Leadership, Followership and Teamwork Responses

In my opinion, the dependability is the most important characteristic among Marine Corps Leadership Traits, the reasons are following. First, dependability provides trust to the followers, which I believe is the baseline for people to feel safe to follow someone, to work together to accomplish a common goal. Second, dependability means that someone could always do everything he/she says and keep his/her promises all the time, which is also significant in followership. Therefore, if a leader has dependability, he/she would set an example to the followers and there would be a positive feedback loop in the whole team. Last but not least, dependability would also spark creativity among followers because they feel relaxed to develop their talents when they are not afraid to make mistakes.

I’m more like a “Yes Person” according to Kelley’s Model of Follower Behavior. I’m always active and committed to the team, which differences me from “Sheep” and “Alienated Followers.” Also, I would be loyal to my team as a follower, as I believe that it would contribute to the unity which provides power to achieve the goals as a team. However, I might lack of critical thinking and seldomly ask questions to my leaders, which sometimes impedes me to contribute my own innovative ideas to our team and further help the whole team to move on.

Phase 1: Forming Forming is the first phase when a team initially form, people start to get to know each other, they size up each other and they are polite. But some members in this phase might feel anxious as they are not clear about their roles in the team and need guidance in particular.

In this phase, members become familiar with each other and know more about each other. They might not agree with each other’s opinions because of the conflicting personalities. Some might resist and question about project demands, team structure and hierarchy. Some would still feel uncertain and try to express individuality and own interests.

Members are starting to rally in this phase, they are more open to exchange opinions about problems and begin to set up process to deal with the project. They become more tolerant to each other and respect to personal differences. Trust is built in this process among members.

Phase 4 is the height of performance over time in the four phases. The team becomes a “well- oiled machine”. Members in this phase would focus on completing the project. Members are allocated resources appropriately and efficiently, and they are building a process for achieving the common goal. Team is able to solve problems in this phase, and members would work together more efficiently and flexibly based on better communication and clear common focus. In phase 1, leaders need to provide direction and state clear expectations and job descriptions. They need also listen to team members, try them best to find their interests and strengths so that everyone can play a role in the follow-on work.

In the second phase, leaders should try to solve difficult problems and lead the team to conquer challenges, to improve the productivity and effectiveness of the team. They need to promote conversations and clarify ambiguities, and be aware of factions forming and isolations of some specific members. In sum, they are expected to strengthen the cohesion especially in this phase. In the third phase, leaders need to boost performance, and encourage members to positively perform and contribute their own ideas because members start to be more open in this phase. In the fourth phase, leaders are expected to focus on their goals, enhance relationships on the team, celebrate successes and recognize contributions for each member.

The least productive phase would be the second phase — storming in the four phases. Leaders are expected to address difficult issues and coach the team through challenges, facilitate conversations and define ambiguity, and be aware of factions forming and member isolation, while followers need also to listen to others, involve others in the discussions and seek consensus actively on how to operate better.

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