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Effective Team Leadership, Skills and Efforts Case Study

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Updated: Apr 29th, 2021

Tribal Leadership

According to Dave Logan, there are five primary stages of tribal leadership. In the first stage, the entire community feels completely unmotivated and views their lives as unsatisfying. For instance, a team of college students who fail to get their priorities in line and focus on entertaining themselves rather than on learning is bound to be labeled by teachers as poor performers. This group of students then feels the teachers’ prejudiced attitudes toward them and assumes that their lives are disappointing. Consequently, the values of the identified mini-community are unlikely to be connected to academic progress. The second stage involves a personal vision of life as completely unsatisfactory. For example, a student who has been slacking in his or her studies is likely to assume that professors are being unfair to him or her.

Because the student is unable to complete the tasks and tests, he or she feels completely miserable. The third stage of tribal leadership can be defined by a personal acceptance of the idea that life is good. For example, in the team of students described above, there might be one learner who is driven by the need to acquire new skills and knowledge. For the learner in question, there is a purpose to the academic process, even if the rest of his or her community members do not share this idea. At the fourth stage, a couple of community members may experience a personal revelation about the significance of positive change (learning wellbeing the case in point). As a result, among the bowl of misery into which the specified group of students has fallen, a smaller circle of satisfied learners emerges. Eventually, upon viewing and scrutinizing the experiences of the successful learners, the rest of the community members may feel inclined to alter their own values. Thus, the concept of positive thinking and a feeling of life being great spreads across the community, becoming a part of its value system (Logan 13:49-16:30).

Personally, I believe that I am in the third stage of Logan’s framework of tribal leadership. I feel that my life is positively good, yet I do not have a support system consisting of people who share my opinion. To improve my current situation, I will need to build stronger ties to my community, therefore allowing for positive change across it. For these purposes, I will need to develop a communication strategy that will help me get my message across to people who are at various stages of progress.

Specifically, I will need to incorporate the principles of the transformational leadership approach. According to the principles of this approach, it is imperative to encourage change among participants by providing them with an example that they can follow. The transformational approach has been viewed as one of the primary tools for bringing about change in a community (Avolio and Yammarino 11). By definition, this approach calls for participants to be introduced to a new vision and a new system of values that contribute to a significant increase in motivation through inspiration (Cutler 32). Furthermore, by building an environment in which a more efficient information management process is possible, I will be able to encourage people to change. For instance, by using the latest IT innovations, particularly social networks, I will create a virtual community in which people can be informed about the importance of working toward a specific goal together.

Project Leadership

Since business decisions are rarely made alone in the contemporary global economy, the foundational principles of cooperation are taught at the earliest stages of one’s integration into society. Indeed, nearly every single communication process requires a team of people, whether a group of students or employees, to cooperate in order to attain a particular objective. Among the most recent examples of such cooperation that has occurred in my life is an academic project completed by my fellow students and me. I faced a plethora of challenges in the process, especially in regards to the issues of scheduling and responsibility. It was very hard to make sure that every single member of the team took the assignment seriously and contributed to the project to the required degree. The reward, however, was immense. In particular, I learned the importance of cooperation and the significance of choosing the right communication tools as well as scheduling the project carefully.

I wish I had known about tools that would have allowed for a rapid increase in motivation rates among the participants since most of them lacked enthusiasm and, therefore, did not deliver their best performances. If I could turn back time and have the same experience again, I would focus on issues related to motivation and enhanced communication to a greater extent. Furthermore, I would introduce my group’s participants to the concept of getting priorities in order as one of the tools for improving time management. In other words, I would be delighted to relieve the experience – perhaps, to handle a different assignment in a similar scenario (e.g., another project with a group of people lacking motivation) – yet equipped with the knowledge that I have now (Hughes and Burke 81).

Role of Creativity in Leadership

Creativity is an important element of any approach to task management, and being a leader is no exception to the rule. Although leadership used to be viewed as an intrinsic ability that could not be fostered in just any person, recent studies have proved this perspective wrong. Indeed, like any other aspect of efficient leadership, it is accepted now that creativity can be taught. The choice of strategy to be applied to enhance the process of creative thinking, however, determines the success of the learning process. According to Turak, the influence of a strong leader often turns out to be the pivotal point in a person’s development of the necessary creative thinking skills: “The fastest way to become creative is to hang around with creative people –regardless of how stupid they make us feel” (Turak par. 10).

Turak, in fact, makes a very legitimate point, as nearly everyone either has been or will be influenced significantly by a successful leader who encourages him or her to acquire similar abilities. For me, it was not a boss but rather a colleague who encouraged me to strive to improve both personally and professionally. John, a fellow employee who I used to work with, showed me that there is a constant need to improve and evolve. He was not only learning new things on a regular basis but also encouraging the people around him to follow his example by being enthusiastic and intelligent. As a result, those around him were eager to pick up the pace and engage in proactive learning as well. In fact, his enthusiasm about learning new things and trying to excel in them helped me get over my fear of failure, especially in the areas with which I was not familiar. After getting to know John and his philosophy, I came to realize that making mistakes is an inevitable part of gaining the necessary experience and growing professionally. Indeed, I know now that it is not the absence of mistakes but the capability of learning essential lessons and avoiding the same errors in the future that defines a true professional, as my further collaboration with John showed.

