Coming into Week 4 and the real game is beginning. This week marks the start of proper competition and being CEO I feel as though both pressure and responsibility has dramatically increased. In saying this I am developing a greater understanding of the personalities my team comprises of and how to best cater to the needs of each individual whilst pursuing our overall goal.
Let’s just say practice Round 2 wasn’t a strong point for “swerve.”. From my perspective, the practice rounds were an opportunity to dabble in risk and play around with less “thought through” decisions, enabling us to try things without the consequence of it affecting us in the true competition say the outcome wasn’t ideal. Well turns out, the outcome wouldn’t be ideal… instead, our leaderboard placing dramatically decreased from 5th to 9th.
At this point I think I had been too open with the roles that people were to take, allowing too much freedom in fear that my team would adopt tunnel vision if I applied specific roles to them. However, it seems as though more direction is needed to maximize the potential that I know is engrossed in members of my team (and currently being hidden) and allow them to elicit freedom within their role. But freedom should still be pursued on a specific route – as determined by myself and our overall vision/goal (both short-term/weekly and overall).
The largest question comes when analyzing possible ways to minimize the messy outcome of round 2 as we enter the real competition. I know that personally, when I am in the position of follower, I feel confined by dictatorship. Therefore, I do not want to be seen as a dictator – or enforcing a hierarchal structure – within my company. Instead, I truly want my “followers” to recognize their own value so they can directly apply (and challenge themselves to discover) their value through self-leadership and therefore, allow our business to be successful through shared leadership rather than hierarchy (Kelley, 1988; Pearce & Manz, 2005). When I have been emplaced in positions as a follower with too many rules and regulation I feel as though the value I am able to add is confined and I do not want to provide this same environment within my own company. Therefore, any form of complete structure and detailed expectation is not something I am currently wishing – or willing – to enforce amongst the company.
Because I reject rigidity but want to provide direction and support to my team, I must be careful about what I enforce. I, therefore, recognize the integral value that technology has to play in providing direction and structure whilst also allowing scope for creativity and self-leadership for all team members (Pearce & Manz, 2005). This is because each member is able to work when they want and how they want but I am able to keep track of momentum and ensure that their actions fulfil our vision. Exploiting the opportunities Google Drive has to offer this week has enabled me to both provide “run downs” of expectations, how we are tracking, and other integral information directed toward each person in their role – and each team member is able to see and coordinate with each other also. Therefore, communication channels are not confined to only being through myself – allowing for shared leadership opportunity (Pearce & Manz, 2005).
There are potential faults with technology however, and collaboration within Google Drive has the potential to elicit traps of “group think” therefore, I have requested an individually emailed run down of prospective changes and any issues by 10pm Tuesday night (prior to our Wednesday meeting) so that I can co-ordinate “minutes” and grasp an understanding of what should be discussed and the types of decisions particular members are hoping to implement for the coming week (Hammond, Keeney & Raiffa, 1998). By enforcing slightly greater structure and direction but through technology – which allows for autonomy – I hope that I am able to enforce the right amount of direction and support that individuals in my team require.
The coming weeks will be a true showing of whether this is the correct platform to utilize but in order to truly lead my team, allow for maximum scope of creativity and provide support without being the “hierarchal/dictatorship” sort of leader that I personally hate. Currently, I think technology is the best method that will elicit true potential and value each individual member – and therefore, our company as a collective but only time will truly tell (Kelley, 1988).
Hamond, J. S., Keeney, R. L., & Raiffa. H. (1998). Hidden traps in decision making. Harvard Business Review, 76(5), 47+. Retrieved from http://go.galegroup.com.ezproxy.auckland.ac.nz
Kelley, R. E. (1988). In Praise of Followers. Harvard Business Review, 66(6), 142-148.
Pearce, C. L. & Manz, C. C. (2005). The new silver bullets of leadership: The importance of self and shared leadership in knowledge work. Organizational Dynamics, 34(2), 130-140. doi: 10.1016/j.orgdyn.2005.03.003