Power Leadership – Power Rangers
Have you ever wonder why this person is a good leader while that one is not ? Have you thought of being a leader in a near future ? I’m sure that Management & Leadership is a good answer for you.
I met my interviewee – Ms. Pham Ai Thuy Duong – on a rainy day at Fly Garden – a small coffee shop in District 3 – after she got back from work. Although she is very busy with projects, she is very willing to have a conversation with me to share her experiences and some advices for newbie in management and leadership. Duong has currently been an account manager of Matchbox Company – an agency of IPP Group, in charge of holding events and advertising. With about 6-year experience, Duong showed me that beside creativity, how to optimize creativity’s effectiveness within a team to have a best work’s performance is very crucial. That is the reason why she gave me four powers to be as strong as power rangers.
MANAGEMENT vs LEADERSHIP
Figure 2. Reproduced from http://www.nwlink.com/~donclark/leader/LMCC.html
At first, Duong told me that people are usually confused between ‘management’ and ‘leadership’ that they share the same meaning that is controlling and leading people within a team to achieve a goal or finish a mission. However, these two terms are different. Management is about coping with complexity, creating a system of people, implementing plan in a precise and efficient way (Kotter 1990). In other words, the core of management is control and long-term planning. Leadership is about coping with changes, creating vision and strategy as well as energizing team members to overcome difficulties with purpose of fulfilling a short-term plan (Kotter 1990).
“A behavior of a leader is very important because it effects on the creative performance of a whole team. How can we get a best result if we have a bad leader? Power Rangers needs a ‘Red Power’ leader to guide them, so do we!” Duong said.
WHITE power: ‘Without people, I have nothing to lead’
Most people assume that it is possible to be an effective leader without being a likeable leader (Zenger 2013). However, nobody wants to work with an execrable authoritarian and once members quit the group, the leader will lose energy (Welch 2013). For her, a leader has to know how to deal with each other to build a strong relationship and maintain it with her members in order to create harmony at workplace. According to Gupta (2012), environment at the workplace where a leader makes an influence on largely affects the creativity ability of employees. She gave me two tips to bring harmony into the workplace:
– Listening: this skill totally needs practicing. It’s hard but it doesn’t mean you can’t do it. This is a way to show your respect toward others member and can help you manage your team by colleting ideas and opinions from them.
– Keep calm: Learn how to control your temper. Your words is a ‘two-side’ knife – it can help you gain respect from peers but also take you down.
Figure 4. Reproduced from http://poncier.org/blog/?p=1541
“Leadership is about people’s relationship. Without people, I have nothing to lead. Without other rangers, a power ranger alone cannot protect the citizens from cruel party. They cooperate harmoniously with one purpose : erase the cruelty,” Thuy Duong shared.
YELLOW power: let them feel your warmth – Motivation
In the workplace, the success of a project based on not only the work’s performance but also the leader’s encouragement and motivation. Duong claim that the pressure from work and boss has affected the productivity of the whole team. As a transformational leader, you have to provide social and work support to the followers and involve in all the process of work (Mumford et al. 2002 cited in Jaussie & Dionie 2003). In addition, creativity requires gap. Therefore, a comfortable environment with positive attitude created by a leader can help a lot in enhance the performance of the team.
As a manager, training amateurs is a part of Duong’s job. Not only assign them with work, she also has to spend time to understand them, know their strengths and weaknesses and engage in what they are doing in order to make a strong connection between a leader and followers.
In other words, ‘Don’t only be the leader, but be the leader and the peer,’ Duong shared. True leadership is not found to seeking the spotlight, but seeking to shine the spotlight on others (Myatt 2013).
BLUE power: Solving Conflicts – be peaceful like the ocean.
When being asked about how to solve the conflicts in teamwork, Duong agreed that conflicts are things that can’t be prevented in teamwork, especially in this PR and advertising industry. According to Posner (2013), a real leader will know what to do : think about the solution first and then discuss with the colleagues instead of creating more fear and let them solve it by themselves. As a result, communication skills is very important to decrease conflicts. A leader has to be clear and precise in conveying ideas so other member can catch up witch the plan and finish it in the most effective way.
Figure 6. Reproduce from http://www.past-transgressions.com/blog/problem-solving-conflict-resolution/
RED power: RESPONSIBILITY
Every leader needs responsibility, especially in communication and media industry. ‘If you want to be a leader, think of responsibility first. Do you own it or not?’ Duong claimed. A responsible leader, in Duong opinion, is a person who are willing to be acknowledge his mistake as well as his team mistake without blaming to others. Responsible leader can receive trust from followers, enhance coherence within the team and prevent potential conflicts between subordinates.
Figure 7. Reproduced by author
Summarily, it’s not that bad if you are not a leader who meet all demands. A leader is built by practicing and experience, not by thoughts and theory. ‘Like power rangers, they build their reputation and strength through battles, victory and experience,’ Thuy Duong said with a smile. She also added : ‘Be confident. Nobody was born a leader and nobody knows what the future likes.’
Gary, G 2009, ‘Building Positive Relationships with Colleagues’, gettingtosomeday.com, 20 October, viewed 4th September 2013, <http://gettingtosomeday.com/articles/building-positive-relationships-with-colleagues>
Kotter, J 1990, ‘What Leaders really do?’, viewed 29 July 2013, <http://blackboard.rmit.edu.vn/courses/1/COMM2384/content/_104806_1/G5_Kotter%20what%20leaders%20really%20do.pdf?bsession=10704275&bsession_str=session_id=10704275,user_id_pk1=33122,user_id_sos_id_pk2=1,one_time_token=>
Mathew, R, Mumford, M & Teach, R 1993, ‘Putting Creativity to Work: Effects of leader behavior on subordinate creativity’, Organizational behavior and human decision processes, vol. 55, pp.120-151.
Posner, K. 2003, ‘The Leadership Challenge’, Vol. 1, Issue.2, pp.23-42, 3rd ed., Jossey-Bass Publishing, San Francisco, viewed 5 September 2013.
Welch, S 2013, ‘Scary Work Scenario: And I Have to Spend All Day with These People?’, oprah.com, unknown, viewed 5th September, <http://www.oprah.com/money/How-to-Survive-Dysfunctional-and-Difficult-Co-workers/2>
Zenger, J 2013, ‘The Unlikable Leader: 7 Ways To Improve Employee/Boss Relationships’, Forbes.com, 13 June, viewed 5th September 2013, <http://www.forbes.com/sites/jackzenger/2013/06/13/the-unlikable-leader-7-ways-to-improve-employeeboss-relationships>
Myatt, M 2013, ‘Why You’re Not A Leader?’, Forbes.com, 13 June, viewed 5th September 2013, <http://www.forbes.com/sites/mikemyatt/2013/01/23/why-youre-not-a-leader/>