Group Work, Leadership Style, And Success Stories: A Comprehensive Study

Overview of Group Work

Task 1: Personal Success Stories

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Success Story 1

This is one of my favourite stories, truly inspiring and hugely successful. One of my friends Evans who was working with Amazon few years back in the US, was asked to move to India, as company wanted to expand its base in India, and Evans has proved his mettle. Evans on reaching India found the place really incredible due to the uniqueness of the place and people from so many ethnicities working under the same roof However, Evans realized that he was taken as a threat by the existing people who were working at Amazon India office. Being a US citizen they perceived him as being arrogant and full of himself. Any change he wanted to bring in the organization was met with severe resistance from the employees. He was unable to decode, as to what he has been doing wrong to deserve this kind of treatment. Disappointed as he was, he gave thought to the entire chain of events, and decided to act towards making things right.

He arranged for a party if one of the 5 star hotels in India, he asked everyone to come in smart casuals. There, standing on the stage, he first congratulated the entire team for their great works; he even called out at least a dozen of names and gave them some gifts. He gave a speech on the vision of Amazon for the employees and India. He gave them the assurance that the company recognizes the efforts of its workforce and is grateful for their contribution. He empowered them by promising them that they would be empowered and given fair share of opportunity to grow and contribute in the success of the organization. These words resonated with the workforce and they accepted Evans as their leader, no more resistance was there, and the place was filled with positive synergies. Thus, Evans transformed a non-co-operative team to a cohort which believed in the concept of shared goals.

Success Story 2

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I am hugely inspired by the story of Steve jobs, his ability to create a company out of nothing, then getting thrown out of his own company, and then being requested to come back to Apple, is no less than a great Hollywood blockbuster. Steve jobs in my opinion is one such leader who transformed the way people use technology in the present day. He was one of the first people to think of computer as a machine sitting at People’s home and offices doing tasks which no one could have ever imagined. His vision, his knack of spotting things before anyone and his presentation ability makes him a true marvel.

Success Stories and Inspiration

Being a business graduate I am hugely inspired by how e-commerce companies have created a wave of disruption in the present times. One such example is the story of Jeff Bezos, Amazon. The man who was born in Mexico, graduated from Princeton University, gave to the world, the gift of online shopping. The man was definitely not the first one, but, he surely was the first person to push the envelope of e-commerce to such heights that every other company, even Walmart started looking up to the innovation of Amazon. The man who started off the business at the back of garage with a borrowing of just 1.5 million dollar now stands tall with individual wealth of more than 100 billion. This is truly a success story for millions of business graduates and entrepreneurs.

Belbin theory was extremely helpful for me when it came to evaluating my strength and weakness as a team member. I could clearly define the team roles on the basis of observed behaviour and interpersonal styles of my team members. I can see myself as a shaper, as I was able to challenge people and push them to improve their performances. I am a dynamic person with extroverted skills and enjoy stimulating people and finding best approach to solve a particular problem. In my opinion I played the role of a facilitator, influencer, motivator and shaper of my group.

Personal Goal Programme

Goals

Positive image planning

Increase my competency in solving conflicts between the teams

I will get this by increasing my learning appetite on how to handle and solve conflicts.

Increase my communication abilities.

I have decided to do so, by communicating face to face and in groups with my team members.

Be a better listener

This can be done by listening to understand and not to respond.

Build trust with the team members

I will be able to manage this by engaging my members in plethora of team building activities. I would listen to them deeply and make conscious efforts in building stronger relationships with them.

Part B

Self-concept is a general term which is used to refer how someone thinks about them evaluates and perceives them. It is the ability to be aware of oneself to have a concept of oneself.  Based on the concepts of self- learning I have set some targets for myself which will help me in achieving my goals and excel in my personal and professional life.

  • Professional excellence- One of my life’s goals is to work at Amazon in the capacity of Digital manager. I would like to manage their social listening team and ensure the success of the organization. This is in resonance with my skill sets, my excellent communication skills, my learning towards the concepts of digital marketing and my understanding of social media ecosystem. I am certain that I would achieve excellent in my professional career.
  • Work Life Harmony- I resonate strongly when Jeff Bezos in one of his recent interviews said that work life balance in a deliberating concept, the focus should be on achieving work life harmony. I would like to see myself doing that, I want to ensure that I carry my positive energy from home at my work, and spread my energy to create positive synergies at my work environment. Reciprocating the same would help to create a peaceful and lovely environment even at home. Thus, work life harmony would result in creating a sphere of positive synergies, not only around me, but also in my surroundings. This is one of the crucial goals of my life.
  • Leadership and Development Programme-As mentioned earlier, I am a person with high aspiration, couple of years later after I step into corporate world, I would like to get into senior management roles and create strategies for my organization.  In order to do so, I have to enrol myself in the leadership and development program to understand the roles and responsibilities of senior management team. This will not only help me in becoming a better leader but would also give an impetus to my present skill set. Thus aiding me in reaching an inch closer to my target of being in a senior management role and contribute towards the productivity of the organization.

