All entries for February 2011

February 09, 2011

some reflection of today's discussion

Today, someone argued that 'followers' is not a proper word in defining leadership because it might generate some confusion. However, as far as I see, once we used the word 'leader', the word 'follower' naturally followed. If we don't have followers or no one wants to be a follower, how can leaders come out?

And yes, I agree change is the enemy of leaders, but what I'm thinking about is change may be a friend of someone who is presenting to be a leader. For example, when Obama was presenting for the vote, change was the most frequent word he used in his speech. Obviously, people were encouraged and motivated by the change.

Paul said it was quite easy to rule or to dominate a country if the ruler had total authority, however, I'm afraid I'm going to doubt this statement. Take Egypt for an example again, were the pharaohs rulers instead of leaders? Did they control their people totally by their sovereign authority? I heard some arguments about the construction of pyramids. They claimed that it was difficult and painful work which was impossible forced by the command of pharaohs because where there is oppression, there is resistance. They believed there should be something else that led the slaves felt willing to do it. Some of them deemed it was the faith of god and others still seeking for it. Also, in ancient China, all the emperors had the supreme power and everyone must obey them. Was it easy to be an emperor and was ancient China easy to be control? It seemed the answer going to be no as most of the dynasty only existed for about 200 years and destructed by revolts. The longest one, Chou dynasty, lasted for no more than 800 years.

We don't need micromanagers

We got different choices in the lifeboat exercise because of different assessment standards. This may explain why, in real life, someone who can only be a deputy in a company but get a chance to act as a manager in another company. Most of the time, it is the top manager who selects their followers to be managers in branch office or in departments. In this case, an old saying comes to my mind: every emperor has a cabinet composed of his own favorites.

Some teams chose an expert at navigation to be the leader but some teams didn't, of course, there could generate lots of arguments in it. In my opinion, it is possible but not necessary that a leader should be an expert in the area that he leads. It is not leaders' responsibility to check every accessory is working properly, every picture is correctly. Take care of every single thing personally is not a way that is worth popularizing. Micromanager is a term that is used by American to criticize their boss frequently so that we can see that this kind of leader is not welcomed by his groups or followers. In early days, workers didn't have enough knowledge in their works so it was a useful way to generate some micromanagers to make sure workers was doing the right thing. However, nowadays we have a larger number of chances to get education and micromanagers aren't suitable in today's management as the voice of calling for flexibility is increasing. Under flexible management, some excited ideas can come up and employees work happier.

I can see lots of companies have a department that is called technique department. People in that department are responsible for every technical problems and issues. These employees seldom have chance to be leaders and perhaps they will be technical workers throughout their lives. But their salary can be very high as a result of wonderful outcome. What leaders should do is to decide future plans according to followers'suggestions. You may ask, how can leaders trust them if himself have no idea about these solutions. Then I will pick up another old saying, that is, never doubt the person you hire, never hire the person you doubt.

February 2011

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