Sitting in the lecture on Thursday last week, waiting for the volunteers to come and announce our groups, I was feeling a bit excited and a bit skeptical on whether they were going to use the right criteria. After I met my group, I felt like the process didn’t matter in the end as I had ended up with the right kind of people that I had wanted to be with. According to Spreier, Fontain and Malloy (2006), “the desire to achieve is a major source of strength”. What that means for our team is that our hunger to achieve our goals that we set for ourselves, will in turn help us to ultimately reach those goals. My assumptions that we would be a great team were proven when we had our team meeting and discussed our individual goals and values. I found out that we all had similar values, and to my surprise we all had strong opinions and big personalities, so I got even more excited to be in my team. So happy was I that I soon forgot all about the bad feelings that I had when the procedure of how the groups had been selected.
Come Tuesday, our CEO dropped the bomb shell that was the scandal of the goings-on that had part-taken on that fateful day of Thursday. At that moment I was not really surprised, instead I was just waiting for someone to point it out actually, so it was about time that someone did… I wasn’t going to be the one to do so (I am an effective follower, not so much a leader)… Anyway, in the end the issue was resolved, however, a lot of issues that affect this course came to light. Issues such as the effectiveness of the communication methods and the overall structure of the course. This brought my attention to the nervous feelings of the majority of students that were highlighted in their journals the previous two weeks. Seeing as its now week three, at this stage it seems the only option is to ride or die, because the deadline to swap and drop courses has already passed. This is similar to the story of the general who burnt his boats upon arriving on enemy soil, in order for his troops to fight or die trying (Collins, 2005).
After all the commotion had settled, it was time for us to get our heads into the Mikesbikes game. All went well, as our shareholder value was the second highest in our market. Our team’s main aim was to find a sustainable strategy that would see us achieve our goals at the end of the semester. Thus, in a way, being hedgehogs, according to the hedgehog theory mentioned in the Collins (2005) reading. According to Collins (2005), breakthroughs happen when you get the hedgehog concept and become systematic and consistent. This means eliminating anything that does not fit within what your ultimate goal. In another view, this is similar to specialization, as this results in someone being the master of that task that they have been assigned. Each individual in the production process will become more efficient at doing a particular task, resulting in greater efficiency.
Spreier, S. W., Fontaine, M. H., & Malloy, R. L. (2006). Leadership run amok. Harvard Business Review, 84(6), 72–82
Collins, J. C. (2005). Level 5 leadership: the triumph of humility and fierce resolve. Harvard Business Review, 83(7/8), 136—146