After gaining more insight into this paper, I assumed my anxiety levels would significantly decline. To my surprise, I felt myself becoming rather worried that I would not reach the $25 SHV mark in MikesBikes. Once I reached that target, my concern shifted to the composition of my team and whether my colleagues’ competencies would strengthen the company.
The readings were highly enlightening as to the reason I had these concerns in the first place. Most people have been involved in a team which has not been as successful as originally hoped, usually due to a misalignment of aims and goals (Katzenbach & Smith, 1992). I was relieved to hear the importance that the group selectors would place on goal orientation as well as the recognition of our skills. In a work setting, you will be surrounded by people of a similar calibre and the team work towards an organisational goal. I took comfort in knowing that I would be in a team where we all had the same focus and that no matter what decisions or conflicts would arise, our overarching goal would make it easier to find successful outcomes.
I was surprised to find out that I was chosen as a CEO, but very excited to start a journey into learning about what my new role would involve. In our first meeting, we decided that our focus over the weekend was for each team member to become familiar with their role so that we could develop strategies which would ultimately allow for accountability and responsibility (Oakley, Felder, Brent, & Elhajj, 2004). This will also result in us creating expectations which can be formulated into a team contract.
So what does a CEO really do? This is the big question, one of which will be likely to have a developing answer over the semester. Ultimately I am accountable for the company but most importantly I am responsible for ensuring that everyone in the team gets an equal opportunity to express their ideas and formulate solutions. Teamwork is all about collaboration but it is also crucial that each individual has a degree of autonomy and the opportunity to complete their role without being micro-managed by others in the team (Katzenbach & Smith, 1992). I do not think I will have a full idea of what my role entails for some time and my expectations may require some adaptation as I learn from my experiences, yet it is this unknown that adds to my excitement and challenge.
My reflections this week have revolved around past team experiences, which I believe will be highly valuable and applicable to the future challenges we may face. As psychological research has shown, the best indicator of future performance is past performance (Ouellette & Wood, 1998). It is important to reflect on what processes have worked, as well as those that may have hindered team performances previously. By voicing my concerns early on, this will enable resolutions to be sought from the onset. In many instances, conflict is seen as purely negative and destructive, but if it is handled constructively then it can avoid the notion of ‘group-think’ and it can bring about the opportunity for employees to raise innovative ideas. There will definitely be moments of trial and error as I try to understand my role in the firm. My constant goal will be to build a cohesive team and ensure commitment amongst the directors as we all work together to build a company that we can be proud of.
Katzenbach, J. R. & Smith, D. K. (1992). Why teams matter. McKinsey Quarterly, (3), 3—27
Oakley, B., Felder, R. M., Brent, R., & Elhajj, I. (2004). Turning student groups into effective teams. Journal of student centered learning, 2(1), 9--34.
Ouellette, J., & Wood, W. Habit and Intention in Everyday Life: The Multiple Processes by Which Past Behavior Predicts Future Behavior. Psychological Bulletin, 124(1), 54-74.