This focus of learning this week was on leadership and the various impacts a leader has on the organisation or group. Typically, it is believed that the CEO in an organisation is the ultimate leader, however from my recent experience with MikesBikes, the CFO is the one in whom is the person in whom has the most responsibility to delegate certain tasks to the other executives. From looking at the financial reports I had to identify the areas of weakness that were costing the most to the company and then delegate the solution finding to the other executives. With this sense of leadership that accompanies the role of CFO, I have come to question my own thinking of ‘Am I really delegating for what is best for the overall company, or am I delegating to improve my decisions to reflect myself in the best light?
At first glimpse I believed I was deciding for the teams benefit, however once experimenting with Mikes Bikes offline, I realised that my sole focus on increasing shareholder value was a more individualistic perspective of success. With the assistance of my team, I have realised that shareholder value is not as crucial during the majority of this course as I believed it was (as revealed in my team’s first rollover reports). Alternatively it is the market share that we hold, the successful product developments that occur etc. From these, the result is the shareholder value, not the other way around. From this realisation I have now hypothesised that if I focus on the financials with the perspective that my task is to make sure all our actions are funded sufficiently without going into large scale debt, then as a result, our shareholder value will increase due to the low risk investment factor. With regards to Spreier, Fontaine and Malloy (2006) ‘Leadership run amok’, I need to be aware of my individual intentions of the team’s success to ensure that I am constantly being in line with what the team’s strategic goals are. Without this constant alignment, I fear that my leadership will steer our team away from success; which is not desired.
With regards to Kelley’s (1988) ‘In praise of followers’ I have learned (both in theory and in practice) that sometimes being a follower, is the best position in a successful team. This is because at times I have realised that my individual goals can differ significantly from my team, such as I have a drive to be extremely organised and planned, so when faced with a team in whom benefit more with trial and error, there is a form of internal conflict. How to combat this? Well from the readings this week, I believe that I have to face the fact that my ways are not always right, and by incorporating others methods with my own, my input will be much more beneficial to the teams goals. By turning my focus from purely the team’s success and incorporate other’s intentions into my team contributions, I believe that I could possibly become one step closer to becoming a level 5 leader as mentioned in Collins (2005) ‘Level 5 leadership: the triumph of humility and fierce resolve’.
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
Spreier, S. W., Fontaine, M. H., & Malloy, R. L. (2006). Leadership run amok. Harvard Business Review, 84(6), 72--82