(4) Persuasive Research Paper

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Listen to Your Mind (Final Draft)

Link: Listen to Your Mind (Final Draft)

In making important decisions, people have to listen to their minds and not their hearts. Sir Alexander Chapman Ferguson, manager of Manchester United Football Club from 1986 to 2013, is a remarkable example of how success follows those who have the clinical nature to make decisions that they know are right, even if it breaks their heart to follow through on them. This was a key component behind Ferguson’s longevity and successful twenty-six year spell at Manchester United Football Club. Not only was he a brilliant manager and an outstanding judge of talent, but he also possessed the strength to isolate his feelings from his reasoning in order to make correct and ruthless decisions.

David Beckham is likely to go down in Manchester folklore as one of the all-time greats to have ever graced the game. However, his premature departure from the club raised many eyebrows at the time and is still the subject of questionable debate. In Alex Ferguson’s autobiography, ‘My Autobiography,’ Ferguson defended his controversial decision of shipping out his captain by saying that he had no regrets and that even to this day, he is confident that he made the right choice. Ferguson added that “all the evidence is on the field,” (Ferguson 264) and that when he notices the performance level of one of his player beginning to dip, there is no point waiting another two years before taking action because he will be hurting the player more than he will be hurting himself. To be told that his time has run its course is the most difficult and upsetting news that a player has to come to terms with. Ferguson tries to prevent this by selling the player to another club before the player’s transfer value plummets. This way, the player will still be able to continue to play football, but just not at the level demanded on a consistent basis from the champions of England. Ferguson admitted that this was without a doubt his most hated part of the job, especially when he had to turn his back on a player who had played his heart out for him and been fundamental behind his success for many seasons, and had become like a son to him. (Ferguson 327) Ferguson’s resilient and firm reinforcement of his philosophy that “no player is bigger than the club” is why the Scottish manager will go down as the greatest manager of all time.

James Heskett, a professor at Harvard Business School, affirms the strategies and philosophy utilized so successfully by Alex Ferguson in his article ‘The Management Tip: Tips on Decision Making’ on the Harvard Business Review. Heskett emphasized that one of the most important attributes needed in an ideal leader is the ability to find the right balance. “Leadership has always required the management of tensions caused by the simultaneous need for such things as short-term and long-term performance, and the exploitation of existing ideas and the search for new ones.” (Heskett) In making decisions, it is imperative that people carefully weigh the advantages and disadvantages with clear minds that are not affected by personal preferences or biases. People who finalize their decisions based purely on personal reasons and a “hunch or gut feeling” will tend to perform at a lower level as opposed to those who pursue other lines of thinking and base their decisions on logical and sound reasoning. (Heskett) This is clearly illustrated in the example of Ferguson who thoroughly evaluates what is best for the club both in the short-term as well as the long-term before finally executing his decision. Heskett concedes that the majority of people, himself included, are often prone to a common decision trap in which people favor easy alternatives that keep things in their current state. (Heskett) Since change is generally viewed as unsettling, people have a natural tendency to keep doing things the way they already are. Ferguson avoids this error by preventing his emotions from getting between himself and what is best for the club. Once he identifies a goal, he doesn’t hesitate to step out of his comfort zone in order to achieve that goal.

Biblical text offers strong support in Proverbs 4:6-7, “Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you.  Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding.” In this passage, Solomon underlines the significance of wisdom and how it is supreme in importance to all else. When we are faced with problems, we should never abandon wisdom and reasoning in favor of our hunches. If we trust wisdom with our decisions, then it will overlook our success and achievements. Personally, whenever I encounter hardships or tough decisions, I always try to clear my mind and view my situation from someone else’s shoes. This way, I ensure that my emotions won’t get into the mix and affect my decision making process. By taking a step back and calmly evaluating all my available choices, I will be able to select the most appropriate one and make the best possible decision.

On my fourth birthday, I got lost at an amusement park in Canada. Fear and panic gripped my mind as my eyes welled up with tears. My heart rate increased and beat rapidly against my chest like a drum. Racing from ride to ride, I desperately tried to spot my parents and brothers. Terror steadily built up inside me as I failed to locate my family at each passing ride. Suddenly, the soothing sound of the merry-go-round reached my ears and I instantly began to loosen and feel more relaxed. I sat down at a park bench and just remained there until all the tension had left my body and my mind was calm once again. As a patrolling security guard marched past, I quickly ran up to him and told him everything. My name was announced over the park’s speakers and within a few minutes I was reunited with my family. Looking back, I realized that my emotions had transformed the incident into something far bigger than it actually was. Of course, I was still only four years old at the time, but if I had simply taken the most rational action and approached the security at the park right away, the problem would have been resolved immediately.

