I look after the Network Operations team, there are four of us including myself, at the University and although I have some technical work to do most of my day is spent planning out what needs to be done, assigning job tickets to my team to complete (and helping them to do them), ensuring that projects are progressing and attending meetings with suppliers, other team leaders and, even after two years, familiarising myself with how everything works. I also do my teams appraisals, organise their training and give them responsibility over various things recently I swapped over who did what in general so that they both had a break from it and the other gained some experience.
A main part of my work is to see what we are spending our time doing that could be avoided and come up with a way to do so then we will, hopefully, have more time to improve things.
For example, a large amount of our time is spent plugging in ethernet cables.
Each one of these jobs can take 30 minutes and so to avoid doing these in future we have started a project simply to have everything everywhere already plugged in.
To prepare for answering this assignment I asked my team to fill out the Blake & Mouton questionnaire as if they were answering it on my behalf so I could see if how I perceive myself as a leader manager was shared by them and I also completed it myself.
The result showed, I think, that we both view my leadership style in a similar way.
placing me between Middle of the Road and Team Leader
My teams views on me were actually very similar to each other and to take the middle of the three the scores were
which places in the lower-middle section of team leader, I did tell them that I wanted them to be honest.
I have placed a red X on the grid (below) to show the two scores.
[source: questionnaire and diagram taken from class handout Blake & Moutons Leadership Style Questionnaire]
My team scored me, consistently, a couple of points higher than I did myself for putting my training and reading about leadership into action, enjoying explaining the tasks, respecting boundaries and counselling my team members than I did.
The only noticeably lower score (a score of 1 from each of them) was for Q2 – my concern for completing the task it looks like they all have the impression that I dont consider that to be particularly important although I rather think that it is (after all why start something that doesnt need to be finished?) and Im going to have to work a bit harder to get that point across.
No score of 0 was recorded by anyone on anything.
The other scores were very similar. We all agreed that my lowest score should be worrying about jeopardising relationships when correcting mistakes and that my highest was that I encourage my team to participate in decision making.
I was already quite aware that I avoid confrontation and I had flagged it to my own manager as something I need to improve on in my last appraisal.
They all also mentioned that when they ask for my help or they need something that I immediately try to sort it out which is one of the main differences they noted about me compared to my predecessor.
Comparing the chats that Ive had with my team and the scores from the questionnaire, especially the to the management styles previously referenced I am probably slightly more towards the Laissez-faire style than I intended and I need to take more notice of what isnt being done and maybe move slightly towards authoritative in some situations to make sure the other members dont feel that they are the only one doing what theyve been asked. I think Im going to have to set some deadlines for things.
My own manager is even more towards that style than I am, although there are similarities we both want to put new ideas into practice to benefit the university although he tends to just point me in a direction and let me try and get on with it. The scale of the university is at a completely different level to what Im used to and trying to get all of the different parts of it to work together to achieve what I want is a challenge
The universitys own culture is quite different from what I have been used to in my previous roles in IT in education and finance. In those areas everyones jobs overlapped far more and there was greater cooperation between departments. The University departments seem to try to keep to themselves as much as possible work-wise although the people themselves are seem quite happy and friendly.