Tiimiakatemia on Jyväskylän Ammattikorkeakoulun yrittäjyyden huippuyksikkö

How to lead your friends

Kirjoitettu 11.09.15
Esseen kirjoittaja: Anna Lebedeva
Kirjapisteet: 3
Kirja: Friend Leadership A Visual Inspiration Book
Kirjan kirjoittaja: Heikki Toivanen
Kategoriat: 1. Oppiminen

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In friend leadership you have community that has common vision and it leads to ’us’ thinking. This book tells you how to lead your team by these conductions.

Leader cannot lead others if he can’t lead himself. He needs to think about peoples feelings and be supportive for others. He need to be available and a genuine listener. Leader knows all of his team member’s strengths and weaknesses and he knows how to take up issues with them. Friend’s leader is leading by positive thinking in the team, together with its coach.

This book made me realize much more the role of a team leader. Before I had a very tiny view of all his tasks and what we need to expect from him. I’m interested to become our team’s leader on next semester, so this was very useful book to read.

This book explains by different kind of steps and tools how to lead your team right. Steps of friend leaderships contains five element steps which are earth, water, fire, wind and void.

 

Earth

The first step represent of self leading. Learning starts by knowing yourself. The tool for that is learning contract. In learning contract you think about your past, present time, your future plans, methods to reach your dreams in future and measures to know when you have reached your goals.

I have written now three learning contracts and it isn’t so easy as it seems. Past is pretty easy to think about, because that already happened and you just write down what you have learned and achieved in life. Present time is little bit kinky, you need to think what you have become and what kind of skills you have. The future planning is hard, if you don’t already have some kind of ’big goal’ in your mind. For me it was just like that. I didn’t know what I wanted, and I actually didn’t know what opportunities I could have. Even with hard thinking I didn’t come up whit any brilliant big ideas, but I wanted to learn economics and sales. So when I got that down I thought about the methods and it became clear that I needed to take projects that includes sales and I also sign up for financial manager role in our team. Well I did many sales projects, like selling Christmas hams for companies and firework sales in New Year. But then I started to get interested in other stuff too.
When I did my new learning contract half year after first, I had bigger dream in my mind to become a cat cafe owner. It was much pleasant to think and write about it because it was my dream and it was a straight idea. Sadly that didn’t happen, but now when I wrote my latest contract I’ve learned that I need really just go down with things and make it happen. Also after one year at Team Academy I have grown so much mentally and now I know that I can do anything if I just want. It’s important to though about this things very carefully, you can’t have things just by wanting them. You need to know HOW you can have them, and if you don’t you can always ask from people who have been doing similar stuff. Also by shearing your learning contract with other people in your team it can help you to reach your dreams.
Book tells that when you know where you are heading to you can start 4 X wheel driving in learning. It includes front wheel drive witch are theory, learning contract and time span, how fast you want you want your results. Rear wheel drive is dialogue, together whit learning and rhythm, which is the regular meetings with your team. The wheels are 1) learning contract 2) books 3) regular training and 4) practical actions with customers. So I already wrote about learning contract and its purpose so let’s move to the books.
We read many books in Team Academy, which are one of our theory sources. It’s not good to read any book; you need to pick up ones that can help you with your problems, projects and learning. If books isn’t interesting you better stop reading it and pick another one. It’s very hard to get good points of shitty books. I have read my self very random books, that didn’t always support my present needs. Now I have learned that, and I ask for book advice or search them from YPK which is our really big book with list of books that support our learning at academy. For me it’s very difficult to start reading. I’m very lazy with that and have always something ‘better’ to do. Now I have slowly noticed that if I just open the book it’s pretty easy to read it. It’s all just about starting it. After you read a book, you reflect it in essay. You reflect yourself, your team and your new thoughts and learned stuff.
We have regular training with our super cool team Aito and Kova Meloni twice in a week. In training sessions we share our projects, talk about team issues and that kind of stuff. It’s important to learn a good dialogue. You need to respect other people and listen to them. Just listening isn’t enough; you need to understand what they are saying and also to take part in a conversation. We often use different kind of tools to come up with ideas example for our projects. It’s nice to have many people discuss about same things. You can learn so much from others and also pick up good points that you haven’t ever thought about.
The practical actions with customers is most exciting things in our studies. You just call to someone and pick up a meeting and then start to plan your collaboration. Of course first you need to have some kind of agenda to meet them. Also the customers very often contact us if they have something ready in their minds. Projects are very fun and instructive. Now I have come to that point, that I want to start my own projects in online trade and I’m excited to know that I have my own supporters at academy.

