Bedroom Design And Special Characteristics Sample Assignment

My bedroom provides a close view of the sea. Situated on the first floor, it is a large, glass panelled room and its balcony faces the seashore. The room is a vantage point to observe the sea and listen to its music. My aesthetic sense reflects in the manner in which its interior is done, the color choice, as well as its furnishing. I can say, the room affects my character also in turn. Overall, I enjoy spending time here and it is one place in the world where I am at peace with myself.

My bedroom is the place where I spend most of my time, because I use it as my study also. Situated on the first floor of my two storey villa, on the seaside, its balcony faces the shore. Sitting here, I can view the vast expanse of the sea, stretching along a dense growth of greenery on both sides and blending into the distant horizon at the other side. As a person enters my bedroom, he or she will first see the large bed, done in dark brown mahogany, laid out in the farthest corner in the left side of the room. The corners have two columns of wooden panel of 2 feet width, matching the color of the bed and the lower portion of the bedspread. The left side wall has wooden panel covering the breadth of the bed where concealed lights behind the panel provides a peculiar type of illumination but ample light when I choose to read in the bed.

About 6 feet away from the leg side of the bed is a wooden partition that separates the bed from the study. In the study, there are racks of fibre and wooden shelves with glass panels where I keep my books. The study, again, has concealed illumination but it is very bright when the lights are on. The room freshener I keep these exudes the fragrance of musk and, with the lighting and color combination of the walls and wooden panels, the ambience becomes so pleasant and charming. The keep the air conditioner on for most of the time and it provides the room the right compliment of temperature that matches its ambience. Overall, if anyone happens to visit my bedroom he or she hates the prospect of leaving it.

My bedroom, situated on the first floor of my two storied villa, is the place where I spend most of my time. I use this space as my study also. Since its balcony faces the shore, sitting here, I can view the vast expanse of the sea, blending into the distant horizon. I can also listen to its roar, often mixed with the cacophony of the seagulls quaking.

Negotiation Strategy: Miami School Negotiations

According to the Zoning Board, with the congestion of the school districts, it is advisable to rezone to mitigate the issue of overcrowding of the districts (Carnahan, 2003). The board also thinks that rezoning is considered more cost effective as compared to building new school blocks more cost effective than building new schools. The issue to consider is whether it is cost effective to make students travel more than 20 miles every day to attend the school. Apart from the risks involved in commuting, the increased cost of transportation also poses a significant problem. It is argued that the rezoning may also hinder the aspirations of the parents to send their children to the best schools.

Analysis

There was a proposal to rezone the school district and the Miami-Dade County Working Group on Public Schools Overcrowding Relief approved the recommendations to ease crowding in Miami-Dade. This implies that there will be moving of children from one school to the other. The school boards and Board of County Commissioners will be authorized to move the students from the overcrowded schools. The effect of such move on the stakeholders is analyzed in this paper. While generally it may be a small inconvenience to the parents and students, this move is expected to be beneficial in the long-term to the public.

Quality of Education

This move will have a significant effect on the education of the children. Since the curriculum of the school is the same throughout the State, moving children from the overcrowded schools may not really affect the continuance in the education. In fact, because of overcrowding, the teachers may not be able to show equal attention to all the students. By moving children to less crowded schools in the same school district, the State would be facilitating the promotion of quality education.

Increased Travel Time

The increased travel time makes the students leave their homes earlier. They can return to their homes only late. This poses a serious problem for the working parents, as they have to get up earlier than usual to ensure that the needs of the children for attending to the schools are taken care of. This will hamper the daily routine of the parents. The education of the children would also get affected, as the children will have only lesser time left for attending to their home works due to increased commuting time. The problem here seems to be a physical inconvenience to a learning issue.

Ethical Impact – Crossing economic and cultural boundaries

This issue has always been considered as one of the sensitive subjects. It is the feeling of many of the citizens that they are entitled to live in better neighborhoods, since they pay higher amount of taxes. They also are of the view that their children should attend schools in the districts in which they have settled by acquiring a house and other properties. They really are not inclined to send their children to schools where the children of poor parents are also studying. They feel that there is no necessity for the urban children to mingle with the children from rural areas. Similarly, the idea of Catholic children attending schools with Muslim children is also not appealing to them. These are some of the basic issues, which may arise when the families move to different localities to ensure that their children receive the best education possible. When they are unable to reach these objectives, they feel that the boundary of protection they had been crossed by outsiders. However, there is always the facility of registering their children in private schools or residential schools if they really wish to avoid any of these cultural clashes.

