Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Women and Power, class discussion, HRM 403

One function of leadership and a vital part of empowerment is that the leader does not accept associates coming to him or her with the problem, without also doing the mental work to explore and suggest solutions or remedies for the problem.

Rule: do not allow anyone simply to bring you a problem without bringing some suggestions on how it could be resolved.

This way you imply that you are expecting people to do their own work and thinking rather than rely on you to solve problems for them. Of course you will bring your own resources to the situation, but as leader you do not want an atmosphere where everyone is running to you with problems expecting you to solve them.

This by the way, BTW, is one of the lessons repeated several times in the Hidden Lions story.

Leadership, team building and empowerment is expecting others to come up with their own solutions or at least do the brainstorming to demonstrate active engagement and research.

Ms Gilreath presentation last night is certainly timely. But something vital is missing, that is urgent to observe and comment on.

Her conclusion was that Corporate America needs to change....

I said or implied in the class that waiting for white men (of whatever age) in power to give women more status and money, etc. is, in essence, waiting for Santa Claus. It does nothing for you as women, or for your case. Nothing. If fact, it can have the effect of digging the hole deeper, because it can be an excuse or justification for (whatever)

This conclusion simply puts the energy, the awareness needed, and the incentive out there, and keeps women and their status in a "done-to" role. It keeps women in a victim role.

This conclusion does not examine the responsibility that you and each of you have to change this world, or at least your own world.

To find and explore Ways and means now available to you right here.

To state only the problem is to put the solution on others, and is not accepting the leadership the situation summons from you.

This implies that women themselves are not responsible for changing the situation.

The danger here is that being Outside the Loop for some creates a sense of resentment and entitlement that because things are not fair, others should recognize and change it. Therefore, if I complain enough or wait enough, something more fair will happen.

This class is about leadership, about taking charge of your work life, defining or redefining your goals.

There can be at least ten things to do that you and Denise can up with to address this situation.

This is leadership. You are part and parcel of Corporate America right now. What is your role, mission and task in creating a more equitable work world for women?

Figure that out, own that, step into it, and you have learned and earned leadership.

Paschal Baute.

Tip. There is no change without risk, courage and vulnerability. As the downhill slalom skier going for the Gold knows (and going 60 miles an hour on edge and on ice embraces totally), "no balls, no blue chip, no guts, no glory, no pain, no gain."

Hilary did not get to where she is today by saying or thinking "it is up to corporate America to recognize these inequities."
Nor did humble Rosa Parks, a cleaning lady taking the bus in Birmingham in 1954, who decided to break the color line and sit in the Whites Only section rather than having to stand in the back.

Note: without Rosa Parks there may not have been a Martin Luther King, Jr......

from wikipedia (potential role model)
Rosa Parks (February 4, 1913 - October 24, 2005) was an African American civil rights activist whom the U.S. Congress later called "Mother of the Modern-Day Civil Rights Movement".

On December 1, 1955, Parks became famous for refusing to obey bus driver James Blake's order that she give up her seat to make room for a white passenger. This action of civil disobedience started the Montgomery Bus Boycott, which is one of the largest movements against racial segregation. In addition, this launched Martin Luther King, Jr., who was involved with the boycott, to prominence in the civil rights movement. She has had a lasting legacy worldwide.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

How to write a thesis statement, for HRM 403

How To Write a Thesis Statement

What is a Thesis Statement?

Almost all of us - even if we don’t do it consciously - look early in an essay for a one- or two-sentence condensation of the argument or analysis that is to follow. We refer to that condensation as a thesis statement.

Why Should Your Essay Contain A Thesis Statement?

  • to test your ideas by distilling them into a sentence or two
  • to better organize and develop your argument
  • to provide your reader with a 'guide” to your argument

In general, your thesis statement will accomplish these goals if you think of the thesis as the answer to the question your paper explores.

How Can You Write Good Thesis Statement?

Here are some helpful hints to get you started. You can either scroll down or select a link to a specific topic.

How to Generate a Thesis if the Topic is Not Assigned.
How to Tell a Strong Thesis Statement from a Weak One.

How to Generate a Thesis Statement if the Topic is Not Assigned.

Even if your assignment doesn’t ask a specific question, your thesis statement still needs to answer a question about the issue you’d like to explore. In this situation, your job is to figure out what question you’d like to write about.

A good thesis statement will usually include the following four attributes:

  • take on a subject upon which reasonable people could disagree
  • deal with a subject that can be adequately treated given the nature of the assignment
  • express one main idea
  • assert your conclusions about a subject

Let’s see how to generate a thesis statement for a social policy paper.

Brainstorm the topic.
Let’s say that your class focuses upon the problems posed by drug addiction. You find that you are interested in the problems of crack babies, babies born to mothers addicted to crack cocaine.

You start out with a thesis statement like this:

Crack babies.

This fragment isn’t a thesis statement. Instead, it simply indicates a general subject. Furthermore, your reader doesn’t know what you want to say about crack kids.

Narrow the topic
Your readings about the topic, however, have led you to the conclusion that not only do these babies have a difficult time surviving premature births and withdrawal symptoms, but their lives will be even harder as they grow up because they are likely to be raised in an environment of poverty and neglect. You think that there should be programs to help these children.

You change your thesis to look like this:

Programs for crack kids.

This fragment not only announces your subject, but it focuses on one main idea: programs. Furthermore, it raises a subject upon which reasonable people could disagree, because while most people might agree that something needs to be done for these children, not everyone would agree on what should be done or who should do it. You should note that this fragment is not a thesis statement because your reader doesn’t know your conclusions on the topic.

Take a position on the topic.
After reflecting on the topic a little while longer, you decide that what you really want to say about this topic is that in addition to programs for crack babies, the government should develop programs to help crack children cope and compete.

You revise your thesis to look like this:

More attention should be paid to the environment crack kids grow up in.

This statement asserts your position, but the terms more attention and the environment are vague.

Use specific language.
You decide to explain what you mean about “the environment,” so you write:

Experts estimate that half of crack babies will grow up in home environments lacking rich cognitive and emotional stimulation.

This statement is specific, but it isn’t a thesis. It merely reports a statistic instead of making an assertion.

Make an assertion based on clearly stated support.
You finally revise your thesis statement one more time to look like this:

Because half of all crack babies are likely to grow up in homes lacking good cognitive and emotional stimulation, the federal government should finance programs to supplement parental care for crack kids.

Notice how the thesis answers the question, “Why should anything be done for crack kids, and who should do it?” When you started thinking about the paper, you may not have had a specific question in mind, but as you became more involved in the topic, your ideas became more specific. Your thesis changed to reflect your new insights.

How to Tell a Strong Thesis Sentence from a Weak One.

1. A strong thesis takes some sort of stand.

Remember that your thesis needs to show your conclusions about a subject. For example, if you are writing a paper for a class on fitness, you might be asked to choose a popular weight-loss product to evaluate. Here are two thesis statements:

There are some negative and positive aspects to the Banana Herb Tea Supplement.

This is a weak thesis. First, it fails to take a stand. Second, the phrase “negative and positive aspects” is vague.

Because Banana Herb Tea Supplement promotes rapid weight loss that results in the loss of muscle and lean body mass, it poses a potential danger to customers.

This is a strong thesis because it takes a stand.

2. A strong thesis justifies discussion.

Your thesis should indicate the point of the discussion. If your assignment is to write a paper on kinship systems, using your own family as an example, you might come up with either of these two thesis statements:

My family is an extended family.

This is a weak thesis because it states an observation. Your reader won’t be able to tell the point of the statement, and will probably stop reading.

While most American families would view consanguineal marriage as a threat to the nuclear family structure, many Iranian families, like my own, believe that these marriages help reinforce kinship ties in an extended family.

This is a strong thesis because it shows how your experience contradicts a widely-accepted view. A good strategy for creating a strong thesis is to show that the topic is controversial. Readers will be interested in reading the rest of the essay to see how you support your point.

3. A strong thesis expresses one main idea.

Readers need to be able to see that your paper has one main point. If your thesis expresses more than one idea, then you might confuse your readers about the subject of your paper. For example:

Companies need to exploit the marketing potential of the Internet, and web pages can provide both advertising and customer support.

This is a weak thesis statement because the reader can’t decide whether the paper is about marketing on the Internet or web pages. To revise the thesis, the relationship between the two ideas needs to become more clear. One way to revise the thesis would be to write:

Because the Internet is filled with tremendous marketing potential, companies should exploit this potential by using web pages that offer both advertising and customer support.

This is a strong thesis because it shows that the two ideas are related. Hint: a great many clear and engaging thesis statements contain words like “because,” “since,” “so,” “although,” “unless,” and “however.”

4. A strong thesis statement is specific.

A thesis statement should show exactly what your paper will be about, and will help you keep your paper to a manageable topic. For example, if you write a paper on hunger, you might say:

World hunger has many causes and effects.

This is a weak thesis statement for two major reasons. First, “world hunger” can’t be discussed thoroughly in five or ten pages. Second, "many causes and effects" is vague. You should be able to identify specific causes and effects. A revised thesis might look like this:

Hunger persists in Appalachia because jobs are scarce and farming in the infertile soil is rarely profitable.

This is a strong thesis because it narrows the subject to a more specific and manageable topic and it also identifies the specific causes for the existence of hunger.

Produced by Writing Tutorial Services, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Hello, Midway HRM 403: here is the outline promised

Paschal Baute, 1997b, revised


What do I feel are my greatest strengths?
What strengths have others who know me well noticed in me?

What do I deeply enjoy doing?
What qualities of character do I most admire in others?
Who is the one person (several?) that has made the greatest positive
impact on my life?
Why was that person (those persons) able to have such significant
What have been my happiest moments?
Why were they happy?
If I had unlimited time and resources, what would I choose to do?

When I daydream, what do I see myself doing?
What are the 3 or 4 most important things to me?
When I look at my work life, what activities do I consider of greatest worth
and interest?
When I look at my personal life, what activities do I consider of greatest
What can I do best that would be of worth to others?
What talents do I have that no one else really knows about?

Though I may have dismissed such thoughts may times before for various
reasons, are
there activities I feel I really should do? What are they?
It has been said, "everyone must find their own Mt. Everest to climb."
What would / could your own Mt. Everest be?
What are my physical needs and capacities (and limits)?
How satisfied am I with my current level of fulfillment in the physical area?
What quality of life outcomes do I want that are different from what I now
have in this area?
What principles / goals / values / practices will create these outcomes?

What are my social needs and capacities?
How satisfied are I with my current level of fulfillment in the social area?
What quality of life outcomes do I want that are different from what I now
have in this area?
What principles / goals / values will create these outcomes?
What are my mental needs and capacities?
How satisfied are I with my current level of fulfillment in the mental area?
What quality of life outcomes do I want that are different from what I now
have in this area?
What principles / goals / values will create these outcomes?
What are my spiritual needs and capacities?
How satisfied am I with my current level of fulfillment in the spiritual area?
What quality of life outcomes do I want that are different from what I now
have in this area?
What principles / goals / values will create these outcomes?
Where do I see my physical, social, mental and spiritual needs and
capacities meshing and overlapping?
What do I view as are my a) important and b) essential roles in life?
b) ___________________________________________________
What are the most important lifetime goals I want to fulfill in each role?
A) __________________________________________________
b) ___________________________________________________
What results am I currently getting in my life that I like or want?
What patterns or attitudes are producing these results?
What results am I getting in my life that I do not want or like?
What are the patterns, attitudes or paradigms that are producing these
What would I really like to be and to do in my life?
What are the important principles / goals / values upon which my being
and doing are based?
What is the core, central value, the tap root of my life from which I would
like all other principles / values / outcomes to proceed?
Everyone sabotages themselves sooner or later by attitudes, scripts,
assumptions and illusions about life and relationships that are mostly
outside awareness. What would someone who knows you well suggest as
the most likely way you will sabotage your own best efforts. Be willing to
ask and listen carefully to others. Ways I am likely to sabotage myself
are: 1) ___________________________________________________
What is your plan for preventing this self-sabotage? (Note: this may be
the most important question of all)______________
What feedback will you seek and get from others to help you keep on
Who are your best sources for this

Suggestion: be sure to share and discuss these with someone you trust to
listen well.

Here is a tip on personal change:
Any new behavior you practice for 21 days straight becomes a habit. Two
new habits are necessary for a new attitude. Two attitudes are necessary
to establish a core value. When this core value gets really tested or
conflicts with another core value, you may need to decide which is the
most important, and then establish another habit and/or attitude to
support that new priority, so that it becomes not simply notional, but
operational, where the "rubber hits the road," or so that you can "walk
your talk."
None of us totally "walk our talk," which is the reason ongoing feedback is
not merely useful but necessary for growth.