All entries for March 2014
March 30, 2014
Overall, I have learned a lot about leadership, different people and myself during this module. I have never thought about leadership in-depth. But after having discussions in the beginning of classes, blogs and simulations I feel how all I learned is applicable in real life too. We meet different people everyday and very often we seek the ways to influence them. Recently I've been catching myself working on my negative sides when interacting with people. Moreover, I am aware of those areas of improvements, and I think it happened after leadership module where we needed to work with different people every day.
After writing PMA I also concluded for myself that the most imprtant characteristic in leader is his charisma and the ability to inspire others.
March 29, 2014
During the leadership development process, big attention is driven to the self-awareness. It means that it is not enough to understand the best or worst leaders and their characteristics, and either try or avoid to imitate them. It is also required to seek for the feedback. Feebacks from other people (followers) play a great role in leadership development process. For example, after collected feedback a leader can establish that his followers need more support. However, such assessments doesn't aim to make you a leader you are not, instead it shows you what should be done and changed in leader's behaviour for achieving maximum efficiency. This is what is called 'self-awareness'. People who are not offensed by critisism and negative feedback and those who understand the importance of such feedbacks, can achieve the greatest results. I also think that a leader should be self-critical, questioning himself. In this case he can be aware of the areas of improvement himself first than his followers, and change it. Moreover, me myself, I value negative feedback from people more than positive. Positive doesn't give you much information, it can be needed for motivation and assurance that everything is fine. Some people stop at positive mistakenly thinking that if they have so much strengths, they do not need to improve anything.But negative feedback gives you a better understanding of the situation and possible threats in the future.
“If you feel that everything's too damn okay, then it is just a sign that something is wrong ” .
March 27, 2014
One of the leadersip approaches that I considered in my PMA is transformational leadership. It is main focus is on leader-followers relationships as success driver. It proposes behaviours and traits that lead to the improved relationships as charisma, support, motivation. It also says that leader should understand the differences between different followers and chose communication techniques accordingly.
Indeed, first of all that we as leaders should do, is working on our relationships with followers. Without it there will never be a flow of information, trust in leader and job satisfaction by followers. Many managers confuse the word 'fear' with 'respect'. What I really think is that the initial mission of every 'manager' having new team should be building good relationships with followers. Surely, he should continuously work on them in order to keep it for the long-term. Also earning people respect and trust is essential for being effective leader. If people respect you they will follow you no matter how challenging the task is, yet suggest other ways if they do not competely agree with the leader.
March 25, 2014
Coaching in real life is not easy task at all. Mainly because it requires a coach- who is completely unfamiliar with company's processes- to help the company to become more effective. Successful coaching process starts with identification of needs and interests of a leader, his followers and the values of the company. Then the most suitable solutions and suggestions are developed.
However, in my opinion, every successful coaching should guarantee that after the coach leaves, CEO and top managers will be able to provide mentoring and support to their subordinates themselves on continuous basis. Here I don't mean that managers should bring radical changes without contacting consultants. Adversely, consultancy group can help them in choosing the right decisions. But leaders should be able to train and support their followers regularly by performing the steps of coaching mentioned before. By doing so they will guarantee the sustainability of success achieved with the help of external coach. Especially this is true when followers at some point lose their focus or feel confused or some of the elements of existing strategy are modified.
March 21, 2014
We had very interesting week full of group meetings. It was very good idea to mix MBE-1 and MBE-2 as, I believe, we all learned something new from each other. It was interesting to observe how students from MBE-2 show different approach to work which is effective too.
During these 10 days we were seeking a solution for mainly two issues for WaveRiders: site location and marketing. Honestly, I've learned much more about the tools discussed at the lectures and now I have a deeper understanding. Sometimes (but very rarely) we had arguements about the appropriateness of some tools, but overall I think we did well.
From the very beginning we decided that we need tools that will help us to view the decision from different perspectives. We started with decision-making tree, and, in our opinion, this tool is very important as draw a line between all of the decisions that need to be taken. It also shows every possible outcome of every decision, therefore we could better understand the issues.
