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Discuss about the Reflective Journal on Team Building and Leadership.

Team building is a complex and time consuming. Leader in an organization plays a very important role as the management of the organization and the entire team is the responsibility of a team leader. This journal helps in reflecting the learning and relates the theories of leadership and team building so that the leader can apply it on their self. The aim of this essay is to discuss the role of leaders in an organization and the theories related to team building and leadership. The journal expresses the personal viewpoint of the author as to what type of manager or a leader that person is and what it aims to be in next five years. It addresses the personal viewpoint and the role of a manger or leader in the organization. Reflecting on the role played in the past helps in understanding the inner strengths and weaknesses and improves the communication skills and performance. This paper will reflect the role of the manager or a leader that I played in an organization. It will also reflect on the skills that I used to build a team. It helps the person reflect from the experiences so that it can be improved in future. A person learns from its experiences.

Leadership is a skill that an individual possesses to lead an entire team and guide them for their work to achieve the goals and targets of the organization. In a workplace, the role of the leader is to manage the employees and coordinate the work between the management team and individuals working in an organization (Daft, 2014). I was a team leader in a company named ABC private limited, which is a marketing and sales company in Australia. I had joined the company in the year 2012 as a marketing and sales person and now I hold a position of a team leader. Our team consists of eight members where each member has a role to play. The role that I play is that of handling the team, motivate them, guide them and evaluate whether the team is exhibiting good performance and is able to fulfill the organizational objectives. From the experiences, I have learned that the most important role of a leader in an organization is to help the employees improve productivity and performance of the organization. The success of the team lies in the hands of a leader. It is hence very essential for a leader in an organization to be efficient so that he or she is able to effectively manage the team.

The role of leaders in an organization and their skills

While handling the team in marketing and sales company I learned various things that helped me develop my professional skill. According to Dyer & Dyer, (2013) a leader is important at all stages of management. At lower levels, the role of a leader is to execute the plans laid by the top managers and at top level, the role of a leader is to coordinate the activities. A leader is a representative of the organization or a team. His role is to put forth the queries faced by the team to the managers and effectively solve them so that the productivity of the organization is not hampered. A leader attends the meetings, conferences on then behalf of his team and represents them in various functions and events. I have represented my team in various occasions. From the experience, I learned that it is necessary to represent the team in a positive way so that the managers are able to notice the hard work that the members put in. The role of a leader is also to coordinate the organizational goals to personal goals. The efforts of employees are integrated to accomplish the objectives of the organization (Goethals et al., 2014). From the experiences, I learned that the main role of a leader is to help the organization increase its productivity and performance by properly managing the entire team and its members.


For the management of the entire team a leader is required to have various traits and skills.  The most important skill for a leader in an organization is that of effective communication (Schoemaker et al., 2013). A leader is required to effectively communicate the strategies, goals and plans to its team members and managers. Communication also helps in solving the problems that the members face by properly communicating the queries to the person concerned. The leader should also have skills of motivating and inspiring its team members. This is one of the most important skills that a leader should posses. The team members should be motivated to work hard towards achievement of goals of the organization. A leader is the one that creates vision for the future and sets a path for the employees. A leader is also required to be a good decision maker in the organization. A problem can arise anytime and at any situation in an organization. Hence, it is essential for the leader to have skill to solve the problem effectively. A leader should also have a skill to make important decisions and think strategically. A leader is honest and transparent in its work that is able to display high integrity. A leader is also the one who is enthusiastic and energetic in their work (Tyssen et al., 2014).  

Different types of leadership styles

The main aim of a leader should be to build a star team and not a team of stars. According to Du et al., (2013), every individual has different professional skills and intelligence in an organization. Hence, it is the duty of a leader in an organization to acknowledge the field of expertise and specialization of each individual in a team and then divide the work accordingly. The main tool that led my team to achieve success was diversification of the work within the team on the basis of specialization. The talent and skill of each individual in the team was acknowledged and understood by the leader and the work of marketing and sales was divided accordingly. The member’s expert in the field of sales was given the job of handling sales operations while the ones who were effective in marketing operations were allotted that job. This strategy helped to complete the work efficiently and in short period. Due to specialization of the work, the experts were also innovative and creative in their operations. Hence, the organizational goals and objectives were achieved easily without much difficulty.

