Out of my expectation, I already starting to like this course and getting excited to work in my team for the rest of the semester! MikesBikes is now not just a game but an important useful tool for my learning. There are so much to learn and gain from working in a team and operating a virtual business.
It is not as easy as I thought to be a part of a team and a ‘department’ of a company even though I am not the leader or the CEO. Basically, apart from our CEO, other team-mates are counted as a follower but in different types. I thought I was an effective follower when I had to hand in the MikesBikes CV. However, after reading ‘In Praise of Followers’ (Kelley, 1988) which stated that there are four types of followers including alienated flowers, sheep, Yes people and effective followers. I think there is still room of improvement for me to become an actual effective follower. The major factors to classify followers are dependency, critical thinking ability and active or passive. Personally, I think I have to be more independent as all my decisions are still kind of following the others. More critical thinking is also needed.
Although Kelley (1988) emphasised that followers are the most important for a team or company and even a leader needs to know how to follow, I personally still believe that the most important role should be the leader or the CEO. As Spreier, Fontaine, & Malloy, (2006) mentioned that a good leader is not only pushing the members to achieve more but more importantly is providing them motivation. In addition, I read a chapter from another management course last semester which stated that a good leader will unavoidably open to interpretation, and any shared view, they are expected to provide definitions of the context, therefore have the opportunity to exert greater influence over others. More importantly, the very acquisition of positions of leadership involves managing others’ definitions of reality, particularly those of potential and existing followers (Knights and Wilmott, 2012).
Here, I have to say that the CEO of my company is indeed a great leader who is playing the most important and effective role in my team. He gave us adequate autonomy but lead us to make the right and most suitable decision for each department simultaneously. I am very admire how he actually sees and thinks every decision making as a whole and does well preparation before every meetings. I am definitely learning a lot of skills from him.
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
Knights, D and Wilmott, H. (2012) Introducing Organisational Behaviour and Management. (2nd edition). London: Thomson Learning.
Spreier, S. W., Fontaine, M. H., & Malloy, R. L. (2006). Leadership run amok. Harvard Business Review, 84(6), 72—82