After originally being pleasantly surprised to see I had been given the marketing role which was my first choice. I was also pleased to meet my team and see that they did not evoke any of the concerns raised in our class discussion about teams and what the Oakley reading went into. We still followed the suggestions from Peter and the Oakley reading which recommended establishing expectations and avoiding problems by creating a team contract to encourage mutual accountability as mentioned by Katzenbach.
After meeting with the group and developing a mission statement and the beginnings of a strategy, I am slightly concerned our team will do exactly what we are warned not to do by the "Leadership Run Amok" reading. We are warned not to be primarily focussed on achievement because of its effect of diminishing trust and confidence in team members, ultimately damaging potential performance. In this highly competitive environment created by the Mike's Bikes simulation competing with other team and in such a short game (compared to real life business) I think it will be difficult to focus on people instead of what we want to achieve ultimately. I suppose it comes down to what our CEO's motivations are, whether he is driven by achievement, affiliation, personal power or social power. At this stage it is too early to see what motivates our leader, I hope he has characteristics of socialised power to empower the whole team perfection.
It may be optimistic to ask for a level 5 leader as defined by Collins, but in the Mike's Bikes simulation it is exactly what we need. A leader that is willing to take risks, has genuine humility and intense professional will (Collins, 2005) will be the perfect leader to navigate the tricky terrain ahead that is the Mike's Bikes simulation. A leader that will support and praise the team will drive our success and push us to take risks. It will be interesting to see how well the concept of level 5 leader will play out in this context with such close knit teams whose CEOs are more like team members with more authority - a different dynamic to which the level 5 leader theory was developed for. Also the peer reviews may skew the behaviour of CEOs into being less risk takers are more accomodative to team members' suggestions.
I now have a new perspective of the leader and follower relationship, and I am interested to see how these theories can be applied once our team has settled into routine and habit and how this plays out for us In terms of the results we are all able to achieve.
Collins, J. C. (2005). Level 5 leadership: the triumph of humility and fierce resolve. Harvard Business Review, 83(7/8),136---146.
Katzenbach, J. R. & Smith, D. K. (1992). Why teams matter. McKinsey Quarterly, (3), 3---27.