The purpose of this paper is to analyze various leadership behaviors represented by five team members in an Everest simulation. The group involved a physician, a photographer, an environmentalist, a leader, and a marathoner. First, it is essential to analyze the background information highlighting key events. It will also cover my previous roles in similar positions. After examining the critical factors from my leadership background, it is required to present a theoretical segment, providing in-depth information on situational and skills theory. The latter serves as a reference point for outlining my strengths and weaknesses as a leader while referencing the simulation exercise experiences. The final part of this paper is a brief overview of the areas needed to be developed and the reasons for improving leadership experience.
Concerning the definition of leadership, it can be considered the art of motivating people to strive for a specific goal. In a business setting, leadership directs personnel toward organizational needs through a properly formulated strategy. Since I was young, I intended to become an economist managing a global corporation despite the challenging financial circumstances. It was fascinating to be aware of the fundamental economic processes, for instance, the law of supply and demand. Other topics of interest were the financial markets and risk management. Therefore, I started to investigate globally recognized managers in various businesses.
The primary goal was to identify these leaders’ best policies that benefit the company and the worse activities that caused the economic failure. The most prominent examples are Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Martin Luther King, Winston Churchill, George Washington, Oprah Winfrey, and Martha Stewart. These personalities have become my leadership mentors as they can be assumed to succeed throughout their professional careers. Their achievers had several similarities as they were highly aware of their competencies and skills. They obtained in-depth knowledge of the environment, having a clear vision and mission of their activities. Furthermore, the most critical element was their ability to communicate effectively. Concerning the essential qualities of corporate leadership, these are the ability to take risks and acknowledge management errors. From this day’s perspective, their deduction to work and unique behavior made a permanent contribution to the world, affecting people’s lives.
With regard to my experience, in high school, I used to participate in various social and academic activities that frequently required teamwork. My leadership role implied several duties such as encouraging group members, serving as a role model, communicating structure and protocols, providing visions, and time management. I have also been involved in community empowerment programs to advise youths on career paths and social issues. The exposure has provided me the recognition that leadership’s fundamental aspects are not only charisma and strength but also working mutually to perform better results. I can be considered a leader as my qualities meet the requirements of an effective manager. These are practicality, reliability, and scrupulousness in task completion. Moreover, these qualities are the ability to define the possible outcomes of action beforehand and advanced skills in identifying flaws in projects. I am also self-analytical, introspective, and carefully following guidelines and procedures, along with understanding the value of information in decision-making processes.
Theories to Reflect My Experiences During the Week
The Everest simulation involved five persons, being an online framework for traveling to Mount Everest’s peak and learning the importance of team dynamics. The group consisted of an environmentalist, a marathoner, a physician, a leader, and a photographer; the latter position was assigned to me. The simulation required choosing a leader, briefing, and distributing all roles before starting. One of the main obstacles was the inability to exchange and evaluate data adequately. Moreover, another barrier was poor communication since some team members had difficulties analyzing current conditions in the five camps we traveled through in 6 days. The score was average; communication effectiveness may have impacted teams’ results, leadership quality, and conflict management, affecting decision-making processes.
The Everest simulation was developed by Hersey-Blanchard, suggesting that management styles adjust depending on the circumstances. Leaders should know how to adopt diverse approaches when dealing with various problems. The theory operates on telling, selling, participating, and delegating (Zigarmi & Roberts, 2017). Leaders distribute responsibilities, determine directions, and allow group members to be actively involved in team cooperation. The selling style requires interactions between the head of the group and others, whereby leaders provide their advice and thoughts to motivate team members to accept the concepts. The critical aspect is that delegation is a hands-off approach, as team members are principal decision-makers, taking responsibility for their actions. Concerning my experience, the group’s leader would often inform us about the Everest simulation’s next steps. He would also delegate roles when analyzing gaps to fast-track the exercise due to limited time. The functions allotted to each team member relied on individual interest in the provisions. For instance, the environment participates in an ecology organization, while my interest is viewing subjects from a different perspective.
