All entries for Monday 06 October 2008

October 06, 2008

Leadership? still much to learn

After today's group meeting my feelings were mixed, confused, and feel quite unsure about myself. I welcome our new member Apollo, seem like a nice guy, looks like we will get along just fine.

We have agreed each of us will get one chance to lead a mini project, but I don't know how that will pan out. Since we won't necessarily will have a meeting about every topic. Perhaps it is best to roate leader on the basis of meetings.

Naturally , I have always felt the urge to stand out the crowd and make a difference. At the same time,I worry about wrting something which I still have little idea about. So to save you the boredom of lengthy blog, i will cut things short this time

Back home, I have been invovled in numerous group situations, most of the times group resolved into some sort of consensus decisions making which is nice, no one is hurt, no hard feelings, but it was inefficient, sometimes it seems like people would just follow the dominant opinion.

Being a part of MBE and living in a new environment, I feel I must make some changes to my old habits. To take more risks, be more up front, stand my grounds, and tackles confrontations with grace and respect.

So today ... was our first group meeting

Having been involved in several group project prior to Warwick, I understood the importance of preparation. Valuable time can be easily wasted away in a group without clear objectives. So last night I spent sometime reading Paul's materials to make sense of our assessment, then brained-stormed some ideas on team work including some key points about leaders, thinking this would make today's meeting go smooth-as. 

To my surprise, the meeting was far from smooth. Admittedly I am not always comfortable with confrontation. As the group leader I felt I was able to observe the group dynamics yet I struggled to adapt to it. For example, I went into direct confrontation with my group memebers. Mei and Ally especially disagreed with me that leader have the power to delegate tasks. My understanding differs radically with Ally and Mei. To me, leader should have a reasonable amount of power which comes inherently with the position. So this means even if members do not agree with what the leader says, part of being a follower, and in a group is to listen to their leader.  I mean, don't get me wrong, different voices are welcomed and I'd be happy to listen to them, but still at the end of the day without a leader to make a decision , people with different opinions may find it impossible to cooperate, and hence the group progress is hindered.

Personally I feel leader is more than a manager, it is someone who concern him/her self with directions, strategies, and objectives. To Mei and Ally, the idea of leader is someone who manages things. For example, we disagreed strongly on whether the group leader should also be the note-taker, time keeper. Just a minor thing and maybe it was simply a misundertanding of the meaning of words but the tension was a little much, for me. 

Well, even with the ups and downs, I feel today's session was more a success than anything else, we settled on some housekeeping issues, made everyone aware of their obligation to the group, and ensured the meeting was completed just over 1 hour.

I am thankful for a such active and dynamic group. Toon is excellent, she brings with her great consulting experience from the industry. Her explanation of how groups actually work in workplace settings were immensely valuable. Gilbert is also as great, thankfully he corrected me when I tried to give a elaborate explanation about sampling bias. Ally and Mei each have their own opinion and experience to contribute. I'm still yet to learn a bit more about Apollo though but I believe he too is an important member of this group.

See you guys tomorrow

October 2008

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