It is the period when the children attend the school, at which he/she is exposed to different cultures. It is at this age that children are taught to fight against racism by making them interact with children of different cultures, color and creed. In fact, the parents should welcome such an atmosphere, which shapes the attitudes of children in the formatting years. However, it seems there is still a long way before this can be realized by majority of the people.

Impact on property values

In the current economic scenario, the homeowners in the school districts would never want any reduction in their property values. People move to different school districts for getting better education for their children. Since rezoning of school districts may result in the movement of certain households, the impact on the property value may be felt, but not to a significant level.

Stakeholders

There are a number of stakeholders connected with the functioning of the schools (Miami Dade School Board Agenda, 2001).Students are the first and important group of stakeholders. Movement of children from one school to another may lead to drastic changes in the lives of children, as they have to get used to new surroundings and make new friends. The attending of a new school may turn out to be a traumatic experience. It may also be an an exciting one for some other students.

Parents as the next group of stakeholders seem to be unhappy with the rezoning of school districts. They are not keen in making the children travel over 20 miles every day. In addition, if they move to a newer place, it becomes difficult for them to adjust to the new surroundings than the children.

Taxpayers form the majority of the stakeholders who are affected. The zoning might result in the increase in the tax payable by the citizens. Since Miami is occupied by most senior citizens with limited income, the increase in taxes may prove to be burden for them. With many seniors living in Miami, this could be a burden on those with limited incomes. Since this group of citizens does not have children, they may not understand the intricacies of the problem. Moreover, the additional cost of transportation of students has also to be put up by the taxpayers.

The school district as a stakeholder will have to fund the transportation properly. In addition, the cost of additional book supplies and additional teaching personnel to manage the additional children moved in the redrawn school district has to be met by the school district authority. More students imply, more costs leading to higher taxes..

Negotiation Strategies and Plan for Successful Outcome

The best negotiation strategy is to adopt one, which is strong enough to influence the other. The citizens have to join and represent their feelings on rezoning to the authorities. If the majority of the citizens are for rezoning, then the school board should adhere to the wish of the majority. On the other hand if the majority is not in favor of rezoning then the school board should drop the idea. However, this can happen in a perfect world. In reality, the Board goes ahead and does what it feels better for the children and the Board does not consider the needs and feelings of the parents. In order to arrive at a solution it is essential that a compromising solution be reached so that the majority can be appeased.

Funding can be used as a negotiating tool if the school board wishes to proceed with rezoning. The school will receive funding each date the student attends the school. In case the students are not attending the classes there will be no need for funding the school and the school will lose the funding. Home schooling is another option, which can be cited by the parents to oppose the rezoning. When the majority of families opt for home schooling, the school district will receive less funding. With lesser number of students, there will be no need for rezoning.

References

Carnahan, I. (2003). Desegregation’s Broken Promises. Web.

MiamiDadeSchoolBoardAgenda. (2001). Miami Dade School Board Agenda. Web.

Leadership Application And Leadership By Example

Introduction

Leadership, whether political or business is about influence and strategic planning, and organization. Good leaders are not unaware of the existing conditions and circumstances, but that they act to produce good results in those prevailing circumstances. The qualities, as well as the functions and roles of good leaders, have been brought forward. This paper analyzes leadership, discusses qualities of good leadership by example, and application of leadership while trying to look at examples of leaders from the United States. The paper also discusses the particular areas where the chosen leader would have improved in his leadership style.

Leadership by Example

Both political and business leaders are appreciated and well-rated because of the success stories behind them as well as remarkable performance in their fields. Political leaders stand to lead the citizens and give them proper results, while business leaders stand to please the stockholders by good business results.

Abraham Lincoln, FDR, George Washington, Theodore Roosevelt, and Harry Truman were ranked by historians as the best five presidential leaders in 2000 according to a survey by C-SPAN. Ten qualities of leadership were used to rate 41 persons who ever held the presidential office in the White House including Bill Clinton. The study, which ranked each president by qualities, involved fifty-eight historians across the political spectrum. C-SPAN also conducted another survey in 2009 but Abraham Lincoln ranked the best among the 42 candidates including the former president George W. Bush. The study used a scale of one (“not effective”) to ten (“very effective”) in both studies to rank the presidents. In the year 2009 survey, 147 participants were involved, including historians and professional observers of the presidency. The second best in the ranking was Washington with a score of 854 overall, followed by F.D with 837, then T. Roosevelt with 781 and then Truman with 708 points. The ten characteristics used to rank the presidents are grouped here in the following:

  • How to persuade the public
  • The ability to lead during a crisis or at crisis or handling that, and economic management,
  • Moral authority, and relations with the Congress
  • Internal relations, and administrative skills,
  • Vision/setting an agenda pursued equal justice for all, and performance within the context of times.

