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In the first part of assignment I shall discuss Leadership and Management in educational context and in second part of my assignment I will analyse the attributes involved in Building Effective Teams, refers to relevant theoretical models, critically looks at motivating factors of teams, theories deployed in developing teams and how teams perform against set objectives. And in the last I will discuss a few of my personal experience.
In order to successfully run schools and colleges, it is very important to have efficient leadership and management. Its importance has greatly been recognized during 1990s and into the twenty-first century. In many countries of the world, the tendency towards self management has earned high applause and guided to an enhanced appreciation of the significance of managerial competence for educational leaders. In the recent past, difference between leadership and management has greatly been appreciated and it has also been recognized that school principals and senior staff need to be good leaders and effective managers. (Bush 2003, p.ix)
Bush (1986; 1995; 1999) has repeatedly argued that the purpose or aims of education should be the main concern of the educational management. Emphasis should be placed on educational purpose and it should be endeavour to refrain from suggesting that any particular aims or targets are appropriate, especially when they are imposed from outside the school by government or other official bodies. Achievement of educational aims is very vital and it should be well managed and it should have the approval of school and its community. (Bush 2003, p.1)
In case we want our schools and colleges to function efficiently and to accomplish their objectives successfully, we should attach one and the same importance to leadership and management. Although leading and managing are different from each other, but both are essential. Those organizations which are over managed but under led sooner or later lose any sense of spirit or purpose. Inadequately managed organizations with strong charismatic seldom succeed. The challenge of modern organizations requires the objective perspective of manager as well as the flashes of vision and commitment wise leadership. (Bush 2003, p.8)
An educational administrator should always keep in mind that balancing responsibilities between leadership and management is very vital. While balance is described differently in every organisation, it is wise to say that an organisation cannot be too leadership-driven or too management-driven and be successful. (Sharma 2009, p.94)
Theory development greatly involved the use of industrial models to educational settings. As the subject got recognition as an academic discipline in its own right, its theorists and practitioners started developing alternative models which they based on their observations and experience in schools and colleges. (Bush 2003, p.13)
It has been established that all problems cannot be examined effectively by using a single theory. Some of the problems happen to be big and very complicated and it is understood that no single theory can completely cover them, whereas the other problems looking simple and straightforward, can better be identified through the repeated use of theories; specific theories suit certain problems but not others. The examination of management in education is a diverse chase. Models have been borrowed from a variety of disciplines, and in some cases, these are developed particularly to describe unique features of educational institutions. (Bush 2003, p.26)
As regards the educational management, the huge amount of literature on leadership has developed a number of alternatives and competing models. Some writers have carried out a big hunt to group together various conceptions into a number of broad themes or types. The best known of these typologies is that by Leithwood, Jantzi and Steinbach (1999), who indicated six 'models'. This typology was further enlarged to eight models by Bush and Glover (2002). These are among the nine leadership models shown in table.
Management model Leadership model
Instructional leadership focuses on the direction of influence, learning and teaching, rather than the nature of the influence process. It, therefore, does not link to any of the management models. (Bush 2003, p.33)
Although the six models of management are different along crucial dimensions but when taken together they present complete picture of the nature of management in educational institutions. (Sharma 2009, p.42)
Every manager enjoys a position of authority which the organization vests in him and his subordinates comply with his orders. This management style is known as transactional, in that the manager tells his subordinate what to do and the subordinates accomplish it because they have been promised a reward for doing so. (Sharma 2009, p.91)
Generally speaking, a relationship between two people is dependent on the intensity of exchange they have. Exchange does not restrict itself to money or material but it can be anything. The more the exchange the stronger the relation. Manager expects his workers to boost production so that good rewards are offered. In this way, if something is done to anyone based on the return then that relation is called as 'Transactional' type. According to Burns "Transactional Leader approaches followers with an eye to exchanging one thing for another". (www.leadershipchamps.wordpress.com)
The life is filled with variety of experiences; it must have been noticed that at times things happen without expectation from other side. Mother's dedicated service to her kid can be quoted as one of the best examples. Mother plays an important role in raising her child and shaping up the child's future. She does not expect anything from the child and her service is totally free of any conditions. This type of relation is called as 'Transformational'. Transformational Leaders work toward a common goal with followers; put followers in front and make them able to move to next level; inspire followers to transcend their own self-interests in achieving superior results. (www.leadershipchamps.wordpress.com)
