The articles are to be chosen exclusively from the reading in De Wit & Meyer, Strategy- Process, Content, Context. An International Perspective. West Publishing Company, Saint-Paul, 2010, ISBN: 9 781408019023.
Strategy and the business portfolio:
Hedley (in De Wit and Meyer, 2010, pp. 325-331) asserts that all companies are dealing with more than one business, and the final strategy has to be chosen according to their limited resources. A business portfolio, also named growth, is underlined by four strategic categories for the "share matrix" which put in relation the growth rate and the market share:
"Stars": these businesses have a high profit growth and high investment opportunities. The companies have to keep and to strengthen this competitive position.
"Cash cows": businesses generate profit and cash but small investment growth.
"Dogs": businesses in poor competitive position, due to both low rate in profit and share. They are considered as a "cash trap".
"Question marks": businesses with a high potential of growth but with a small cash production. They are considered as "cash loser".
The portfolio strategy to be adopted by a company is to have businesses in the four categories. How? By keeping the 'cash cows' and sell the 'dogs' and some 'question marks' in order to generate cash; which is used to keep and strengthen the position in 'stars' and to some extent, if there is cash left, to finance 'question marks' selected carefully.
UK company with good-balanced portfolio: two or three 'cash cows', at least two 'question marks', some 'stars' and few 'dogs' in order to follow the portfolio strategy explained previously. This example has been used to show which solution is good in a bad situation but not often applied in reality. There are two approaches for dealing with this company. The first one is "the sound portfolio, unsoundly managed"; which means that all businesses have a common overall goal. Instead, every business must have different objectives in accordance to the matrix position and the situation of the overall portfolio. The second one is "the unbalanced portfolio": several 'question marks' and few 'cash cows'. The company decided to distribute the funds between all the businesses again and again. The solution was to keep one or two 'question marks' and fund them.
What I learned from this article is that a company has to take into account the different businesses and to keep in mind that they have to be managed in several ways to serve in an efficient way the overall goal.
Collaborate with your competitors- and win:
Hamel, Doz and Prahalad (in De Wit and Meyer, 2010, pp. 389-393) explain that cooperation (joint ventures, outsourcing, licensing and research) between competitors allow them to be stronger against other competitors and to limit the new ones to enter the market. Collaboration shortens the efficiency and quality improvement. Two companies benefit from it if they both agree on four principles:
It is a way of competing because the companies have defined their own strategic objectives and keep in mind that those can affect the success.
Harmony is not needed to succeed although some conditions have to be respected to gain mutually. First, both strategic goals have to converge and both competitive goals have to diverge. Second, their size and power has to be small and third, they can learn from each other but have to circumscribe the access to the skills.
Limits to cooperation: each company brings something particular in order to share enough skills that lead to the creation of an advantage. They have to protect themselves from the transfer of information by limiting transparency.
Learning is essential: learning has to take place at every level of a company to be valuable. Even if a fully internalization of skills is not possible, they can acquire more easily new benchmarks and be competitive in the sense that if something goes wrong, they can both predict the behaviors.
A good example is the alliance between western and Asian companies. On the one hand, Asian companies have understood well the benefit from collaboration; that is to change their competitive tactics. On the other hand, western companies are looking for avoiding investments, reducing costs and risks. We can say that their competitive goals are divergent. Another point is that western companies are more likely to face information transfer of their skills and have to build secure fences. On the contrary, Asian companies have the main manufacturing competence and excellence; which is difficult to transfer.
Moreover, western companies can't realize the benefits of collaboration because they are not receptive to learn from the collaborator. Instead, Asian companies are learning at every level (skills, benchmark and prediction). Western companies are facing a big challenge: become better learners.
I did not think that western companies were not aware of the learning skills importance; they only focus on reducing their costs and risks instead of improving their competitiveness that could be acquired with the collaboration.
Building learning organizations:
Senge (in De Wit and Meyer, 2010, pp. 510-517) postulates that in a fast changing world, an organization that is constantly learning may have a competitive advantage. Nowadays, the organizations are mainly focused on controlling and performing; these conditions lead them to be underperforming. They need to apply superior learning in order to generate superior performance in the long run.
The first step to become learning organizations is to increase their adaptiveness and their capability. This step is called generative learning; it requires looking at the world in a new and different way and figuring out the control events system.
