February 27, 2016

The leadership Challenge

Yesterday was the last day of the module, and once more I had the opportunity to lead, this challenge was more diffucult than the others, since as a leader I was the only one who had read the rules, requirements and characteristics of the task. I was a bit afraid when the excercise started because in the preparation time, I could not finish reading the rules and I had no time to make a plan of action, I came to my team without all the information and without a full understanding of the what to do or how to do it. At the end of the activity the goal, which was to was to identify in one and a half hour, the routes and stops from one city to another, spending only the budget and days allocated while earning at least 1800 points, was not reached.

So, we actually could not win the game. However, now that I reflect on the experience I can see some of the good points I made and also others I need to improve:

First, good ones:

1. Honesty is something really important in a leader, so the first thing I did with my team was tell them that I could not finish reading the rules, that I was sorry about that but that and that I will go back and ask for the folder later and finish reading.

2. I am clear when I explain requirements, so I explained clearly what was the objective of the game, the way to earn points and the rules.

Second, areas for improvement:

1. I need to be able to not follow the details and let the team work more without me, I think this way I empower them more.

2. There was too much discussion and we were moving forward really slowly , I believe it could be better if since the begining, the team was divided into two to define the two routes.

3. I need to control my body to not show my stress, the team should not notice that I am stressed when things are not going as expected. My job as a leader is provide vision and motivate my people to reach that vision.

4. Time management, we did not follow a plan on when to finish certain points, and at the end we were runing and we did not finish the task.

As a conclusion, in any activity that you lead, you need to make the most of the resources you have (information, money, people, time...), and your role as leader is to motivate, inspire and help your people picture the where we are going and get there, without you looking stressed or without you getting into the details of the task. I know the way the leader acts should depent on the situation and the people; however, I am learning that the idea is not to run as a crazy person knowing how to do everything, you need to understand the big picture, the goal, your people but all the solutions dont need to come from you, there is a team with you composed with people with different talents that you must assess so you put them to work in the right area or problem.

There is no need to overstress, explain the objective, empower, motivate your people and trust them. Provide vision, support when they need and learn to step back to see the whole picture, analyse when things need your action and when they dont, and remember your people is valuable and inside them there is a lot of potential to get things done.

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