are major determinants of success when collaborating. As examples in real life, I gave my large family as the prime example and the fact that I’ve had to collaborate all my life to survive, and included the collaboration project I am currently working on for my Capstone Project. In this real life example, I discuss some of the barriers the team is facing and what I feel needs to be addressed, and I show examples from our text, on some options we have to improve the collaboration effort. This shows that I understand the basic fundamentals and have applied or noticed where they can be applied in practice.

Our first assignment is a testament to how well we have digested and internalized the collaboration materials and strategies for effective collaboration. We were tasked to discuss a current collaboration project in which we are involved and discuss issues within the collaboration in terms of stakeholders or lack of components. I chose to use my project team collaboration as an example and pointed out where we lacked effective collaboration components such as defined roles, a defined plan, etc. We also had to reflect on our intrapersonal communication and discuss how that bias affects the collaboration effort. It was a great activity for organizing and categorizing our thoughts and ideas and applying them to a practical situation. Also a good way for us to reflect upon all we have learned in such a short period of time.


Our text was very helpful in terms of defining proper collaboration and helping me create a map in my mind of how a successful collaboration is structured. I know what is needed for a group to come together and be successful, but the text defined the components and factors and gave me a means to articulate the concepts and a way to visualize the concepts in action. For example, if I was asked what collaboration was before internalizing our reading materials, I would have hit on some major factors but not all of them. After the first week, I can truly say I can speak to what is needed for effective collaboration and can touch on all the major points.

Articulate contemporary understandings of power and privilege differentials in organizations and society

Week three dialogue discussion – Personal view of power, position and privilege.



Rationale and Application
My response for week three’s dialogue post, is my understanding of power and privilege and how I can apply the power and privilege I may have to collaboration projects and conflict resolution, in order to benefit others. The discussion post also discusses how I see the power and privilege components in society; shifting or not shifting. The important take-away here is understanding what I can do to help others. The example I give is compassion and community based, describing how random acts of kindness and projects that increase the world’s compassion index are where I feel I have the power, position and privilege to benefit others. Another way I show how well I am grasping the concept is through my thoughts on how I see the world shifting (or not). The example I give of a shift in the world is in music content (lyrics about women being strong an independent) and that I notice increasing diversity in government positions in my area of the world. Claremont Lincoln University and the Presido University in San Francisco are additional examples of a shift in power and privilege. These universities offer meaningful programs that promise change, as well as making education more accessible to a broader spectrum of people. Until these universities were established, there was not an affordable option or any potential for scholarship, for those less affluent, wanting to expand their educations beyond a bachelor’s degree.

The change for me this third week was a big one. I had never thought of myself as having any position, power or privilege so it helped me to recognize that I do, and more importantly, how I can apply that in the world to influence positive change. It also caused me to reflect on the changes in the world and how I see those flowing together into something new for those who have long been labeled as “different” or even “wrong”. Atlee’s power types helped me to realize there are different types of power and this changed my perspective of power, making it more broad and not so narrow and negative (Atlee, T.  2011 p. 1). Power can be used for the benefit of others; it simply depends on how it is used.

Identify and engage stakeholders to achieve definable goals

Week five assignment – As a team, develop a conflict resolution strategy for a specific context.


Rationale and Application
For week five, we had to put our collaboration skills that we had learned thus far into action. We were to create a final paper as a group, which required us to coordinate meetings, problem solve, use influence, and most importantly, commit to a common goal within a specific deadline. The objective was to develop a conflict resolutions strategy, so we were able to incorporate many theories and topics we had recently learned. Looking back, I realize our collaboration could have been more organized, however, we did define roles first and that was a grand step in the right direction. We did not make a strategic plan, which we should have. It was also interesting to see how ego plays a part in collaboration and conflict resolution… as it can render the effort useless if satisfying an ego becomes important. Overall, we identified, and engaged each other as stakeholders to achieve a definable goal. One member, and this is worth adding, was MIA for most of the week, appearing finally on Sunday, the day the project was due, and came through with his portion of the project. This did cause us to problem solve and create a back up plan, should he remain MIA. It also shows how one stakeholder can affect the collaboration with level of commitment, or lack thereof. We still had a choice as to whether or not this would affect the outcome, and that was clear. We achieved the goal.