Therefore, both the leader's roles and skills have evolved; they are in charge of learning. The new roles are: designer, teacher and steward. The first role the leader has to assume is to be a designer of aim and essential values by governing ideas and translating these into policies, strategies and structures. Second, a leader has to be a teacher; thanks to mental models, he or she helps people change their views of reality and find future possibilities. This can be done at three levels: generative, responsive and reactive level but leaders focus mainly on the first one. Third, the leader has a sense of stewardship; it is all about attitudes and acts for the people that are led and for the company's general aim.
That goes without saying that these roles demand new leadership skills. Leaders have to build shared vision. In order to do that, leaders have to encourage people to share their personal vision. They also have the duty to communicate their vision to know if people can support this one. Other skills are to build shared vision through an ongoing process, to make intrinsic and extrinsic visions coexist and to separate negative and positive visions. They also have to surface and test mental models. Because new ideas conflict with settled mental models, leaders need several skills: to detect when there are hops in abstraction, to have both enquiry and advocacy competences, to detect gas between the mental model used and the one which is used, to detect and defuse hidden mental models. Another new skill is system thinking through analyzing interrelationships, linking people with its problems, underlying dynamic complexity, focusing on small actions with big impact and avoiding symptomatic solutions.
Nowadays, I really think that western organizations have to rethink their focus; they have to switch from controlling and performing focus to a learning focus. They would rather be more adaptable in this globalized world.
Assignment TWO: Book review ONE: TWO PAGES
Make a review of the book Bennis, W., and Nanus, B., Leaders: Strategies for Taking Charge, Harper Business, New York, 2004, ISBN 0060559543.
Bennis and Nanus (2004, p. 19) defined leadership as: "what gives and organization its vision and its ability to translate that vision into reality" and assert that leaders must have four major competencies (Bennis and Nanus, 2004, p. 25).
The first competence is "attention through vision". Leaders are result-oriented and create focus; they catch their employees' attention thanks to their attractive vision. "Vision animates, inspirits, transforms purpose into action" (Bennis and Nanus, 2004, p. 29). Leaders focus on vision in order to choose a direction for the future. They "operate on the emotional and spiritual resources of the organization" (Bennis and Nanus, 2004, p. 85). The leaders and their employees have a relationship that leads them to take out the best of each other because the leaders' vision comes from others thanks to two great qualities: they are listeners and askers. Their role is to develop and synthetize this vision; its effectiveness only comes from effective communication and institutionalization; which are debated in the second competence.
The second competence is "meaning through communication". Being an effective leader and being a manager of meaning is indivisible because shared meaning defines on the one hand roles and authority; and, on the other hand helps coordinating actions. Leaders can also be characterized as social architect; they "provides context and commitment" (Bennis and Nanus, 2004, p. 104); it is particularly necessary when an organizational change has to take place. When the organization's culture is going to change, the leaders have also to redefine the social architecture and bring meaning. Three steps have to be respected in order to make this transformation a success. First, leaders have to create a new vision of the future state. Second, they have to develop involvement for this new vision; the organization is called up to accept and support it. In this step, communication is essential and has to take place in various, clear and repeated ways. The third step is the vision institutionalization; it consists in the translation of the vision into reality. The success of this transformation has to do with how the vision leads to a good positioning; this issue is discussed in the next competence.
The third competence is "trust through positioning". Leaders are trustworthy; they preserve the organization integrity and are persistent; they innovate with constancy. So, it is necessary for an organization to position itself in order to be recognized. Mutual trust has to be earned and kept; the role of leaders is to have the competence of predicting outcomes which are likely to appear in the future. Two conditions have to be respected by the leaders: both clear vision and position with a three dimension concern; environment complexity, time and choice. Open communication in sharing these two conditions leads to trust; it decreases the resistance to change, shares the common interests in building a new community and communicates the set of ethics and norms.
The last competence is "deployment of self through positive self-regard". A major factor for leaders to be effective is having a positive self-regard through knowing weaknesses and strengths, improving skills and linking those skills with job requirements. Positive self-regard spreads and the followers begin to see this positive regard thanks to that spread. Self-knowledge and learning are two qualities of leaders. There is a type of learning in which leaders excel: the organizational learning. It is defined as "the process by which an organization obtains and uses new knowledge, tools, behaviors and values" (Bennis and Nanus, 2004, p. 178). The relation between the leaders and their organization is a nurturing one.
Bennis and Nanus (2004, p. 202), classify these competences in a type of leadership style; the transformative leadership.
In my opinion, transformative leaders have to implement changes in an organization. Thanks to the four competences explained above, leaders are able to help their followers to understand why a change needs to be implemented. They have the ability to gather the energy of everyone in order to reach common goals and these one are set up and supported through good communication skills. Followers can see leaders as sense-makers. As a consequence, followers are empowered; they are now looking for challenges and risks in order to reach success.
