Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Creating Capacity Leadership

Adapted from: Rowland, D. & Higgs, M. (2008). 'Sustaining change; leadership that works'. England; Jossey-Bass.

Leadership once recognized in a leader in often about the capacity of a person in completing a targeted task. A better leader is creating that capacity in his/her team work. Below are the sets of behaviors that characterized 'creating capacity leadership'

Develops people's skills in implementing change
Change happens in every moving organisations to meet the demand of the present and the future, thus, Creating Capacity leaders focus their time in assisting others to learn on how to master the transition both for themselves and the organisations at large. Leaders in the study done by the writer acknowledge that the change happens in an organisation create extraordinary demands thus, Craeting Capacity leaders invest in monetary, time and effort to equip the members and the organisation in delivering the changes. This is done by focussing on different groups with different skills and the development are done with interventions accordingly.

Lets people know how they are doing and coaches them to improve
Creating Capacity leaders, regarding this topic focuses their attention in giving feedbacks and coach their members. The practices include of guiding the members in enveloping the change. They not only focus on what should be accomplished but how to achieve the targeted accomplishment. These two elements is fully recognized by Creating Capacity leader in achieving greater performance improvement by guiding through the task in different approach.

Gets people to work across organisational boundaries and along key processes.
Through facilitation towards accomplishing tasks, Crearing Capacity leaders helps improve the setting by connecting members with different group and departments across organisational boundaries. Critical work gets mapped out and accomplised so that operational excellence is improved and greater values created. The practices includes creating:

  • formal teams
  • informal alliances
  • networks to support change
  • large group gathering
These pratices is to implement information sharing and best practice exchange processes that build collective wisdom about performance and the capability to improve it.

Makes sure the organisation's processes and systems support the change
Creating Capacity leaders take actions to reconfigure current processes and systems that do not support the change. Most important element is information exchanges to members that need it and/or it could be encouraging behaviors that reinforce a steady state scenario. In this aspect, Creating Capacity leaders recognize that not only member's attitude and bahaviours need to be changed, but the support system must be in linear with the changing efforts.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Personality Traits and Leadership

Adapted from:
Lussier, R.N. & Achua, C.F. (2007). Personality traits and leadership; Chapter 2 Leadership traits and ethics. Leadership: theory, application & skill development. (pp. 30 - 35). Canada: South-Western.
by Rabiatul A. Aziz

Many researches and case studies has raises the issue of the should-be personality and traits of a leader. We do understand not all people are born to be leaders, although it could be developed throughout the years of life. Yet there is a definite distinction of a leader and a follower. Let us understand the definition of personality and traits as the first step. Personality is a person's consistent and stable response to the world (Dalton & Ernst, 2004) or a combination of traits that classifies an individual's behaviour (Lussier & Achua, 2007). Traits are the distinguishing personal characteristics (Lussier & Achua, 2007).

Everybody is born with their individual personality and this could be assessed through designated assessment this can be accessed in Lussier & Achua (2007), pp. 30. Through the personality profile; the identification of individual's stronger and weaker traits, we can explain reasons of people's behavior and predict job performance. By knowing that a friend is as an introvert person, you can avoid from choosing him/her to present your important group project in a presentation hall full of very-important-people. The personality profile is very useful to categorized people for predicting job success. Amazingly, personality traits is developed from genetics and environmental factors. The traits can be categorize using the Big Five Model Of Personality.

