As I reflect upon the past weeks in this Technology and Leadership course, I am struck by how quickly the past weeks have gone. I am also amazed at the many enriching conversations took place that made me question my views. One example occurred early on in class as we discussed whether or not the world is flat. Many of the comments I read on other’s blog shared their reasoning as to why the world is flat. Florida (2005) stated in his article that the world is spiky given the technological advances between developed and third world countries. While I see both views, I wonder if the world can be likened to mountains. With mountains, there are foothills with areas of peaks and valleys. Some peaks are higher than others.
Aside from viewing the world as flat or spiky, I also began to appreciate more the role of leaders within the ever-changing technological landscape. In my previous courses, I have always viewed leadership existing as leaders and followers. I never considered how various factors like that of technology could greatly impact how a leader leads. Especially due to the technological advances of computers, smartphones, and even programs that streamline work processes. Today’s employees are well connected and can acquire information right at his or her fingertips. With so much incoming information, leaders are now faced with a growing dilemma-how to change his or her leadership style or become irrelevant.
This week’s reading by Michele Martin was quite enjoyable as many excellent points spoke to me. First, I loved at Martin stated the following, “My personal belief is that everyone is a leader and that everyone’s job is to help that inner leader emerge” (Michele Martin blog). I completely agree with Martin and feel that it is important to help others discover his or her inner leader. I have studied leadership in various classes over the years and I remember years ago being flabbergasted at the idea that everyone is a leader. The reason for my thunderstruck response is because most of the leadership courses held leadership as this golden goose egg worth acquiring. Due to this feeling of inadequacy, when my professor told the class that we are all leaders and we exhibit our leadership in various ways, my eyes were opened. There was no unseeing what I now was able to see. I remember thinking through how each classmate exhibited leadership traits within our class dynamics.
Also this week, I read Umair Haque’s (2013) article on how to be a leader and not a wannabe. I especially liked the point about how leaders inspire others. Taking Haque’s views in combination with Martin and I realize how important it is for leaders to acknowledge the changing environment and how technology is impacting it. Secondly, leaders will need to be aware of how to adapt his or her leadership style. As Martin suggests, leaders must welcome participation from everyone and no longer view leadership as a top-down approach. In other words, leadership should take a more team based approach.