All entries for Thursday 28 January 2010
January 28, 2010
The first learning point for today is actually a very difficult but realistic one -- People.
As Paul mentioned the Urban terrorist - high energy, low attitude: this kind of people will meet us at least once in a lifetime. I've met quite a few :-) They have a lot of opinions, judgements, that sometimes surpress the leaders and challenge their power in public. As a leader, this kind of people or situation has to be carefully handled! When Urban terrorist starts to influence others more than a leader does, then it reflects that the leader is incompetent and also the leader will be forced sometimes to use 'position power' to take over control of the chaos.
Again, I think the ability to solve this requires experience and personal charisma. Experience might be being able to know how to handle the situation will harm the leadership the least, or even getting every respect back. Charisma can be for instance, good at talking at people and persuading people to believe in what he/she say. (Charm the followers)
The 2nd learning point is that either during the practice or real life, we still tend to solve the problem and ignore about other factors. Or sometimes we want to solve the problem so much so that we can fool ourselves that everything will be better. But what we do everyday may be keep solving different kinds of problems but still keep having new problems. Therefore, as a leader, I think he/she need to develop the ability of seeing the future or bigger picture of the whole situation. Dr. Deming says, "Leaders should think/solve tomorrow, not today." This applies to this as well. Leaders should think about what to do tomorrow, today's tasks leave to the employees to achieve; but we all need to know what's gonna happen tomorrow.
The third learning point is that leaders or company should try their best to take the responsibility of hiring a new person and not firing any of the employees if they're not performing well. Of course here doesn't mean that we don't fire at all, we fire those who's not appreciating the system; but we try to understand those we appreciate the system, but just fail to do things right. We should help them, assist them understand the problem. Coach them, guide them, not creating fear for them. One of the ways I personally support is to avoid firing people but to re-allocate them.
Paul mentioned a strategy that's very similar to my thinking: Help people find a job when they don't fit in the company, either a new position in the firm, or elsewhere. I strongly agree that we should have this kind of service in my company. I think the company partly shares the responsibility of recruiting people but find out they don't fit in. We know their skills, we believed in their skills, that's why we hired them in the first place. And when they can't perform well or they don't feel comfortable working for us, we should think of something to help them. Another benefit for this is that the employee will respect your company and in the future the benefit may exceed your expectation. Because maybe you changed his life, for that he's appreciated; or he becomes a more successful person than you, and you might be the one who made him the him today. :-)
The fourth learning point is "START DOING SOME PROFESSIONAL PRESENTATION!"
I'm very glad that this module we have a tutor to assist us. He said something that quite hammered my head: "You're at a masters level, so do the masters level's work." also "there are so many theories introduced for you to learn, but YOU have to be the one who take these theories into a higher level and into practice." I think...I forgot how to be a student afterall. :-)
I need to lead myself on the way where I want to be, as well motivate myself to be the one that I can be!
Life's about searching, learning, leading and doing. 'Bad Workman blames the tool'! If I didn't success, I'm the only one I should be blaming at. Not how hard the courses are, not how difficult the people are, not how boring the books are, not even how less the time we've got. Because we're our masters, we make decisions, we live with it. I'm always not a person who likes to give excuses. Maybe sometimes the causes can be external, nothing I could have controlled, but I always find a way to solve it. Eg. the bus at my stop don't stop at all becoz during morning rush hour, it's fulled before it gets to my stop. or sometimes people refuse to move to the back so the driver won't take more people on. I think it's rubbish. But I chose to take the bus, I could have waited at the bus stop 1 hour earlier, or I could take a taxi when I'm really running late, which is what I did sometimes. I mean, there's always a way or a solution. It just depends on if you wanna choose it or not. You LEAD YOURSELF to the decision, so if the decision is made by you, you don't have excuse. that's me......
So in today's presentation about Hoshin Kanri, we didn't carry out a specific plan. and next time, I'm sure we will.