Transformational leadership is a big attraction for new and young organisations, whereas the transactional leadership is the choice of mature organisations. However, those organisations which are not functioning well or which are at renovation stage greatly need a transformational leader. For all levels of leadership, both transactional and transformational skills and abilities are very important. (Sharma 2009, p.91)
To start with, it looks very important to me to draw a distinct line between the terms a 'group' and a 'team' as employed in our specific field of enquiry. In accordance with Wikipedia, handy online encyclopaedia, "a 'team' comprises a group for animals linked in a common purpose. Teams are especially appropriate for conducting tasks that are high in complexity and have many interdependent subtasks". In order to understand it easily and in its simplest form, a 'group' can be defined as a set of people who have objectives different to each other and in competition with each other, whereas a 'team' consists of a set of people with common objectives and working in cooperation. It is, therefore, quite clear that organizational gain can better be achieved when working in teams rather than in groups. But teams can carry inherent weaknesses in that every member abandons his responsibilities when collective decisions go wrong and put the blame on each other (scapegoating). (www.en.wikipedia.org)
In order to clearly explain the functions and reasons for development of these 'groups', interchangeably termed as 'teams', the social scientists have always been trying. But Robin Fincham et el (2005 p.278) mention Bion, simplified the group operations with three basic assumptions. He said that groups Fight-Flight against an unseen enemy therefore, they stay alert ready to fight or run away if the enemy is supposed to be too strong. The second assumption is that of Dependency, where you form a group under the guidance of a charismatic leader who guarantees freedom, security and funds. And the third one is that of Utopian. Here an ideology or belief is perceived to deliver the group from its woes. History unfolds many religious movements which survived the persecution and abuse, and also many national movements which struggled hard for their causes, independence or to get implemented a particular brand of political system. I very much want to include expediency to this list because some groups keep on flourishing and exist because it is convenient to do so. As an example one can think of coal-mining communities or those who live in valleys where arable land and water is available to them. But the last of Bion's category is more likely to survive other.
Let me glance through some of the ideas underpinning team development. Numerous studies (for example, Moon et al. 2000; Cole 2005; Hepworth et al. 2010; Zepeda 2004; Salis 2002) have attempted to explain one of the best known models which was developed in 1965 by Bruce Tuckman. He said that before a team's output (synergy) exceeds individual contribution, the tasks executed by a team normally have four clear phases with fifth phase added later. He named these Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing and the fifth added later being Adjourning & Transforming. The Forming stage is the initial phase where members work independently enjoying full confidence among all members whose lot of time is used in planning and bonding. Sallis E. (2002 p.73) contends that this is the stage where a team can easily be unfocused and can begin to manage other topics which do not fall under its remit. Not all but some of its members might like to just stamp their authority on the group rather than working on tasks. When the team begins tacking the issues or tasks, it is called the Storming stage - here there is competition for ideas and relationship between different members consolidated. And according to Cole (2005, p.30); Storming draws in differences among group members at a time when they challenge the task, the rules and the leader. The Norming stage comes when members begin working amicably and take greater individual responsibility. The Performing stage is when productivity of the team is greater than individual capabilities. Here team enjoys high level of independence and motivation. Their performance is high as they collaborate and take care of any expected difference of opinion. And it is very well proposed by Moon et al. (2000, p.149) that the most important principle in team building is to reduce the time spent on forming and storming, to make forming most powerful and to dedicate the maximum amount of time to performing. The fifth stage comes when the team is finally disbanded. All teams are far from ideal and many weaknesses can result in their downfall. I have earlier talked about scapegoating, some of the other characteristics are infighting e.g. competition for senior positions against organization competition, conflicts of different kind, resistance to change and so on.
Now I will briefly examine a few other models for their validity and contribution.
Myers-Briggs, following on from the work of Carl Jung and adding a fourth dimension to the three Jung dimensions namely Judging-Perceiving, developed a technique of surveying individuals for their own understanding of their strengths. She said that there were four scales for identifying an individual's behavioural preferences, namely, Extrovert to Introvert (E to I), Sensation to Intuition (S to N), Thinking to Feeling (T to F) and Judging to Perceiving (J to P). So a person with ESTJ profile will be on the left of our spectrum and a person with INFP on the right. Thus there are sixteen permutations and we can and do adopt all sixteen types in our day-to-day life. Myers-Briggs thought all these profiles were necessary to functions relevant to team building. (www.businessballs.com)
Adair, born 1934, has put in writing a great deal on leadership and motivation. He suggested the overlapping of three circles representing the Task, The Team and the Individual. By these he intended to have a clear direction and purpose under Task, Teams working in harmony and in support of each member and the Individual being valued by other team members; thus guiding to more suitable and motivating performance. He used these ideas to what he called Action-Centred Leadership, being developed and having transferrable skills.
Adair (2006, p.34) suggests that the three circle model is applicable at all three levels of leadership (strategic, operational and team leaders).