Sir Alex Ferguson, Professor James Heskett, and Biblical text all advocate and uphold the view that people should favor their minds over their hearts when faced with important decisions. Emotions often get in the way of logic, cloud our judgment, and prevent us from seeing the best and most fitting solution to an issue. In order to consistently make the best decisions, we need to base our decisions on logical reasoning rather than feelings that come from the heart.

 

Listen to Your Mind (Bibliography)

Link: Listen to Your Mind (Bibliography)

BibleGateway. N.p., n.d. Web. 7 Dec. 2013. <http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=proverbs%204:6-7&version=NIV&gt;.

Ferguson, Alex C. My Autobiography. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 2013. Print.

Heskett, James. “The Management Tip: Tips on Decision Making.” Harvard Business Review. N.p., 2 Oct. 2013. Web. 07 Dec. 2013. <http://hbr.org/web/management-tip/tips-on-decision-making&gt;.

 

Listen to Your Mind (Reflection on Writing Process)

Link: Listen to Your Mind (Reflection on Writing Process)

1. What feedback was useful? Explain. 

I found Kay’s helpful to extremely helpful because she not only told me what I needed to improve, but also how I could improve. She gave an example of how I could change my introduction up in order to make it clearer to the readers.

2. What feedback is confusing and/or not useful? Explain.

I didn’t find Chi Lok’s feedback particularly helpful because it didn’t tell me what areas to work on or how I could improve my essay. Although I appreciated his compliment about how my sentences flow smoothly, I would have preferred some constructive criticism so that I could further improve my essay.

3. What primary changes or adjustments will you make for your final copy? Why? Explain what you’re hoping to accomplish for the final.

In my final draft, I will aim to follow Kay’s advice of changing up my introduction in order to make my example more understandable to readers. When I was writing the essay myself, I didn’t put myself in the shoes of the readers. I automatically assumed that they knew who the person in my example was, so I jumped right into the example without properly introducing the person. By clearly introducing the person from my example in my final draft, I will make sure that my readers will not be left in the dark and that they will be able to follow along as I dive into my example.

4. Mr Nollan’s Feedback: A great paper. Interesting information about decision making. Maybe starting your paper with the first half of the story at the amusement park would engage your readers better. Then you could finish the rest of the story at the end and it would provide a fitting conclusion. Just a suggestion.
Ideas/Content: 5/5
Organization: 4/5
Word Choice: 5/5
Sentence Fluency: 5/5
Voice: 4/5
Mechanics: 5/5

 

Listen to Your Mind (Peer Edit)

Link: Listen to Your Mind (Peer Edit)

Kay: (Ideas/Content) The content was interesting and personal to you, and your use of the David Beckham example illustrated your point well. (Organization) I can’t comment fully on this since the paper isn’t finished, but it seems pretty good so far (Y). In the first paragraph, consider explaining who Sir Alexander Chapman Ferguson is before you continue on, so that the reader is less likely to be left in the dark (In making important decisions, people have to listen to their minds and not their hearts. Manchester United manager Sir Alexander… etc etc)

Chi Lok: (Word Choice/Sentence Fluency) The words you used fit what you are trying to say, and your sentences are fluent and easy to follow.

 

Listen to Your Mind (Rough Draft)

Link: Listen to Your Mind (Rough Draft)

In making important decisions, people have to listen to their minds and not to their hearts. Sir Alexander Chapman Ferguson is a remarkable example of how success follows those who have the clinical nature to make decisions that they know are right, even if it breaks their heart to follow through on them. This was a key component behind Ferguson’s longevity and successful twenty-six year spell at Manchester United Football Club. Not only was he a brilliant manager and an outstanding judge of talent, but he also possessed the strength to isolate his feelings from his reasoning in order to make correct and ruthless decisions.

