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This chapter talks about research findings of a study among the skippers. The purpose of the study was to establish how leadership, management and personal attributes combined to produce a measurable performance. There were podium finishers, those at the middle and the last group.
The performance of the three crews in the race differed on the basis of personal attributes, leadership attributes and management skills. Personal attribute include: purpose, vision, values, support and trust, recognition, belief, performance focus, motivation, communication, shared leadership, distributed leadership, regulation and lastly humor and fun. Management skills also determines the eventual performance of the crew and consists of agreed goals and values, preparation and planning, roles, sound management procedures, control management, resource management, communication management, knowledge management, stress management, conflict management, individual development, delegation, review feedback and lastly continuous improvement. Lastly, personal attributes also plays and important role in determining the performance of the crew. Personal attributes is made of inner purpose, personal goals, value set, integrity, personal standards, self-belief, self-motivation, self-control, self-regulation, self development, performance focus, stand back, sensing, consistency, need for control, openness, vulnerability, distance, presence, flexibility and emotional intelligence.
The crew that put all or most of the above attributes in play during the race, performed well and that is what actually made the difference. For example, the podium skippers utilized many of the skills and attributes just like what other crews did but they did it effectively. This afforded them a podium finish.
There is a difference in the way podium, middle and the last crews put into practice the skills and attribute. To start with, those among three podium positions had majority of these attributes. For personal attributes, it is only integrity, self regulation, self development, and need for control, openness and flexibility that was not in all skippers. Only one management skill was missing in all the skippers and lastly vision, values, communication and regulation missed in all the skippers.
In the five middle positions, skippers were missing majority of the personal, management and leadership skills. Under the personal attributes, personal goals, value set, self-motivation and self-development skills were missing in all skippers. The Olympic group, which was also the last finishing group, had only one skill: personal goals that was evident in all the skippers.
In order to achieve good performance by any team, there are important factors that have to be put in place to drive the performance. These factors are collectively called drivers or the X factor. They include performance focus, discipline, control management, resource management and conflict management. The difference was by a disparity of these competencies in the podium, middle and the Olympic or rather the back skippers. Three podium skippers shared all the six drivers, those at the middle of the fleet had some but no all; they lacked management skills and discipline. Those at the back of the fleet had none of the drivers of performance. The three podium skippers were able to balance performance drivers and enablers mentioned above. This made them different from the middle and back skippers. They were able to create a winning team that was united, happy and committed to success.
The initial goals also determined the performance. Skippers and their crew had different goals. The goal of the podium skippers was to obtain certain objectives that consist of best performance and results. On the other hand, the middle and back position skippers had a goal of building a cohesive team capable of repeated long term success.
During the race, the podium skippers developed and grew their emotional intelligence whereas middle and back positions reduced in their emotional intelligence. Self awareness, emotional resilience, interpersonal sensitivity and influence increased, as motivation, intuitiveness and conscientiousness remained the same. For the middle skippers, self awareness and emotional resilience increased, interpersonal sensitivity remained the same. Motivation, influence, intuitiveness and conscientiousness decreased. Finally for the back positions, all the attributes of emotional intelligence behavior declined.
In summary, the chapter is a research report on the differences in performances of different teams under different leaders. The difference is brought about by difference in the management, leadership and personal skills in their wider perspectives. Team leaders should therefore make sure that these attributes interact in a manner that brings about good performance. Failure to do so will lead to poor performance of a team for example in an organization.
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