All 6 entries tagged Leadership

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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.


February 24, 2016

Coaching class

Today we had our coaching class with Greame. I worked coaching Nilsu, which made things a bit easier since we are close, so we could jump the establish rapport point.

I summarise here some of the things I learned with the excercise:

- The key of coaching is asking questions to help people open up and talk.

- Coaching is not about you, it is not about what you thing is the person problem or what you think they should do to solve it, it is about them finding out what they need to solve and defining a solution they believe in.

- The objective of coaching is unlocking people's potential.

- Avoid using the question 'why' ...why did you do this? why did you react this way?..this type of questions can make people feel defensive.

- Be patient, listen and summarise what the coachee is saying.

- Gain commitment to change and define next step, without this the whole process is lost.

I particulary like the coaching class because I links with the idea that effective leaders care about their people and are concerned about developing them, so couching fits great with this line.


February 23, 2016

My leadership experience today

Today we had the hotel excercise...at the begining I had to play the observer role in my initial team...it seems that life is teaching me to be more quiet, observe more and listen more...at the end we have only one mouth, two ears and two eyes!

After my quiet moment, I was changed to a group and became the leader and sice the group was doing well already, I felt like I had the pressure of maintaing or improving the performance of the hotel...I appreciate so much working with this group, not only because we increased profits but for the learning experience they provided me. My learning points after the excercise were:

1. Make decisions based on facts...not on guts.

2. Listen to your people ideas.

3. Keep a good time management.

4. Ask the opinions of your team members before making decisions.

5. Keep an open mind even if the ideas are different from what you conceive as the right call.

6. Make effective use of the information available.

7. Step back sometimes, when you get too much time inside the details you can lose the vision of the whole picture.

8. Summarise points to see if everyone is understanding what is required.

9. If you are new, ask what is the current situation, what are the roles people is playing, how things are working.


Thank you very much guys for your feed back! It is nice to see the good thing and the areas for improvement...I apreciate it a lot.


February 22, 2016

Leadership Styles

Today we had the leadership activity related to leadership styles, and from the 4 styles (charismatic, laissez-faire, democratic and aristocratic) I got to play the laissez-faire role with my team. This style of leadership is about letting the people work with very little interference from the leader, so I had to give little direction, give the team lots of freedom of choice and action and support the them when they asked.

For me, the role was a bit difficult to play bacuse it forced me to step back and let people do whatever they want and personally, I am the kind of leader that gives direction, looks for agreement and gets involved in the process. So for the first time in my life I had to be quiet, trust people, let them work without much guidance and just see them from outside.

I was scared we would not get anything done, I was afraid no guidance and too much freedom could be a bad thing, but when we finished the activity the result was pretty great, the fact that I was quiet and steping back allowed the team to be more creative, they figured out how to work well together, leadership from Aya emerged and they built a really beautiful castle without me controling the process.

Until today, I thought if laissez faire leadership was not actually a leadership thing since the leader doesnt do that much (if the leader is like me, holding yourself is doing a lot...jejeje); however, now I think that it is a leadership style that can work very well in situations in which people need to be creative, it is like giving freedom to people so they have no constraints or frameworks on which to base their ideas. Today I learn that being quiet can also allow me to see more, I could see they might need colors or to analyse what was going on and how they were doing.

Today I learnt that there is no a perfect way of leading, everything depends on what needs to be done and who is the people you work with, some people might need lots of guidance to do anything, some other need to be left alone, some tasks requires precision, some others creativity and the way the leader behave in each of those situations must be different.


February 14, 2016

The Leadership Paradox

The paradox of leadership if that It is based on serving others, it is not about being a friends or being nice, It is about the idea of putting your ego aside and ask your people: 'what can I do for you?', It is about thinking of how as leaders we can provide our team with the environment and resources to not only do their job but to grow.

An inverted organizational structure is the representation of a service attitude through all the organisation, If each superior level serve its bottom level, the the biggest beneficiary of this service chain is the customer.

But since real life is not like the picture above, what we need to do is create this way of working in our team, being interested a bit more in our people and their needs, create a microcosm where human factors are as importan as the achivement of tasks.


February 10, 2016

The Leadership Function

Dubrin said that Leadership is the funtion of three variables: the leader, the followers and the situation...what a complicated function!!!...so no matter how good are the characteristics of the leader, the followers and the situation also play an important role that can make the leadership not look so well.

Maybe this is why I cant expect my leadership to be the same under different circunstances and with different people. However, I believe the leader have a high influence the other variables and I think this is when Demming's SOPK gets importance. As leaders, we need psychology to understand that every person is different and that we need to approach them as individuals in our interactions with them, so we can influence people's behaviour with our way of working with them; we need theory of knowledge and be able to learn by testing our theories with different people and different situations; we need knowledge of variation, to understand how special causes in the situation can create problems in people's performance, and do something about it; and we have appreciation for a system, ourselfs, our team and the situation we are working in is the system we must see and think as a whole.

So, yes...leadership is a complicated function, but for me, the leader is the key to make that fucntion work as well as possible.


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