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DescriptionFall 2023
Comm 3340 Midterm
Download the midterm, answer the questions in the space provided (you can expand it or
shorten the space as needed). NO ONE-SENTENCE ANSWERS
. 1. The famous Scotsman Robert Burns wrote, in one of his poems:
“O wad some Power the giftie gee us,
To see oursels as ithers see us.”
These are not typos; rather, it is poetic language. What did he mean by this part of the
poem? What is he referring to as “some Power”? Why is this poem relevant to our course?
2. In World War 2, U.S. and British troops came ashore at Normandy, France in a battle
known as D-Day. Dwight Eisenhower, our 34th President, was the Supreme Commander on
that day, June 6, 1944. Two years of planning had preceded the Operation Overlord invasion.
As the troops assembled, Eisenhower took a long nap, having been up for several days. When
asked why he slept at that critical moment, he later explained there was nothing more he
could do. He was in England, not on the beach, awaiting news. In his pocket he had two
messages to share with the reporters. The first said, “We have successfully landed in France.”
The second said, “The failure of today’s invasion is my fault and mine alone.” He was
prepared to use one, or the other. Why would a leader do this?
3. The statements below may be true or not, depending on your perspective. Read each one
and comment about whether you agree or not, and if these statements make sense to you.
. A peacetime army can usually survive with good management and administrative skills. But
a wartime army leads leadership at all levels. No one has figured out how to manage people
into battle: they must be led.
. Management ensures accomplishment by controlling and problem solving, but for
leadership, achieving a vision requires motivating and inspiring.
. The function of leadership is to produce change, but setting direction is never the same as
. People who have a vision are not magicians but broad-based strategic thinkers who are
willing to take risks.
. To executives who are overeducated in management and undereducated in leadership, the
idea of getting people moving in the same direction may appear to be an organization
. Management controls people by pushing them in the right direction; leadership motivates
them by satisfying basic human needs.
4. Despite leadership’s growing importance, the on-the-job experiences of many people
undermines their ability to lead. Can you think of a situation at work where management
stifled your ability to do your job? To feel accomplishment? Would that be enough to make
you leave your job?
5. How could a high-status friend (not a mentor) help you become a leader? Could you have
more than one?
6. Two men have recently served in the White House as President of the United States—Joe
Biden and Donald Trump. Contrast the two men in terms of leadership: 1) which style is best
for America; 2) do they tell the truth; 3) do they represent all Americans or just certain ones;
4) do you trust them?
7. Describe your expectations of the kind of leader you would willingly follow. What would
make you change your mind?
8. I have been betrayed by people I thought were good leaders. Has this ever happened to
you or to your family members? Does character come into play when we choose leaders, or
should we just concentrate on skills and effectiveness?
9. During my youth I was nominated to run a Boy Scout Troop. Another boy, a good friend,
was also nominated. We voted, and the score was a tie. Our adult advisor asked me how I
voted, and I told him I voted for Gene, the other guy. The advisor said, “If you won’t vote for
yourself, why should other people vote for you? Unless you think Gene would do a better
job.” We voted again, and I won. Gene was a loyal and helpful friend, always willing to
support me, though he did not know I voted for myself. Did the advisor give me the right
suggestion? Why?
10. I played football in High School. I wasn’t the fastest, nor did I have the best hands for
catching passes, but I wanted to be a halfback and carry the ball. In my very large high
school, there was fierce competition. One day my father was able to come and watch us
practice. I happened to be playing defense that day and he saw me make several tackles. My
father was a star player in his small high school in Orange, Texas, the fastest guy on the team,
while my school had 2700 students. I rode home with my father that day and though he
complimented me on my play, I told him I was frustrated and would likely not be on the
varsity as a starter. He replied, “Maybe so, but watching you tackle people was exciting. You
might think about just playing defense.” A light came on and the next day I told the coach I
just wanted to focus on defense. He agreed and something came alive in me. When the
starting roster for the first game of the season was displayed, I was on that roster as the
starting defensive halfback.
Could a change in perspective help you achieve a place of leadership?
11. Can you “read other people?” That is, can you detect what other people are thinking in a
critical situation? Can other people “read you?” How do our emotions, displayed on our
faces, create an opportunity for leadership?
Professors don’t “give grades,” students earn them. What grade do you think you have
earned on this Midterm, based on the quality of your responses?

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