Coming into a course in week 3 is always going to be hard. Combine that with a course that is purely group work and no structured lectures / course books and it makes it 50 times harder. I panicked thinking i was going to be on the back foot entering a group and probably have some stigma attached to my late entry into the course.I have found in courses where there is group work People take peer evaluations very seriously and the most competitive people always find a way to decrease the points they allocate out by remembering every single time you turn up late or miss a class. Luckily being able to slip into a group with a friend made the transition a lot easier, especially when everyone in the group was so friendly and welcoming. The whole concept of Mikes Bikes was a foreign one to me and I remember thinking on that first day - oh god what have I got coming? However I felt straight away that the group dynamics were ones that were going to ensure that I was able to catch up while also be able to find my own place in the team and contribute effectively.
A bit of drama always adds spice to life and well this week provided just that! it turns out the group of students that were chosen/volunteered to divide everyone into groups had placed themselves in a group all together . The big uproar was that this was unfair because they collectively had some of the highest share holder values. In the reading, Leadership Run Amok - The Destructive Potential of Overachievers by Spreier, Fontaine and Malloy (2009) there is mention of what is becoming a more common trend of overachievers becoming so focused on success and high achievement that they can “demolish trust and undermine morale … and eroding confidence in management” ( Sprier, Fontaine & Malloy, 2009, p74 ). I think that this situation mirrors the concerns that they voiced. Clearly this group of students were so concerned with doing well and getting the best marks that they were willing to somewhat break (maybe bend is a better word ) the rules to achieve this. And from the opinions of the other students in the class they have definitely demolished the trust that the class had in them and have eroded confidence in the system that was chosen to pick the teams. But then I wonder if me asking the lecturer to be placed in a friends team is just as bad? Maybe I should just keep quiet on this topic.
We had our first “rollover “ this week and although we didn’t do as well as we may have hoped, it is clear that everyone in the team is working well together and are motivated to get to know their bits as well as they can so that we can smash it in the proper rounds. In Robert. E. Kelley’s article In Praise of Followers he talks about the importance of followers and that at some point in our lives we will play this role, even though everyone searches for the glory role of the leader. I think that this is important to remember, especially for group work like we are undertaking. Everyone will have their turn to shine and provide the team with their valuable input but there are definitely times when people need to understand the importance of being a follower and the support that is necessary to give to the leader so that the team dynamics works well. I feel that even after 1 week in this team, I see the makings of a group that by the end will be working so in sync that no one will feel the need to try and out do one another for the glory role.
Collins, J. C. (2005). Level 5 leadership: the triumph of humility and fierce resolve. Harvard Business Review, 83(7/8), 136--146
Kelley, R. E. (1988). In praise of followers. Harvard Business Review, 66(6), 142--148
Spreier, S. W., Fontaine, M. H., & Malloy, R. L. (2006). Leadership run amok. Harvard Business Review, 84(6), 72--82