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A second thought of the week that I think was better served in a second learning journal: that I believe that leaders are more important than followers, and the readings didn’t change this belief.

I mean, we all (most of us, anyway) have this perceived idea that leadership = greatness. That leadership = success. In the same way that “the leadership role has the glamour and attention” (Kelley, 1988), the reverse is true – followership is considered mediocre, average, normal.

There were two readings on leadership and one on followership, despite the fact that “most of us are more often followers than leaders” (Kelley, 1988). We get “Level 5” leaders that can transform “a good company into a great one” (Collins, 2005) whereas we get “delighted and frankly amazed that rank-and-file employees” can simply operate without a leader (Kelley, 1988).

I’ve always perceived myself to be a follower – if offered the choice, I would prefer to be led and contribute my ideas with someone else coordinating and taking charge. And I’ve always attributed this as a fact-of-life because my personality is inherently quiet, reasonably unsocial and extremely introverted. I’m slowly learning that not being an extrovert is no reason for not being a leader. I am majoring in management after all (let’s put aside any management vs. leadership debates for now). But if the readings were supposed to tell me that effective leadership is not something to aspire to any more than being an effective follower, I didn’t feel it. Maybe it’s the social farce that says being a leader is the value equivalent of getting married and having a family. Maybe it’s because fewer people are leaders, and we like being raised higher than the rest; it is natural to desire special unique attention. Am I too much a product of my environment? I can’t fully tell – we [environment and I] are messily integrated. But I do know what I believe, no matter where that belief comes from.

So leadership wins this one. I don’t think I have any/can’t think of any specific actions to take away from this as per Daudelin’s (1996) model says I should, but I still think I’ve reflected nonetheless. [I’ve also decided it’s okay to disagree with readings. I find that sometimes, something might be true for you and not for anyone else. And that’s normal].

 

References:
Collins, J. C. (2005). Level 5 leadership: the triumph of humility and fierce resolve.Harvard Business Review, 83(7/8), 136—146

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

4 Comments

  1. Please correct any of my feedback below and feel free to provide feedback back to me as I am also trying to improve my feedback writing skills.

    Wow! That was probably my quickest read but my most enjoyable one so far. My reasons include:

    (1) Even though you do not drown your writing in theories, I get a sense of understanding and clarity from your writing. I like how you have pinpointed leadership to reflect on and have used specific direct quotes from Kelley and Collins as a basis for your brief discussion.

    (2) You link your preference to be a follower with your personality. I particularly like how you touch on a little comparison that maybe "being a leader is the value equivalent of getting married and having a family". So true that people desire "unique attention" and I feel that sometimes following can be more important than leadership in different circumstances. 

    (3) You ask the question "Am I too much a product of my environment?" This lets me know, as a reader, that you have reflected beyond the surface of leadership and followership to identify why you prefer being led over leading. I  think that the dominating figures in society (whatever it may be, brands, people, ideas/theories) create the world that we live in and when we choose to accept some of these "creations" or "changes", we are merely accepting it. So in regards to your question, I do not think you are a product of your environment but instead an essential part of giving "unique attention" to these "dominating forces". I do not know if this will make sense to you haha.

    My only critique for this writing, is that you provide some more in-depth examples from your own personal experiences to enhance the insight of your writing.

    Overall, great brief read. I usually write a lot in my journals and you have shown me that writing less than 400 words can still be reflective. Please ask Peter, if you have any questions because I am unsure about whether I have covered everything to critique. Thank you for the read and all the best for the rest.

    1. Thanks Maaola!

      Yes, this one was short as I did two this week because I thought they would be better split that way as they are about two very different topics. I agree with you that I could have done with a few more in-depth examples, and I'll attempt to put them in for next week (if time allows!) (smile)

  2. First of all, I think you have covered and discussed the important concepts of the readings for this week and I quite enjoyed how you referred it back to your own thoughts. You questioned the points as well and by critiquing it shows that you're successfully reflecting on what has been done this week. For future journals it might be good to add your experience with MikesBikes simulation and incorporate that with the readings. Overall, great reflection! 


  3. I agree with Mellissa, I enjoyed reading your journal and how you applied the theories into your real situations which shows a great  demonstration of your understanding. Well done! (smile)