Mini Case One: Working with a Team
Managing a team can be exciting and stressful at the same time. It is always tricky to work and try to seek common ground with different people who have divergent thoughts (Schultz1 & Schultz2, 2014). As a leader, I will focus my energy towards instilling a mindset of high performance among all my team members to set the ground for successful teamwork. I will also ensure I participate fully in every activity that the team will conduct so that I will develop a better understanding of the people I am working with. To create synergy, it will be necessary to influence my team members to adopt the right attitude, mood, and set their minds towards achieving the core targets of the team. One of my first steps towards doing that will be to build a good rapport with everyone and ensure that I am approachable by any member of the team. Everyone should feel comfortable to work with me and approach me for a discussion at any time without feeling uneasy. Secondly, I will manage this team by exercising strong judgment skills and learning when to take trade-offs. To win trust from my members, it will be necessary to prove my credibility by showing them that I have a culture of getting things done, rather than just talk and take little action. Since conflicts are inevitable in teamwork, I will adopt strong conflict resolution techniques and learn to solve issues with clarity.
There is also a strong need to ensure transparency and accountability in this team to emerge successfully. Accountability and transparency can be achieved when each team member feels that they are fully involved in the team management process and that nothing is hidden from them (Denhardt(1) & Denhardt(2), 2015). In this case, I will set the top three goals of the team along with everyone, and then come up with smaller tasks aimed at achieving the three major goals that will have been set. Afterward I will assign each member of the group a certain task; this will make them feel that they are being involved in the group. Besides, it will make each one accountable for their area of responsibility. Transparency will be increased by asking each individual to present a report about their assigned tasks. I will also create a free environment for anyone to ask questions and make recommendations. Lastly, it will be necessary to conduct follow-ups on various tasks and to review regularly the goals of the team to ensure that everything is working right, as planned.
Mini Case Two: Communication
As a new manager, I may not understand the issues that the firm has had in regards to the relationship between leaders and other employees. Gabys email will hence be an eye opener to let me know that there is a problem in the way different managers and leaders relate to each other. Undoubtedly, Gaby has not right to condemn my leadership style. He only attended the first meeting and has since then been staying away, so he has not experienced my leadership long enough to start judging me. It is also true to say that he lacks good communication skills since has never approached me to talk about any issues that he might be having with other team members. Still on the same issue, he has not been responding to my emails or phones, which places him on the wrong side. Otherwise, how could I have known that he was facing a problem without him coming out to talk to me about it? One can easily tell from Gabys behavior that he does not only lack good communication skills, but he is also very vulnerable to feel neglected and undermined. In that case, I would not respond to his email by putting the blame on him or trying to show him why he is wrong. I will instead respond to his email by first expressing my sincere regrets for what has happened and assuring him that I am willing to help him and his department to achieve their targets and goals. I would then go ahead and request him to have a face to face meeting with him so that we can discuss the issue furthers and come to a common agreement.
The conflict between Chief Newton and Gaby is complex; while Gaby feels that he needs a voice to express his opinions, Chief Newton wants to use his powers to show others that he can frustrate them if they do not submit to him. Leaders need to come up with ingenious methods of solving conflict for the success of their teams (Schultz1 & Schultz2, 2014). First, I would hold a talk with Gaby to try and understand how the conflict he has with Chief Newton started. I would then get time with Chief Newton later to try and understand why he has a negative attitude towards some people in the team. It is from this point that I would be able to develop a solution for bringing the team together and helping them understand that each department is an essential organ of the organization and that the overall success will depend on each individuals contribution. I will then do my best to convince Gaby to stay in the company, and promise to help resolve the budget issue and support all other functions of his department. I would give a brief of the issue to the council and assure them that I would do my best to serve the interest of the organization and maintain its good reputation. I would then help bring the team back to track by helping each member understand that they are valued and appreciated.
