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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.

References

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

2 Comments

  1. Arlette,

    Your journal was very interesting to read and insightful of the constant changing of your feelings and attitudes toward this course due to the nature of the course and the “bomb-shell”. You have made a good attempt at incorporating theory into your journal, however the journal appears to be a stream of consciousness, rather than a comprehensive in depth reflection. With regards to Bloom’s (1956) levels of taxonomy, this journal is not yet striving for the higher levels. This is because the ideas that you generate are typically stated rather than reflected on. For example “My assumptions that we would be a great team were proven when we had our team meeting and discussed our individual goals and values” – to begin to reflect at a deeper level, question your current beliefs, such as Why do you think discussing and defining these individual goals and values predict whether a team is good or not? 

    Additionally, you tended to include references to the readings that were unstructured and unexplained, such as “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)”, to be reflecting at the higher levels of taxonomy, you need to reflect and state specifically how you believe this example from the theory is relevant to your current situation and experiences with the course. I.e. an improvement could be made by stating “the lecturer is like the general in Collins (2005) who burnt his boats upon arriving on enemy soil, in order for his troops to fight or die trying. This is because the lecturer as put us in a state where we have only two options: continue with the course with giving it all you have got, or give up and face the consequences of a D grade”.

    Lastly, with regards to guidelines provided by Daudelin (1996), this journal does tend to steer away from these guidelines by going from one idea to the next without any analysis or hypothesis generating to attempt to combat these issues that you are/have faced. Improvement could be made by reading over this article again and keeping the key points in mind when writing the next journal.

    Overall, a very enjoyable journal that has potential to be enjoyable and at the higher levels of taxonomy with more reflection. I hope this helps, all the best for your future journals. 

  2. This was a very enjoyable learning journal to read with a point of view which is very easy to relate to. However this is making it hard to comment on, especially with the thorough feedback above. One potential improvement that could be used in future journals is writing and explaining a deeper thought process about the readings and points taken from the readings. Thats really all I can see to improve on, well done and good luck in future journals.