A Little Something from two years ago...
Note: Not every academic essay fits in any other medium, but I thought this little piece of whimsy might. The assignment was to write our biography based on twenty years after graduating with an MPA - Government & Policy.
2044: Marilyn Grunwald, who is about to celebrate her second retirement, has always maintained that humor is crucial in our professional and personal lives. She considers it her spiritual gift. Pope Benedict XVI declared it to be critical to have the ability to see the funny side of life and all its dimensions.ٰٰٰٰٰٰܑܑ Humor played a significant role in her personal life, even before studying leadership as part of the Grand Canyon University (GCU) MPA program.
Humor can be therapeutic for employees and volunteers by making their work environment positive. It is also a great administrative tool, increasing people’s productivity and often resulting in a better outcome of a project. Leadership is the key, of course, but appropriate humor helps.ܑܑ Researchers studied whether leaders differed based on the organization. The results showed that leadership styles do differ more so on the types of organization than their leaders. Most of the subordinates in the study group where the managers are appointed, as opposed to emerging, said they had the qualities of a transactional leader.
Born with Spina Bifida-Hydrocephalus, she has long been an activist for Disability Civil Rights. Her first project in the Spring of 2022, was working to get the North Los Angeles County portion of Access Services, the county paratransit system which is split into five regions, to join the other four in traveling anywhere in the county and not requiring travelers to change buses at the Santa Clarita City of Los Angeles border. It took years, and success only came with a change in political leadership.
During her 20 years of social justice work, she wrote Tales from my Yellow Room. This readable memoir not only highlighted her life up to 2022 it explained the illness in 2020, not covid, that set her back to square one in her activists and professional life. She followed that success with a light-hearted novel about a criminal investigator in a city similar to Santa Clarita. When promoting the book she referred to as “Ironside meets Murder She wrote.”
In 2031, she received her Ph.D. in Comedy Film; her thesis statement was the value of the film “National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation.” It is a story full of hope.⁴ This film allows us to embrace our baser selves. Whether that is over-cooking the turkey, being a sulky teen, the snotty neighbors, typical inlaws, or strange relative. One can be the muddleheaded aunt (Grunwald’s favorite) who brings an atmosphere of goodness to the plot, or the long-suffering wife who is so devoted to her husband who is hell-bent on producing a perfect Christmas; the heart of the movie is doing the right thing for the family, in all its variations. Grunwald used the movie to talk about images, spiritualism, and how the holiday can be religion-free while indicating the purpose of Jesus’s birth and life.
These three highlights were made possible, in part, using leadership strategies learned at GCU, and in the 20 years since graduation, where significant progress has been made in the craft of leadership. That said, Grunwald believes that a panel study from 2016⁵. Understanding others' traits, skills, behaviors, and styles helps immensely in negotiation; which is the basis of most leadership transactions. While bridging the gap between theory and practice in leadership has been slow, this helps answer the question as to whether leadership training improved leader and organizational performance. This study found that a combination of different teaching methods had an impact on performance. Organizational effectiveness improves when leaders receive this training.
Marilyn Grunwald firmly believes that humor and pleasant discourse, along with the ability to see things from the other point of view while holding strong, but politely, to her views has made a difference in the professional and volunteer efforts of her long life. Leadership and management of our personal, spiritual, and professional life have always been within every thinking human being; coaching and education in these things help bring it to the foreground.
¹Arbuckle, G.A. 2020. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/The-Australasian -Catholic-record-0727-3215# Volume 97 Issue 3 (Jul 2020)
²Muammer ERGÜN, & Mustafa Öztürk AKÇAOĞLU. (2020). Predictive Power of Humor Types in Explaining Leadership Styles in Different Organizations. İşletme Araştırmaları
³Dergisi, 12(1), 921–937. https://doi-org.lopes.idm.oclc.org/10.20491/isarder.2020.885
⁴McCauley, M. B. 2013. https://www.csmonitor.com /The-Culture/Family/Modern-Parenthood/ 2013 /1225/National-Lampoon-s-Christmas-Vacation-A-story-of-hope
⁵Seidle, B., Fernandez, S., & Perry, J. L. (2016). Do Leadership Training and Development Make A Difference in the Public Sector? A Panel Study. Public Administration Review, 76(4), 603–613. https://doi-org.lopes.idm.oclc.org/10.1111/puar.12531
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(c) Marilyn Grunwald 2021 Readers can reach Marilyn @