February 25, 2011

Learning leadership lessons

I am a little sad that the module is over, it was truly one of the most rewarding periods of study I have ever attempted :-) Of course, I know that nothing is really over. I will continue to learn about leadership for the rest of my life, the PMA will just be the next major step. I say major, because I am conscious that leadership is really just about engaging with people about ideas that you have, and I will have many, many opportunities to do that in the next six weeks, for sure!

I just decided to self-assess my performance as a leader during the last week, and was quite surprised by the results. By my count, we attempted five team exercises/simulations. I put myself forward as a potential leader four times, which quite coincidentally, all happened to be occasions when there were elements of competition between teams. Of these four (so not including 'Coffee Time' which was hugely valuable in itself), I was given the opportunity to lead three times. Of the three I lead, my team performed best twice, and second best once. On the other occasion, when I was a (proactive! :P) follower, my team also performed best, to the point that we became the first team in the history of Paul's experience with the exercise (which I assume goes back at least 5-10 years) to actually successfully complete. I could go on, but this already sounds quite crass and self-congratulatory to the point that people might start to hate my cocky attitude (:P), so I'll leave it with this: I didn't realise that I had that in me.

It could quite easily have been a fluke, and it might well reflect the fact that I was lucky to work with the people I did, because everyone always worked together quite well. But I won't deny that it gives me a huge amount of confidence in myself. I never really felt before, like I was capable of just jumping into any situation, knowing I'd be able to deal with it.

To introduce a problem to a team. To set my vision of what to achieve. To decide things together and not jump all over people's creativity, but also to know when to push my assertiveness more in the interest of the shared goals. To manage resources and time effectively. To try and coach people rather than tell them things they could/should do. To actively listen to others and put their suggestions into practice for the benefit of the team. To manage information quickly, and make decisions that reflect the best course of action. To put mistakes behind you before they drag morale down. To know when to refocus resources if a decision has not panned out the way you hoped.

Etc, etc, etc. These are just a few of my lessons learned, I know that I will be able to add to this list ad. infinitum


- 4 comments by 1 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. ooooh.. m impressed Yanik!! Good going..!

    25 Feb 2011, 22:26

  2. Hi, Yanik. Our good leader. You have executed CSR well during the three practice and our mini-project . Haha… come on, we will become better. Because we are all from MBE. We are proud this excellent culture.

    25 Feb 2011, 22:33

  3. Yanik, I totally agree these have probably been the most thought simulating weeks of my education, it makes me wish I had done more research into MBE before starting at WMG. The way in which LE was delivered makes me fundamentally question the way we have been taught for the last 15+ years.

    27 Feb 2011, 22:18

  4. Too right, mate. You’re going through something that most of us also went through in October when we started with the MBE style ourselves. I’d like to point you in the direction of this really interesting podcast that we listened to in class. Click on the link, and look in the top right corner: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/sci/wmg/ftmsc/modules/modulelist/cbe/sessions/

    I’ve struggled with the way I’ve been taught, especially in the last few years at university. It works for some people, I know that. But not me. This way is much better.

    Haha, wish you’d done a bit more research for applying too! Would have been nice to have another ‘native’ (as they call us!) along for the journey. Good luck on ITM though.

    @Awal and Anna – thanks guys! :D

    02 Mar 2011, 13:43


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