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Key Learnings & Reflection


Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.

~John F. Kennedy

Organizational Leadership

I consider organizational leadership to be somewhat of an art form with scientific principles applied.  I do not feel leaders are born.  I believe that they emerge and are developed throughout real life experiences, as I am a perfect example.  I believe that leadership development starts at a very young age and is a function of how one deals with the daily trials and tribulations of life and growing up. I see this as the basic foundation and basis for leadership development. As I climbed the corporate ladder, I have learned that leadership and management are crucially different and there are vital functions that each role plays.  To read a brief article about my opinion on why they are different, click the button below.



Management is, above all, a practice where art, science, and craft meet

`Henry Mintzberg

Organizational Management


During the Theory of Practice and Leadership course, one of my favorite case studies was "Radio Station WEAA: Leading in a Challenging Situation" by Mary K. Foster.  As the Director of News and Public Affairs at WEAA, Corine Fiske was recruited to be a change agent and to help the organization to achieve its full potential.  Corine faced significant issues with regards to policy, procedures, lack of commitment, quality, timeliness, training, inexperience to name a few.  Instead of getting in front of the problems, she blindly jumped right into her new role and after some time had passed -- she was facing an urgent, more reactive need to address the issues and challenges, which could possibly jeopardize her success at WEAA.   The key takeaway from the case study is the foundation and success of an organization requires more than effective leaders and leadership styles – it requires building positive relationships, trust and creditability, which will inevitably contribute to organizational effectiveness from the top-down. To read an overview of the case study and my findings, click the button below.



The struggle you're in today ...

is developing the strength you'll need for tomorrow.

~Author Unknown

Organizational Behavior


Diversity management at its core is cultural diversity in the global workplace.  Diversity management is a methodology using best practices to drive proven results in business.  It’s bigger than the human resource department and the annual cultural diversity video training you get in the office.  According to the article, Diversity Management is Outdated and Demands a New Approach, “Diversity management must be a profit center that is measureable and directly connected to revenue generation, research and development activities and new ventures; it no longer can be just a cost center valued only as a line item first to be cut from the budget when revenue projections are not met.” (Glen Llopis, 2013).  Diversity Management is not just leadership or management’s problem.  It’s the entire organizations problem from the top-down and across functions. Every individual is both responsible and accountable for creating the right climate, a balanced, nurturing climate among all employees.  “And that climate is the product of the beliefs and behaviors of all workforce employees. “True diversity management begins and ends with the individuals.”  (Roosevelt, 1996)  In my opinion, injecting diversity management throughout the workplace should be an everyday responsibility within the organization’s culture that everyone embraces.


Cultural influences can have a negative impact in the world of finance.  Aside from being a financially stable company despite the 10% drop in stock after the release of two new models in Feb 2015 -- I learned that Tesla is not just an automaker, but also a technology and design company with a focus on energy innovation.  Innovative electric powertrain technologies that are unencumbered with legacy investments in the internal combustion engine will lead the next technological era of the automotive industry.  (Scott, 2014)To read a paper about Tesla's history and financial stability as a result of the launch of two car models that "...were better than hoped ...", please click on the button below.



Project Management

Project Management is both science and art.  Most importantly, it is about 90% communication.  Communication is an essential part of human interaction.  A key aspect of project management is end-to-end responsibility for the user experience, which is something too few companies do, but they are quickly catching on.  “Designing today is more than just slapping skins on a technology”, Behar stated, “It’s about designing from the inside out,” end to end -- delivering a one of kind user experience.  To read a paper based on a TED Talk, by Yves Behar, “Objects Tell Stories”, click the button below.

The day the soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you stopped leading them. They have either lost confidence that you can help them or concluded that you do not care.

Either case is a failure of leadership.”

~Colin Powell


According to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK 3rd Edition), the PMBOK is the sum of knowledge within the profession of project management.  As with other professions such as law, medicine, and accounting, the body of knowledge rests with the practitioners and academics that apply and advance it.  To read a paper some principles and practices that I feel are necessary to effectively manage projects, pleases click the button below.

The People Factor, the biggest risk in project management is human resources.  In my opinion, two most important characteristics of a project team is having the right project manager and a strong team that work synergistically to achieve a common goal.   To read more, click the button below.


Written by Brenda Petrillo

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