Networking can be understood of as a socio economic business activity by which business people tend to meet and form business relationships, with the objective to recognize, create and act upon the business opportunities to share information and seek potential partners for business ventures. In addition to this, Networking is also called as the “Net Worth” of an individual, the stronger ones network is, the more one can leverage for the benefit of self and others. Some of the practical situations where networking can be of great use are:

Applying for a job-Networking plays a very crucial role in the corporate world, it helps in knowing people working in big organization at a very strategic roles. Networking comes handy when somebody is hunting for a job, his networks can help him land a good and decent job by connecting the person with decision making, thus being a big source of self -help. Thus, networking is of big help not only for self, but also helping other in finding the job. It helps in easing out the process of job hunting by getting in touch with people who have decision making power in the hands.

Belbin Theory and Team Roles

Knowledge and wisdom-This according to me is one of the most crucial benefits of networking. A strong and a diverse network help in bringing people from different background and varied information together. When such networks meet over at some dinner or some casual hang outs, they tend to impart their knowledge and wisdom to others. This provides for great amalgamation and thoughts of people from different backgrounds, which ultimately helps in contributing to their knowledge and wisdom.

Develop a good workplace environment-Strong network are a foster ground for creating a great workplace environment. Like-minded people working together with strong values of trust and relationship are ideal for creating positive synergies leading to a great workplace environment.

Fast decision making-It is a very strong possibility that multiple people who are a part of a strong network, tend to make decision faster. The reason behind is that they already know the people and trust their views, opinion or stand on a particular issue, which helps them in arriving on a decision faster than any other cohort.

Different kinds of Groups in Group working and benefits

Formal Group

This group is defined by the organization structure and it is formed after careful evaluation of planning activities. Members in the group work together to achieve common goals & objectives of the organization.

Command Group

This type of group is created by bringing in the members from different formal groups; this is done to create a new team to work on new tasks such as product launch, new product and many more.

Committees

These kinds of groups are formed in the organization with the objectives of getting results; the members are drawn from various formal groups to ensure better transparency in the system.

Informal Groups

These groups are not created by the organization and are developed on their own with the objective of meeting their social and affiliation needs sharing their common interests.

Benefits of Group activity

  • Breaking complex tasks into easy parts
  • Planning and managing time.
  • Providing and receiving feedback
  • Delegation of roles and responsibilities.
  • Pool shared resources and knowledge
  • Identify effective peers for further development process.
  • Developing new approaches to solve a problem

Theory

Implication

Tuckman (1977)

The model was developed way back in 1977 in the context of work groups and staff team, instead of therapeutic groups. The model finds strong relevance in training and consultancy work. The stages of Stockman model are as follows:

Forming- It is the stage when people come together and a sense of group identity comes in them.

Storming-Herein, employees compete for power, attention and dominance.

Norming-The group clarifies its values and beliefs

Performing-The group sets on the with the task they have to actually do.

Adjourning-This stage represents the ending of the group.

Schutz (1966)

In-Out-Here group members face issue related to their inclusion and exclusion in the group.

Up –Down-Here comes the issues of hierarchy and dominance in the group

Near-Far-This is related to the issues of intimacy and affection in the group

The giving of Information-In a group activity or working with the group it becomes important to follow a systematic process of giving the information to the employees at the workplace.  The group leader has to ensure that it provides comprehensive information to every other group member through mails or some documented format. One has to ensure that the smooth flow of communication is established in giving information to the team or the group members.

Encouraging discussion- Discussion is an extremely important part of group activity. Constructive discussion can lead to better output from the entire group which leads to enhanced productivity of the group. In order to encourage discussion a moderator has to make sure that every group member participates in the activity and is focussed to contribute towards the discussion. This will bring out the best in the group session and group members will be better aligned towards the group outcomes.

