We might have all breathed a collective sigh of relief when we handed in our tear-stained CVs with a shameful SHV crushed in the corner, but the discomfort wasn't over yet. Next came the slightly awkward stage of getting to know the team. I, for one, am guilty of cracking sarcastic one liners to try and ease awkward situations and I certainly found myself straying into this for our first team meeting. Luckily, all of my team as driven and switched on. Finally, others who understood the thrill of achievements of the likes I'd hardly seen since free-riding first year and slacking off second year had passed.
Of course, things weren't all peachy, alas, they rarely can be in a journal designed to directly reflect on our key issues of the week. This one was a real inside my head struggle and consisted of my own perceived role in the team dynamic versus what I thought my team expected of me. The crux of the matter is that despite being CEO, reading the brief description of my job and heading to the meeting all guns blazing, I simply wasn't sure how to act!
A bit of research and thought dredged up a few different approaches. The first was for all of us to contribute evenly in decision making, each be involved in every step and with no one as a clear cut leader. This would fulfill the goal of learning team work but would perhaps not be universally useful since almost everyone has a boss above them in the chain of hierarchy (Kelley, 1988). My second self-created option was to assume dominance and get my autocratic face on. I could dominate discussions, micromanage and generally make sure things got done my way. Since I am achievement oriented，I guess that would make me a pacemaker on my good days and directive on my bad (Spreier, Fontaine and Malloy, 2006). This would likely result in the best outcome for myself I could go home with relaxed smirk on my face and pour myself another martini without a thought for my suffering followers. But those followers that are the life blood of any implementation within MikesBikes or any other organisation and I can't discredit that (Kelley, 1988). The third option was to be inspired by level 5 leaders and mirror their managing prowess (Collins, 2005). This is where my motives for achievement can come in useful acting as the will to help my company succeed rather than as a hindrance by causing me to micromanage and lack trust for the rest of my group (Spreier, Fontaine and Malloy, 2006). I could facilitate and coach allowing them to take charge for themselves and feel empowered whilst working our way through MikesBikes decisions.
Thus, my plan of action is based around being a facilitating leader of the group with some leadership powers but the ability to step back and let them work hard as I know they will. Only time will tell if I can maintain a good balance and if they will be tolerant of my attempts but I guess you'll hear all about that in the coming weeks!
Collins, J. C. (2005). Level 5 leadership: the triumph of humility and fierce resolve. Harvard Business Review, 83(7/8), 136--146
Kelley, R. E. (1988). In praise of followers. Harvard Business Review, 66(6), 142--148
Spreier, S. W., Fontaine, M. H., & Malloy, R. L. (2006).Leadership run amok. Harvard Business Review, 84(6), 72--82