PMI, Trade-off represent more qualitative approach. However, when using these tools it is risky to shift to the biased judgements. The most difficult tool is Scenario Planning. It really requires the whole group members to work on it. We spend three days discussing, writing and editting the whole planning. Different sources say different methods of constructing this tool. And it is very difficult especially when you use it for the first time.
Overall, what I really learned, is that there are many tools and techniques which can make your System 2 work and make your decisions more robust. What made me think is that at the beginning of the module our team agreed on Exmouth, based on System 1. Obviously, we should avoid such quick decisions, at both daily and business level. You should first of all evaluate the option from different perspectives, assess the risk, and based on your values, make a decision.
During my research I was reading about servant leadership. This approach implies that leader's ultimate goal is his followers and he should put their needs and interests beyond his own. Literally this theory requires a leader to completely give up his own preferences and serve his subordinates. We have talked so much about the followers and the importance of satisfying their needs. But we should not forget that the primary goal of every leader is to touch the shared vision, yet with collaborating, motivating and influencing the followes. Surely, leader cannot be effective without his followers, but ,I think, everyone would agree that followers (no matter how skilful and professional) can fail without strong leader. And to be strong, leader never should deny his own ideas. I don't say he should only act based on own interests, surely leader should collaborate and come to a joint decisions. But very often followers need direction, and personally for me, if a leader doesn't have his own strong beliefs and opinion, I hardly will recognize him as a strong and effective leader. He should listen carefully to all, should communicate, but retain his own perceptions. It is just like parents-children relationships, the more parents "serve" their kids the more they get "spoiled". Indeed, they can become even more disengaged by this relation.
Therefore,in my opinion, being servant leader all way long and focusing too much on followers and their needs may cause adverse results.
March 17, 2014
There are many leadership styles, theories, approaches. Each of them emphasizes one or more of the leadership variables (L, F, S). However, I personally think, when piking the most important and effective elements of one theory and integrating it with the others, leader can be more effective. There is not good or bad leadership theory that I found during the research. The thing is that their appropriateness is dependent on the circumstances the company faces and the variables that are in the priority at the specific phase.
I again thought that first of moral beliefs and values of leader, followers and the company (culture) dictate the choice of the leadership theory, so as a leader you should be aware of the needs and objectives of all of them. For some companies authoritarian style can be effective, whereas for others laissez-faire will lead to great results, but make the third company fail.
March 12, 2014
There are different decision making tools discussed during the lecture yesterday. There are some which have similiraties and consider the same area (Trade off analysis and PMI) , whereas others look at different aspects. Therefore, different tools are can be applied for different situations, depending on what the company want to understand. However, I think, many tools which are suitable for various problems are used at different stages of decision making. So, for example SWOT or PESTLE analysis can be used at the initial stages to extract and create the overall idea or targets. Decision-making tree is also important as it gives a better and broad understandig of the problem. Overall, before applying the tools it is necessary to evaluate the given problem or situation and the desired outcomes, and then start applying those tools. The tools used inappropriate manner can give zero or adverse results.
March 02, 2014
In order to be a good leader, first of all,you should be psychologist. It cannot be learned from books or lectures, only you yourself and the life you live can teach it. During the L&E module I fully realized it. During the exercises and simulations I learned much about my behaviour, and observing behaviour of others I picked the characteristics I need to develop and those I don't want to have. If we had lectures, we would know the theories and would have no understanding about how those theories could be applied or modified under the special situations. Thinking about the qualities that leader should and shouldn't have, I summarized for myself that first of all a leader should observe people. not only those from his team or work, but all of the peoople around him. I think, this is the best people to understand how people behave under different situation and why. By doing this, leader can create his own set of theories about people and leadership. Secondly, leader should know how to influence people in a good way. Moreover, the way leader communicates is very important.
However, leader shouldn't be selfish pursuing his own goals. Then he/she should be a good listener and provide the dircetion. I don't believe in democracy and don't think that it is the best leadership style. He/she should lead the people, therefore sometime he should control people, for example in crisis situations, when others are in panic. Eventually, as I said in my previous entry, team members can recognize if their leader pretend and playing the role of a leader. Only if he passionate, loving his COLLEAGUES, when all is coming from his heart, he can gain respect and love of others.