Effectively managing my society’s committee was one of my primary concerns when I took on the role as President of Exeter Entrepreneurs Society. From experience, I knew that the society’s committee had to dedicate significant time to their roles to ensure the society delivers for its members. Having been on the committee last year, I observed how the president successfully tackled this by taking on a pacesetting leadership approach (Ward & MacPhail-Wilcox, 1999). This technique consisted of him being very hands-off, allowing the other five committee members to make the decisions related to their roles. Arranging just one team meeting during the year, the style succeeded thanks to the team members possessing the necessary skills and intuition.
This year, with twelve committee members, I concluded that this approach would be infeasible because the number of roles would lead to a lack of awareness amongst the committee of how the rest of the society was operating, leading to poor decision making. Instead, I have taken a coercive leadership style (Chin, 2015), driving each team member to achieve specific goals, in the hope that they would become self-sufficient as their role awareness increased.
During the research for this entry, I have gained a much more comprehensive understanding of the varying leadership styles one can take (Benincasa, 2012). It has also led me to appreciate the flaws in my current approach (Underdal, 1994). The coercive style has caused certain personalities in the committee to continue relying on guidance, rather than taking control of their role. As a result, there is a clear opportunity for me to avoid this micromanagement by becoming more of a coaching leader for those committee members, working individually with them to improve their awareness of their role.