A two-days course on ‘’Successfully leading teams and oneself” was organised by the ERSTE Foundation Academy (NGO) and offered to non-governmental organisations from Eastern and Central Europe. The course took place in , 12-13 October, 2017. It was led by Prof. Wolfgang Mayrhofer, head of the Interdisciplinary Institute of Management and Organisational Behaviour, Department of Management, WU (Vienna University of Economics and Business), Austria. RENATE member, Aneta Grabowska, took part in this course on behalf of PoMOC Association from Poland.
The capability for successful leadership is not something you are “born” with, albeit this will be no disadvantage. Leadership can be learned and acquired. Professionalisation of management must not be limited to technical/instrumental professionalisation through increasingly applying management concepts and instruments (e.g. strategic development and controlling). Above all, it also means professionalisation of leadership, be it establishing appropriate structural arrangements, interpersonal leadership and improving it through training and learning, and leading yourself to become a holistic leader.
Top-leadership skills are related to knowledge and behaviour of leaders, i.e. how they can influence their employees´ behaviour but also their ideas, emotions and values, their attitude towards organisational goals and strategies, their commitment and identification as well as the more general organisational culture.
In addition, leadership today more than ever, means leading in and with teams; the leader as “lone wolf” or “great person”-theories are outdated. The focus now is on social processes within teams. Leaders will continuously have to prove themselves within teams and to be prepared for the dynamics of such teams.
Prof. Wolfgang Mayrhofer conducts research in the area of comparative international human resource management and leadership, work careers, and systems theory and management. He has authored and co-authored more than 180 book chapters and peer-reviewed articles and has authored, co-authored and co-edited 29 books, among them most recently: Mabey, C. & Mayrhofer, W. (Eds.). 2015. Developing Leadership. Questions Business Schools Don’t Ask. Los Angeles et al.: Sage.
Participation in this course was very useful to:
- get a conceptual as well as practical understanding of modern leadership theories and concepts
- gain additional insight into your personal leadership style and skills and how to further improve them
- diagnose crucial factors for leading teams
- identify crucial roles in teams
- understand major factors for team learning.
The time at the course in Vienna was well invested and allowed participants to look at the different approaches to leadership and leadership styles, leadership motive patterns and behaviour. A life cycle of teams: forming -> storming -> norming -> performing -> adjourning, was also discussed. A practical exercise of building a LEGO tower was a good test for all participants who faced not a very complex task but with some conditions to consider. It was interesting to see the results which did not necessarily satisfy all. It was important to discuss and understand the conclusions. Prof. Mayrhofer encouraged all to reflect either in groups or individually, on our personal leadership skills and style. He said: ‘’As a leader your most important task is to be successful through others”.
Global leadership ideals, setting goals, the role of motivation and the roles which have to be filled in in a successful team were described and discussed within the group with further practical exercises.
Compliments to the Prof. Mayrhofer for the training programme! Thank you to the organisers for making it happen!
(Workshop Description comes from the official information from the programme organisers).
Edited by Anne Kelleher, RENATE Communications.