MNGT2005: this assignment is to provide you with the opportunity

Purpose: The purpose of this assignment is to provide you with the opportunity to showcase your ability to individually reflect on your own leadership experience, and on your capacity to practice ethical leadership.

Description:  In this assessment, you will construct a reflective essay that responds to your own or others’ experience from a leadership position.  Using leadership and ethics models and theories, you will apply analysis and critical thinking to the experience, as well as reflect on lessons learned for the future.

Introduction

This essay is a reflection of my college experience which at that time I was appointed as a group leader for an upcoming school project. This group project was heavily graded which was half the modules that were being graded which means that on top of the exam that we had to score well in, we had to have high marks to get good grades.

Not just for myself but for the whole team. Some of the group mates that were in my group were friends that I have made in the school and the rest were classmates that have been appointed into the group as they did not form groups with other students. That being the first time that I was appointed as group leader with people whom I am not familiar with was a difficulty for me as I never been one before.

In this essay, I will outline my leadership behaviors as well as the theories I have used, such as influence and power, to ensure that the project went off without a hitch. It also reflects on my own leadership principles as well as the team members. In addition, I would discuss several tactics that I might have taken that would have resulted in more successful answers and outcomes to the challenges I have encountered.

Description of The Leadership Experience

According to Nelson and Quick, leadership is “the process of guiding and directing the behavior of people in the work environment”(2006). This means that strong leadership needs leaders that would guide the people well for their followers to be motivated, be it in a work or school situation. In general, a leader must be able to direct and coordinate the work of team members (Wolf, 2015).

The leadership experience that i have encountered was during my study in PSB academy where i took my diploma in. We were tasked to complete a group project as a team. I thought that it would be easy as I’ve taken the initiative to be the leader of various projects in secondary school and in ITE. However, i had neglected the fact that i would not just be doing the group assignment with my friends whom i know of but also with people whom i don’t know of there in diploma.

Even though that was the case I was still optimistic about the whole situation as I am open to work with new people and try new things. “An individual who is high in openness to experience is likely someone who has a love of learning, enjoys the arts, engages in a creative career or hobby, and likes meeting new people” Lebowitz (2016a).

I would say that having some of my friends in the same group also helped a lot as we have almost the same personality traits. In short means that we have openness to experience trait, “people that is high in this trait interested in task that is unusual for them and they will enjoy the new experience, Cherry (2020).

But on the other hand, one of the two other group members that we don’t know of were more towards Neuroticism. The hostility and impulsiveness components of neuroticism relate positively to hedonism and negatively relate to benevolence, tradition, and conformity, Roccas, Sagiv, Schwartz, & Knafo (2002).

Evaluation of Leadership Experience

As I was given the role of the leader, it is my responsibility to lead the group so that we work effectively. Keeping in mind that due to covid, we were to take our classes online which meant that we were doing the projects at the comfort of our homes and that there is no supervision of the lecturer.

During this experience I endeavor to use my power and influence as the group leader to ensure that everyone plays a part to complete the part of the project assigned to them. “the capacity to produce effects on others, or the potential to influence others” Hughes et al. (2015: 116) With that being said I’ve appointed each member with a part to do and all of the members were cooperative except for one of the members that I didn’t know.

As we had 3 weeks to do the assignment we decided that we would compile all of our works a week before submission to work on it or make changes on different parts of the project together.

The problem that I’ve encountered was that one group member who refused to do what was assigned to him and did not bother to let anyone in the team know that he couldn’t or did not know how to start and went missing. As lessons were not conducted in school, there was no way we could contact the member other than spam calling and texting him to submit his part on our shared google docs.

At that moment I was baffled, but as a leader I had to find a way to overcome this obstacle. ”leaders must be able to use critical thinking skills effectively when making decisions or attempting to solve problems “Sullivan and Decker (2005) I then quickly discussed with my other group members and used legitimate power and rational influence on splitting the undone work and luckily they were all understanding and agreed even though they said that it was unfair for us to do his part of the work.

“Power flowing from a person’s job title or position in the hierarchy” Raven & French (1958) and “Rational persuasion is the attempt to assure others that your actions are the best alternative through using facts and evidence” Hughes, Ginnett, & Curphy (2018). And also pressure tactics by letting them know that it would drag our overall grade down as it wasn’t an individual assignment and we are marked as a group. “ the potential for undesirable actions to occur if one does not perform what is required” Hughes et al.(2018)

According to Bagley, an ethical leader must understand their value and obligation in order to find the solutions of issues happening (2003). As for the member that refused to do the project, he only contacted us a few hours before submission. The reason he gave was that he had family issues and was sick, and on top of that he felt very pressured to inform us. But as the leader it is my responsibility to take action by emailing and writing in to inform the lecturer that he did not contribute to the project and to give him the marks he deserves as requested from the other members .

Reflection from the Experience

Upon reflection from my leadership experience, I am extremely fortunate to have my friends as groupmates that followed instructions given and who were positive of the situation. By working with people whom I already know maximises the team’s potential and makes it easier for me as a leader as communication is easier compared to working with someone you barely know of.

However, I should have asked the group members if they were facing any difficulties before assigning the work to have a better understanding of their situation to lessen the possibility of this issue. Even though It is evident that using legitimate power for my leadership experience was a good choice.

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I realized that maybe, if I had used expert power because of the experience that I have, it could be a better result. Based on theory from French(1959) expert power explained the utilization of proficient intelligence to get your team members follow your guidance and command. Maybe by using that tactic the other member wouldn’t have felt pressurized in letting me know that he has problems doing the work assigned.

With the knowledge that there are many different ways for a leader to influence their followers, the end goal is still to complete the assignment. For my case I chose to use rational influence to influence my teammates. By using this tactic we were able to complete our work on time.

However if i were not to pressure them by using the pressure tactic and instead used the coalition tactic it might have worked better as I’ve only come to realise that it is not the most ideal way and it also increases an individual’s stress resulting in poorer results. In order to more effectively influence the members I should’ve used the consultation tactic as with consultation, the leader asks others to suggest improvements or help plan a proposed activity or change that wants or requires their support, so they wouldn’t feel obligated.

In life not everything goes the way you want it to, there are bound to be obstacles that you would face along the way, but it’s about how you choose to face the obstacles . During this experience I have had as a leader I felt relieved that my teammates had full trust in each other on completing the work and I as the leader had faith in the team to complete on time. According to the theory of Pygmalion Effect (Rosenthal and Jacobsen, 1968), with high expectation our followers are possible to act in line with our expectations.

Conclusion

To sum up everything that has been stated so far, everyone in the team needs support and direction from time to time. It is up to the leader on how he/she wants to lead the team as different personalities affect the outcome. However, upon reflection on my leadership methods , if I had used a different approach, the process may have different and it might have been a  more positive result would have occurred.

Lastly I am glad that I have the chance of being a leader and having the responsibility to provide guidance for my teammates from the start until the end of the project.

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