Leadership Skills and Style

Another week In Berlin and I still feel like I haven’t even made a dent in all the things I could possibly see and experience. On Saturday, I started off the day at a free exposition museum right down the street from our hotel. The place is called Urban Nation and is filled with amazing contemporary street art from famous artist around the world. A lot of what they painted were pieces that have moral or political significance. After that, we headed over to the Berline Galerie, which is a modern art museum. I was surprised to see the difference between the concepts of modern art from here in Berlin and the US. In the U.S. the art is much more abstract and can be given multiple meanings. In the Galerie, most of the art was portraits and cityscapes done by recent artists from different periods in the last century. The more abstract art was given descriptions and meanings and wasn’t left up to interpretation.

The work week I had was very eventful. At the beginning of the week, I participated in an interview with my supervisors and a professional in the child development industry. It was great to validate some of the information I had already discovered through research and learn so much more. During the middle of the week, I was busy developing social media posts, writing up new descriptions for the app store, and putting together a survey to be sent out to our users. I finished off the week with another interview. This time it was a solo interview I had with a past user. Since all the research I have been doing pertains to the user journey it was very rewarding to hear from an actual user. It gave me a much clearer idea of the actual process and path set in place for our current users and how it can be improved.

Referring to the question for this blog, leadership for me has always been more of a passive role. I wouldn’t seek out the leadership role in groups but would often end up being given the role or fill it out of necessity. As a leader I was mostly concentrated on making sure we were staying on topic, everyone had their chance to speak, and the workload was being split up accordingly. When I felt someone was wrong or misguided, I didn’t simply tell them to be quiet. I would ask them to explain their reasoning, then I would point out where they might be going wrong and how we can fix the problem. I was trying to be as fair and diplomatic as possible, which in my opinion is what you want from a good leader. A group needs someone who can make the tough decisions quickly if needed but would rather defer to the group consensus when establishing rules that pertain to everyone.

In an entrepreneurial environment, the idea of a leader is very fluid. The company that I am working for is a small startup of only 4 people. That means a lot of the decisions are made through consensus and open for debate. Each member brings a new perspective to the discussion and the knowledge they contribute is taken for truth. There is an incredible amount of trust that is also involved in this group. Not only trusting one another to get the job done but do it the correct way, representing Brili’s true ideals. I have seen how my supervisor’s management style is drawn from the corporate environment she is in usually involved in. She has developed a mix of structure, and quick decision making with discussion based decision and flexible planning. This style has been beneficial in creating success for Brili and promoting a bright future. In decision making discussions, my supervisors listen to my recommendations and apply their own knowledge. I have learned an incredible amount from the directness and openness they provide. Going into the future I want to develop in myself a more direct way of leading a group and disregard my passive old ways. If I want to manage my own businesses in the future it will require me to grip the wheel a little harder, and structure the whole process for success.

I am on my way back to Munich right now and I am very excited for the weeks to come. I am going to get a chance to look at more concrete and specific Brili statistics, analyzing the certain trends and behaviors of our users. I will also be learning a new data analytical tool that my supervisor believes will be beneficial for me in my professional career.