 

Water
Water represent forms of team significance. Team need to have their own common significance and need to commit them. If someone in the team isn’t interested in team’s issues, it poisons all the team. Everyone need to give 100% of their self. If a team member isn’t performing with a correct attitude it’s the Team Leaders duty to raise the issue.
Team development phases can be described as phases: orientation, trust building, shared vision development, commitment, practical results, flourishing and renewal.
1. In the orientation phase team should agree on identity and membership. By doing team contract, you collect your thoughts about how team should work and make common rules to your team. Everyone needs to agree team contracts contents and commit it. Team contract needs to be updated at a suitable point in time, example once every half a year.
For some reason we don’t have team contract, but we do have common rules in our team. Our next target is to create concrete team contract.
2. Trust is an essential basis in team. Trust is created through actions. Daily actions are important. If you promise everything, but aren’t doing anything it’s the same as nothing. You need to earn your team members trust every day.
In first year at our studies we had very serious trust issues. If someone wasn’t at our office people assumed that particular person was twiddling one’s thumbs and by no means doing anything useful. Now we have learned to mind our own business and actions. Of course we care if someone isn’t on the spot, but we trust that this person does have good reason to be away and expect to hear where he’s at.
3. Shared vision development is the most important stage of team forming. You need to discuss and decide about your team’s common values, vision and mission.
Our vision is ‘’by bravery acts finding your own thing and networking’’.
4. Commitment is when you measure your actual team character and decide about team roles. By having a team role for example financial manager, you have big responsibility in your duties. But in return you get respect from you team and you also can have wage.
In our team these team roles doesn’t work so good as it should. Financial Manager is doing well, also as team leader, but Communications Managers and Customer Managers duties are still unclear. We have thought about this many times, but still thing aren’t going good. Now when new semester started we decided to load in this and look how things are going to roll.
5. When doing practical actions it’s important to others to know what you are doing, when and where. Sharing your experience and problems about this actions helps you to find solutions to them.
In our team it’s pretty clear what people are doing and whit who. We go through our projects at regular training sessions. If someone doesn’t have any projects going on, we try to help them to find something interesting to start with.
6. The team is full of life in the flourishing stage. At this point team is heading high speed towards it targets and makes breakthroughs.
I think our team is going to that direction. Every one of us has good spirit in our doings. Not everyone has figured out their big goals, but they are working on it pretty hard. I don’t think it’s going to take long for us having the most toughest team ever.
7. Every team has a renewal stage. When you have commit achieved your big team goals, you need to think about new directions. Time is changing, so you got to keep up with it. Team can go by resent style, but it needs new orientation.
Fire
A Friend Leader ignites the Team. Lead your team toward to meaningful purpose: with heart, with results and without notes.
Allowing your heart to lead means that you coach without special request to develop your friends. You need to want to lead your team and the will comes from you. You have skills to build trust and support others. You take responsibility for team’s community atmosphere. You need to determine what is relevant to your team members and implement it.
Results lead you towards the creation objectives. In the centre is solution focus. Team Leader will not look for problems, only solutions. If you focus in thinking problems it will get you down. By seeking solutions it brings you forth. When setting targets it’s important that they are realistic and achievable. By challenging your team in positive way, it will give them more pleasure to do their tasks and perform them.
Lead without notes. By giving freedom in operating the given framework your team members can express them self. Everyone has they own way to do things. What’s easy for you, isn’t necessarily easy for others.
By reading this I noticed that behavior of our current Team Leader is following this guide well. It’s funny how I thought it was just from his character, but he has internalized these studies.

To give rhythm for team’s action the annual clock is a good tool. You do together with your team a timespan for a year. You wrote down all the targets and when you need to achieve them. I’ve noticed myself that this tool makes you understand the outline of the future very well. For example by writing down important events you know when you have to have money to afford it. To support our targets achievement we meet up with the team every week to discuss about how our things are moving on.

 

Wind
Know your environment and create new.
Building your teams strategy is good to start by asking; what inspires us, where can we be the best and where can we make money. We have thought these things couple of times and collected our team members abilities and by them we made plans about projects.
In our team we have many different kind of talents and it makes our team very versatile. Our strength is that we have eight commitment people that are willing to take all kind of challenges. For example one of our team member productized mystery shopping and every one of us did take part to that. It was fun and new experience for all of us and we gave support for the person that came up with idea.
To start something new it’s good to do pilot with it. Sell your service for cheaper price and look how it’s going to develop. Before you start projects you need to do pre-motorola which mean that you think about next sections; what are this customer’s targets, what are the customer benefits, what theory is applied, what know-how does this demand from the team and me and how will this customer relationship take the team towards the vision. By figuring these out it’s easier to take action with projects. Things may fall apart if you don’t know where you are going into. By good planning on things you make sure that the project is going to be succeeded. It also grow the chance that the customer is willing to do more projects with you and you can start to grow your customer relationship.
After the work is done it’s important to hear feedback from your customer; what went well, what went badly, what did we learn, what will we do better next time and how to take it into practice. This thing is called post-motorola. It’s important to do this, so you know how to be better next time. Also by filing it, you can come back for it later when you have same kind of project going on and you can avoid doing wrong acts.

Void
Mindfulness
This part of the book was challenging to understand for me. I think it’s about that when you have your basic stuff alright you can basically do anything. You need to create rules with your team and play with it. Rules that everyone commit and follow and when they are internalized you are free to implement yourself. These rules includes team members incomes, book points and other measured stuff that you have agreed. By these rules your team is making sure that everyone is going to development as a entrepreneur and now one is going to be leaved behind.
For example you need to look in future and have your financial things in straight. When you can secure your financial for the next 3 months you can focus into things that you want to do, but that isn’t always the biggest money making actions.
Well maybe when I figure this thing right I come back and write about it!

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