The Mikes Bikes simulation has been an interesting experience in terms of the team dynamics that have developed throughout the semester. I have enjoyed working with my team and listening to their varied ideas and opinions on how we should approach each week as a team. Collectively we function very well and each bring different skills and qualities to the table, which helps to strengthen the overall capabilities that we can reach. Interestingly enough however these roles often differ from those assigned during the start of the course.
Katz (1955), indicates that there are three separate factors effecting the development of administrator like characteristics. These three success factors compromise of technical skills (knowledge and skills), human skills (social skills) and conceptual skills (abstract thinking/thinking outside the box). I agree that these three components are critical to successful leadership, as they allow you to effectively communicate your experience and knowledge to your team, while also analyzing other important performance related conditions or events. When assessing how I would administer authority, each of these factors would need to be considered to ensure that I am comfortable in the methodology behind my leadership approach. Ensuring that this particular attitude encourages willing followers is also vital, as each team member is likely to respond to leadership in different ways.
Throughout the readings for this week Katz (1955) outlines the necessary requirements to lead and guide a team through a specific task. While this was useful, when assessing and developing such skills, I felt that its application within the simulation was somewhat limited. This is because fundamentally as a team we are all relatively equal with respect to our suitability as leader. When analyzing the three factors mentioned above, all members of the team display such characteristics to an even degree due to our similar experience working with the program. I would argue that in this situation no one member can develop authority as it could be difficult to gain the necessary acknowledgement from the remaining members of the team. This is where I believe our unique skills should be utilized at different times throughout the course. Last week’s reading by Argyris, (1991) discussed how management are often critical of external support by those with greater expertise. I think by applying this theory, each member is given the opportunity to lead where their knowledge is superior. This ensures all team members are utilized and may also increase overall confidence within the group.
Through analysis of this week’s readings I would suggest that while Katz (1955) theory is important when developing leadership it isn’t necessarily applicable to the course. This is where I believe effective leaders also know when to follow, and I see this as an effective approach during the Mikes Bikes Simulation.
Argyris, C. (1991). Teaching smart people how to learn. Reflections, 4(2), 4—15
Katz, R. L. (1955). Skills of an effective administrator. Harvard Business Review, 33(1), 33--42.