I was born in a generation where people are used to a fast moving world; where technologies and organizations are in constant evolution. As a consequence, we have the ability to learn faster, we are used to constantly evolve with those changes. We also have the ability to make sense of all these changes that occur.
In my experience I can say that I have already experienced transformative leadership. For example, I taught my mum to use a computer; explaining her why it can have advantages to facilitate her life. At first, she was reluctant because she was afraid of doing it in the wrong way and she didn't trust herself. After explaining once more, she began to understand the usefulness and asked me to teach her other things; she was challenging herself by learning new things. So yes, I can say that I totally agree with what Bennis and Nanus said in their book.
Book review TWO: TWO PAGES
Write a review of the book Bennis, W.G., and Thomas, R.J., Leading for a lifetime, Harvard Business School Press, Boston, MA, 2007, ISBN 978-1-4221-0281-7.
Bennis and Thomas (2007, p. 1), agreed that "the ability to continue learning is an essential skill of leadership" for both geeks (youngest people) and geezers (oldest people). They developed a "leadership development model" (Bennis and Thomas, 2007, p. 123) where the crucibles are at the center; a crucible is a difficult event that leads to a transformation in the individuals' life through a creation of meaning.
Individual factors and the era in which individuals are born have also an influence on their leadership development. Two eras are identified: the era of limits for the geezers and the era of options for the geeks. Although convergences between the two eras were found; such as keeping on learning and going beyond the limits, there are big differences. I'm only going to present the era of options.
I'm 23 years old and I was born in the era of options. In this era, the environment is changing all the time both in the technological point of view and in the economical one.
I have learned to be aware of these changes and to keep myself informed in order to adapt myself. I grew up in this era where the access to information is unlimited thanks to internet and I can't spend a single day not going and see what's happening either in Belgium or in the world.
Another characteristic of this era is that it is full of possibilities. That's true, since I was a young child; my parents always gave me the opportunity to choose between all these possibilities. The first choice I had to make concerned sports in my youngest childhood; later, I had to choose which new language I would like to learn; after the high school I had to find my way to the university and last year I had to decide where I was going to do my Erasmus program. Sometimes it is difficult to make a choice when you have to deal with so many possibilities but it is easier when you already know what you want to do with your life.
After the university, I would like to find a job with responsibilities, challenges and to become a female leader. I can say that this era had an impact on my leadership development because I figured out that female leaders do not yet have their place in organizations; they are not recognized as good leader and I hope that the female in the era of options are going to do their best to change that; I'm going to do mine to make it change.
I heard so many times that people of my generation pay a great attention to find a balance between family and work and I totally agree with them. I am sure that I am going to work hard in the future but I don't want to neglect my family. I grew up in a close-knit family and I think that it is what makes you happy when you can share everything, when you can laugh with them; you know that they are part of you and that you can't live without them.
In order to grow from their crucibles, leaders need to have four main skills called the "Big Four" (Bennis and Thomas, 2007, p. 122) that helped them to define their leadership. Moreover, Bennis and Thomas (2007, p. 150) discovered an important thing: those skills are interconnected.
The first one is "adaptive capacity". It is the leader's ability to learn from crucibles, to create meaning and to seize new opportunities that emerge. Leaders face crucibles with courage and move on with optimism. Adaptive capacity is also being creative. One of my crucibles was when my grand-mother died after fighting cancer during 8 years; I was so sad but when I think about that period even if it was hard, I learned to be courageous, that life is short, that I have to enjoy it and to catch every opportunity I have.
The second skill is "creating shared meaning". When leaders have a vision they have to share it with their followers; it will help them to understand the meaning and to figure out a common goal. It is particularly necessary to communicate efficiently in the era of options where people live in a digital world.
The third skill is "voice" which is composed of self-awareness, emotional intelligence and purpose. Leaders have strong values and rules of conduct. The voice is different form the character; which is a "particular mental or moral attitude" (American Heritage Dictionary, in Bennis and Thomas, 2007, p. 142). Sharing the voice can reach a larger audience and bring reason.
The last competence is "integrity". This competence is composed of a tripod: ambition, competence and moral compass. Ambition is the desire to achieve some defined goals; competence is the expertise in specific skills and moral compass is the ability to identify the good from the bad. It goes without saying that those three elements have to stay in balance in order to keep integrity; it is a whole.