Belbin, like Myers-Briggs before him, developed a questionnaire to discover nine team roles for a successful team. He placed them under three broad headings, Cerebral (Plant, Specialist and Monitor Evaluator), Action (Shaper, Implementer and Completer Finisher) and People (Coordinator, Team-worker and Resource Investigator). He maintained that a successful team will have a variety of these roles, however, he acknowledged that two or three of these nine roles would be more important in any given team. Moon et al. (2000, p.152) argues on Beblin's theory and suggests that this could be a positive exercise at the forming stage. He further adds that Beblin's work is very tricky - the inventory was not intended to be used in the education sector, his types derive from a study of small groups on management courses and the scientific validity of his research has still to be fully rested. However, his work has largely been welcomed and it does not provide the starting point for detailed and systematic analysis.
The leadership and the motivation are intrinsically linked to each other. Now I will discuss motivation, as it is an important factor of building an effective team. Adair (2006, p.1) observes motivation as: "a man or a woman is motivated when he or she WANTS to do something. A motive is not quite the same as an incentive. Whereas a person may be inspired or made enthusiastic by an incentive, his or her main motive for wanting to do something may be fear of punishment. Motivation covers ALL the reasons which underlie the way in which a person acts."
Abraham Maslow (1908-1970) has been the most popular supporter of motivational theory. He was closely associated with the process theory of motivation which clearly maintains that people have different needs, calling them a Hierarchy of Needs. These are symbolized as a triangle with the fundamental need being that of survival at the base and self-actualization at the peak. Every need must be addressed fully before one's next need is sought. This philosophy is employed on all kinds of motivational scenarios including learning and commerce. (businessballs.com, Adair 2006, p.47)
Adair (2006) suggests that the leadership has to perform some functions (planning, initiating, controlling, supporting, informing and evaluating) in order for the needs to be met. (p.13)
Another famous personality who contributed a lot to motivation was Herzberg, who studied people's attitude towards their work. He discovered both 'satisfiers' and 'unsatisfiers' (hygiene factors) in jobs that motivated people; hence the name Herzberg's Motivation Hygiene Theory. There were factors which included recognition, achievements, possibility of growth, advancement, salary, interpersonal relations, responsibilities, working conditions, status, etc and these were fourteen in total. His findings got some help for Maslow's hierarchy of needs because it displayed the connection between corresponding needs on Maslow's triangle. (businessballs.com, Adair 2006, p.69)
Having had a comprehensive look at the theoretical perspective, I'll now be discussing a few of my experiences in Pakistan.
I took part in writing research projects on mathematics for secondary school certificate (SSC-I) and SSC-II with the Federal Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education, Islamabad, Pakistan. We were a team of twelve members. A day before starting workshop, we had an inaugural session with the project manager. The manager was a stereo type manager. He just explained us, as to what was required and told us about the resources available. He did not give us any time to ask him about our queries. We were shocked to know that the time given for completion of this project was only seven days where the job required at least twelve days. The target was very unrealistic and almost unable to achieve within the time allocated, which caused mental stress on all the members of the team. We were already very de motivated, because, we were called in our summer vacations and there was no reward for doing that project, except, our name would be printed on the fist page which would be an honour for us.
Next day we started our day with a meeting of members. We discussed time management issue to complete the task on time, as provided time was too less for the task and the task itself was very challenging. Then we had discussion on dividing different chapters among each other to work on them. Conflicts arose there, because everyone was wanted to get his favourite chapter. Situation got worse and worse (Forming stage). But later we as a team agreed to have a draw for the chapters to be distributed among ourselves. Everyone agreed and supported the idea. So, in this way we converted our goals into set of agreed tasks. Then we decided time allocation for the completion of different chapters and decided an agreed plan of action. We all listened to each other and exchanged our suggestions and ideas among ourselves (Storming stage). Actually, it was manager's duty to be with us all the time to help us in handling different situations. He was our project manager but we did not see him after the first inaugural meeting. And on the last day when we completed our project, he just came to thank us.
Despite all this we were all very confident of our abilities and determined to finish the task in time. To encourage all members of the team, everyone was given chance to participate and offer ideas and opinion in all chapters. After the completion of all chapters, we decided to sit in a circle. Everyone passed his work to the next member. He checked and approved if he found no mistake. He then forwarded it to the next member. In this way every chapter was checked and approved by all twelve members of the team. This obviously meant we trusted in team member's ability and value their input.
In our discussions on correcting mistakes, which were found by the members, we listened to all members and were open to persuasion. This created a democratic atmosphere without any one member dominating the direction of decisions.
It took us eight days to complete our task. We could not complete it in the given time. The team worked with full spirit and dedication. But, I think, it was the poor managerial attitude from the project manager. There was no communication of members with the manager and he was not available on the sight to help us in tackling difficult situations. If we had his support, we would have been able to finish our project in time, as the other subject teams did.
To sum up, I will say that we were able to finish twelve days' work in eight days, only because of the motivating factors, which were: confidence in our ability, dedication to our work, encouraging, trusting and valuing team members. In our conduct we were open, democratic and objective.
