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The quality of our teams discussions have definitely improved this week, as well as our understanding of the game, with our SHV increasingly gaining on the leading team.

I feel I have a strong influence over how my team performs. Drawing on a round of anonymous feedback we conducted within our team and interactions within my team, I now understand how my team perceives me. They appreciate my “large contribution” and I’m seen to be “good with numbers”, which supports my legitimacy in the CFO role. I am also combining this with my significantly higher “practice SHV” than other members, a generally successful record with past strategy suggestions and the confidence in which I present strategies. I feel that these factors facilitate my power over my team, which sometimes leads me to override the CEO’s position. I may just be rationalizing it to myself (justifying my confidence in my own opinion with perceived correctness of the rational behind it) but I don’t mind this occasional leadership takeover. Perhaps this is because it’s my view that is taking over, but I find myself rationalizing this as not being a bad thing as I am confidant that it is the right strategic direction. I feel that if other team members believe I am out of line, they have the responsibility to push back to let me know I’m crossing boundaries.

Katz (1955) talks about the three skills an effective executive must possess; technical, human and conceptual skills. Within the human aspect he states that we must be skillful in “accepting the existence of viewpoints, perceptions, and beliefs which are different from our own”. I feel that this is a really important idea to be more conscious of in future engagements as well my ability to actively decode “what others really mean by their words and behavior”, to strategically “communicate to others, in their own contexts” all while being aware of the conclusions others may be drawing from my behavior. 

As I begin to notice this ‘power’, I have been interested to see how team members  have responded to (relative) failures. I see myself as a calculated risk taker, always putting a lot of thought into any strategy I present to the team. So while attempting to stay open to adaptions, I generally believe that my strategy is the right way forward, and I present with conviction accordingly. When I feel push back from my team, I don’t always know if it due to individuals’ reluctance to be risk takers, if there is residual ‘burnt confidence’ from our previous rollovers’ (relative) failures, or if it is my inability to present my strategies in a way that logically and emotionally resonates with particular individuals. To be honest, I think it’s a healthy combination of all of these factors.

Katz (1955) decribes the concept of skill as “an ability to translate knowledge into action”. I understand that this doesn’t have to be my knowledge, and as a leader I believe that I its my responsibility to amalgamate and gathering the knowledge of my team for the best results. From now on however, I will be actively monitoring both my words and behavior in an attempt to understand how my team members perceive me and accept my proposed strategies. I believe that this will give me practice with how to facilitate better decisions from my team and avoid smothering creativity by over imposing my opinions on my team. I am driven to get the best decisions out of my team and if that means occasionally (carefully) dominating some conversations, that’s fine. And if it means stepping back and being open and adapting to a complete paradigm shift around my perception of the problem, that’s fine too. I just want to win, and this is the best strategy I can see to achieve that goal. 

 

Katz, R. L. (1955). Skills of an effective administrator. Harvard Business Review, 33(1), 33-42

3 Comments

  1. Hi Reuben,

    It is great to hear your team doing well and that you contribute greatly to the result. You are very confident in your strategies and can back it up with your higher “practice SHV”. Would be nice to have some of that influence for my SHV haha.

    I really enjoyed how you used the theory to support what actions you would like to take in future engagements, i.e. “being skilful in accepting the existence of viewpoints, perceptions, and beliefs which are different from our own”. You drew actions to take from the theory which shows you at the higher levels of Bloom's taxonomy. 

    You may not have explicitly identified any problems that you have as a CFO, because of the confidence you have in your strategy but if I could give any advice, it would be to reflect critically on your own performance. It may be difficult at first because your ideas seem to be the ideas that work. You are right in saying that the other team members have the responsibility to push back if you are crossing boundaries because we are all a team. You have also stated that you are willing to step back and allow a complete paradigm shift around your perception of the problem – this is a great concluding action. However, do you think you will find it difficult to adapt to these shifts because you know that your strategic decisions are the right ones to make? Is it possible that although you are open to a shift, your “confidence in your own opinion with perceived correctness of the rationale behind it”, will choose to not accept a change in your perception of the problem?

    Finally, was the anonymous feedback you received all positive? If so, it might be helpful to also ask for them to think critically and try and provide feedback that can identify some underlying issues they may have about the role, if they haven’t already. I feel that if they were to be completely critical and provide some true constructive critique, you would not have to actively monitor your words and behavior attempt to understand how your team members perceive you because it would have already been suggested in the anonymous feedback.

    Overall, you show that you are exceeding in synthesis and evaluation. You are doing a great job and I believe that no matter what, your team will do well. All the best for the rest an keep up the good work.

  2. Dear Reuben,

    Your journal this is week was enjoyable to read and has provided some key insights to your perception of how you are as a team member as well as participating in the team in a CFO position. From what you have stated, I must congratulate you on how well your team is doing, a lot of teams at this stage have been successful at the start, however over time have had significant downfalls. As for being in the CFO position, you clearly are doing a good job, as not only did you have a higher “practice SHV’, but your team overall is high on the overall team ratings.

    This journal displays the higher levels of Bloom’s taxonomy, as you have incorporated theory as well as your practical experience with Mikes Bikes to reveal a comprehensive reflection of how you are as a person, and as a CFO. An example of where you reveal this is when you state “I feel that this is a really important idea to be more conscious of in future engagements as well my ability to actively decode “what others really mean by their words and behavior”, to strategically “communicate to others, in their own contexts” all while being aware of the conclusions others may be drawing from my behavior.”

    With regards to the structure of Daudelin’s reflection process, it is not clear if you have identified any issues (whether it be good or bad) with undertaking the Mikes Bike simulation in the role as CFO. With regards to this reflection process, a lot of your reflection is based around a brief explanation of what you think of yourself, while more emphasis has been placed on what others think of you and how you are performing in your role. With regards to improvement for your next journal, this is the key aspect that needs to be approached in order to be at the higher levels of Bloom’s taxonomy. My suggestion is that you question not only what others think of you, but your own perceptions of yourself, that way you begin to uncover how you came to such assumptions. Essentially, your journal is mainly focusing on the symptoms of who you are, while further questioning of yourself will get you to focus on the root causes of who you are.

    Lastly, the way you have written your journal, you have come across to be very confident in your position in your team. The further evidence that your team is doing good and the feedback from others stating that you are performing well as a CFO is great. My only criticism is that, while confidence is good, it needs to be controlled, as if something should happen to your SHV, due to environmental factors and results in a downfall for your team, you may find it harmful, as you appear to assume that the CFO’s position has more influence over the team’s success. From my experience, this appears to be so, however when things do go wrong, it’s the CFO who bears the burden of shame.

    Overall, in this journal you reveal that you are exceeding in synthesis and evaluation aspects of Bloom’s taxonomy and Daudelin’s reflection process. From what you have stated, you are best fit for the CFO position and are clearly exceeding expectations. I hope my feedback helps, all the best for your next journal.

  3. Nice.

    To take your journals to the next, you could start connecting them in anticipation of the summative learning journal.