I don't have enough leadership experience yet but I think that I'm on the right path to become a female leader. I grew up with my crucibles, I am able to seize opportunities, and I work hard when I want to reach a particular goal, I am integer; I don't use my competences and ambition to achieve bad things. I have to keep on learning and improve my leadership development.
Assignment THREE: Analysing the arguments (ONE): THREE PAGES
Attached this document is an article from the Journal Leadership Quartely, 2005: "What's your story? A life-story approach to authentic leadership development. By Boas Shamir and Galit Eilam.
The authors, Shamir and Eilam (2005) have presented in the article a different approach to explain and define the authentic leadership: a life-stories approach.
First of all, a clarification was needed in order to understand what is meant by "authentic leaders". This kind of leaders is defined by four attributes (Shamir and Eilam, 2005, pp. 398-399): self-concept, self-resolution, self-concordance and self-expression. These attributes have to be improved in order to make the authentic leader more competent than other types of leaders; it is due to the leader's challenging role and to the effect made on followers (Shamir and Eilam, 2005, p. 399). Moreover, the authors mainly focused on the definition of authentic followership to explain what authentic leadership is because authenticity is also applied to followers and to the relationship between followers and leader as Gardner and al. said (in Shamir and Eilam, 2005, p. 400).
Shamir and Eilam (2005, p. 402) explain that life-stories have several roles in the improvement of authentic leaders. The first role leads a person to answer an important question through life stories: "Who am I" These answers create "self-knowledge". This one, if highly improved, provides self-concept clarity and a meaning system.
Second, life-stories have also the role of "self-justificatory". The authentic leaders' role is not separated from the self because this role allows them to express themselves; Shamir and Eilam call this "high person-role merger" (2005, p. 403). So, life-stories explain and justify the answer to another question: "Why am I here?" Thanks to the narrative method, Shamir and al. (in Shamir and Eilam, 2005, p. 403) found that four main themes emerged from leadership development in life-stories:
"Natural process": something that is inherent in a person, it is a natural development.
"Out of struggle": Bennis and Thomas (in Shamir and Eilam, 2005, p. 404) called these events "crucibles; difficult events from which a person has to overcome.
"Finding a cause": when a personal story and a collective one are linked with the same purpose.
"Learning from experience": leadership has evolved through failures and mistakes.
A third role is "self-development". The writing of life-stories is based on the individual perception and interpretation of events and has to be meaningful in order to enhance self-development according to Widdershoven (in Shamir and Eilam, 2005, p. 406). The approach that Shamir and Eilam (2005, p.407) used is different from the traditional ones. They propose that authentic leaders chose particular events to mirror their concepts; both self and leadership concepts in their life-stories in order to perform their role as leaders.
The last role of life-stories is to act like the "root of authentication". The authentication is made by the followers to find out whether the leader's behaviors are in accordance with his or her values and beliefs (Shamir and Eilam, 2005, p. 408) through diverse methods:
Assessment of a life-story's coherence and credibility
Evaluation of the values and beliefs' justification through life-stories
Research of "authenticity markers" (Pittinksy and Tyson, in Shamir and Eilam, 2005, p. 408)
Comparison of life-stories with other sources
Use of life-stories as model to compare leader's decisions and actions
The main conclusions of the authors are that authentic leadership does not only reside in the leader itself but also in other sources and is characterized by person-role fusion (Shamir and Eilam, 2005, p. 409).
I think that this research takes another point of view than the other ones before. The idea to mainly try to define authentic leadership through authentic followership was really interesting because without followers a leader could not exist and it is a good thing.
Goffee and Jones (2005) stated that authenticity is defined "by what other people see in you and, as such, can to a great extent be controlled by you". The authors could have been further in their research and focused more on the person-role fusion, how to combine the self and the leadership. They also omitted that being authentic can be coached and learned in order to make leaders aware of what life-stories brought to them and to make them able to link the meaning with what the followers are expecting.
According to me, every types of leadership are influenced by life-stories; not only authentic leadership style. They shape our lives; they bring meaning to our lives and define who we are. We can't ignore them and behave in another way.
So, I think that everyone is acting in accordance, in respect with their life-stories both leaders and followers. The values and beliefs created by these stories have divergences and convergences but can be shared by everyone. Nowadays, the quality of authenticity is required in organizations and it is important to take it into account when you are a leader.
As a future leader, I won't leave my authenticity apart, I will be myself and act accordingly with my values and beliefs; they are part of me, define myself and how I behave. Moreover, I think that this authentic leadership has to be combined with other leadership styles in order to be effective. I, future leader, have to find a balance between the different styles while remaining honest, integer and true with myself and with my future followers.