On Tuesday in class, Paul said when employees (bottom) have problems (work related), as Leader, we should see the problems as OUR problems instead of just the employees'. It's just like Hoshin Kanri's catchball process' purpose. From Top to bottom and bottom to top, we need to understand the barriers or why the targets aren't or can't be achieved. We need to help people to identify and contribute again. The company can also learn from the process. Afterall, we can never force people to do the things they don't agree with, nor blame them for not being able to deliver the tasks we ask. Therefore, Dr. Deming's SoPK and PDCA are so important for continuous improvement...... really is...
In the Hotel simulation, I volunteered to be the leader. My teammates think I lead well, and I can always improve. From my own experience in this practice, I reminded myself again that A good leader may not necessary be a profit maker. He/she may not be smart enough to make money, but a good leader can make people who can make the money work for him/her is enough :-)
An example of my previous manager, he's 60, very experienced business people, acting lazy at work, but always kissing boss' backside. BUT, he's VERY SMART, and knows how to FULLY UTILISE each individual. I admire him very much when I observed that. Everything he did or showed the boss comes from me, he gave me the credit a few times, not always, but he knows HOW TO USE ME. :-) coz I was young, energetic, and willing to take all the challenges to prove myself. (well....I'm still young!) So basically he doesn't have to do the actual work. Which is exactly what we talk about these days: MANAGERS MANAGE, WORKERS DO! I didn't envy him or dislike him at all for not doing work, because I know he's doing strategic things...which I yet to deliver.
And I think in our lifetime, we shouldn't be jealous at others when they do well or when we think they could have done more to get what they have now, simply I think sometimes we don't always know how they have contributed to the company/society. Everybody has their own skills, and my manager's happened to be "understand what my boss want, deliver it, use people to achieve it". Which is brilliant :-)
So I think we can always set a goal for ourselves, lead ourselves to it. Don't assume too much but try to understand the situation first before we make any decision, tell others what to do, or even criticise their behaviors.
Tuesday we discussed about a point of How to inspire leadership effectively. During the discussion, we reminded ourselves that A leader should provide a vision whilst others can follow the vision as well as believe in the person who's projecting the vision.
A good visioin, if it's being told or led by a person who has a bad name, nobody would believe it. (or at least it's more difficult to make people believe) However, if it's a good leader, maybe the vision or the ideas are not well established, people still would contribute their efforts and make things work (better).
When building up the leadership skills or styles, culture and people are so important. They're the variations in the company. A leader has to learn or to be flexible to apply different leadership styles or approaches according to individual or followers' needs. Leader should also be SENSITIVE enough to OBSERVE and SENSE the surroundings and what is happening, or even FORESEE what WILL HAPPEN.
I think these skills have to be learnt and practiced over time and experience. or simply some people are just born with it. Some people are born to be a leader, some people are not. Some people learn and grow from experience... (personal view, no reference) I think if my teammates ever think I'm sensitive and able to get people involved is because of these two reasons: experience and nature
Naturally, I tend to be very understanding since I'm little. I cry when I see people cry. I feel sad when somebody is sad. I'm very easily to fall into someone elses' emotional status. I think part of that is I'm being very imaginative as well. Coz whenever somebody's reflecting something, for example, sorrow, I can imagine what he/she's being throw, and I can feel the same sorrow as she does. Maybe not as real as hers, but close enough to make me feel something.
PS. A story of myself: When I watched the movie "Finding Nemo", I cried SO MUCH. Because I can imagine if i'm the father, and I can't find my Nemo, I'm going to be SO SAD and SO DESPERATE. SO whenever Nemo's daddy shows up swimming in the sea and shouting "Nemo! Nemo!", I just burst into tears right away. :-p Part of this is because of experience as well. That the stories and love between me and my father, also made me more sensitive upon these kind of things.
So my point is, these elements are the ones I think are important for a leader to possess, on the other hand, can be learnt from experience. Yet part of the skills still come from the nature self. And we can always try our best to be who we really are, and the best we can be! :-)