A Leadership Journey

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A LEADERSHIP JOURNEY.

Created by
SHARATH KUMAR

Abstract

The paper records the evolution of the author’s thinking on leadership through the course of his work involvement. Leadership is viewed as a dynamic process which consists formal and informal roles. The process is introduced as an individual recognizes opportunities and urged to answer back to evolving patterns and pledge action to enable positive change. The dynamics between formal and informal leadership structures and leadership as a state of mind are conferred.

The following paper shows a reflection on my personal journey and growing understanding of leadership based on my work experience. As I look back in time, I identify that most of my current interest in leadership and complexity has evolved. This paper archives the development of my view about leadership.

Stages in the Journey

Over my career I have experienced various milestones that have shaped and inclined my perspectives on leadership. Vitally I have witnessed my role as a leader as one who pronounces and puts into action a vision that inspires others to join in to an extent at least. Along the way, the instability of resistance to that vision that has been the extreme influence on restricting my focus and ideology about leadership, as I’ve fought to overcome obstacles. Now I leadership as a dynamical distributed process among performers. I believe I have inculcated an informal methodology similar to grounded theory, as I take in information on the area concerned, formulate a theory and then test and modify that theory actively. There have been crowning events that have shaped my perspectives about leadership.

I evoke the poignant enthusiasm of joining the company. I had been employed as Assistant Chief Information Officer multinational company. My position in the company in my opinion was a dream job – aiding in devising a long-term strategy for the growth of the business unit from a process and technology perspective. I instantly noted operational issues and developed suggestions to address them. Although, my dream was shattered as I soon I was made to realize my position and the inclination of the management team to clinch new ideas were not necessary.

Organization as Organism

My first day at work struck by the oppression of meetings absorbed so much time there was no time left to do work. Employees were exasperated because they had no access to their managers for direction. Projects were not being completed in a time due to the perspective experts needed on them were unavailable due to other bookings. Organizational beliefs about alliance needed key employees that were patrons to a project indulge in discussion and decision making. Still, decision making was a tremendously slow process as it lacked clarity as to who had the decision making authority. A group would discuss the issue because one key person was not present (being double booked in another meeting) hence, the decisions were not finalized. Line of meetings being unresolved was common.

Although I was brought into a company as a change agent tasked to bring strategic change to the business unit, I realized that it was not truly the case. Interest in change was driven by the instantaneous short term demands of particular clients, executives. At this point I managed to gather a team responsible for coordinating technology linked projects. After extensive talks with my head, the team that reported to me was handed over to someone else, and I was to report to this new head as an independent contributor. This change was an extremely difficult period for me, yet important in shaping my views of leadership. This was a period where deep reflection on my sense of identity, my values, and sense of personal integrity was brought out. I interpreted this change as the system. I will speak more about what I learnt of the change in a later section. A new major acquisition had just been signed and the focus had...
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