All entries for February 2014
February 27, 2014
Today's presentation was about CSR-Corporate Social Responsibility, I really like our team's idea to donate 10 life boats to Italy government despite taht other teams challange and doubt if it is a strategic CSR. In my opinion, either is fine, cause while I was working in SME, there is no such concept about CSR, it's the big company's opportunity to compete for enahncing their brand image, by PR department's dissemination, other competitors may join the competition. But can we find any drawbacks of competing for charity? I would like to see the charity competition, since it will get more attention for the whole community, everyone will start to understand CSR, eventually, the view of CSR will instill into all community draw more attention, and get more good responses.
This morning most of us came to class late, I understand if we are learning about leadership, as a leader, we need to be a role modle of our followers, if we don't want followers to come late, we shouldn't come late, either. The challange here is consistentcy, keeping punctuality everyday is not easy, it takes self discipline, and I observed most of the successful leaders have this feature.
Taking one example, the CEO of Yulon motors in Taiwan, he took over the business when the company didn't make any profit at all, he determined to make changes, but he started from changing himself first, his theory is if a person can not manage himself and his/her weight, what can he/she fulfill? He lost so much weight in a short period and kept healthy and slim every time when he was on TV. Althought the weight theory is arguable, the outcome is really successful, the company becomes the biggest local motors in Taiwan and have branch offices in China now. I think the reason why he succeed is that by changing himself show his determination to his followers, and his self discipline also affect his followers.
When we mention about leadership, the focus is always on the leaders themselves, barely no one firstly think of the followers. But i think followers are important. Folloers are the majority in the organization and they are the one who implement the work. If the followers are not involved and motivated, no matter how brilliant the leader is, the organization's golas will not be achieved. Therefore, one of the leader's job is to understand the followers and optimize their performance. If followers are working dead, they may be negtive and have relatively lower performance, understanding the reason, offering training and motivating them may help to improve. If the followers are urban terrorist, they are often competent, but not satisfied with the current situation or jobs, inducing them to what they want may turn them to stars. If the followers are stars, they are passionate, competent and commited to their work, if leaders can turn most of the followers to stars, the goals will be more possible to achive.
In terms of followers, I think followers may be more relax than leaders, but during the business simulation yesterday, if the leaders are not capable of leading the team for the reason either their personality or ability, the followers will suffer. In real life, the followers may surrender by position power and consequently suffer motionally and cause failures.
February 26, 2014
Yesterday's hotel business simulation was probably the most interesting and close to real life simulation, cause we can actually run the business, and get profit or suffer from loss based on our decisions. Leaders are always important cause their roles are steering the whole team for the vision and fulfilling the objectives successfully. Our team experienced two completely different type of leadership styles. The first leader was quite free style, cause our team members have quite strong opinions, if we have differnt opinions, it's really difficult for him to change our mind and the decisions, but the result turned out to be good, so he trusted us and not trying so hard to be a 'leader' he/she imagined-hoping followers to follow his/her decisions, most of the time, he/she was listening. The other leader joined us during the third quarter without adequate information, and he/she tried to show his/her authority, and tried to change our decisions by his/her position power, unfortunately, it caused adverse effect of argue and intense atmosphere, although our decisions turned out to be correct, we were all depressed and not motivated to our jobs.
In my opinion, why a leader tried so hard but received adverse effect and resistance, by contrast, the other leader seemed doing nothing but got better results? Cause the first leader is more adaptive, when he/she observed the situation, he responded to his/her team members very soon. While the other leader didn't create effective communication and just tried to use his/her position power eventually getting negative results. Adaptation is crutial factor for leadership, and flexibility is also essential. Flexibility to different team members means that facing different teams, a smart leader will try to find a most suitable leadership style to optimize the performance of the team.
Today's presentation was about performance appraisal, promotion and firing systems, it provided some food for thought. As a employee, I was always nervous about annual review, knowing what I was doing well and what needed to be improved was fine, but I always worried about the appraisor, if their perspectives were different from mine, will I get into trouble? Maybe this situation is similar to GE-Jack Welth's measures-reducing the 10% lower performance of its employees every year. Why employees hold negative view to performance appraisal? It's because we always worried about if the appraisor is fair to everyone without bias, or if there is anyone manipulating performance and the system to get higher performance.
This concern not only causes irrational competition during each department instead of cooperation which will jeopardize the maximum of the success for the organization, but also reflect that how can we trust 100% for the appraisors and the system? What if the system is wrong? Who should assess the performance of the appraisor and the system? Maybe 360 degree appraisal can be a better alternatives of the current performance appraisor, but I thonk each organization should consider their sector, size, structure to figure out their own performance appraisal system that suits them best to let employees feel that the purpose of performance appraisal system is to provide direction, training and to motivate them instead of spreading fear, they will eliminate the concern and resistance for the system, consequently will benefit the whole organization.
February 11, 2014
During the Lifeboat exercise today, I understood the choice of our leader is to reflect the qualification and capability that how we think of a leader should equip with. I thought relevant experience is very important since in real life, a leader is to guide the team members and make decisions, if he/she doesn't have the knowledge or experience, the decision makeing process and result may be influenced by others. Also for the limited time and resources in real life, there may be no perfect answer to the problem, we can only based on what we have to resolve all the issues, "just in time" in most of the cases more matter than seeking for the best solution which may cost more time and resources than what we have now.
Despite the above, our team today can not come up with our decision in time, it may result from that everybody were trying to express their thoughts instead of listening to leaders first for how we should make our decision so that the process really took more time than we expected. Moreover, some of our team members unconsiously took our leader's job, so there may be more than one leader in our team which made our decision making process not efficient. Through this exercise, I learned next time we may discuss the process and divide individual's job first to make sure everything run smoothly.