Analyzing the arguments (TWO): THREE PAGES
Please view the video on Bully Broads at the following website:
The Bully Broads program helps female executives that are aggressive or intimidating with their subordinates to become nicer, to change their attitudes towards them.
In my opinion, this kind of program should be applied in organizations when it has been recognized that executive women are acting that way.
Relevant researches may be quoted to support my argument.
The first research is the social identity theory (Hogg, 2001). Social identity has been defined by Tajfel (in Hogg, 2001, p. 186) as "the individual's knowledge that he belongs to certain social groups together with some emotional and value significance to him of this group membership" Being a Bully Broad damages the relationship between leader and followers; those don't feel like belonging to the group anymore. Bringing some kindness can make the difference and get them involved in the group although a balance has to be found. A female executive has to be kind but at the same time rough in order to acquire and keep credibility.
Moreover, in the same research, Hogg (2001, p. 188) suggests that there are three processes that explain how fitting a stereotype can influence positively social identity belonging: "prototypicality", "social attraction" and "attribution". First, women acting as Bully Broads are deviant (they are not in the prototypical alignment); they don't fit the stereotypes assigned to female executives. As a consequence of that deviance, followers don't consider them as a member of the group. Second, the bully broads are also not socially attractive because of their deviance; followers don't like them and are not going to agree and share their ideas. Third, followers are not able to make sense of leader's behaviors if they don't consider her as a member of the group who fits with the stereotypes. Female executives can't therefore have an influence on their followers.
So, this program can help female executives fitting their prototype and that is a beneficial point because followers are influenced by the prototypicality; the higher fit, the higher they are influenced (Hogg, 2001, p. 189). This fit leads them to have a group influence that has been detected and accepted by followers. This influence makes female leaders have a social attraction; they are more liked by their followers. Being liked leads them to apply their leadership through the acceptance of their ideas by the followers Hogg, 2001, p. 190). The last process is the attribution process; that is to transform perceived influence into active leadership. Followers always want to make sense of leaders' behaviors and they are now able to do that because they now consider the leader as one of them.
The second research is the highlight of the role of gender in leadership research by Ayman and Korabik (2010) through three approaches. Only one approach was relevant and in accordance with the Bully Broads; the behavioral approach (Ayman and Korabik, 2010, p. 163). More precisely, the "two-factor approach"; those two factors are people-oriented and task-oriented. Zugec and Korabik (in Ayman and Korabik, 2010, p. 163) showed that these two roles are part of androgynous individuals and that they have the capacity to shift roles according to the situation. In the case of the bully broads, they are totally task- and result-oriented; they don't care about their employees, about their feelings. Bully Broads are over-aggressive and are authoritarian; so, such a program will help them to change their behavior in a nicer way and as a consequence, to care more about their employees. Thanks to this program they will add to their orientation the skill of being person-oriented too.
A second behavioral approach was relevant according to me: the "leader-member exchange (LMX) approach" (Ayman and Korabik, 2010, p. 164). This approach claims that leaders threat their followers distinctly; some feel included in the ingroup and some don't. According to Scandura and Forfman (in Ayman and Korabik, 2010, p. 164), the LMX approach has three main characteristics: trustworthiness, honesty and supportiveness. High LMX is a consequence of effective leadership. In the case of the Bully Broads, female executives lack of supportiveness. Their subordinates don't feel a high LMX; this means that they are not effective. The Bully Broad program, as I already said before, will help those female executives to be nicer and to care about their subordinates. Being more supportive towards them will lead to a high LMX and to a high effectiveness.
Goleman and Boyatzis (2008) also talked about social intelligence. "Leading effectively is, in other words, less about mastering situations-or even mastering social skill sets-than about developing a genuine interest in and talent for fostering positive feelings in the people whose cooperation and support you need." (Goleman and Boyatzis, 2008). The Bully Broads are not interested in their subordinates' feelings; they are aggressive, careless and have no empathy. All that matters is to be result-oriented. Moreover, they are breaking the social norms and don't even notice it (Goleman and Boyatzis, 2008). This Bully Broads program is a kind of coaching program where female executives can analyze the incidents that occurred in their organization. It will lead them to change their attitude towards their subordinates; to be more socially intelligent.
Nowadays, female leaders are not recognized as being effective and good leaders. Following a program like the one presented in the video would also help me to demonstrate that women can be as effective as men without falling in the stereotype.
