Concordia University Chapter 13 Group Leadership and Organizational Dynamics Paper Describe in a two to three page paper a group context or situation in which a leader was very effective. Using the terms and concepts that you found in Chapter 13 of the Harris and Sherblom text, what skills or characteristics were apparent in his/her leadership? Where would this person fall on the Managerial Leadership Grid (Harris and Sherblom)? Explain why you selected this example and how it may have influenced your understanding of leadership.
Reply to the papers of the two classmates
Harris and Sherblom (2011) explain “leadership is about developing dreams, visions, goals, and objectives that help focus a group’s energy to engage in its tasks and accomplish its mission.” I have been involved in a variety of groups, through school, work, and extracurricular activities. While participating in these groups I have had some great leaders, and some not so great leaders. At my former job, within a college, our department of four was considered a team, with our manager being the leader. She was an appointed leader, being hired as the finance department’s manager. This manager was extremely effective at getting tasks done to help push towards the college mission. Leadership is valuable for any and all groups. Whether it’s a designated leader or led collectively. Leadership is the process of influencing others to understand and agree about what needs to be done and how to do it, and the process of facilitating individual and collective efforts to accomplish shared objectives (Harris & Sherblom, 2011). As with all groups, there was sometimes conflict within our team, however, our manager was usually aware of it and had ideas on how to constructively resolve it. She had an “open door” policy and met with the individual group members, as well as the entire group regularly. In these meetings she was sure to listen to each of us and encouraged all of our different ideas. She was always there to guide us in the right direction if we were unsure about anything.
Based on the Managerial Grid I would say that our manager was “9,9 Team Management (Collaboration)”. She was constantly concerned about the members of our team as well as the task at hand. She had mutual respect for all of us, as did we for her, and a strong goal orientation.
When it comes to transactional vs transformational leaders, I would say that she was a little mix of both. On the transactional side, she did offer rewards, like team lunches. However, she was more transformational in the fact that she had a strong sense of mission and the ability to attract loyalty and commitment (Harris & Sherblom, 2011). She motivated us by being inspirational, and by being such an easy leader to follow. I also feel as though she was a “leader-as-coach”, she explains, demonstrated, and leads, rather than ordering (Harris & Sherblom, 2011). She did not tell us what to do, but rather helped us do it.
In all of my experience, this manager was by far one of the best leaders I have ever encountered. She had a vision, which gave our group direction, credibility, making us want to follow her, and communication competence, efficiently and effectively communicating with the group (Harris & Sherblom, 2011). She influenced my understanding in leadership by helping to show me what a leader should be like. Her commitment to the group and to the goals was profound and inspiring. She was charismatic, yet always stayed focused on the tasks at hand. If given the chance to be a leader ever, I hope that I can be a leader like she is. I hope to be a leader that on the Managerial Grid, can be a “9,9 Team Management (Collaboration)” leader.
Harris, T. E., Sherblom, J. (2011) Small group and team communication. Boston: Pearson
Education/Allyn & Bacon