The group project validated how I enjoy working in groups, as well as individually. As we were collaborating, I wasn’t, and I should have been, thinking about effectively collaborating in addition to the quality of the common goal. I realize that now. We were building shared meaning, resolving breakdowns and creating translucence, however, we could also have rationally applied several aspects of our Mattessich text. I am referring to defining an initial plan. I will do this in the future. I can’t give examples of how the group was more mindful during conflict resolution and collaboration efforts, but we probably were unconsciously. I do have a better understanding of how groupthink can affect people and how cultural elements play a part in engaging and influencing stakeholders. In terms of our tech-mediated communication, we did not have any difficulty; we used video conferencing, texting, phone calls and phone conferences. In our group, less the one member who was MIA most of the time, collaboration was alive an well, but still had vast upside potential.

Create conditions for stakeholders to synthesize diverse perspectives in group settings

Week six collaboration discussion – Styles of conflict resolution.


Rationale and Application
The post for week six collaboration discusses understanding conflict resolution styles. This can help us to become more self aware and more aware others’ styles. Understanding the way others deal with conflict, especially as a default, can improve collaboration by decreasing fear of unknown reactions or decreases chances of misunderstanding. Another way to create an environment for stakeholders to collaborate effectively is to create a safe place where they can be comfortable expressing disagreement (Engagement Streams 2013 p. 3).  Turning conflict into a positive and using it as a tool to explore other perspectives helps others to to embrace diversity in perspectives and to feel safe doing so. The artifact shows that I have a strong understanding of the different styles of conflict resolution, how being aware of the concept is important and that the environment for collaboration is key.

Week six offered a major change for me. In our culture, conflict is generally negative. The TED talk by Margaret Heffernan explored conflict as a positive and showed how it can be used to offer other ideas and address unanticipated challenges. This new view of conflict is liberating as I don’t have to view it as a problem, which means am not so inclined to avoid it, as is my default conflict style, and more inclined to embrace it as a learning opportunity.

Effectively manage interpersonal, organizational, and technology-mediated conflicts

Collaboration week five – Explain strategy for effective peacemaking, conflict resolution and cultivating collaboration.


Rationale and Application
This discussion post shows my understanding of establishing and maintaining effective collaboration, dialogue/negotiation inter-personally and organizationally by discussing some vital ways to manage conflict and find a solution. I gave an example of Goodreau’s conflict resolution tips:

  • be wise, not smart
  • put your concerns on the table
  • avoid “I” statements
  • engage with your body language

(Goodreau, J. 2012 p. 1)

When communicating using technology mediums, the same rules apply, however non verbal aspects (tone of voice, inflection, body language, facial expressions) become even more important when the interaction is not face-to-face. One tip that is not mentioned in this post that I would like to add is the importance of leaving ego out of the mix. For successful resolution, people cannot be defending positions, rather they must be open to new ideas and new perspectives. The tips discussed are great ground rules or guidelines to follow when trying to find a solution to conflict.

Simply having some guidelines when facing conflict is helpful and having these specific tips and techniques will help me immensely when I find myself in these types of situations. I generally avoid “I” statements and generalizations but keeping the conversation results oriented is new for me and I find it vital for the purpose. Week five broadened my toolkit for conflict resolution and introduced me to new ways to enter into dialogue to negotiate, collaborate and problem solve.


Atlee, T. (2011). Four types of power. Retrieved from:  

MindTools. The ladder of inference: Avoiding “jumping to conclusions.” Retrieved from: 

National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation. Engagement streams framework. Retrieved from: (Links to an external site.)

Mindtools. Avoiding groupthink: Avoiding fatal flaws in group decision making. Retrieved from (Links to an external site.)

Mattessich, P. W., Murray-Close, R.A. & Monsey, B.R. (2001). Collaboration: What makes it work? Fieldstone Alliance: MN.

MindTools. Conflict Resolution: Resolving conflict rationally and effectively. Retrieved from: (Links to an external site.)

Rykrsmith, E. (2011). What is your conflict resolution style? Retrieved from: (Links to an external site.)

Goudreau, J. (2013). The Secret art of negotiation: Take your ego off the table. Forbes. Retrieved from:

Buell, B. (2007, January 15). Negotiation Strategy: Seven common pitfalls to avoid. Stanford Business. Retrieved from:

TED. Margaret Heffernan: Dare to disagree. Retrieved from: