Ethics assignment

I gave my undergraduate students (from the CDA 4504 - Intro to Data Communications class) an optional assignment on Ethics. They were asked to read and summarize the recent paper by M. Bergerman mentioned in an earlier post.

The results were outstanding! In addition to providing a critical review and summary of the article, many students accepted my suggestion and added a personal touch to their short essays. Some referred to good or bad bosses they had in the past. Some (with leadership responsibilities in their current jobs) spoke about the challenges they face as supervisors. Many thanked me for the opportunity and stated that they have learned a lot from it. All in all, a worthwhile experience that I plan to repeat (possibly with different articles, of course) for many years to come.

I thank the students for putting the time and effort needed to prepare their short essays and invite them to post (excerpts of) them via comments to this blog.


  1. I believe in 3p’s; Passion, Planning, and Performance are the key ingredients for leadership. I like to agree with Bergerman on leader being generated not born. Leadership qualities are achieved by studying other larders work, by observing leaders and by working with leaders.
    I think interaction and respect are part of process to become leader, because these two qualities of leader do not change over the life of leader. On other hand, passion, planning and performance would increases as leader success to lead. Processes don’t do any work; people with passion, vision, and plan do work. Leader must become the change he or she wants to see.
    Passion (Vision), planning and performance are the major qualities of a true leader, and earning respect and having effective interaction are part of the process to become a true leader; other wise, the only real training for leadership is leadership itself.
    Thanks to Dr. Marques for allowing us to share our words.

  2. According to the article a leader must have 5 important features. They are vision, planning, performance, interaction and respect. The author described vision as the ability to see the future of a project or a goal and know if it is worth pursuing. Basically it is about achieving the right results in the right way. Vision is a skill that will be improved by experience over time. Also with vision there comes planning because when you see something you have to plan it the right way so that you would accomplish your goal. A leader needs to set sub goals and keep going by accomplishing every sub goal until he reaches his goal. His sub goals can be on paper, in his mind or both. Performance is needed by the leader so that he can follow how his goal is coming up and he should be able to quantify the progress. To see if every thing is going in order a leader will need to interact with the employees and make sure they are going on the right direction. This is called interaction. A leader must be able to identify what each employee can or can’t do so that when he assigns everyone jobs to do they can do the job assigned to them. Last feature would be respect. A leader must be respectful no matter what. It is not only personal respect but he need to be honest, he should know ethical behavior and he need to make sure he does not humiliate anyone. Once an employee does not trust you anymore or think you humiliated her, her performance is going to be worse than before and it is going to be harder to win her back. All these features are connected to each other so that the author views it as a building where respect is the foundation for all other aspects of leadership then interaction, performance, planning, and vision builds on each other. The reason vision is on top so that it will be like the leader can see above everything else.
    Building up all these features as a leader is not that hard. You can always learn planning, performance and interaction. You might say vision is hard but the way to learn it is if you work with a person with a vision, you can always learn from him. Vision is related to experience too so more work you do and more you work with a good leader you will build up your vision skills. This leaves us with respect which is not a feature you can learn but a characteristic. A person is either respectful or not. It is always hard to change you characteristic too so it is really hard for some one who is disrespectful to change into someone respectful. Without any of these features; ingredients as the author calls them, you can not be a leader because the building will collapse.
    If you would ask how about technical expertise, author explains it as leadership is in parallel with expertise. That also can be learned throughout the time also so that it will build up as you become a good leader.
    In conclusion; author finishes by explaining how important respect is because you can always learn about vision, performance, interaction because those are dependent on experience. You will learn to have better performance or better planning or you will know how to interact with employees but you can not build up on your respect towards your employees.