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October 6, 2012

Reflective Essay: Tips for an extra ordinary life

Reflective essay: Tips for an extra ordinary life
It’s not what we get, it’s what we make! Does living an extraordinary life give the idea of having everything in our lives, that we desire the most? It can partially be right but there are more to it that is required to make it over-the-top. Helen Keller, one of the most popular American author, political activist, and lecturer said “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing” (open-focus, 2011).
The idea of extraordinary life may differ among people to people. For some people buying a BMW will be something noteworthy, but for some, having a multi-purpose Ikea electrical-cum-mechanical toolbox will be just wonderful. In addition to that, the concept of extraordinary changes with the phases of our age. What most people, across the globe would conclude about the idea after 40, are the following discussed points.
1.      Foremost, if you don’t like what you do in your business, change the way you do it or try some other thing that you would love doing. If you are not into a working environment, that gives you comfort, there is no way you can achieve that goal of having an extraordinary life.
2.      Find time for yourself and your family, as if they are your potential clients.
3.      Set family customs, as they are the glue that is needed for the bonding among families.
4.      Avoid liabilities. It’s a kind of slavery. If you cannot afford it right now, saving for it is an option. (Steve-Olson, 2011)
5.      Be responsible for a change. Identify and rectify the counter-productive things that you are doing in your life. If needed, compare yourself with people who are getting the same results you desire and look for your mistakes. (Steve-Olson, 2011)
6.      Acknowledge your mistakes. Not only yours, but learn from others mistakes as well. One must learn from his past failures to have a prosperous future. (Steve-Olson, 2011)
7.      Hug a lot! It’s an act that transfers emotions of happiness from one person to another. Forgive quickly.
8.      Let nagging be unheard. Determine what it takes to go calm whenever there is an aggravation in you.
9.      Get out of the company of people around you who are energy-sucking, negative or dumb and try to spend time with people having positivity and intelligence or with you feel comfort talking.
10.  Visualize your future. Plan to do things that can affect your future in making it better. Even spend money on your future by investing on your education. This will help you having an extraordinary life style.
11.  Plan for outing with your family and friends frequently (The Donald Cooper Corporation, 2011).
12.  Be charitable, volunteer and participate in different acts of kindness. Feel the pleasure of giving! You can help build a local hospital or just open a door for someone.
A happy life, along with a set of principles, is the key. Happiness depends on how we relate to the world. We have to live among different types of people and need to socialize and work with them.
Practicing an extraordinary life requires a good deal of commitment and discipline. That discipline is established where beliefs are challenged, where we relinquish the thought that we know our limitations (Open-Focus, 2011). It’s as simples as that “In order to have an extraordinary life, you need to be an extra ordinary person”.

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For Kouzes and Posner, leadership is also necessarily intentional – you have to explicitly plan your journey. But thought leadership need not be intentional. A clever knowledge worker might not even care if others follow. He or she might simply follow a better way of doing something which others notice and copy. Clearly no vision or journey here. Again, the leadership effect either does not occur or it is prompt – not necessarily in the sense of instantaneous but rather all-or-nothing as opposed to being merely the start of a journey. It is a sudden insight like a gestalt shift rather than a rational plan to travel to a destination.

Lee Iacocca Background, Leadership and Organizational developament of Chrysler
            The first thing that hits our mind when we talk about successful business leaders are the names of people like Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Steve Jobs or Carlos Smith,  people who transformed single room offices into multibillion dollar businesses and harvested the cultivation of giant business empires like Microsoft, Berkshire Hathaway and Apple. But marginalizing all of them here we will be discussing the leadership skills of Lee Iacocca, former president of Ford and CEO of Chrysler.  Born in Pennsylvania and belonging to an Italian background in terms of origin, Lee graduated from Allentown High School and ultimately stepped into the field of automobile engineering by starting his career in Ford. Getting dissatisfied from the droning and monotonous work that was being done in the engineering department, Iacocca decided to switch his filed and excel him in the field of sales. It was hear that Lee actually realized where he is best in doing.
With the help of his unconventional sales and marketing strategies Lee was able to flourish his career as a salesman for the company. In a short span of time he was posted in Philadelphia at the post of assistant sales manager. His ’56 for56’ campaign national recognition and at the same time catalyzed his organizational upward mobility to the extent that within a matter of three decades he emerged as the new president of the organization. Following a row with the board of directors of Ford, Lee decided to leave the organization in 1978 and was promptly approached by Chrysler which was on the brink of financial insolvency. It was at this point when some serious professional problems began to uncover itself in Lee’s career. Rejuvenating a sinking ship was a difficult task for Lee, but he accepted this challenge of a life time and began to implement his strategies which he believed were in organizational interest at that moment. He axed many useless workers, sold the loss-generating faction of Chrysler Europe to Peugeot and simultaneously sought the advice of many of his former associates at Ford which proved beneficial in the entire reincarnation process of Chrysler. In addition to this he also some of the automobile designs which were rejected by Ford and introduced them in Chrysler after substantial modifications, these designs included Dodge Caravan and Plymouth Voyager. Both these automobiles became instant hits which were later coupled with the triumphant launching of their sister automobiles Dodge Omni and Plymouth Horizon. With Chrysler emerging on the automobile scene once again through massive profits, there was no doubt that Iacocca was no less than a business god for them. (Collins, 1992)
The Iconic figure of Lee Iacocca as a Leader
There are a number of leadership traits that can be easily be extracted from Iacocca’s life and the business challenges that he encountered during his lifetime. One of the prominent traits is to work by making use of unconventional means and strategies. Even at a time when his designs were rejected by Ford, he believed that they have wasted an opportunity to earn billions because he had a firm belief that such designs will ultimately be the central source of attention for people in the long run.
Another style of leadership which can be considered distinguishing is that Iacocca use to provide bonuses to all his employees at the beginning of the month which is contrary to conventional organizational concept. He believes that when an employee is provided a satisfactory benefit of his efforts, he becomes free from all kinds of mental stresses and pressures and can hence dedicate his entire time to meet the challenges and targets that have been provided to him by the company. Lee had acquired this skill from his father who uses to provide tip to the waiter of a restaurant before he use to serve us with food. (Vlasic and Bradley, 2000)
In addition to this another very significant feature that makes Iacocca an extremely pivotal and iconic figure in business is that he had the tactic of manipulating people according to the setting he use to be in. once during his career at Chrysler when he asked for a loan for conducting expansion operations in Europe, his request for loan was rejected and as a matter of fact he was summoned by the court for an explanation. Iacocca’s speech in front of judicial and state representatives serves as a perfect example of his skills as a manipulator. He said that if American automobile industries are not allowed such approvals, it would not be the defeat of Chrysler, it would be the defeat of America, and we would become a laughing stock for the whole world for people will start remembering us as a nation who halts the development of their very own people and economy. The effect of the speech was so spellbinding that his request for loan was eventually approved by the state.
Even though Iacocca is no more associated with Chrysler but in an interview to Newsweek he did claim that he feels extremely dejected to see the entire organization experiencing depressing financial conditions. By looking at the current condition of Chrysler one can say that some people have a certain good luck associated with them and that departs as soon as they leave. (Iacocca, 2007)        


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