All entries for April 2011
April 24, 2011
I read one article which was related to leadership and I found one thing which was interesting. The authors mentioned at least 3 times a question:
why are there so few leaders?
the first thing that came to my mind was when Paul said that all of us are leaders as we lead others (i.e. friends, siblings etc) in our lifes. Going back to it, I must say I'm not sure if it was leadership or not. Well yes, we did it voluntary, we had a goal and led others to achieve it. But then, let's say 10 years ago, even if I was in charge I'm sure I had no proper strategy (or even a plan) to achieve the 'vision'. I'm sure it all happedned just because we had some will to act. However, if this was leadership, why was it so simple back then and now it's not that easy to lead friends anymore?
Referring to the article again they noticed something else. In a company, if we have one CEO who is our leader, he gets money for doing it. How can we check if s/he is doing it voluntarily or not? Does 'voluntary' bit matter or not as much as it is described in theory?
April 16, 2011
This entry is about emerging leaders.
As we know, one of the leader's task is to create a common goal and lead towards it. After our leadership and followship experience in KBAM, I noticed one thing:
is it possible that an urban terrorist ends as an emerged leader??
If we have a look at it, it might happen that the terrorist holds a different view and creates a vision. And then, suddenly followers buy it and the group starts having a common goal, as opposed to minority with the initial approach. Now it wouldn't take much to sit down, re-think things and regroup - with the terrorist being a leader! (what a come back - from rags to riches ;). Interesting.
As we have already noticed, in most of the cases if we were expected to work in groups we enjoyed democratic working environment. Paul keeps challenging us by asking if the leadership does not add value in our work then?
After that session I can agree that leadership can add value by i.e. voicing the vision/goal or can take urgent decisions if necessary etc.
But on the other hand, the problem for me, is to lead friends, I guess. It is disappointing to for followers to be let down (which might be the reason for stepping back and staying with democaracy) and what's even more disappointing is to let down ourself (that we let down others). If I work on my own and do not deliver it is going to be only my fault which is OK as this disappointment is bearable so as soon as the group is concerned I will wait and see what happenes.
This attitude will change, but according to a quote (that used to appear on blogs the other day) we have to first manage/lead ourselves to then lead others. This is the focus at the moment.
April 12, 2011
Today's session was about awareness and accidents due to poor no action beforehand. It was so easy to spot mistakes after something happens. We didn't seem to have problems with that. It is interesting why people seem to be most of the time passive instead of proactive. Our 'passive' awareness was great at analysing faults.
This made me think - is it just our nature to be passive? Why can't we analyse situation first and eliminate possibility of accidents? Is it due to lack of time, while we are on the job? Is the root casue for that poor time management then?
It's hard to say, but now I reminded myself that in Poland we've got a whole quote about mistakes and being passive. In Polish it's a rhyme (written by one of our greatest writers) so it's even nicer but it goes like that:
Pole is wise after the damage is done. But if this is going to be forgotten, a new quote Poles will gain - that beforehand and afterwards the damage Pole is stupid (Kochanowski)
I found an English translation - it's easy to be wise after the event - but it doesn't include the whole quote.
April 11, 2011
The simulation was quite nice today but there are two limitations of this exercise that I can think of right now.
Firstly, as Paul noticed that normally it could happen that if we had any issue to solve we wouldn't be given any pre-defined answers or scenarios. Here we were limited to particular options, or we were helped because of a broad range of suggestions.
Secondly, we had limited access to information. By dealing with problem in an order with no info about upcoming issues we couldn't plan our budget properly. Of course I agree that in the real world we don't always have all of the information (at a particular time), however here it was a great limitaton as we were planning to save some money to then combat flight and offset issues (even at a great expense) as we assumed those were the areas we should focus, but the simulation treated them very light and we lost the biggest opportunity of acting long time before we reached these issues.
Anyway it was fun and it gave me a chance to ponder over some topics.
April 06, 2011
Not really study related but I wanted to share with you my though about H&S and education systems in general.
In Poland, at my uni, I used to have a whole, dedicated subject about H&S - about 45 h in class and some (maybe 15-20 h) at home.
I ended up participating in 10 h of lectures (staying in bed was a good choice back then ;) and spending 10 h on assignment. The reason for was that I found H&S extremely boring and irrelevant to my degree. I wasn't going to spend my time on the shop floor checking all regulations! Yet we were fed with them and were supposed to know some of the basic stuff - by heart of course. On the seminars we were expected to deliver a presentation on a particular topic, which was the same as last year. My first though was - why am I supposed to 'reinvent the wheel'????? It's a bunch of regulations and few examples so why do I have to do it? Someone who described it in the past must have covered all stuff so why should I go through it again?
These were just some of my concerns. Basically due to poor idea for delivering this module was the main reason why it was so boring and dull and inefficient (it was the only subject I had to re-sit and I strangely never had any problems with passing i.e. maths or machining. the lecturer was OK as well, he taught us polymer materials and I still remember most of his material). It was this must of learning regulations. You probably can imagine why I'm so grateful to MBE that we are not expected to learn small bits but broader views.
Plus, finally, understanding the importance of H&S in manager's mind feels so good...
Thankfully you don't have to suffer because of H&S as much as we have to in PL ;)