Learning Goal: I’m working on a business question and need an explanation and answer to help me learn.
Task #1 Pre-Work — Relating your experience/expectation and your thoughts on the Service-Learning Project to “Who Moved My Cheese?”
Task #1 is designed to promote thinking about the change(s) that each student may need to make to assume a leadership role today and for the future. Each student should read the “Cheese” book to start thinking about his/her leadership skills. Your response must cover BOTH your thoughts on project management/leadership AND your thoughts on the “Cheese” book and its characters. References from BOTH the Lussier & Achua (216), our textbook, AND the “Who moved my cheese” book are required.
BACKGROUND ON “WHO MOVED MY CHEESE?”
There are four characters in the story. “Sniff” recognizes change early, while “Scurry” moves quickly into action to adapt to change. “Haw” adapts to change in time, while “Hem” denies the existence of change. The maze is where one spends time to find his/her cheese.
In expanding an individual’s thinking about change, Spencer Johnson advises the reader to “move with the cheese” for the changes that are inevitable. He advises the reader to stop wasting time and/or effort fighting change. Deal with “what is” as you move forward. Instead of living in fear of change, each of us must learn to live in anticipation of what is coming down the road. Thinking about and planning for change ahead of time makes it easier to confront change and reduces the powerful habit of avoidance. As a leader, each of us needs to learn to find balance in all aspects of life where balance sometimes seems impossible.
Who Moved My Cheese? guides the reader to opt for more efficient and effective ways to deal with change – whether in the workplace, at school, and/or at home. In the book, “cheese” is the metaphor for what a person wants in life. It could be a job, a relationship, money, freedom, recognition, good physical and/or spiritual health, etc. A person pursues cheese because he/she believes that it will make him/her happy. Once we get our cheese, we become attached to it and we want more and more cheese. If we lose our cheese or it gets taken away, life can be full of discontent.
“Change” can be defined as a promise for a better life rather than as a stumbling block or a dead end. Some people feel that Johnson’s book is too simplistic. If you agree with this assessment, keep in mind that the real value of the book is in the interpretation and application of its principles into your own life. Think about how to use the principles described in the book. For instance, “What would you do if you were not afraid?”
The Task #1 essay should be no longer than three double-spaced pages. Each student must discuss how the “Cheese” book relates to his/her leadership skills at this time and how he/she might improve his/her leadership skills over time to become a better leader.
Some questions are provided to get your thinking started.
- In terms of change, which character in the book do you currently identify with and why? Explain whether or not this character is a leader. If not, what is this character lacking? What are your leadership weaknesses?
- Could your leadership approaches working with the people and organization of your choice for your service learning project be similar to the way the characters function in the book Who Moved My Cheese?
- Have you had good work, school, and /or home experiences in the past as a team leader instead of working on a project individually? Please explain
- Will you be like Sniff, Scurry, Hem and/or Haw? For some students, the notion and the possibility of volunteering at your choice of organization to complete the Service-Learning Project may sound exciting and actually build individual enthusiasm.
- What advantages and/or disadvantages do you see in doing a service learning project?
- What skills and/or attributes give you the ability to do this undertaking on your own? Do you have these skills and/or attributes? Which ones? Describe at least three in top-down
- Which character would you like to be in the future? List and describe three possible areas for improvement in your leadership ability/skills. In terms of your future as a leader, outline the steps that you will need to change today in order to become a leader of
It is not necessary to answer each question. However, it is important to weave your thoughts together in a cohesive essay — using no more than one short bulleted list of items. Your essay should include an introduction, a body, and a conclusion.
Learning is about managing multiple inputs and relating to the information to one sentence – which is defined as the introductory topic sentence of your essay. Start this tool by stating your topic sentence. Make a bold statement. What is the point that you want to make about yourself in relation to the leadership topic of change?
What do you really want to say in the body of your essay? Use the “assert and defend” style to make your point(s). “Assert” or “Make” a statement. Provide proof to “defend” it. Do it again and again. (Like the Self-Assessment Test Essays, use the five-paragraph format – introduction, body with three examples, and conclusion.)
Finish your essay with a strong summarizing conclusion. Be sure to provide at least three references from Chapter 1 in the textbook AND three references from the Cheese book. Please note that you must use APA formatting style for all your writing. For more information on APA please visit:
SUMMARY ON HOW TO PROCEED:
Read Chapter One in the textbook. Your essay should include at least three reference sources from the first chapter in the textbook. (This is not a Self-Assessment Test Essay so the same reference requirements do not apply.) Read Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson, MD in its entirety. Your essay (APA formatting style) should include at least three reference sources from Johnson’s book. Your essay must include thoughts and reflections on BOTH leadership and the “Cheese” book story and its characters.