This week I decided to re-centre my journals. I decided that I didn’t really know Daudelin’s (who is a lady I now know) work well enough and I had a loose interpretation of what she was really trying to say. So, I reread her piece and I realised just how central her analysis is to what we create in this paper. I found I could relate to her thoughts on group reflection as well as individual reflection as my group went through many of these steps when deciphering which strategy we would implement and endeavor to achieve (Daudelin, 1996).
In Kelley’s (1988) interpretation of leaders and followers we had no differing opinions. I agree entirely with his point that “in searching so zealously for better leaders we tend to lose sight of the people these leaders will lead” and “how well their leaders lead, but partly also on the basis of how well their followers follow”. I think this sheds light on an essence that is easily forgotten in day-to-day business; that managers can’t manage that well without great teams. So, they have the opportunity to make or break, so to speak, their teams. “Bosses are not necessarily good leaders; subordinates are not necessarily effective followers.” Successful leaders shouldn’t assume their followers have no common sense or experience, but many poor managers seem to. Inversely, a follower should not assume their leader will be a poor leader and in turn become a poor follower.
I believe that leaders and followers can be one or the other under different circumstances. In some teams, the dynamic may seem an appropriate one to exist as a follower and adopt that role by allowing a more dominant figure to delegate and exert authority. However, in another team assuming a role of leadership may be what you think is most appropriate for the dynamic of that team. So I think, we are not one of, but have the potential to be both a leader and or a follower depending on the circumstances.
Motivation is driven by achievement (social motives), affiliation and power as outlined by David McClelland (Sprier, Fontaine & Malloy, 2006). I agree with this and I think that everyone does have these qualities in them, whether they aggressively exhibit them or not. The six styles of leadership are accurate in my opinion, however I think that leaders can have one of these as their initial personality or goal leadership style, but may end up failing to meet the criteria and becoming a negative version. For example, affiliative leaders who desire to have harmony and sound relationships may be seen to only be creating these for increases in productivity. They may then have created bad relationships unknowingly that are based on deceptiveness.
Overall, I think there are quite obviously some very poor leaders, and some leaders regarded as the best by their teams. I think personally, a lot of this is in the inherent nature of the leader themself and boils down to their qualities and attributes. Leading and being truthful to themselves will mean they are a consistent leader.
Daudelin, M. W. (1996). Learning from experience through reflection. Organizational Dynamics, 24(3), 36-48
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