February 19, 2012

The “Superman” Leader

Leader as the name implies serves as a guide or directing head of a body of people. This could be the reason why many followers expect their leaders to be “supermen or women”. Simply put, many of us tend to see our leaders as the drivng force in every task or project. We simply say, after all what are the leaders there for if they can’t be excellent in all aspects of leadership.

During the hotel simulation exercise, I was initially made to act as a deputy leader; my job was so straight forward. It was a mere observation of the actions of both the leader and the followers. This entailed noting down how the leader dished out instructions and how such instructions were received by the followers. Little did I know that this was a temporary appointment. It however dawned on me when I was shipped off to a different team after two quarters. On getting to the new team, I was appointed leader. For me, it seemed pretty difficult because I was expected to deliver results immediately. Difficult because it was a team that I joined half way without any understanding of its workings, tasks, challenges and the already existing leader-follower relationship. I resorted to asking lots of questions in order to situate myself into the company’s atmosphere. This was meant to reveal a perfect understanding of the company’s expectations before I commence with my decision making process. I however observed that some team members were not quite happy with my approach. They expected that as a leader I must possess all the magical tools to start directing the affairs of a company I am alien to.

This brings me back to my earlier thought; are leaders meant to be supermen or women who possess solutions to every issue that arises especially when such issues were not initially within their purview?

- One comment Not publicly viewable

  1. Daniella Abena Badu

    Well, the reality is that after we graduate next year, most of us will find ourselves in similar situations, whereby we get jobs as junior/ senior managers in organisations we aren’t familiar with, because we’ve done a Msc degree and what even makes things more daunting is the fact that we are doing a course in management for business excellence so the expectations of our performance and the way we handle issues will be high and possibly different from someone who just did a Msc degree in engineering. Anyway thank God for our lecturers who are doing their best to empower us with the necessary skills.

    25 Feb 2012, 22:18

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