Mini Case Three: Citizens Inputs
There is no doubt that Mr. Jenkins is a disappointed citizen who has seen worse days in the past and has lost confidence in the government. His views about the government are a representation of what some people in the society think and he should be taken seriously. Considering that Mr. Jenkins is the only citizen who showed up for the meeting, I would want to work closely with him to understand the mindset of citizens and even reach more people. I would hence request to meet with him in my office so that we could discuss about the government, and his feelings and opinions. First, I would not try to defend the government, but rather I would allow him to speak out his mind, and then talk to him to try and understand the reason behind his opinions. It is through this that I would help him understand that I am determined to create a change and that his contribution alongside that of other community members will be very essential. It is clear from Jenkins views that citizens have given up on the government and that most of them believe nothing good will ever come out of it. This is perhaps why they never showed up for the meeting because they felt it would be a waste of time and that the council would only try to solicit fro money from them rather than genuinely solve their problems.
To change this mindset, I would conduct a two weeks educational program on citizen participation in decision making. As explained by (Denhardt(1) & Denhardt(2), 2015), educating the society about their rights and importance of participating in activities that affect them is an essential step towards creating an active community whose members work towards the good of the commonwealth. As this educational program runs, I would also try to use the media to pass the message that the city is under new management and that this leadership is focused on creating a positive change in the society. Through the use of popular media personalities and opinion leaders, I believe I will be able to influence the minds of many people to start viewing my leadership in a positive way. I would then conduct another community outreach program to continue educating people, as we interact with them and obtain their opinions. To prove to them that things are indeed different, I will do my best to analyze their contributions and work on them.
Case Four: Public Administration Ethics
My analysis of the decisions made in case one, two and three shows that my decisions followed the right codes of ethics. I handled case one by creating a friendly environment that gives each team member the freedom to make decisions, question or give recommendations where possible. Each one of them was also assigned an individual task so that every member would participate in the overall success of the city management team. I also ensured that there were transparency and accountability. All these comply with the public policy acts; Schultz1 and Schultz2 (2014) argue that public institutions should portray a high level of transparency and accountability in their dealings. They should also allow people to access easily information about various past, present and future activities. As a leader, I avoided centering all power on me but instead distributed it among all the members of my team for efficiency. In case two, I was tolerant enough to listen to both Gaby and the Chief and tried to help them come to a point of compromise. I did not exercise my power to try and intimidate any member of the group. Instead, I did my best to help each person understand that they were vital for the success of the organization.
Case three was one of the trickiest parts. It is easy for one to give up or lose hope after advertising in the daily and even making advertisements on the radio for the public to attend a function, yet only one person shows up. As Alexander and Lewis (2014) reveals, public policy acts require public leaders to involve the community in decision-making process since such leaders are supposed to serve the common good of the society. That means that it is my responsibility to make sure that I find every way of engaging citizens in the decision-making process. It was hence ethical for me to hold an education campaign to help citizens understand the importance of taking part in public decision-making. I further went ahead to do a community outreach where we approached people in the community to continue educating them about public decision making as we collected their opinions. In case four, I would agree with the council that building a hospital is a good thing. However, I would not pass the decision to use $99 million dollar rainy funds to construct this hospital. All public funds must be used for their right purpose and accounted for at the end of the year. If I were to take in the advice of the council, I would be forced to make up fake accounting records at the end of the year to try and cover up misuse of funds, and that would be unethical.
Alexander, D., & Lewis, J. (2014). Making Public Policy Decisions: Expertise, Skills and Experience. New York: Routledge.
Denhardt(1), J., & Denhardt(2), R. (2015). The New Public Service: Serving, Not Steering. New York: Routledge Publishing Group.
Schultz1, D., & Schultz2, S. E. (2014). Psychology and Work Today 10E. New York: Routledge Publishers.
Simona, H., Astrid, D., Jochen, S., Beate, H.-D., & Katharina, B. (2015). Motivation to change and perceptions of the admission process with respect to outcome in adolescent anorexia nervosa. Journal of BMC Psychiatry, 1-8.
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