All entries for March 2016

March 17, 2016

Servant Leadership

Servant leadership is usually linked to Jesus and his service to others. However, you dont need to be religious to execute this serve first-lead after type of leadership. Something I find interesting about servant leaders it is their belief that they are in ther leadership role to benefit and support those they are in charged to lead, and it remainds me Paul's question of how can I help you?...It is about putting first the needs of someone else and letting aside your ego.

At the begining I though servant leadership was just an emotional thing, but I was wrong, servant leadership is about SERVE, which means:

See the future

Engage and develop others

Reinvent continuously

Value results and relationships

Embody the values

So it is pretty much a balanced thing, there is vision, change, results, people and values, but to become a servant leader one needs to work in several characteristics...In my case, I will start by trying to be a better listener and be more open to others opinions.

March 14, 2016

Leadership PMA – Blog 2 – Deciding leadership theories

When I started my PMA, I got overwhelmed by the huge amount of information available about leadership, then I remembered that to filter and discard theories I first needed to have a picture that will represent (for me) the universe of information from where I would start analysing. I finally got my picture but I was a bit insecure on how to proceed with my decision of the selected theories, then I remember that Paul once told me that all the resources that I need to solve my problem are inside me, so I went back to what I have learnt and I ended up using RDM info to reduce the scope of theories I would read on more detail. My reflection at this point is try to use the knowledge you already have, the things you have learned in the master until now are interconnected, so apply what you know.

I am only half way on the PMA, and I am finding it really challenging but at the same time exciting, the information available is too much, but you have your critical thinking and your knowledge, so make use of them. I am trying to do this PMA a bit different from others, I am trying to be a bit more creative and I am trying to make the process real.

I am learning to trust myself in the process and make decisions that make more sense to me, it has been a bit hard not to have much boundaries from Paul, but it is also good to have the opportunity to imagine and work in a non-prescriptive way, so…let’s keep learning.

March 13, 2016

RMD team work

This week we had to work on making two decisions for WaveRiders, the first one was to identify in which place the production plant will be located and second one, what would be the marketing channels we will use to promote the new product.

Something I realised doing the project, it is that when you don’t really understand the tool you cannot be a critical evaluator of the decision making process. For the first time in my academic life, I was finding hard to follow what people in my team was doing and the only tool I understood properly was the tree. I could ask smart questions when constructing it to evaluate if it would be good or not, but in the other two tools I was just agreeing on what the person who understood the most said.

So how good it is the application of a tool by a group in which half of the members don’t really understand what is going on? …I think that the potential for good group decisions is dependent on the knowledge of all the group members on the tools used and the topic (marketing, location, production, etc.). I can say that thanks to my group I now understand a bit more; however, my critical thinking on the decision making process was really weak because of my lack of knowledge.

Moving on from this point, something else I learnt this week is that you need to base your assumptions in real data, like customer characteristics, market research, even government information (like what skilled labour means), the more basement you have the less biased you get. Even though we did a good research on market, we did little about information for the location, we took as true the fact that lymington had more skilled labour than Exmouth when in reality is the other way around. So informed assumptions are much better than our own assumptions.

Finally, I learnt that you should not blindly trust the data you have been given, make sense of the numbers and dates you have received, they can be inaccurate, like the years of start production, irrelevant like the info of other products and incorrect as the skilled labour info, make sense of the data before using it!!!

March 06, 2016

RDM Week 1 reflection

We make decisions everyday of our lives, we decide from simple things like where to go to eat with our friends to more complex ones like in which country to live, what career to have or whether getting married or not. However, most of our decisions are made using our intuitive system 1, instead of using a rational process (system 2).

The problem is that our judgement is biased because we use heuristics (strategies to make our decision process quicker), so when we use system 1 we are more likely to make BAD decisions. To identify how good is our judgement in relation with the heuristics we answered 12 questions in the first class and from that I could find out that my representativeness heuristic is not working fine at all, it seems that my estimations on samples and comparison of things with my mental stereotypes are not very accurate so I should not relay on them.

The good thing is that now I know that this bias can affect my decision making process and to avoid it I should be open and consider all the possible relevant data, be aware of the base rate and learn that likelihood is different to probability.

Off course it is better to use our system 2 when making decisions; however, our heuristics and some other aspects such as our personality, the process and the tools we use will always be present to affect our decision. So at the end of the three days of study, I end up with the conclusion that RDM is not something simple, to make robust decisions one needs to be aware of all the things that can make my decision non-optimal and try to balance those points to ensure that the decision can be as good as possible.

I believe is very uselful to use system 2 more often and try to be more rational about our personal life decisions, I used once one of the decision methods to decide if I should accept a job and move back to my home town or not, and I think it provided me with the opportunity to think more about my criteria, the two alternatives and future effects of that decision, so even when the decision wasn't 100% perfect (decision making is not exact science), it is a better decision just for the sake of leaving system 1 behind.

March 04, 2016

Situational Leadership–First PMA reflection

According to the Situational leadership theory, leader' style and behaviour should change with the situation, so being task oriented, instead of relationship oriented can be very useful in some situations. At the end there is not good or wrong style, everything depends.

This theory, although no perfect, make leaders think about the application of different behaviours with different people, for example, I am somehow just starting my job as a waitress, I am an incompetent with positive attitude, I make many mistakes, so the best leader behaviour here is one telling me what to do and showing me how things should be done. With the time, I will get more experience and I wont need such a directive leader style.

This theory answer my question of why I had to be more directive with somepeople than with others and the point is that every person is different, with different degree of experience, confidence or skills, so the way of working with each of them should be different.

March 2016

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