Moreover, as a future female leader, I would like to follow this kind of program; it would be beneficial and help me to find a balance between fitting the stereotype of female leader and being masculine.
Furthermore, I totally agree with Ayman and Korabik (2010, p. 163) when they talk about androgynous leadership style which combines the instrumental qualities and the expressive qualities. It would allow me to be on the one hand task- and result-oriented and on the other hand person-oriented which is very important in order to be part of a group. It would also allow me to acquire credibility; my followers will trust me because I will care about them and I will be able to influence them.
Assignment FOUR: A personal essay: TWO to FOUR PAGES depending on what you have to say.
Attached to this document is a striking article by Clayton M. Christensen, "How Will You Measure Your Life?" HBR, July/August 2010.
In this essay I'll turn the lenses on myself and answer the three questions asked by Christensen (2010) in order to find out how I can measure my life.
"How can I be sure to find happiness in my career?"
I totally agree with the Herzberg's theory exposed by Christensen. I'm attending this leadership program not only to have a great job in the future but also to know myself better. I had the opportunity to attend this program and I took my chance to be part of it. I expect this program to help me grow and learn about what is my leadership style. Being part of a team is important; you can learn a lot thanks to the members and they can learn a lot thanks to you. I think that the social interactions in life are significant.
Now, it is difficult to say if I will be happy in my career but I'm going to do my best to find a job that could allow me to achieve my goals of being a female leader and having responsibilities. Although money is not one of the most important motivator, it is necessary to earn money in order to be able to live and to meet the needs of my family.
I would also add that my job, to make me feel happy, will have to be challenging, motivating and rewarding: it has to allow me to evolve and to improve myself.
"How can I be sure that my relationship with my family is an enduring source of happiness?"
I have already thought about the purpose of my life many times. My goal is to find in the future a balance between my career and my family which is the most important thing in my life; a family is always there if any problems occur, is always ready to help you and is supportive. Moreover, I will do my best to find a job that I really enjoy; I would like to wake up in the morning and be happy to go working.
I know that my time, my energy and my talent are limited but I will try to give the best of myself both in my career and in my personal life.
Another way to answer this question is to use the "Tools of Cooperation" model which has two dimensions: the power tools and the consensus. I agree with Christensen's students when they say that parents are using power tools when we are younger and that evolve with the time to grow. I think that these power tools are necessary to teach us from the early age what is good or bad to do and to teach respect.
I was born in Belgium but I'm coming from different cultures; my dad's parents are coming from Italy and my mum's are coming from Croatia. They both left their country because they figured out that there was no future and no work available there. I have always been aware that they came in Belgium to give my parents and later, my brother and I, a better life. My origins are important to me because they define who I am, how I behave and where I come from. I've always been taught that I have to be respectful towards the country that welcomed my family, the people who live there and the people who come from other countries. They always remind me that my brother and I are lucky; we have so many opportunities to learn, to live our lives and to enjoy our lives.
At 5 years old my parents sent me to artistic gymnastic class. After two years I was transferred in the competition team. This team taught me to be competitive, to challenge myself and to be perfectionist. I had the will to win and to accomplish difficult tasks so I trained a lot to learn new movements and to do these perfectly.
I'm thankful for that because it shaped my behavior when I have a work to do or when I face a problem. I learned to be patient, to analyze every single possibility or solution and to work hard. My parents always tell me that when you want something and you are working hard for it, you get it and you are rewarded too. My grand-parents did not have the possibility to go to high school and they are so proud of us that we do our best to succeed; to me it is a kind of reward and it makes me so happy.
I can assert that my family and my boyfriend have always been a source of happiness. We share joys and sorrows, we are always here for each other, they make me smile and make me proud of whom I am.
"How can I live a life of integrity?"
I think that acting with integrity is a matter of acting in accordance with principles, honesty, sincerity and truth. I am this kind of person who tells the truth and is honest even if the truth can hurt; telling the truth and what we think honestly can help people to question themselves and think about issues in hindsight.
It is also essential to be integer in a job. It means that you are trustworthy and that you can take your responsibilities.
Regarding the theory about the marginal costs of "just this once" to choose between right and wrong, I can say that when I make a decision and when I think this decision is right, nobody can change my mind. I'm holding to my principles and my decisions all the time.
What about humility, I can say that I have a good self-esteem and I feel good about my life but I'm not pretending that I'm better than the others; everyone I met, I meet or I'll meet in my life can bring me something important to learn. So, I can say that humility makes me a good listener.
All these aspects of my personality will allow me to enter the active life with a good baggage.