Leading in a Team

Today we talked a lot on the topic of giving good feedback and continued our study of leadership. Talking about feedback helped me gain claity on how important it is for a leader to give constructive and effective feedback.

A good leader can recognize and own when they have made a mistake. This is the only way to be able to improve or fix the mistake at hand. This, in turn, shows the leaders followers that they should be comfortable doing the same. A way that my view of leadership is shifted is from the leader being in charge of their followers. Over the past week, we have been in India our group of seven students has acted like a team and each one of us has taken the role of a leader in different ways. When a person in a group acts as a leader and shows that it is okay to show weakness that creates a much more open environment which allows for better communicaiton.

Today we did a team exercise where we had to get a hula hoop around each team members arms as fast as we could while holding hands in a circle. It was apparent that we were the most effective in cutting our time when people owned up to the mistakes/time wasters that they were struggling with. For example, Haley in our group voiced that she struggled with a certain strategy we were using and proposed that we all try a different method. This act of being open about a struggle she was having ended up benefiting the entire group and cutting our time dramatically.

Being a leader does not mean dominating a group. I have learned through the experiences we have gone through on this program so far that it is about creating a cohesive team that works together to benefit us all. When a team and leaders mindset is shifted to think in this way it leads to greater communication and success. Our team here in Mussoorie has demonstrated a great amount of teamwork and has shown that we all care about the group. For example, when we went rock climbing today we had a wide range of skillsets on the wall. That did not automatically put the more skilled people into a leadership role. We were all supportive of each other no matter what grade we were trying on the wall and wanted to see each other succeed.

Tomorrow we are doing a shake down hike with full packs to get used to the weight on our backs for our trek coming up. I am excited to start the process towards getting on this expereince!