January 12, 2010

Leadership – our own definitions

Yesterday we began our Leadership and Excellence module. Our first challenge was to choose a leader out of 6 fictional characters in a fictional scenario. It quickly became clear that everyone looked for different things in the leader. Immediately I was drawn to any characters that had experience and was a good decision-maker. This seemed to make sense to me, as the experience would likely mean they wouldn't panic, and the decision-making is a huge role in both delegation and making sure the right course of action is taken. However, other people went for a different route entirely, focusing on the skills such as navigation, sailing, languages etc. I strongly disagreed with this method of choosing, as I believe that the people who have skills will still be present in the scenario, and still able to carry out these skills, whilst they might not actually have good inter-personal skills for example, or be reliable in a pressure situation. However, it was made clear that there really were no correct answers, and this was the main lesson for the day. There are a large number of definitions for a leader, and no definition that can be called definitive. My answers to the challenge were different to everyone else's, but I couldn't say that my definition was better or worse than theirs. This lesson will be helpful throughout the module, and highlighted again when we have to give our group's discussion on which of the 20 definitions of leadership we find to be the best. I will try to be more open minded from here on in!

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