In fact, I managed to “unlearn” (Turak par. 9), as Turak puts it, by discovering that some of the statements related to leading a team and completing the associated tasks were merely myths. As a result, I focused on accepting new philosophies and shaking off the prejudices that I used to view as the ultimate truth. For example, it was a crucial step for me to recognize that leaders do not necessarily have to be in the spotlight—quite the contrary, in fact. By working on a project related to the reconsideration of a marketing strategy, I realized that a true leader often needs to provide his or her staff members with a subtle nudge, while at the same time allowing them to shine. As a result of this experience, I gained self-knowledge about my need for attention, as well as effective ways of managing it, so that other team members can be in the limelight.

SMART Goals

Among the goals that I most wish to pursue in the near future is the acquisition of negotiation skills. It is essential for an efficient leader not only to communicate roles and responsibilities to team members but also to resolve emerging conflicts in a timely and efficient manner. In fact, negotiation skills are crucial to the successful completion of the essential objectives in a range of domains of life, including not only the business environment but also different areas of one’s personal life.

In terms of the five levels of objectives, this goal manifests itself in a variety of forms. For example, on the individual level, it implies an immediate acquisition of the related skills and incorporation of them into my value system and my communication framework. On an interpersonal level, negotiation skills are helpful in case of a misunderstanding or a conflict, allowing a solution to be found and all stakeholders involved to be satisfied. From the perspective of organizational goals, the use of these skills should reduce friction between some of the team members. As a result, the number of conflicts, as well as more general problems appearing during team member interactions, is expected to drop. The community at large is also likely to benefit from the identified goal because the positive changes in the value systems and the decision-making processes of the team members will not be limited to the workplace. Instead, they will implement the identified framework for conflict resolution when communicating with the rest of the community members as well, including their friends and families. Thus, it is assumed that efficient leadership will help reduce the number of confrontations among community members in all domains of their lives. Finally, as a professional goal, striving toward the use of a more coherent approach to conflict management and negotiations is likely to lead to an improved communication process (Nemerowicz and Rossi 145).

However, the use of efficient negotiation strategies is not the only objective that I will need to complete in order to move to the next stage of my personal and professional development. Indeed, the first and the most important of these objectives concerns developing the ability to prioritize correctly. To achieve a specific result in any area, from personal relationships to workplace-related outcomes and business endeavors, it is crucial to be consistent and capable of arranging tasks according to their urgency. Working on my negotiation techniques comes as a close second to the skill of prioritizing. As stressed above, the importance of the identified goal is predetermined by the effects that it has on the conflict resolution process. Finally, encouraging self-directed learning should be viewed as another essential goal. Since it is important to keep developing both personally and professionally, I need to acquire new knowledge and skills on a regular basis. For this purpose, self-directed learning will be required. It is necessary to not only acquire the related skills myself but also to develop them in every team member through training. As a result, a process of consistent improvement can be launched throughout the community.

Personal Mission Statement

According to the personal mission statement created with the help of the online tool provided by FranklinCovey, I need to focus on improving my time management skills and addressing my issue of procrastination so that I can excel in my performance (see Appendices A, B).

Based on the results provided by the FranklinCovey tool, my personal statement can be worded in the following way: I will strive to make a change in the community by promoting the concepts of lifelong learning and active knowledge acquisition with the help of all available resources, such as my creativity, as well as building trust-based relationships with the people who are important to me. Furthermore, I will work on addressing some of the current issues that I have, including my fear of failure.

Reflections on Project

The process of managing the team described above has shown me that cooperation and striving toward a common goal are the building blocks of success. Furthermore, I have learned that some of the existing stereotypes of leadership need to be subverted in order to acquire new knowledge and become a successful leader. Finally, the importance of motivating the participants so that they could engage in the project actively became evident to me. This experience was significantly different from the other ones as in this case, I used all available tools to ensure that every single participant could strive toward a positive outcome for the community. As mentioned above, time management was the most difficult issue to address in the team. Furthermore, altering the participants’ idea of commitment was admittedly challenging. If I had assumed the role of a mentor, I could have focused on changing the values of the participants to a greater degree; however, as a leader, I primarily addressed the needs of the project. However, personally, I prefer being a leader as opposed to a mentor because it is less emotionally draining. Furthermore, as a leader, I can build relationships with participants based on equality, whereas mentorship requires assuming the role of an educator, which I am not prepared for at the moment.

Works Cited

Avoilio, Bruce J. and Francis J. Yammarino. Transformational and Charismatic Leadership: The Road Ahead. Emerald Group Publishing, 2013.

Cutler, Logan. Leadership Psychology: How the Best Leaders Inspire Their People. Kogan Page Publishers, 2014.

Hughes, Janette and Anne Burke, The Digital Principal: How to encourage a technology-rich learning environment that meets the needs of teachers and students. Pembroke Publishers Limited, 2014.

Logan, Dave. Ted Talk, uploaded by David Logan, Web.

Nemerowicz, Gloria and Eugene Rossi. Education for Leadership and Social Responsibility. New York, NY: Routledge, 2014.

Turak, August. Forbes, Web.

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