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Essay title: Group


Being a self-appointed social scientist I decided this week to read the assignment before reading the J&J text. I deliberated the concept of leadership and power, and came up with my own model for effective leadership. I then read the text, only to discover without too much surprise (but probably a little disappointment), that I had not developed anything earth shattering; rather I had put together what many before me had already considered ЎV only my framework was something that I could understand, apply and relate to, based on my experience of good, bad and indifferent leadership.

Using the Dakin Parker Model of Ensuring Effective Leadership (unpublished, 2005) I aim to apply the underlying concepts to a real task I have just been given at work: I am to project manage 4 national 2-day programs to train our future trainers on how to teach the 10-day new hire program in the summer. This involves leading:

„X the meeting solutions group in finding/booking sites capable of hosting over 100 participants,

„X the delivery group who co-ordinate registration, logistics, admin & onsite back-office &

„X the instructors (being a lead instructor myself) who need to get the attendees (i.e. future trainers) comfortable with 10 days worth of material in 2 days.

The Dakin Parker Model

The premise is that the allusion (or illusion, as in some cases) of leadership can be broadly divided into 3 areas:

1. Intellectual/Professional = having/obtaining/training the appropriate skill set

2. Emotional/Social = having/creating/maintaining psychological health

3. Leading = keeping it all together

These 3 distinct areas are held afloat by 5 balloons; motivation, discipline, integrity, personal adjustment and principle alignment. Each element relates as much to the leader as it does to his subordinates; a good leader not only needs to align his principles with that of the group but he must be able to bring about the alignment of the principles of those whom he leads. Not only must the lead be able to balance his motivation with self discipline but also strike that balance within the group. Most importantly, I believe a leader must always uphold the highest level of integrity and by living this example, prompt integrity in those following him.

Leadership Theories

With all the scientific evidence collected over the centuries on the trait theory of leadership the experiments have managed to conclusively conclude that there is no conclusive evidence to support a conclusive set of trait present in all successful leaders.

I firmly agree with this. Rather, each leader has his own strengths which need to be accentuated and weakness which need to be addressed/considered. As a combination of feedback I have received in the past and of my perceptions of myself, I consider the positive characteristics of my leadership style to include:

„X An organized mind ЎV I am able to analyze elements logically and present them well.

„X Good communication skills ЎV yes I am a man of MANY words, but I believe I use them well.

„X Trustworthiness ЎV I am told that I engender a safe, honest environment within a team.

„X Intellectual ability ЎV I can honestly say that I am good at designing and teaching training programs.

„X Inclusion and consideration ЎV I work very hard to give everybody a voice and let them feel like an important part of the process.

„X Charisma and charm ЎV all the old ladies want me to marry their daughters.

„X Creative and unconventional ЎV I like to solve old problems in new ways.

I am all too well aware of the following areas that need work:

„X Acting or deciding too quickly ЎV rather than thinking a solution through for possible flaws.

„X Not being macho enough ЎV the old boys club has yet to extend an invitation.

„X Detailed and not strategic focus ЎV need to have a look at the big picture more frequently

„X I need pressure to perform ЎV in a position of leadership who is there to pressure the leader?

„X My

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