As high college-level students, the team demonstrated a high level of competence and knowledge; hence, the leadership style assumed relied on our maturity level. According to Akaolisa (2018), the situational theory has four maturity levels. In M1, members lack the skills, willingness, and knowledge to complete tasks (Akaolisa, 2018). In M2, participants are enthusiastic and willing to cooperate but lack the ability (Akaolisa, 2018). In M3, members are capable and skilled in specific tasks but are unwilling to take responsibility (Akaolisa, 2018). In M4, members are willing and highly experienced in undertaking specific jobs (Akaolisa, 2018). This experience was the first time a group engaged in the Everest simulation. Even though team members were active and passionate about the entire experience, their abilities required improvement.
At the end of the climb, we ranked in M2 and M4. M2 is a medium maturity that matches the selling leadership style. Low maturity (M1) reaches with telling, medium maturity (M3) aligns with participating, while high maturity (M4) is associated with delegating (Akaolisa, 2018). The selling approach was used at the beginning of the simulation. However, we were more aware and encountered that the leader shifted to the delegating style upon reaching camp three. A revised version of simulation leadership theory indicates that heads’ behaviors should be based on subordinates’ developmental levels. Commitment and competence are divided into four classes, including; enthusiastic beginner (D1), disillusioned learner (D2), cautious but capable performer (D3), and self-reliant achiever (D4). D1 has low competence and high commitment, and D2 has some degree of proficiency, but the challenges faced lead to low responsibility (Akaolisa, 2018). D3 has varying or unstable levels of commitment but growing skills, while D4 has excellent commitment and competence.
Influential leaders need to support and direct team members to build a robust environment. Supporting behaviors are actions such as listening, giving feedback, encouraging, and recognizing others’ values. Directing behavior is defined as attempts to control group members’ activities, providing particular instructions and directions. Concerning the revised version of leadership theory, it identifies coaching, teaching, supporting, and delegating as the basics of leadership styles. Directing has low support and high direction behaviors, whereas coaching is high in both support and lead. Supporting is characterized by high supporting and poor directing behavior while delegating both features is low leveled. Our leader was a self-reliant achiever and a coach; I was a capable but cautious performer with high support and poor directing behavior.
Leaders must consider relationships, the task, and the level of maturity. It is crucial to maintain authority level when assessing the situation. Relationships are determined through cross-examination of interpersonal and social factors. Our group in the Everest simulation needed efficiency and productivity, so the leader chose a method that precisely defined roles, organization, and practices. In the case of a highly proficient and productive group, democracy is preferred enabling freedom in the decision-making process. Knowledge of complexities and simplicities associated with different tasks facilitates competent and successful completion.
It assumes that leaders are made, not born; the approach focuses on believing that knowledge, skills, and abilities can be taught, learned, and developed. People are defined by experiences that demand perfection and time dedication. The concepts diversify leadership for each person by eliminating barriers to success. According to Temelkova (2018), human, technical, and conceptual skills are the building blocks of leadership. France (2017) adds to the finding that cognitive abilities, technical, administrative, and human skills are unfixed leadership attributes. A good leader is defined by personality, cognitive skills, knowledge, and talents to achieve goals and solve problems. Precisely, past career experiences shape personal attributes, while environmental factors foster performances, qualities, and skills.
With regard to cognitive ability, it prioritizes reasoning and intelligence. It is the ability to find possible problem solutions and properly assess encountered challenges. The idea focuses on mental capabilities, being used in measuring the ability to learn and perform a task. In the case of practical usage, cognition minimizes operation costs, ensures consistency in regular activities, and eradicates conflicts.
Brain functions are needed to perform uncomplicated and onerous duties. These skills cover peoples’ mechanisms of remembering, attention, learning, and resolving issues. Reasoning can be verbal, numerical, or abstract; the latter can assist in identifying relationships or patterns non-verbally. It creates multiple solutions to problems and quick recognition of base issue details. Numerical reasoning requires the application of numbers to communicate, perceive and generate ideas. Mathematics is taught at various education levels; the specific formulas, graphs, diagrams, and charts represent counts, averages, and percentages to strengthen performance. Verbal cognition is the ability to read, infer, and comprehend written or spoken words; this skill is essential for communication.