There are five dimensions of traits in the Big Five Model, which are:
Sugency: this includes leadership and extraversion traits. Strong surgency is commonly called dominance, while extraversion is the continuum of extravert and introvert personality. The example of statement of high surgency is:
  • I step forward and take charge in leaderless situations
  • I enjoy competing and winning
  • I an outgoing and willing to confront people when in conflict.
  • I want to climb the corporate ladder to as high level of management as I can.
Agreeableness: traits that are related to getting along with people. It is strong when the person is sociable, spends most of time with people annd have many friends. The traits moost noted as a strong agreeableness is warm, easygoing, compassionate and friendly. The example of statements are:
  • I am concern of getting along well with other people
  • I enjoy having lots of friends and going to the parties
  • I try see things from other people's point of view
  • I want other people to like me and to view me as very friendly
  • I enjoy working with others more than working alone
Adjustment: traits that are related to emotional stability. This trait is the continuum between stable and unstable. Those with high level of adjustment is seen as calm, excellent self-control, relaxed and praising others. The example of statements are:
  • I have a good self-control; I dont get emotioanl, angry at all
  • I perform well under pressure
  • I am an optimistic person who sees the positive side of situations
  • I give people lots of praise and encouragement; I don;t put down and critisize.
  • I view myself as being relaxed and secure, rather than nervous and insecure.
Conscientiousness: traits that are related to achievement which it is the continuum between reponsible/dependable to irresponsible/undependable. This trait includes credibility, conformity and organisation where individuals with this traits are seen to be hard workers, willing to participate and put in extra time. example of the statements are:
  • I'm dependable; when I say I will do something, its done well on time
  • I work hard to be successful
  • I am a well-organized person
  • I conform by following by following the rules of an organization.
  • I am considered to be credible because I do a good job and come through for people.
Openness to experience: traits that are related to being willing to change and try new things. People with high openness are creative and innovative to new ideas. They look for changes and take the risks of trying new things. the example of statements are:
  • I try to things diffeently to improve my performance
  • I go to new places and enjoy travelling
  • When I go out to a new restaurant, I order food I haven't tried
  • I volunteer to be the frst to learn and do new tasks at work
  • When people suggest doing things differently, I support them and help them bring it about; I dont make statements like these: "it won't work, we never did it before, no one elese ever did it, or we cant do it".
Derailed Leadership Traits.
Not all leaders have strong Big Five Traits, although it is an ideal personality for a successful leaders. Yet, there are few elements that also makes a leader successful, that is by treating people as a valuable assets in an organisation, regardless of its population. Not only that, successful leadership can be achieved by avoiding greed and welcoming change. However, weaknesses in leaders or managers can be a damaging to an organization if not corrected instantly. The following are the six weaknesses that could be found in failed leadership:
  • The usage of bullying style portraying intinidation, insensitivity and abrasion
  • The traits of being cold, aloof and arrogant
  • The betrayal of personal trust
  • Self-centered and overly ambitious
  • Having specific performance problems in tasks
  • Overmanaged and incapable of group delegation or team building.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Summary: University Challenges; Borderless Higher Education, Today and Tomorrow

Middlehurst, R. (2001). University challenges: Borderless higher education, today and tomorrow. Minerva, 39, 3-26. Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers.

Summary by Rabiatul A. Aziz


Higher education now is rapidly changing becoming new providers and in new forms. The changes are well defined as 'borderless education' which refers to the development that goes or is potential of going beyond the traditional borders of higher education. These borders are national, organizational and sector boundaries, border of time and space and private/ public boundaries. The development causes the needs for redefinition which widen the conceptual frameworks and challenge the way of teaching, learning, research and community are serviced and delivered.

The key factors that driven new development in higher education are the increasing numbers of student which is caused by people who wants credentials or training in their working field, and the increasing costs of higher education which is caused by the expansion of flexibility and educational provisions. The drivers of this change are:

  • Economic and business dynamics: higher education is economic imperatives and business concerns, higher education the central of agenda for knowledge-driven economy, the globalisation of knowledge economy.
  • Social and intellectual change: widens access and participation, higher expectations of customer service, increasing individual and group autonomy, authority challenges and new patterns of interaction and relationship by variety of networks.
  • Technological development: convergence of technologies into forms of digital storage and convergence of networks producing volatility.
  • The policy context: the lifelong learning and skills' agendas offers opening for competition which need a change of present policy.

Development landscape in new educational sector can be grouped in seven different heading:

  • Corporate Universities: represents a re-organization and re-naming of human resource and education and training activities.
  • 'For-Profit' Education: is the manifestation of the education and training development in business sector, which many of them have significant global 'brands'.
  • Media/ Publishing Businesses: is one of the major threat to universities in educational development. However, universities has collaborated by offering variety of services through partnership.
  • Professional Associations: seeking was to sell their 'brand-name' and assess their selling propositions just like companies. The growth of specialist professional and vocational colleges is also one of the trend in professional associations.
  • Educational Service and Brokers: Corporate universities and traditional universities need to depend on other organisation that offers educational service and brokers using fully integrated electronic systems in the era of rapid advances in technology.
  • 'Borderless' Developments among Universities and Colleges: borderless development have four visible trends among existing universities which areconvergence between distance learning and face-to-face modes of teaching and learning, various form of collaboration, increasing commercialism and involvements in business ventures and lastly closely involves in creating or tailoring courses to the needs of business.

Challenges to Universities from 'Borderless' Higher Education.

The first challenges arises from new professionalism and customer-focused approach to training and education. The second is from the advancing of technology that becomes widespread and being dependent on globally. The third challenge derives from the convergence between previously discrete academic territories and organisations.

The impact of the challenges is that it create fluidity in boundaries of time and space in the relation to the delivery of education. The dissolving boundaries raises the issues of identity, structure, co-ordination and regulation particularly between the universities' functions and between major and peripheral service. The expectation of education has changed the 'offer' to be created in new form where specialized function is clearer. This cause the universities to redefine their core business. More focused education is designated to praticality needs in the industry rather than just focusing on university qualification. The borderless features also involving of reputation and brand image to expand opportunities in the education and traning market.