Thomas Ross/ Class 10: Leadership

by Thomas-Ross

251. What does leadership mean to you?

Leadership is taking action of a situation or a challenge, investing all your skill and knowledge to be the example, taking charge and always continuing to advance.

252. In what ways have your past decisions prepared you for leadership?

The decisions that I made prior to being incarcerated were not mature, but they have helped my reflect on how to mature. I do not like to look back, but I realized that the people I was around and the majority of the decisions I have made was not good for myself and my family. I thank God for strengthening me from within and giving me another opportunity to change my life. By being separated from your family and loved ones something inside of you changes and you realize that you have to grow for the better outcomes. I understand that adversity represents a simple fact of life. I am in a much better place within because I have made my decisions based on Gods spirit. To me a setback is a setup for a comeback.

253. Where does leadership begin?

Leadership begins with choices that we as individuals make. Regardless of the continual challenges we face we can make decisions with regard to how we respond. If we lead we can evaluate the situation and take actions in ways that enable us to make the most of any circumstance.

254. In what ways can an individual measure his capacity to lead?

An individual can prepare himself to lead by taking charge of his life. That means that he beings in a position of strength within. Understanding what values he wants to live by. He then sets goals and holds himself accountable to accomplishing those goals. I believe that making decisions spiritually based leads to a better outcome in life.

255. In what ways can an individual measure his effectiveness at leadership?

I believe that the more effectively a person in a leadership position reaches his objectives, the more it becomes evident that he accumulates his success as a leader. Even if the person of leadership documents his progress he can show where he started from and how he advanced to accomplish his goals. The object is to continue to make progress and never give up.

256. What does it mean to have a vision?

To have a vision means to understand a mental image produced by ones imagination. As a leader, one can see the big picture clearly in his mind and lead others effectively towards the vision. The vision may apply to all aspects of life depending on what goals are needed to be accomplished. The vision then comes to life and pursued until completed.

257. How does a leader gauge the effectiveness of a plan?

To gauge the effectiveness of a plan, one must clearly identify a vision. Then a leader may gauge the effectiveness by setting measurable goals and documenting the progress. Whether it’s daily, monthly, or yearly. The plan is to stay on point. Every step leads to the objective or the goal for completeness of the vision.

258. Why would leadership require accountability tools?

A leader requires accountability tools because he understands a vision that in not materialized by accident. A leader must chart a course that turns a vision into reality. Accountability tools help gauge and measure a leaders progress. If a leader does not have accountability tools, he has no knowledge if he’s moving closer to accomplishing a vision.

259. How would a leader make the most effective use of accountability tools?

A leader would make the most use of his accountability tools my taking things that are normally immeasurable and turning them into quantitative measurements. By doing this, there is much less room for miscommunication because numbers are hard to argue.

260. How would you describe leadership by example?

An individual who leads by example exhausts himself entirely into his vision. He does whatever it takes to accomplishing the objective towards the vision. He leads by showing others all of the necessary steps it takes to embrace the principles by which he lives by. My example of a true leader Jesus Christ who showed his disciples how to live accordingly to Gods plan, preparing them for the Kingdom of Heaven.

261. What does leading with integrity mean to you?

Leading with integrity means to me doing things that align with my values system and beliefs. Doing things that are right, following through with things I say I am going to do, and respecting others as well as expecting them to respect myself.

262. In what ways does personal leadership require an individual to put the concerns of others ahead of his own?

Personal leadership implies that an individual makes value-based decisions. He has a clear understanding of who and what holds the highest relevance to his life. The decisions he makes will demonstrate his commitment to those values. If he holds his family to the highest importance in his life, he then places his family peace, stability, security, happiness, at the center of all his decisions.

263. How can our behavior in prison influence the lives of those we ask to support or sponsor us?

Inmate behaviors in prison can influence the lives of others by showing growth within. Just about every prisoner by the time they start their sentence and make decisions daily that leads to changes towards ones growth. Its an adjustment that takes place. When a prisoner realizes that the sooner his life changes for the better, the more growth takes place to becoming a better person. Improving an education and communication and self-help skills will help with employment opportunities. When a prisoner is released to society.

264. When living within the restrictions of prison boundaries, where can we turn for leadership training?

To be very honest with you the potential followers of interest in my site if a prisoner makes changes to improve himself to be a better person and turns his life over to God, there are no restrictions spiritually, regardless of the boundaries the prisoners can make the best of the situation. By working towards goals and staying committed to them those goals, whether it’s daily, monthly, or yearly.

265. Describe an individual who has leadership skills that you admire?

I have to be honest. After reading the Bible and getting a clear understanding of the teachings of the Bible I have to say that Jesus Christ is my inspirational leader to admire. He displayed total compassion and righteousness for his disciples, and caressed them with love. He also lived a sinless life. I would like to display love within myself in helping others with their prison experiences and pray that it also humbles them. I have a great deal of respect for my wife also. She has taken the lead of our family while i am away. She has kept our family together through all the ups and downs of this experience, and I really appreciate all that she has done. My love has grown so much for her this last decade because she has lived up to all the promises that she has made when I first started this twenty year sentence. She dealt with the hard times with dignity and integrity and never looked back to blame me for anything. She also believes this experience will help her family grow stronger. We both love how God has taken charge of our lives. We are very blessed and we know we are in a good place.

266. To what extent would emulating such leadership traits influence your prospects for success?

Between accepting God to being the center of my life and learning from my wife, I am very motivated to getting out and providing for my family. I want to give my wife a break from all that she has done for our family over the last decade. I know she needs a rest and deserves the best from me. Our objective is for me to not look back but to strive towards success for myself and my family.

267. In what ways do our day-to-day actions show our commitment to personal leadership development?

The actions that we take everyday have an influence on the progress we make. If we choose to idle away our time by watching TV, playing sports, and engaging in actions that result in discipline write-ups, we are missing opportunities. My committing yourself 100% to our success we stay on track. The whole object is to work towards becoming law-abiding citizens.

268. How can a commitment to personal leadership development while in prison influence your relationship with people you haven’t yet met?

I agree with a lot of people that’s a part of this web site that if we make a commitment to personally share, we may achieve goals that people beyond prison do not think that is possible. When we do we go a long ways towards influencing their opinions in positive ways. Anybody can accomplish goals and achieve success if they stay 100% committed.

269. In what way can the Straight-A Guide influence your prison adjustment?

The Straight A Guide has been an influence for myself and my family. We have completely supported the program and have committed all efforts completely. My family and I have gotten closer because of the program. My wife and kids know that I am better prepared to deal with society when I am released. They will hold me accountable for my success. The goal is to live a God-centered life and take care of my family. My success will come in time because I am very patient and motivated to contribute back to society.

270. In what ways can the Straight-A Guide influence your prospects for a law-abiding, contributing life upon release?

The principles that have guided my through prison will effectively help me to overcome harder challenges that I will probably encounter throughout my release. I intend to leave prison with a lot of confidence in myself and my family. The Straight A Guide has helped my ensure this because my family has built up confidence in me and my success.

271. In what ways will you use the Straight-A Guide going forward?

The Straight A Guide will continue to be a part of my life as well as my family. We have realized that this program has been a tool that has molded us together these last couple years. My family depends on my ability to hold us together. I am committed to helping myself, my family, and others. My wife and I have gotten a better understanding of each others goals and plans for the future. We will continue to be an influence to others who want to join the Straight A Guide. It has been a great tool into transitioning into society and to move forward.


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