They involve the use of specific processes and methods, machinery, problem-solving techniques, and technological systems. This requires specialization of knowledge taught in vocational and training skills. Technical skills may necessitate sequential activities, which can change depending on the regulations, processes, and procedures in an event or industry. The methods of analysis employed in the Everest simulation differed regarding a particular camp. The weather was cool at the bottom of the mountain, but climbing further became more relaxed, and the activities became more challenging. Some of the team members had to use technical skills to familiarize themselves with the leader’s behaviors. We also received instructions on performance beforehand. The materials explain complex terms and the theoretical concepts of business and information technology.
Human skills are essential for interacting with others. People with mastered abilities interact with current or potential customers, colleagues, and the audience conveniently. Such personalities are welcoming, self-aware, empathetic, having prepossessing body language. They are also considered effective communicators with growth mindsets. The team member – a physician, had extraordinary social abilities, presiding over dispute resolutions; in case of confusion, he used to explain misconceptions. Since most of the communication within the group was non-verbal, the physician quickly identified emotional angles or probabilities of making eye contact.
Results of the Everest simulation showed that I am an analytical and authoritarian leader. My strengths are task orientation and hard work accompanied by the little allowance for collaboration; hence I expect others to accept and follow my instructions without raising questions or discussing. I am a timekeeper with low regard for missing schedules; in case of issues, I tend to disregard the issue’s origin cause or prevention methods and focus on accusing.
Analytically, I do not carefully examine other peoples’ needs or provide resources and plans necessary for problem-solving. I am visionary, perceiving management as a guide leading a mentee. Instead of telling my teammates to follow instructions, I put myself in the scenario and applied the teaching approach. Nevertheless, I have an understanding of the different challenges and short-term and long-term goals of a task. Through guidance, feedback, and direction, I inspire motivation to build and maintain a sense of accomplishment and enthusiasm. The inspiration arises from understanding different strategies and communicating. In case all participants know an organization’s vision, mission, and goals, alignment is attained, and disruptions are minimized.
My Development Plan
My leadership behavior requires improvement by admitting mistakes and stopping being overbearing. This can be accomplished by delegating duties and providing colleagues the freedom to make decisions, even though it can bring some adverse outcomes. This change will encourage me to reveal precise outlines of goals and give instructions to aid in attainment. Overbearing can impact staff used to autonomy over completing tasks, company goals, and contribution to overheads. Therefore, I must admit some level of independence for team members to consider a sense of belonging in an organization. This is crucial when dealing with more experienced colleagues.
My intention is to improve my peers’ skills through regular interactions during and after classes and project meetings. I strive to participate in extracurricular activities that require socializing; performing in debates might be an excellent decision. It may benefit my communication skills, build confidence, and identify body language. Moreover, I have to maximize my technical skills, particularly in information technology, as it is a rapidly progressing field. The abilities can be increased by attending vocational training and participating in technological innovation programs. I will also engage in brainstorming practices and quizzes that require fast brain exercises in terms of cognitive ability.
Akaliosa, M. C. (2018) Leadership style and employee performance, a study of selected small scale manufacturing firms in Imo state. Master thesis. Federal University of Technology, Owerri.
France, A.I.N. (2017) ‘States-of-the-arts in organization & leadership practices that “make sense”–A poly-logue in three parts: Part I-Embodied Senses and its making in organizations’, Organizational Aesthetics, 6(1), pp. 1-32.
Temelkova, M. (2018) ‘Skills for digital leadership – prerequisite for developing a high-tech economy’, International Journal of Advanced Research in Management and Social Sciences, 7(12), pp. 50-74.
Zigarmi, D. and Roberts, T.P. (2017) ‘A test of three basic assumptions of Situational Leadership® II Model and their implications for HRD practitioners’, European Journal of Training and Development, 41(3), pp. 241-260.