Self-Concept and Targets

Seeking clarification-It is extremely easy to develop resistance in the group due to high diversity in the group, clashes becomes common. Thus, one has to come to the rescue in making it easier for group members to not fall into the trap of resistance. Group leader has to ensure that he uses conflict negotiation skills to better induce the process of clarification in the group. It will help in brining positive synergies in the group and a process of better communication will prevail with little or no resistance.

Agreeing Ground Rules- In a group, it becomes pertinent to set ground rules to which everyone concurs with, these ground rules are set in the group so that everyone can follow them and make it even for all the group members. It also eliminates the problem of partiality in the group; it basically helps in creating the same ground for every group member. The ground rules have to be communicated to every person on a document and acknowledgement has to be received on the same, without it the entire process gets defeated.

Offering Progress Information- While working in a group it becomes majorly important for all the team members to know the progress of work, as everybody is working on their task, but in the end all the task have to be clubbed together to achieve the final result. Hence, it has to be ensured that business tool such as Google Document or some other platform is used to measure the progress of the task, and the same is communicated to all the team members.

Participating constructively in Feedback sessions-Feedback is very important for the development of the team members and also for the entire group. Constructive feedback is the process by which the peers or the group leader gives the feedback to other members. He observes monitors and evaluates the progress of each group member and with a view of making them excel in their roles, feedback is provided to them. Feedback helps in identifying the lacunae in one’s personality, which can then be used to improve one’s performance. Thus, it becomes important for the group members to actively participate in the feedback sessions for their own developmental goals.

Leadership is both a research area and a skill encompassing the ability of person to lead other individual, team or the organization to the path of sustained growth. Leaders have the responsibility not only towards the organization but also towards the employees; who have to be motivated to achieve the goals of the organization.

Basis for Comparison

Autocratic Leadership

Democratic Leadership

Laissez-Faire

Meaning of Leadership style

Herein a clear line of demarcation prevails between the leaders and the followers, and all the decisions are taken solely by the leader

As the name suggests this style of leadership shares power and responsibilities with the employees of the organization.

It is the unwillingness of the leader to get involved or indulge in other people’s work or activities. It can be seen as a philosophy which focuses on the ability of the individual to follow ones dream without interfering into others work.

Authority

Here it is centralized

Here it is decentralized

Completely decentralized

Orientation of the Behaviour

The behaviour is task oriented here

The behaviour is relation oriented

The behaviour is highly relation and trust oriented

Evolved From

Theory X

Theory Y

NA

Control

Excessively high level of control

Low level of control

Excessively low level of control or remotely no involvement

Autonomy

Extremely high

Low

Extremely low

Applicability

It is applicable when the employees are highly unskilled, in obedient and in disciplined

Herein the team members are experienced, qualified and highly professional

Herein the team members are highly reliable and the team members have good relationship and strong bonding with the leader.

Facilitation in all the style of leadership varies effectively from one style to another:

  • Autocratic– Leader is the facilitator of all the resources.
  • Democratic- Leader and employees both are responsible for facilitating the resources.
  • Laissez-Faire- Resources are facilitated by the person whosoever needs the resources, no dependency is the culture in this style of leadership

Studying the different styles of leadership, gave me insight to delve into my own style of leadership in my communication with my group members and in the group environment. I would say that my style of leadership is an amalgamation of democratic and laissez –faire style of leadership, as I believe in giving autonomy to my team members at the same time I do exercise some control over the progress of work.

I do not leave them to follow their own path; however I do not interfere in their work or activity. I believe in empowering the team members so that they have a good responsibility and decision making ability, it gives them accountability for their own task and they feel a certain sense of responsibility for their work. In doing so, I act as a shaper of the group; I try to lead them by example, as in completing my task at the earliest and being open and available for any kind of help to any team members from me. It not only helps me in building a stronger relationship, but also earns their respect. My focus is always on ensuring a positive work environment, in order to do so, I maintain high degree of motivation in the team and I am always focussed on deadlines. I try to break down the tasks into simple steps or easier tasks so that one can complete the task in given frame of time. I strongly value the importance of brainstorming session and feedback, I try to get the entire team together and push them to juggle their heads on the task. This not only helps in getting the best and desired outcome from the job, but also increases the participation and engagement amongst the team members. Feedback as mentioned earlier is extremely important dimension of one’s leadership style, I try to give constructive feedback to my team members and encourage them to do the same for the personal and professional development of all the team members. In all comprehension I would like to believe that I have transformational style of leadership and I practice the same in my group activity and even in work environment.