David Beckham is likely to go down in Manchester folklore as one of the all-time greats to have ever graced the game. However, his premature departure from the club raised many eyebrows at the time and is still the subject of questionable debate. In Alex Ferguson’s autobiography, ‘My Autobiography,’ Ferguson defended his controversial decision of shipping out his captain by saying that he had no regrets and that even to this day, he is confident that he made the right choice. Furthermore, Ferguson added that “all the evidence is on the field,” and that when he notices the performance level of one of his player beginning to dip, there is no point waiting another two years before taking action. That way, he will be hurting the player more than he will be hurting himself. To be told that his time has run its course is the most difficult and upsetting news that a player has to come to terms with. Ferguson admitted that this was without a doubt the most challenging and his most hated part of the job, especially when he had to break the news to a player who had played his heart out for him and been fundamental behind his success for many seasons, and had become like a son to him.

James Heskett, a professor at Harvard Business School, affirms the strategies and philosophy utilized so successfully by Alex Ferguson in his article ‘The Management Tip: Tips on Decision Making’ on the Harvard Business Review. Heskett emphasized that one of the most important attributes needed in an ideal leader is the ability to find the right balance. In making decisions, it is imperative that people carefully weigh the advantages and disadvantages with clear minds that are not affected by personal preferences or biases. This is illustrated in the example of Ferguson who thoroughly evaluates what is best for the club both in the short-term as well as the long-term before finally executing his decision. Heskett concedes that the majority of people are often prone to a common decision trap in which people favor easy alternatives that keep things in their current state. Since change is generally viewed as unsettling, people have a tendency to keep doing things the way they already are. Ferguson avoids this error by preventing his emotions from getting between himself and what is best for the club.

Biblical text offers support in Proverbs 4:6-7, “Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you.  Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding.” When we are faced with problems, we should never abandon wisdom and reasoning in favor of our hunches. Personally, whenever I encounter hardships or tough decisions, I always try to clear my mind and view my situation from someone else’s shoes. This way, I ensure that my emotions won’t get into the mix and affect my decision making process. By taking a step back and calmly evaluating all my available choices, I will be able to select the most appropriate one and make the best possible decision. On my fourth birthday, I got lost at an amusement park in Canada. Looking back, I realized that my emotions had transformed the incident into something far bigger than it actually was. Of course, I was still only four years old at the time, but if I had simply taken the most rational action and approached the security at the park right away, the problem would have been resolved immediately.

Sir Alex Ferguson, Professor James Heskett, and Biblical text all advocate the view that people should favor their minds over their hearts when faced with important decisions. Emotions often get in the way of logic, cloud our judgment, and prevent us from seeing the best and most fitting solution to an issue. In order to consistently make the best decisions, we need to base our decisions on logical reasoning rather than feelings that come from the heart.

 

Listen to Your Mind (Outline)

Link: Listen to Your Mind (Outline)

Introduction: In making important decisions, people have to listen to their minds and not to their hearts. Sir Alexander Chapman Ferguson is a remarkable example of how success follows those who have the clinical nature to make decisions that they know are right, even if it breaks their heart to follow through on them. This was a key component behind Ferguson’s longevity and successful twenty-six year spell at Manchester United Football Club. Not only was he a brilliant manager and an outstanding judge of talent, but he also possessed the strength to isolate his feelings from his reasoning in order to make correct and ruthless decisions.

Paragraph 1: Alex Ferguson and David Beckham (example of making tough decisions that are in the best interest of the club)

Paragraph 2: Professor James Heskett’s article: ‘The Management Tip: Tips on Decision Making” affirms Ferguson’s philosophies and how finding the right balance is one of the most important attributes needed in a leader. It is important to carefully weigh the advantages and disadvantages of situations without being affected by personal biases.

Paragraph 3: Biblical support in Proverbs 4:6-7, “Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you.  Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding.”

Paragraph 4: Personal anecdote – getting lost at an amusement park and allowing my heart and emotions to transform an incident into something that is far bigger than it actually was.

Conclusion:  Sir Alex Ferguson, Professor James Heskett, and Biblical text all advocate the view that people should favor their minds over their hearts when faced with important decisions. Emotions often get in the way of logic, cloud our judgment, and prevent us from seeing the best and most fitting solution to an issue. In order to consistently make the best decisions, we need to base our decisions on logical reasoning rather than feelings that come from the heart.

One thought on “(4) Persuasive Research Paper

  1. Chak Hee Lo

    This is a very informative piece. Overall, it was a great read because the paper flowed so naturally. There were some hiccups here and there (mostly related to commas), but these had minimal effect to the quality of the paper. Very well done. You are much better than me when it comes to getting to the point.

    Just a thought:
    Was Jesus’ decision to die for us on the cross fueled by mind or emotion? Fruit for thought.

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