All entries for Thursday 14 January 2010

January 14, 2010

Leadership appears everywhere

This is another discussion we had during team discussion about the definition of leadership.

In the Matrix, the last category is "Leadership occurs within a situation". I think it's so true when I relate it into daily life. This is debatable since another teammate disagreed. Yet, I think we're just looking at this from a different angle. Open discussions are always welcome :-)

If we think deeper, leadership appears everywhere. Whenever there is a situation, you can track leadership. A very simple example I gave yesterday: A group of friends, we don't know what to eat for lunch, we discussed for 10 mins but didn't reach any conclusion. Now, one of the friends proposed: let's go to Rootes building! and then it initiates the other friends to think about it and maybe just follow it, or not. To me, that one person was showing a leadership element. Because he's being initiative and constructive, meanwhile, he wants to lead the group to decide on something or agree on a common matter. he's leading the group to have a shared goal - a decision. And if people agreed, they will follow him to the Rootes for lunch.

Maybe I will come up with more or better examples, yet to me, I think in our daily lives, we are all trying to lead something or somebody. We might not be a great leader or lead a group to do great things that leaves track in the history, but we ARE leading our own lives.

As previous stated, some people might not agree with this, coz maybe you think it's not leading, it's just gathering, discussing and trying to reach to a common ground with people. But as I said, I think we're both correct in our own angles of viewing this.

Discussions are welcome. Leadership is just a huge topic.... exciting!

Discussion about "managing the change

Yesterday, my teammates are debating about few key expressions/definitions. One of which is "managing the change" or "leading the change" as what a leader should be able to do.

These are relatively two different concepts and angles to look at leadership. In this article, I'd just talk about managing the change shortly.

As we all agree/know as a fact that the world is changing rapidly, consequently, an effective leader should be able to cope with the ever-changing environment and lead the company to an endless future. Leaders should be able to foresee the change, adapt it, analyse it, and further manage it!

It's not about you have to change your company all the time coz maybe your company is working fine, then obviously there's nothing needs to be changed. But you do have to adjust whenever there's a situation or condition that is different from the past.

For instance, the market has changed, then must you have to be able to foresee its coming, adapt it/accept it, and provide plans to manage the situation.

One of my teammate mentioned if something in the company has changed, it must mean the behavior of the people changes. I think if one thing changes, another thing that's related to it would change either way. Just like the policy of the company changes, then it affects to people so people start to behave differently. And as a leader you need to cope with the problem.

Therefore, it is a very important skill to have as a leader -- to manage the change. Coz the only thing that doesn't change is the world keeps changing everyday. So we all need to learn this, to adapt new things and react fast...

What Leadership mean to me

This is one of the most exciting and practical modules in the course that I know.

Sometimes I would wonder what a good leader should be like or should do? There's never one single answer could justify all the achievements a leader creates. Just like IVAN's group inspired, there are so many different kinds of leaders, many different ways to do things, and at the end, the result is satisfying so the people believe they lead well. Sometimes it doesn't matter how you do things, as long as the result is what most people want, then you have succeeded. Sometimes your words or your philosophy mean nothing, but once you achieved something, people will believe that you are right. So I think there's not a perfect definition for leadership, because it always depends on what kind of people that you're leading. If there's no people/follower, there's no leadership. On the other hand, whenever there's a follower or a situation, leadership appears - even in a daily life, simplest occasion.

As I debated with my group members during the discussion of leadership definition, the top 8 categories imply different meanings to us. For example, creation of expectations. To me, I'm the kind of person I think many things don't need to have a rule -- possibilities are everywhere. Therefore, the expectation can be from the leader to the followers, or from the followers to the leader. It's different and can be different.

From the leader's view, she/he's setting up expectations for his followers to see the future, to know there can be a future if people follow her/his way. She/He let people know what people can get and what people can expect from her/him. He may provide wealth fare, health care, bonus, etc. Reversely, leaders can create expectations from the followers, to demand what she/he expect from the followers' performance and behaviors. Maybe in this case, it's more likely what a leader should show what she/he can bring to her/his own followers. Simply because if you don't do so, people are not motivated, they see no future and they fail to deliver, then the leadership becomes pointless when you can lead or motivate no one.

Overall, this is such a huge topic that can be discussed endlessly. And I'm sure the definition or experience would change constantly over time. Yet, positively thinking, an effective leader should always see what's in people, see the resources/talents/potentials in people, utilise them, and show your personal power to continue pushing the team towards a great future.

The leader I wish to become:

caring&understanding(less distance to people), upfront(decisive, efficient active), realistically optimistic, diplomatic socialable, effective motivator, good speaker, leading by being able to perform by myself if necessary.

I still have a lot to learn :-) as always~

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