The final week of the Leadership subject has been reviewing the journey. The last week looks at teams and the journey through the topic where we considered the traditional approaches to leadership and the contemporary ones. Some of the modern theories are still shifting as they evolve, and this is particularly true of Servant Leadership which is still to gain widespread acceptance as a style in its own right. The journey has undoubtedly allowed me to consider the various leadership styles in bit-sized junks and determine the techniques that particularly resonate with my style. For me, authenticity is paramount, but because of my interest in the community sector, the Transformational and Servant Leadership models resonate most strongly. I based my assignment around these styles but built on the Situational Leadership model. People’s strengths and skill levels are identified to indicate the level of actual management they require.
At the same time as recognising dominant styles and preferred leadership concepts, there is also the recognition that a leader can use many styles. It will always depend on the situation itself as to which particular style you will deploy to maximise results for the benefit of both the organisation and the people. It may be a delicate balance, but focusing on the organisation without the people will result in problems, and the opposite can occur. A thorough understanding of leadership theory leaves you in a position to consider which style will be the best in a situation.
Whatever you wish to call them, teams or collaborative groups are the building blocks of any organisation. Without them, a leader has no one to lead. So I would suggest that this is the whole purpose of studying leadership. Surrounding this is an entire field of study on what makes an effective team, the structure of teams, team dynamics and relationships. The Hill model of Team Leadership includes some very notable items that need to be addressed for a team to be effective.
I choose to highlight this area in the team leadership discussion because it seems to be where many teams fall over. Conflict resolution often appears to be non-existent because conflict is ignored or handled poorly. In addition, people are often fearful of raising conflict issues because they don’t like confrontation. Conflict resolution does not have to be a confrontation, though. If people receive training in the art of conflict resolution, then team effectiveness will be considerably higher.
Team leadership is one of the most critical factors in the success of any organisation. Size and distribution on a global or national scale are irrelevant. Instead, it is building teams that effectively deliver the required outcomes in a manner that satisfies the requirements of the team members, the organisation, and society as a whole in a socially and environmentally responsible and inclusive manner. Consideration of these aspects put considerable responsibility on both the team and the organisation, but the outcomes will have the potential to be excellent.
Assignment 3 is completed and lodged now and awaiting marking. It has been a fascinating experience writing my leadership plan as an assignment, and I now look forward to working through it with my mentors.