This paper, therefore, analyzes the case of Abraham Lincoln as an example of a good leader.

Abraham Lincoln has a score of above 80 points in all the aforementioned qualities and characteristics of good leadership as the president of the United States, in the 2009 analysis (C-SPAN, 2009). Some of the characteristics of Lincoln might have been learned while as a military official. Lincoln was good at formulating strategies to win battles militarily as a solution. Although he faced humiliation, ridicule, and insult from his very officials at a personal level, he recognized the importance of them in the line of command. He was concentrated on strengthening the office more than a “strong president” and has offered a good example of leadership. In appointing Hooker as a top command one time, he sent a letter openly counseling him of the shortcoming while applauding Hooker’s strengths. Although he regarded him as a confident and professional person among other qualities, he disagreed with the characters of self-ambition and his comment that the army and the U.S. government needed a dictator. This shows a leader who was ready to capitalize on individuals to harness their power and prowess despite knowing their shortcomings. His character to indicate lack of selfish motives appears in a move in which he announced that the blacks freed by proclamation would be received into the army. Lincoln also relied on professional military advice as opposed to an overconfident character. He allowed diversity in that his generals could put their plans under his allowance. But he had his weakness in this too because he could do nothing when his subordinates ignored his directives. A character of undue meekness or vacillation could be what was making him be tolerant of abuses. Some of the things that the leader would have checked include the individual cabinet members seeming to have an upper hand over the leader, among others. Lincoln appointed Stanton as a cabinet member despite suffering insults before.

Greenstein has brought out qualities of a good president that he considers essential for good performance. The president must be proficient in public communication according to him (2000). Some of the other abilities that the president should have include organizational capacity, proficiency in political skill and extensively harnessing activities to a definitive vision. The president must possess the cognitive style to handle and process the advice and information coming his way. An emotionally intelligent president will not allow his emotions to control him or her or dominate to the extent of undermining public performance but that he or she can turn them to constructive purposes (Weber, 1919; cited in Greenstein, 2000). The president explained on the issue of the North facing the South that the enemy held the interior but they held the exterior lines. He indicated his confidence as a good leader, which is imperative for success in such situations. His mastery allowed positioning himself in the professional fight strategists and to grasp the logistics and the strategies (Lincoln, 1862). He understood the importance of the battles and appreciation, and his love for the country or commitment as the president made him acquire military sophistication and advance in battles. According to this leader, conquest could only be achieved by displacing the enemies as well as disconnecting their communication lines. He can therefore be considered a strategic leader who capitalized on victory and battle success. One of his strategies at one time was to menace the enemy with superior forces at different points at the same time. The overall strategy which is comprised of the aforementioned and other things has been termed as simultaneous advance (Herman & Archer, 1983).

Lincoln agreed to go against Richmond at the beginning of 1862 but had been better versed with military tactics by this time. According to McClellan, they would gain the city through frontal assault although it would not be possible to destroy the enemy’s army. Disorienting the foe’s communication system thus making her to wage war over the chosen ground will inflict real damage to the forces (Confederate).These efforts would make sure that Lincoln would decrease the available Confederate reinforcements in order to carry the City of Richmond. He advocated for fighting Lee as far as possible from his base in Richmond. He realized the strategy of weakening the Confederacy to overwhelm Lee and Richmond, as well as at one time pursuing the strategy of preventing Lee to reinforce southern armies rather than engaging the enemy firstly (Lincoln, 1862).