During the module "Leadership and Management in Education" in my masters course, I came across many experiences which I did not encounter in my life before.
On the very first day at my College, when I entered into my class room, I was totally confused and scared in myself. The things and people were new for me and I never had imagined them before. I had so many queries in my mind that what type of my class fellows and teachers I would be having. But later, with the passage of time, I was able to overcome these feelings and I started feeling myself a part of the class and comfortable with my teachers and class fellows. During the session on "Team Building", I learnt that actually I was in the process of "Forming" stage at that time and my confusions were genuine and it was the part of the team building process. I was not familiar with my class fellows and teachers, but, when I knew them, I started feeling comfortable. In different sessions, we happened to work in groups for different activities. These group discussions and activities really helped us to successfully go through the "Storming" stage. By having discussion on different topics and sharing personal point of views among ourselves, we started knowing each other. And, I remember that, in one of the sessions, we had a competition between groups. It was the "Norming" and "Performing" stage when every one of us was struggling, not for himself, but for the whole team to win. It was the time when I realized that, when I used to teach in Pakistan, why my students, when they worked in groups, got noisy sometimes. At that time I was used to think that I might not be managing them well due to which the class became noisy. So, I felt very uncomfortable. But now I know that it was the "Storming" stage, where when they faced conflicts during discussion, the class immediately became noisy at that moment. And now I fully understand that this is usual and part of the learning process. After having detailed study on how to build effective teams, I have become aware of the importance of building effective teams. In future when I would be leading some institution or would be working as a teacher, I would take good care of all stages. I will exercise more care of my team at forming stage, because, now I fully understand the fact that "Forming" and "Storming" stages are crucial, and these are the stages where conflicts can take place and also the fact that it is the part of building an effective team. So, I will try to sort out their conflicts, whether, as a member or as a leader of the team, to make the team more effective.
During my fourteen years' of teaching career, I was already in the habit of motivating my students in the class by using different techniques and strategies, to make learning more effective. But, the session on motivation in "Leadership and Management" module, further broadened my vision of motivation. In this session I studied the different motivational theories, especially, the most important, "Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs", which is suitable for all sorts of scenarios. Now I am fully convinced and completely aware of the importance of motivation in building effective teams and the benefits of motivating people in the institutions and organisations. So, I feel myself more confident and competent for motivating my students and people whom I would be leading or working with in future.
In one of the sessions I came across the two terms "Leaders" and "Managers". I had heard both the terms before, but, I did not really know that how much different they were from each other. There is almost no concept of leaders in the educational institutions in Pakistan. Also, I have never heard the role of "Team Leader" in any of the other institutions or organisations. Only politicians use "leader" for their self. But, now I know that what "Leaders" and "Managers" are like. What is the importance of both roles in the education sector? Now I understand that in educational institutions "Principals or Heads" must possess both the qualities e.g. "a manager" and "a leader" to run the institution effectively and efficiently. And they must be aware of that when they have to behave as a manager to manage things and when they have to lead as a leader. As said by Sharma (2009, p.92); "a good leader knows when to manage and a good manager knows how to lead". Also, now I am aware of transactional and transformational leadership and management, and know that both skills and abilities are necessary for all levels of leadership. Reflecting on what I have learnt, in future, when I would be running my own school, as I was already running an academy for the students in the evening for extra coaching, I will take care to have both roles at my position, a leader and a manager, and will try to maintain balance in my both roles to make myself more effective for the institution.
In this module I prepared my presentation on stress management, which provided me the opportunity to study this topic in depth. I was aware of, somehow, the causes of stress before, but I did not know the symptoms and affects of stress at that time. Also I never knew that untreated stress could be so dangerous that it could cause even heart attack. Through this study I became aware of the "Fight or Flight" response. Before this study I never realized why some of my students avoided studies and became absent on test day. I always just tried to make my lesson interesting to catch their attention. But I never thought that they were under achievement stress and in response they had chosen the "Flight" response instead of "Fight". After having the knowledge about stress and stress management, I feel myself confident and in a better position to help my students to make them understand and to manage their stress. And also, I feel myself more confident that in future, I would be able to play my role as a teacher, more effectively. Also, now I am fully aware of the benefits of positive stress. So, I would try to manage my stress in a good way, by focussing on causes, and to making it beneficial for me.
Also, through this presentation, I have learnt the skills of preparing slides and the use of power point, as it was first time that I worked on power point. Although it was second time in my life that I was presenting my work using power point, but, it was really a nice experience. In Pakistan, I used to arrange workshops for the maths teachers. Every time I arranged such a workshop, I always used board and marker to explain that how better they could make their mathematics teaching. It was very hard and time consuming to draw diagrams on the board. In future, I will make my workshops more attractive and effective, and easy to deliver by using this software.