All entries for March 2011
March 29, 2011
The best way to improve one’s leadership skills is certainly, through experience, accepting the challenge when it comes and also to look at real life examples that are there around us. I personally feel that real life examples are the best ways to learn about leadership more than everything else. Even if it does not teach you much about the role, it surely helps you to realize what not to do in a given scenario. The way I have learned about leadership is through my uncle who I feel is a very effective leader but certainly not the most respected one. He is very professional, dedicated, and creative and a risk taker above all but does not possess a very healthy relationship with the people of our organization. People tend to fear him as he leads by fear and he also enforces orders and does not allow the employees to participate. In short, he wants them to follow orders and do as they are told. Although, I admire his dedication, hard work and creativity but do not like his leadership style because I feel it is not effective in the long run. Because, I feel there should be a good relationship between a leader and the people, so that they give their hundred percent at work and work for the system whole heartedly.
So, one gets to learn a lot from the real life examples that are present around us. They actually make you think about what would you do if you were in the same situation or position? And it is actually better to learn after knowing what exactly you are going to face in the real world.
When we talk about leadership, there are different styles that we look at and most of the leaders in different organizations around us fall under one of those styles. It is not necessary that people possess the leadership style that is the same as their real life personality. Some people might argue that people carry their natural style, personality and behavior wherever they go and whatever they do and it could also be true in some instances but not when it comes to leadership. Although a man faces a lot of situations in life when he needs to put his leadership skills into practice, in many day to day activities but when we talk about professional life and controlling complex work place situations he might change his natural or we can say built in leadership style and adopt some other one and this is how we get to see many people/leaders who are although very laidback and humble in real life turn into monsters at work. It is certainly not the right thing to do where one has to wear a mask daily when he goes to work and behave or act in a way that he otherwise would not have done. There was a very good example given by Paul against this attitude which was something like “Behave at work in a way that you could take your daughter along with you”, because if you do a personality switch daily as you reach work, she might see your split personality which would surely shock her.
So, we should avoid this attitude and although I believe that leadership skills are both in built and can also be improved with experience and training but I feel that we should alter our in built leadership style if it is not very effective but should not try to bring a 180 degree change to it. The change should be positive instead of being negative.
There are different roles and positions within an organization according to different hierarchical levels. We have the CEOs on the top and then we have different directors for specific departments which are actually the leaders of that particular department for e. g marketing directors, HR directors etc. The role of directors is very important within an organization because they are involved in all major and core activities which act as a source of guidance and set the tone for the other people within the organization for example the development of the vision and the mission statements etc. One of the most important roles that a director has is to take the best out of the people within his department, motivate them and also make sure that they work to achieve the major goal of the organization which is the fulfillment of the mission and the vision. The directors are responsible for all the activities under their department and they need to make sure that they are in accordance with the company goals, mission and vision.
So, if we get the chance to work as a director of some specific department in some organization we should keep these points in mind and try to avoid departmentalization, encourage effective communication among departments and work in alignment with the organization goals.
Democratic leadership is among many of the leadership styles that we have come across during this module. During one of the simulation, one of the group leaders also got the role of a democratic leader. Although a democratic style of leadership does seem very just and fair because its major aspect is the involvement and participation of the group members in all decision making and everything is done with proper consultation and agreement of the members involved but it also has some drawbacks that might affect decision making. For example the involvement of all the members in every decision and handling many different point of views is not always effective sometimes it also might lead to confusion because people might not come up with a proper solution or way forward with a lot of solutions on the table and the leader not playing a role which is not as powerful and influential as it is in some other styles.
So, whenever we talk about different leadership styles, it is important to realize that there are always some positives and some discrepancies attached and there is no perfect solution to all the problems that we face. We should always look at the shortcomings and also the given context, while selecting theories because that might help us in choosing, maybe the most appropriate one in that given situation.
