This week was the first week I spent with my team and in my opinion, we had a great start. Last week I was nervous about my competency with the MikesBikes simulation and whether I would be able to keep up with my team. However my first week with my team dissolved some of my concerns. As part of getting to know each other we all discussed how each of us approached the simulation and what techniques we used that proved to be successful. When we began our first practice rollover we decided to work together on the decisions for the practice rounds, putting together everyone’s ideas on all areas of decision making to reach the best one. We spent a couple of hour’s trialling various decisions and came up with a strategy that combined everyone’s knowledge. This significantly helped me to overcome my concern over the simulation because it decreased some of the pressure and I got to observe how the others made decisions and what to look for when doing so. This will be very useful for me and the other members of the team when we decide to strategize our own area alone before we combine it with the others, so that we can master our role.
It was too soon to tell last week however this week I have been able to identify some of the aspects of a team outlined by Katzenbach & Smith (1992), in my own team. I noticed that we all had pretty similar approaches to the simulation. We all began our SoloMike by adjusting various figures and watching its effect take place and then we looked at the reports and tried to make strategic decisions. I am happy to say that this week has been very successful for my team, we all showed great consideration for each other’s views and worked collaboratively to make the appropriate decisions for our firm.
In interacting with my team and doing this week’s readings I learned quite a bit about myself. I have always thought that I was a follower rather than a leader. However the readings by Kelley (1988) helped me identify what kind of a follower. According to Kelley (1988) there are four types of followers: sheep’s who are accepting and do the bare minimum; alienated followers who are more critical; survivors who fear risk; and effective followers who are independent and go above and beyond what is required. I’d like to think that I am a bit of a survivor and an effective follower. I try my best in all that I do and I like to come up with ideas on my own but I significantly need and appreciate the input of others. However I am also afraid to takes risks and so I stick to what I know, which is why I think I might be a survivor. This is something that I could maybe work on in the weeks to come. In mastering my role as marketing manager I will have to draw on my own knowledge and trust my judgement to come up with a suitable strategy that I can present to my team. While I know the decisions I make impact my team’s performance, I would like to take some risks in my decision making which will hopefully pay off.
Overall this has been a great week, I have enjoyed getting to know my team and I am looking forward to the rest of the semester.
Katzenbach, J. R. & Smith, D. K. (1992). Why teams matter. McKinsey Quarterly, (3), 3—27
Kelley, R. E. (1988). In praise of followers. Harvard Business Review, 66(6), 142--148