When I knew that we needed to interview somebody for our final analysis paper, I immediately think of my manager whom I have worked with since I finished my high school. She is the person whom I admire because of her excellence and abilities in leadership. In the interview, I asked her seven questions that I thought they didn’t only demonstrate her leadership style but also how her behaviors illustrate the top types that she scored in her type test. The first question I asked was about what she thought would be the best combination for a leader in a similar position like her.
Her answer was the combination of Will, Organizer, and Scientific. My answer about her leadership style was similar to hers. The combination was good because she worked in the environment that required a significant attention to details even in the management level. Furthermore, she sometimes did the similar work like her employees so emphasis on detail was a requirement. The Will type and Organizer type were essential because she would have the ability to arrange and mange things properly. Making decisions and lead people would require a strong Will type.
The second question was about what she has done in the process of becoming a leader. I recognized and learned many things from her answered to that question. She discussed about the emphasis on the education and activities in universities helped sharp her career choice and leadership skills. She joined the student organization at her university and worked as the president for few years and also participated in sports. She believed that the experience that she had during the years in the university was so crucial that it was helpful for her in the current position as a manager.
When working as the president of the student organization, she learned so many things. For example, she learned how to arrange events and manage a large number of people. Time management was also a good skill that she could practice when being the president. When working as a manager, there were many things relating to management that she could use what she learned from her experience as the president to apply in a new position. She also explained about how working in group skill was important for a leader. She had so many chances to practice that skill at school and work.
One of the significant thing she mentioned that she tried her best to demonstrate as many leadership skills as she could when working in those positions. Practicing was necessary because she believed that her skills wouldn’t be the best without any circumstances that she could apply what she learned. One of the most significant lessons that she taught was really meaningful which was “I never stop learning and improving myself because a leader can’t lead or help other people while he or she doesn’t have any skills or abilities that are better than anyone in your team”.
She was working on improving the visionary part of a leader. She demonstrated that visionary leaders were naturally born, but she thought that she would be better if practicing regularly. Then, I asked her about how she overcame her weaknesses like insensitivity, lack of emotions, and impatience which could be found in people who were Will and Organizer type. She discussed about how working in group and being the president helped her overcame those weaknesses. When working with other people, she had to learn how to understand other people’s feeling.
At first, it was really hard because she was used to give order and expected people to follow without questions. Nevertheless, after participating in many group projects, she figured out that lack of understanding wouldn’t only end up with low performance but also impact the overall result. She remembered that she failed in running for the president for the first time and how her team lose in several games because of her weaknesses. Next, she spent more time just to communicate and tried to learn to understand other people. She made herself more available and being kind and helpful when other people asked for help.
When working as the president of the student organization, there were time that she had to control their patience. Many people were good at time management and getting job done, but there were few people weren’t. Therefore, she had to know how to encourage and persuade people to participate or do anything. Under certain situations, she was able to demonstrate that she could understand and work well with other people. Furthermore, she also tried to take part in groups of helping and discussing problems or concerns from students. When playing sports, she tried to pick the team work ones.
Therefore, the understanding of other people’s feeling was important, so she could have a great chance to practice on their weakness. Involving in so many activities could be so much for improving weaknesses. However, for my manger, she believed that it would be the best way for her to encounter what she needed to work on. The following questions I focused on how she demonstrated her leadership style at work and how she became a better leader. The next question I asked was about how she motivated and maintain her employees’ courage to increase workplace performance.
What I experienced while working with her was that the working environment was naturally pressure and boring. Employees dealt with statistics and accuracy was one of the top priority. There were five answers that I found were helpful and easy to apply. They were having casual Fridays, having lunch together, frequently checking performance, setting clear and realistic objectives, and fairly in giving reward and punishment. She believed that casual Fridays would help employees feel comfortable and less stress near the end of every week.
Motivation usually went down at the end of the week, so making employees feel relax and comfortable could encourage them to go to work. The nature of working place didn’t give employees and their manager a good chance to communicate except meetings. Therefore, she asked and invited employees to have lunch together at least once a week. During the meal, they could talk about anything like concerns or ideas about work or just chatting. The reason was trying to create a connection or even a strong relationship with each other so that employees and their manager understand each other better.
She also frequently checked the progress of employees to make sure that they were on time with their work. She also made herself available at work for help when her employees need. However, she still had a strong expectation for the result of her employees. She recalled that she still sometimes didn’t care about her employees’ feeling when mentioning about their performance. She tried to improve, but she admitted that it was a hard process to improve her weakness, especially in the environment which was so stressful.
She felt confident that clear and realistic objectives would be the best way to keep courage of employees to achieve their best potential in workplace. She emphasized that unrealistic goals wouldn’t helpful at all and it even destroyed the courage of employees. Her experience in the student organization gave her a valuable lesson. During that time, she wanted to achieve above the objectives that her competitors did so she came up with unrealistic goals and force her students to do. At the end, she didn’t achieve any of her objectives and lost the trust of some of her best students.
After that, she tried her best to gain back the trust through realistic goals and achievable objectives. Courage and motivation needed reward and she believed that her employees who performed the best should get what they worked for. She mentioned that reward didn’t mean just about money but something that was more meaningful and recognizable. Warning would go along with rewarding because there were still few people who wouldn’t finish their job. She wouldn’t call it punishment because everybody made mistakes in their life.
As long as she helped her employees understand their mistakes and correct them, warning and helping would be better. Another ability that she discussed about her leadership management was about getting job done. My manager believed that execution was significant because it illustrated how well a manager implement a plan through actions. Managers who just had all ideas on papers without having any real activities to pursue the objectives or goas weren’t good at all. Setting agendas and timelines were important, but it didn’t mean that a manager should only focus on the timeframe.
Their performance was based on the statistics and information on their reports. Therefore, execution was necessary in order to have at least something they can put on their report. During the time she worked as the president of the student association, she realized that many activities were set up at her universities without good plans to execute. Those activities, especially significant ones, didn’t get enough attention of students or received lack of the support from student. Thus, the experience in execution as the president helped me how to implement a good plan in reality.
The following question was about gaining and maintaining the trust from employees and her answers again taught me another valuable lesson. She firstly mentioned about being honest and respect to everybody. She would tell her employees the truth about the performance of everybody including herself and any mistakes that they need to correct to work better. When answering questions from employees, she directly went to the answers without going around or trying to confuse her employees. Even though the truth wasn’t always easy to accept, she believed that it was the only way that people could understand the problem.
Respecting other people was one of the rule that she often reinforced in the meeting because it made employees feel comfortable at work. She also thought that communication became a problem in current workplace environment. People spent a lot of time in their workplace, but only few industries provided employees enough communication. People who worked in offices and buildings would have lack of communication. Even though people met each other in meetings, we all knew that meetings were about objectives, performance, evaluation, and judgement. Maintaining communication at