Theory about good leadership has emanated. Sturgis and American Institute of Parliamentarians have theorized three roles of the president leader, namely, as a leader, administrator and a presiding officer. Political or business leaders must have the ability to plan, to unite all people behind a plan and the courage to win (1988). A political leader must seek to integrate the social, political, and economical factors which he is heading in order to provide good climate and success for all. Leadership qualities are essential as they form the basis of making decisions. They are those qualities such as honesty and integrity that are deep seated and develop only slowly over time (Wilson, Gilbert & Patricia, 2006). A strong leader by example must contain good morality that can be exemplified by others, and be of integrity. This is essential so that he can be trusted with those that he is leading. Trust is important for effective leadership (Erwin, 2001). Presidents must be able to lead by persuasion (Neustadt, 1960; cited in Erwin, 2001). In addition to having leadership skills, the leader must posses managerial skills which will make him become conscious of organizing the resources that are available to him and how to utilize them efficiently and effectively. These are not like the leadership skills, in that they can be taught and developed over short time. They comprise abilities such as to build partnerships and have dialogues. A president with independent powers must learn to work with his or her colleagues who have some form of independent powers such as the Congress or definition of purpose in order to effectively carry out his mandate (Erwin, 2001). A president too must learn to work with his subordinates in the government in order to make sure that the commands in the implementation of policies and his directives do not fail. Presidential leaders therefore can learn management skills on how to involve and make partnerships with other like-minded parties and how to best benefit from these partnerships. A political leader must be able to integrate the social and environmental considerations into core decisions through the exercise of reflexive abilities. Reflexive abilities are a combination of leadership and management skills. They include emotional awareness, meaningful dialogue and developing a new language, embracing diversity and managing risks and systemic thinking (Wilson, Gilbert, and Patricia, 2006). Greenstein has mentioned Roosevelt, Kennedy, Reagan and Clinton-when at his best as shinning exceptions of good public communicators. The author argues that the three gained the character by effort and experience. Reagan was a movie actor and a radio announcer and an employee at the corporate speaking circuit. The author is of the opinion that the lack of the “teaching and preaching” character or proficiency in it may have cost George Bush’s second term reelection in 1992. Eisenhower was known for handling the information brought before him by letting the advisors discuss before him, which he indicated as important in getting courageous men of strong views. He did not advocate bringing one person at a time.

As a politically skilled person, the president must retain, maintain or establish a reputation of being skilled and determined political operator, use his office assertively, and build public support (Neustadt, 1960; cited in Greenstein, 2000). Carter performed best in this category while FDR was the best in policy vision, i.e. best in the extent to which his political views informed his action.

Although Abraham Lincoln has been highly rated by the American people as the best president in history, there are areas which he should have improved, especially in consideration of the successes of other presidents in certain areas. The areas where the rating of other presidents such as handling of information and advice brought to him have not been attributed to the leader. The leader should have performed better as the president by taming his tolerance to the people, even his subordinates who abused him. Definitely, a leader should earn respect from subordinates not through coercion or any other means than influence. Influence helps a person to rally the subordinates behind him, and this would make him perform better. As a human being, insults would demoralize, and Lincoln should have avoided all that by not allowing much tolerance. This tolerance also allowed him to let the generals try out their plans under his allowance. Even when the subordinates ignored his subordinates, he could do nothing at times, and this made him a weak leader. A good leader must ensure that certain actions are carried out to improve implementation of his directives and that the subordinates submit to him.

Reference

C-SPAN. C-SPAN 2009 Historians presidential survey. Web.

Erwin, H. (2001). Presidential power and political science. Presidential Studies Quarterly, Vol. 31,(2). Web.

Greenstein. (2000). The Qualities of effective president: An overview from FDR to Bill Clinton. Presidential Studies Quarterly Vol. (30).( 1)

Herman, H. and Archer, J. (1983). How the North Won: A Military History of the Civil War. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1983, p. 89

Lincoln to Agenor-Etienne de Gasparin. (1862). in Roy P. Basler et al., eds., The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, 9 vols. New Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press, 1953–1955, 5: 355

Lincoln to McClellan. (1862). Basler, Collected Works, 5: 460–62. The maxim quoted by Lincoln is from Baron Antoine Henri de Jomini’s The Art of War, trans. G.H. Mendell and W.P. Craighill. 1862; reprint ed., Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Publishing Co., 1971. pp. 460-62

Neustadt, Richard E. (1960). Presidential power. New York: John Wiley. Pp.24 -68

Sturgis, A., and American Institute of Parliamentarians. (1988). The standard code of parliamentary procedure. New York: McGraw-Hill, pp. 9 -33

Wilson, A., Gilbert, L., and Patricia, H. (2006). Leadership qualities and management competencies for corporate responsibility. European Academy of Business in Society-EABIS. Web.

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