Selection of a leadership theory is the most important task that we have to perform for our post module assignment. For choosing an appropriate leadership theory we have to look for the exact situation and context in which the theories are going to be applied for example what exactly is the leadership style being practiced within the organization in this instance we have to see the leadership styles of both the CEO and also one of the directors of the company. I think it is not possible to coach and suggest a leadership style if we are not sure about what the current style or situation is and would be pointless. I have chosen Deming style of leadership as well as the transformational leadership. I have found these two styles appropriate because I have myself led a team using the transformational style and it is about motivating and bringing the best out of people and the Deming leadership is based on the system of profound knowledge and 14 points.
I think it is very important to select the proper leadership theories for the given roles and treat this PMW as a real life situation and if we chose the appropriate theories after going through all the important ones this will surely help us in the near future to apply appropriate theories that will fit the situation that we might face and for that we have to have some knowledge of different theories that are being used today.
March 19, 2011
Pareto analysis is a tool that is based on a very general and important rule which is the 80-20 rule. It considers that which alternative solves the most issues if it is selected or solves the problem the most effective way, when a problem is under consideration. The Pareto analysis is used to take decisions when there are several options and we have to chose an alternative. In general sense, it is used for effective solution of problems and help to chose the biggest issue that is causing the most problem and then solve it first. It does the cost and benefit analysis and look at the scores and eliminate the alterntives with lowest scores.
So, it is a very important too, since it helps to solve the issue and take decision by selecting the most effective that solves the problem in the best way. It also considers the costs and also the benefits to look at what is gained out of the alternative if we chose it.
The RDM module was a very different module because there were not many teaching sessions and also because we had to work with MBE section A, so it was a very different experience. All the groups had few people from A and few from section B. THe group work has been a very learning experience during this module. It is always interesting that how different groups decide to work differently. If I talk about my group it was a very good group and all the people participated in the work. Although there were also some issues when it came to deciding how to go about the work but at the end it all went well. What is really good about group work is the way you get to know differnt people and it was also a way for us to interact with some people from section A. It was a very good experience and they were very hard working and cooperative people.
Even though sometimes we had some issues with the work because of lack of proper coordination but still it was a very good learning experience and the presentation was a very good way to learn about some very imporatant decision amking tools. But definitely group work is far more effective than individual work whether there be any probelm.
The presentations session that we had on Friday was very interesting considering the strategy for the Wave Riders company. It was really interesting to see that all the groups had a different take on the same decision. Some chose to go for Lymington, some for Exmouth but the most interesting part was the people going for both the sides. People using the same tools also used them differently and therefore came up with the different results. There were some very good discusions at the end of the presentations. Some groups chose to use few specific tools effectively. But almost all of the most imporatant tools were used. There was quite alot of confusion about the usage of the 'Decision Tree'. Some groups had these huge Decison Trees which were very difficult to understand.
Over all the the presentation were very good and specially I would like to mention that the presentation skills were really great and material was very well sorted. It was a very informative session. There was a lot to learn from from th eother groups.
It is a tool that considers positives and negatives of taking a specific decision and also the outcomes that might occur because of the decision. It helps to chose between the alternatives by making 2 seperate tables stating the plus and minus points of chosing a specific alternative and also the outcome and give them numbers i.e positive numbers for the plus points and negative numbers for the minus points and both for the outcomes. At the end all the scores are added. After that the same procedure is repeated for the other alternatives and then compare them with each other, chose the one with more score.
It is a very important and effective technique since it also states the negatives of taking the decision does not only consider the good points. So, we can use this for effective decision making and can bring good results if all the plus and minus points are considered and also all the important implications are considered.
Trade-off analysis is a very imporatant tool for decision making when selecting between alternatives. It is a tool that aids in decision making by considering the objectives and also the advantages and disadvantages of all the aletrnatives. It first lists the objectives against the alternatives and rate them in priority from 1,2 etc. After that we sum all the scores and eliminate the ones with the least scores. In the next step we list the advantages and disadvantages of the alternatives. Then we score them from 0 to 3 and sum the scores again and chose the one with the highest score. It is somewhat similar to the grid analysis.
It is a very imporatnt method that helps to look into the discripencies of the alternatives as well. It eliminates some options and choses the one which helps the most to reach the goal and also has the most advantages. It can be used for effective decision making and it is a very simple method and is not very complex.