Strategic Management is the business capstone, and I learned so much in it that I couldn’t even begin to tell you about how awesome of a class it was. However, after taking my final, I feel pretty confident about the information I learned.
Has anyone been on Facebook lately? Can anyone tell me why I’ve read more about yoga pants than the fight for world peace in the last 3 months? I’ve seen so many religious/Biblical arguments on the subject, most of which are against wearing the polyester/spandex blend articles of clothing.
First of all, I don’t know why everyone has to agree one way or another about everything all the time. But since I’m forced to pick a side, I’m going to refrain from using Biblical references to manipulate my audience. The word of God doesn’t have much to say on Yoga pants specifically, so I’m not going to mold it to defend what I think it should defend. Instead, I’m going to walk you through everything I’ve learned in my Strategic Management class and bring hopefully a refreshing perspective.
Without further adieu, I present
What Strategic Management taught me about Yoga Pants
So in my class, we had to read 1. a text book, 2. Seven Habits of Highly Successful People by Stephen Covey, and 3. Good to Great by Jim Collins. The source of my information comes from those three books and the infinite wisdom of Dr. Jamie Myrtle.
In Covey’s book, the first habit of 7 is Be Proactive. The big idea is that our basic nature is to act, not to be acted upon. Holding people responsible for their actions is not demeaning, it is affirming. Don’t be scared off because of the language I’m about to use, because I’ll break it all down. Covey talks about the theories of determinism, aka, why we become who we become. Genetic determinism says “I am who I am because of my heritage or genetic makeup,” Psychic determinism says “I am who I am because of my upbringing and childhood circumstances,” and Environmental determinism says “I am who I am because of the environment around me.”
So there are a lot of things that can determine who we are if we allow them to. When we live using a reactive paradigm, this is essentially what it looks like.
“Something else caused my reaction.” This is a victim mentality.
Covey talks about the space between the Stimulus and the Response. We have the freedom to choose. This is called being proactive. The model looks like this:All that to say, no one can force you to do anything. You have the opportunity to choose. Just because your mother makes chocolate chip cookies doesn’t mean you have to eat them. Just because someone cuts you off in traffic doesn’t mean your day is ruined. Just because a girl wears yoga pants doesn’t mean you have to lust after her. Similarly, just because a girl is wearing yoga pants doesn’t mean you have to be uncomfortable. The freedom to choose, friends. Look away. Are yoga pants form fitting? Yes. Are skinny jeans? Yes. The thing here is that they cover more than most shorts, skirts, or dresses. I’m not seeking to condemn, I’m just telling you how it is. People are going to wear these pants whether you rant about it on Facebook or not. Nobody’s forcing you to wear them, therefore: let’s not waste time and energy trying to force people out of them either.
In the book Good to Great, Collins talks about good vs. great leaders. There are 5 levels of leadership, as pictured below.
Throughout the text, Collins compares level 4 and level 5 leaders. When things are going wrong inside an organization, a Level 4 Leader will “look out the window” to find it, or push blame on others. He/She will also “look in the mirror” when things are going well. This is where Level 4 and 5 leaders contrast.
Level 5 leaders look out the window to apportion credit to factors outside themselves when things go well (and if they cannot find a specific person or event to give credit to, they credit good luck). At the same time, they look in the mirror to apportion responsibility, never blaming bad luck when things go poorly.
When things in your life aren’t going well, do you look to yourself first, or to the outside world? If you are struggling with lust, do you first cast blame on all the yoga-pant wearing girls around you that you have no control over, or do you examine your own heart? If you are insecure about your body, do you blame the media or other girls who rock yoga pants, or do you look to the real issue: your own heart?
Don’t be thrown off by what I’m about to say.
The Macro-environment effects you. The external, uncontrollable factors in the environment will influence your decisions. We can evaluate which are the relevant factors in the macro-environment through a PESTEL analysis.
Political factors (taxes)
Economic conditions (local to worldwide, age distribution)
Sociocultural forces (ethnic values, family structure, cultural attitudes)
Technological factors (updates in cellphones, computers, electronics)
Environmental factors (the natural environment)
Legal/regulatory conditions (new legislature)
Hang with me.. it’s about to get easier. Okay so when we think about all of these factors, it totally makes sense that yoga pants are booming in the US of A, specifically in Economic and Sociocultural forces. People are busier than ever. Women are working and child-rearing. With the rise of divorce, there are many single, working moms. One of the things I like about fashion is that it follows societal trends, not the other way around. Due to all of this, women feel more free to wear their workout clothing in the midst of picking up groceries from the store while the kids are at soccer practice after working 8-5 with a 30 minute workout at the gym over lunch. Fashion followed this- it is now trendy to wear yoga pants in public. The factors in the macro-environment have led to the popularity of comfortable, chic, informal clothing. If you just don’t like the trend, that’s a completely other argument. If you think there is a moral issue with the trend, then you are saying there is a moral issue with the entire society, and your yoga-pants argument is illogical. Fight what the real issue is here, such as women raising children on their own- volunteer to help some single moms in your community.
Okay it’s time to land this plane. As I know that everyone will continue to argue this subject, I would like to assist you in doing so. In Covey’s novel, he discusses a Win-Win character. Here are the 6 fundamental attitudes about conflict you can have in life.
- Win-Win: Both interests are met
- Win-Lose: I win, you lose
- Lose-Win: Victim mentality, people pleasing
- Lose-Lose: War. 2 people who won’t back down from their interests
- Win: I don’t care what you lose, I just win
- Win-Win or no deal: Both interests are met regardless of how long it takes to work it out
The point is this. People are more likely to hear your point of view if you listen to theirs first. There is difference between listening and waiting to respond. Be sure to stop formulating your argument to listen to the interests of those around you. Maybe we can find common ground this way instead of an ageless argument.
Okay so that’s what I learned this semester. I’d like to thank Professor Myrtle for the wisdom. Peace, Love and Yoga Pants.
Over and Out!