Reflecting upon the course

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.

montana-mountains

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.

Unity is strength - teamwork concept

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8 thoughts on “Reflecting upon the course

  1. I love the use of your final graphic. I used something similar with my team which as I have mentioned before is coming together as one for the first time. While a leader must be adaptive, there are some aspects for being a good follower too. Do you think that followers in today’s world also require some adaptive characteristics?
    Thanks-Krista

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    • Thank you for the question, Krista. In answering your question, yes, followers must also be adaptive by embodying characteristics that can be employed based upon the environment and/or leader. I think it would be troublesome to only ask the leader to be adaptive and not followers as well because communication and relationships require efforts from both (or all) parties involved. What are your thoughts, Krista?
      Keshia

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  2. Great post! The Umair Haque article you shared (https://hbr.org/2013/07/how-and-why-to-be-a-leader-not) highlighted several considerations for leaders, one of which reminded me of a meeting I recently attended. The meeting was to review federal regulations for online education and discuss best practices for documenting the substantive interaction of online instructors, in accordance with federal requirements. As we were going through the regulation, an instructor commented “I can document the required interactions, but it looks like there is no requirement to document the best things I do in my teaching, such as building relationships and encouraging learning.” The Haque article made a good point that rules sometimes need to be questioned and adjusted. I appreciate your comments in this post, and all the insights you have shared throughout the course!

    -CatOnKB

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  3. One of the qualities that was asked about in interviews for my current employment, was that of handling ambiguity. The assumption is that at certain points, you would not be given enough information or direction, so would have to make decisions amidst ambiguity. I think that, just as you note about seeing leadership different when factoring in quickly changing technology, I see the same thing, but map it to the ambiguity point. What I mean is that leaders are suddenly thrown into lots more uncertainty due to the world moving technologically faster – so much faster that information about direction is less clear. This uncertainty is ambiguity, and how they will be measured is on how well they make good decisions in the middle of this ambiguity. Too much data, and not knowing how to choose the right data points, has the same effect of too little data.

    And I must reuse that teaming graphic with the fish – brilliant!

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  4. Keshia,

    Thanks for the article by Umair, I also saw many similarities in what he was describing and how Martin approached leadership. As I was reading the Umair article I was reminded of the quote that Martin shared on her blog by Peter Drucker: “Management is doing things right, Leadership is doing right things”. Most of the descriptions that Umair used for wannabe leaders seemed to be about people who equate good management with good leadership and have the tradition viewpoint of the “hero” leader. Very interesting connections with just different terminologies.

    Chris

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