Sunday, January 21, 2007

Session 2:Technology Management and Leadership

The podcast topic this week is about the differences between technology management and leadership. It brings me back to my first management task last year.

My assignment was to schedule the workshop time and sharing equipments between six automotive classes within two workshop areas. I remember that I asked my Dept. Chair about how I should approach this assignment. After spending approximately over an hour with him in his office, I had a clear understand of what I need to do. I must obtain the lists of students per class, available vehicles, tools, equipments, amount of performing tasks from each instructor. I must divide the available workshop hours to match each class workshop period without overlapping or interference.

After I got all the needed information, I sat down to do scheduling. I ran into couple problems. Two of the classes use the same vehicles and tools. I had to discuss this problem with the instructors, and they agreed to switch their overlapped performing tasks to solve this overlapping problem. Another problem I had was there were not enough diagnostic tools for one class. Switching assignments time does not work due to the days of class meeting were set. These diagnostic tools were very expensive. I recalled the dollar amount was somewhere in the upper eighty thousand. I brought this matter to my Depart. Chair attention, I am sure that he did something about it. A month later, he gave me a green light to order the tools.

I learned my first management lesson on this assignment. Management, especially about technology, is directing resources. Resources can be time, money, and materials. Skillfully using and distribution of resources is good technology management.

I think back to my first management assignment and try to relate it to leadership. I can see the differences between management and leadership. To my understanding, leadership is about the process of influencing and directing others in such a manner as to accomplish the mission or task.

Leader ship is a process: What I mean is leadership skill takes time to develop. It often happens slowly. It is a series of events, and it usually organized in some way.

Leadership is influencing: Means getting people to do something they may not want to do. Leadership is influence people by setting an example and convincing them you know what is best.

Leadership is directing: It means sometimes you have to make people do something you know is the right thing to do. Leadership is taking charge, and it means people clearly know you are “the boss”. People follow you because they know you know what you are doing and will look out for their well being.

Leadership is to accomplish the mission or task: Leadership is about getting the job well done. Knowing clearly your goal and focusing on reaching that goal. People like following someone who helps them accomplish goals, especially hard-to-achieve goals.

I would say that leadership is not about “because I am the boss”, and simply ordering people around in a loud voice or screaming louder when they do not listen the first time. Leadership is not forcing people to do something against their will or sitting on your rear end and supervising.

To me a person with a good leadership should have these characteristics. Tell people what the goal is. Help people see why the goal is important, and how it can be achieved. Work hard as part of the team that is trying to reach the goal. Closely watch the team to make sure the goal is being met. Redirect the team when the work of the team is not helping reach the goal.

With these above characteristics, a good leader is a person in a position of responsibly and authority who influences and directs others in such a manner as to accomplish the mission. A leader has duty and obligation. This means something the leader must do because of his position. Least but not last, a leader must have the courage to take the blame when things go wrong.

Leadership is what I am learning now and trying to develop. Keeping the above characteristics in mind, I am using them in every assignment at work and with my students in classroom.

Jan. 15 to Jan.21 Activity Log.

Monday: Listen to Podcast and take note.

Tuesday through Friday: Re-work on the blog.
Learning to navigate the blog.
Re-do previous week assignment and posted it
Read the posting of other scholars
Unsuccessfully trying to post some comments.
Draft this week posting
Successfully re-arrange my blog
Successfully able post comments to other scholars
Successfully and comfortably navigate the blog.
Finally, wrap- up this week assignment and post it.
I will review and post some more comments today


Brian said...

Your's is the first post discuss the leaders role when "things go wrong." It's a terrific point and the discussion would not be complete without it.

Brian Newberry said...

Excellent work. You covered a lot of the aspects of leadership showing good reflection and grasp of the material.

RFLORES said...

Hi De,

You did a very good job in your assessment of the differences between management and leadership; I have no doubt you hit it right on. Keep up the good work!

dengman said...

"It often happens slowly. It is a series of events, and it usually organized in some way." sometimes it sneeks up on you and you don't even know you are one.