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May 05, 2012

It's about changing yourself

Coming from MBE, I was looking forward to MoC as being another interesting learning experience where I would also get an opportunity to add to my knowledge for the purpose of my dissertation. But then again, I was not at all expecting an exhaustive module the way Paul’s modules are. The Simulation in MoC has been by far the most stimulating self awareness experience of my time here at Warwick.

“Dee, the MD has certain responsibilities like all managers and they all need to focus on them”, “I am just a shop-floor worker, I have no power.” Such were my questions during the first day of the simulation, I thought that senior management had objectives to follow and that the failure of the organization to deliver was due to their utter recklessness. I considered I had many brilliant ideas but I needed; by all means, some measure of power or control to initiate these ideas.

After realizing that I myself needed to makes a conscious effort, I began contributing towards to the bigger picture, to do more than just remain at the shop-floor and manufacture the products. I considered that I could contribute more to the company; I thought that my abilities were not being fully exploited. Believe me I have felt this before during my previous modules and in my under-graduate and this need to contribute more to the group/team/company, has always been in me maybe because of my debating experiences where I have had to gain general knowledge. I have always felt that my contribution; the one which Paul considers ‘voluntary engagement over and above compliance’, has always been geared towards increasing the effectiveness of the group. What I learned after applying this conscious effort was that I was rather disrupting the situation at hand, I was barging into the responsibilities of others. While I considered increasing the efficiency I was reducing it and conclusively not assisting the change which was to take place. I learned that I wanted to ‘do’ while I also wanted to provide direction and be a major part of the process. This ‘doing’ of processes whilst also providing direction is something I consider as my special skill but I believe I should thank Dee for making it clear to me, that it could also be considered as a fear. A fear that I do not trust others with the work at hand and want to become a part of the ‘doing’ process in order to obtain that credibility of the work that is being done.

This urge of mine to be a major part of the process is something I discovered during my under-graduate years, I knew I was good at it and that is not because I eventually; by hook or crook, became a major part of the process but because I lead in groups and became a wanted leader in groups and teams for academic and extra curricular purposes. But even in those times, I was always directing the group towards the vision whilst also ‘doing’ things by myself so that I could become a contributing person and not just somebody who likes to boss around. What I found during this simulation was that my skills towards creating strategy and providing direction to the colleagues within my department is an attribute of mine which was working, it could be seen to be understood by others and implemented by others with a sense of ownership as well. Coming to the point of having a fear, I have been thinking a lot it and I think it can very well be structured in that sense that I do not find credibility in the work that is being done by my team/group/company department etc. the only probably way to improve this fear is to give in, to let go of the trust issues that I have inside and trust the team with the responsibility which is theirs. I believe this is something I need to think about seriously and then implement it in my next simulation, group project or in my professional life. And after all, being responsible managers does not mean to be engaged and doing the work like others but rather keeping a distance from the people who are working and assessing their work from a distance. Provide direction and clarify their problems (if any).

MoC in its entirety has been a learning experience, a reflection of my personality and skills and how others view certain abilities of mine in their own justified perceptions. Perceptions matter a lot to a leader because that is the first person impression of his followers and it needs to be such so that the vision can be achieved. Change leaders are within the specific time frame, more able persons than leaders and they need to have a more influential power so that the followers come out of their comfort zone. Change leaders also need to be looking at the bigger picture and also carefully handle the responsibility to their subordinates. I believe that in order to become a successful change leader, I need to incorporate these traits in my skill cap. I know that my approach regarding providing direction and clarification is not as bad but I need to move away from my subordinates so that I can give them space to act and change their mind-set so that they can incorporate the change which they are going through. After all, the question comes down to the effectiveness of the team/group/company as a whole and not just my individual effectiveness and thus I need to look further into myself in order to find areas where improvement will make me more effective as a change leader.

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