THEME 5: WHAT KIND OF LEADER AM I?
Being a leader is accepting a whole lot of responsibility; an effective leader needs to influence the behavior and actions of others. A leader needs to be a people person, he/she will need to think on their feet as sometimes there may not be the chance to consult with others before making decisions. A leader should be assertive and be able to motivate and renew the commitment of followers to ensure that they achieve their goals. From some of my previous blog posts, we have seen leadership and its definitions from scholars around the world; also different styles of leadership.
I would like to be a transformational leader supporting that with the situational leadership model. Judging from the past few months, working and getting acquainted with new team members, I seem to inspire my team members to be better at what it is that we are doing or even if it’s their own personal agenda and my assistance is needed in some way.
Based on the seminar activity carried out in Week 4 on the work of Meredith Belbin, we were asked to identify our team role types using Belbin’s Team Roles.
After carrying out the exercise, I discovered my most dominant team role type is being a Completer, closely followed by the roles of a Co-ordinator, Monitor-Evaluator, and Resource Investigator. The table above gives some insight on a Completer showing that timely completion of work and thoroughness to be my characteristics. I’d say this is true because I am indeed very thorough in the work that I do, searching for errors and omissions, ensuring a level of perfection is achieved. The allowable weaknesses available to being a Completer are I’m inclined to worry unduly and also I was usually reluctant to delegate tasks. The Belbin role gave me insight on I would like my ideal team to be.
Before I began my MBA program, I was more of a Laissez-Faire leader, allowing people around me make the decisions, sometimes even when it involved me personally. But I have come to understand that my voice is important to me and also to the people around me. I’m no longer afraid to air my views or take responsibility due to fear of coming across as silly or not completing a task to its maximum. I realize that, by speaking and taking on responsibilities, by allowing myself make mistakes, I’m learning and improving daily.
In the course of this module, we were asked to make a presentation on the man who turned IBM around, Lou Gerstner.
He has since become someone whose leadership skills I admire. He is a transformational leader. IBM was arguably the most successful private enterprise and it was going down hill and he managed to motivate the employees to do better and not accept defeat. He created conditions for transformation by changing strategy and structure at IBM. Gerstner wasn’t the kind to learn why things were the way they were, he’d rather experience it by living in it, through this method he was able to ascertain the key issues wrong at IBM, ranging from how individuals worked in the organization to how they treated customers. Lou Gerstner saw beyond the present state of IBM, though it took about 10 years to fully revive IBM and have it at the top, he remained consistent and made it happen. I think he is an exceptional leader.
This is a video of him speaking briefly on how he turned IBM around;
A transformational leader engages with followers, focused on the significance of an outcome and in new ways those outcomes can be achieved. I have received feedback from some of my colleagues, describing me in that manner, I engage with my team members and listen to what everyone has to offer. It is fair to say that I’m also a democratic leader. In as much as I receive a lot of positive feedback, there are still some aspects that I need to improve on. Aspects such as being more creative, more time conscious, delegating tasks effectively without being biased. I also need to work on inter-personal skills, get out of my comfort zone and network with people.
One thing that is sure to keep me in the forefront, as a leader is my ability to adapt to change. I have also gained great understanding from researching theories on ethical leadership, change management, leadership styles and the importance of having a diverse work force, I will apply all I’ve learned to my daily routines, it will help keep me prepared and give me a chance to see what works and what doesn’t. All of these and a positive attitude towards winning, and picking myself up after failing at something, will mold me as great leader.
List of References
Culture and Leadership at IBM, (2004). 1st ed, The Case Centre, pp. 1-17
YouTube.com, (2014). Louis V Gerstner IBM Leadership (DCP 2010) [Online] Available at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AzwDaHxI1Ho [Accessed 30 Jun. 2014]