Different organizations have different types of leaders. As opined by Johansen, (2012), there are five types of leadership styles. First, one is laissez-faire leadership style where the leader has no direct control over the team members and does not provide regular feedback for the supervision. Under the laissez-faire leadership style the team members are highly trained and professionally skilful who require very less supervision. Laissez-faire leadership style is actually a system where actually, no leader is required and the team requires no control (Goleman et al., 2013). The second type of leadership style is autocratic leadership styles where the managers make the decision without the assistance of others. Managers acts as leaders in autocratic leadership style. It is effective for the employees who require close supervision to the work. The third type of leadership style is participative leadership style where the leader plays an essential role in the supervision and management of team. Participative leadership style is also known as democratic leadership style. The leaders understand the problems of the employees and work in coordination with them. The leader and employee together work to achieve the goals and targets of the organization. Employees are also a part of decision-making process and hence are motivated to do the work (Aga et al., 2016). Another type of leadership style is transactional leadership where the leaders are given certain tasks and are judged based on performance. They are provided rewards or punishment based on their performance. Employees follow the directions of the leaders and the employees and leader together set the goals that they are to achieve. The last type of leadership style is transformational leadership style where the leaders depend on high communication skills to meet the goals. The main role of a leader is to motivate employees to enhance the productivity of the organization (Avolio & Yammarino, 2013). 

Experiences, mistakes, and reflections


In ABC private limited company my operations was categorized under transformational leadership style as the main role that I played as a leader was that is motivating employees and guiding them to achieve the goals, targets and enhance the productivity of the organization. The job was a target-based job where the employees are required to achieve hundred sales per month. This is the reason why transformational leadership style is preferred so that the employees are motivated to fulfill their target. The employees are also an important part of the organization and are included in decision-making process. Hence, at various times the leadership style is also categorized under democratic leadership style. From the experiences, it is understood that the autocratic or authoritative leadership style discourages production and makes the operations more complex. Hence, it is feasible and viable to follow transformation and participative leadership style.

While working as a leader in ABC private limited in Australia I had faced various problems. The main problem was that of handling the team and the operations in the organization. From the experiences, I learned that a leader should be efficient in handling any situation and solve the problems without hampering the interest of any one. Reflection of the experiences helps in rectify the issues and mistakes committed in past. There were few mistakes that I had done while working as a leader. The first mistake was building too friendly nature with the team members. Because of this, the team members did not value my order. This led the productivity to decline. Realizing the mistake I became authoritative in my operation that again helped is restoring the lost productivity. The second issue was lack of motivation. The team members were not motivated. This issue was to resolve soon which was resolved by hiring a motivational speaker who could motivate workers to work hard. Due to conflicting schedules and workloads, the team members were not being able to delegate the task on time. This hampered the productivity of the organization. Hence, the main issue was to solve the problem as soon as possible. This was solved by strategically thinking and formulating plan that could solve the issue effectively.

The skills and capabilities learned from the experiences will help in managing the team more effectively in future.  Upon reflection, it reflects that I need to be more enthusiastic and enhance my communication skills in order to improve my leadership skills. Concentration on these two skills is likely to promote my position from a leader to a manager. Communication plays an essential role and is an important tool where the success of the business lies. For effective team building coordination of employees and team members is very much essential.

Conclusion

Hence, upon reflection it can be concluded that the role that I have of a leader in marketing and sales company helps in learn a lot from my experiences. It has helped me learn that there are various leadership skills and traits that are essential to effectively manage the operations and the work. It depends on the leader to exhibit it skills in order to manage the team effectively. The team leader is responsible for managing the entire team. Team building depends on the team leader. It is essential for the leader to build a star team and not star of team members. Choosing one leadership style to handle the operations is essential for effective management of the organization. Upon reflection, I learned that following transformational and democratic leadership in marketing and sales company would help in achievement of organizational goals and targets.

References

Aga, D. A., Noorderhaven, N., & Vallejo, B. (2016). Transformational leadership and project success: The mediating role of team-building. International Journal of Project Management, 34(5), 806-818.

Avolio, B. J., & Yammarino, F. J. (Eds.). (2013). Transformational and charismatic leadership: The road ahead. Emerald Group Publishing.

Daft, R. L. (2014). The leadership experience. Cengage Learning.

Du, S., Swaen, V., Lindgreen, A., & Sen, S. (2013). The roles of leadership styles in corporate social responsibility. Journal of business ethics, 114(1), 155-169.

Dyer, W. G., & Dyer, J. H. (2013). Team building: Proven strategies for improving team performance. John Wiley & Sons.

Goethals, G., Allison, S., Kramer, R., & Messick, D. (Eds.). (2014). Conceptions of leadership: Enduring ideas and emerging insights. Springer.

Goleman, D., Boyatzis, R., & McKee, A. (2013). Primal leadership: Unleashing the power of emotional intelligence. Harvard Business Press.

Johansen, R. (2012). Leaders make the future: Ten new leadership skills for an uncertain world. Berrett-Koehler Publishers.

Schoemaker, P. J., Krupp, S., & Howland, S. (2013). Strategic leadership: The essential skills. Harvard business review, 91(1), 131-134.

Tyssen, A. K., Wald, A., & Spieth, P. (2014). The challenge of transactional and transformational leadership in projects. International Journal of Project Management, 32(3), 365-375.

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