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21 May, Saturday
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Proakatemian esseepankki

BL perspective



Kirjoittanut: Esme Luhtala - tiimistä FLIP Solutions.

Esseen tyyppi: Yksilöessee / 2 esseepistettä.

KIRJALÄHTEET
KIRJA KIRJAILIJA
dare to lead
Brené Brown
Esseen arvioitu lukuaika on 6 minuuttia.

In this essay, I have gathered some materials created to support Flip’s current leader group. 

 

Some word and concept explanations: 

#efficientperformancenobullshit (hashtag efficient performance no bullshit) is Flip’s unofficial slogan created to remind about the need to better the quality of our working methods and working. The slogan was created in our last mökkipaja after some frustrating conversations about frustration.

Ämmät (means bitches in Finnish) is the self-invented name of Flip’s current leader group. Ämmät is formed by me BL, Saana HR, and Luiza HR. Ämmät as a name was chosen to create an indirect reminder that our main role in the team is not to be nice or everyone’s friend. It is also a self-conscious joke (owning a term used to discriminate women). We are all known as loud feminists.

BL is an abbreviation from Business Leader. Business Leader in Flip is the face of the team company and the highest leadership figure. New team roles are elected every six months through democratic debate or if necessary, by voting. Compared to TL, Team Leader, which is often seen in team companies too, BL’s management style is more business-oriented.

 

Officially Flips new leads season started on the first day of the Christmas holidays. But since Flip agreed to have as Proakatemia free holiday as possible, we kept a low profile during the holidays. The leader group was eager to have a holiday as well, so we didn’t start working until a few days before the spring semester started. All three members of Ämmät thrive most efficiently under strict time limits, so for us, this worked well. 

 

Specified team roles and plans were shared, modified a little, and agreed on in the spring’s first paja. Since Flip does not have a strict framework for the division of labor in management, every leader group can create a system suiting themselves. By listing ‘Roles of the leader group’, we wanted to clear out our job division as well as possible. This helps team members to reach out to the right people on different matters, overlook our own workload’s and make it easier to evaluate and share feedback. Corona-respondee obligations have already been added to the list after our original listings. After the first week, it is already clear that there will be other tasks to be shared as well. Depending on the need, we will add and delete them on the way.

Roles of the leader group

Recap on the roles: 

Esme, Business lead

  • Respondee of the weekly meetings
    9-10 every two weeks online on Monday -> own zoom link 
  • Respondee of the financial team 
  • Contact person towards outside and Proakatemia 
  • Delegation & communication inside the team 
  • Oversee that everything’s going well 
  • The person who knows everything 
  • Head of the leader group 

Luiza, HR/Learning

  • Essays 
  • Pajas 
  • Helping Saana w. HR 
  • Corona respondee together with Saana

Saana, HR

  • Jory 
  • HR 
  • Helping Luiza w. pajas 
  • Respondee of the exchange student (what it comes to our team working with them)
  • Corona respondee together with Luiza

 

Goals of Ämmät – Our promise to the team, was created inside our leader group to make sure that we are on the same page on some matters. It is also something concrete were to come back when needed. This also works well as a base on evaluating our success.

Goals of Ämmät – Our promise to the team 

#efficientperformancenobullshit 

Space for individual achievements

No wasting time 

Learn more 
  • On a scale of 1-5, how much did you learn? Everyone answering 4-5 

First steps to go towards this:

  1. What do we want to learn? + Creating Forms to ask this and other questions.
  2. Paja about how to facilitate good pajas.
  3. Organizing the schedules.
  4. 1 paja / week about the team things, 1 paja / week about learning new skills. 
  5. Execute the schedule plan and make sure every paja reaches its goal.
  6. Give honest feedback about pajas (possibly try paja feedback questionnaire). 
Flips organization 
  • Everyone knows: Who are we (our respondees + as Flip)? What are we aiming towards? What are we doing as a business vise?

First steps to go towards this:

  1. Clear division of task division inside the team & leader group.
  2. Weekly meetings as a platform for sharing work/school-related things.
  3. Paja about values & goals – Elina Merviö.
  4. Decide what kind of final camp we want to have and have it as our (main?) goal.
Delegate 
  • Everyone taking responsibility 

First steps to go towards this:

  1. Sharing tasks in weekly meetings and following their progress. 
  2. MVP(s) of the week to motivate the work.
Consistency 
  • We will be responsible till the end of our leader season (no un-agreed holidays etc.)  

First steps to go towards this:

  1. Listening/asking the team how is leader group doing.  
  2. Have time for this in w. meetings + Forms questionnaire.
  3. Monthly Motorola inside leader group which is always shared with the team.
  4. Leader group meeting every two weeks (not during summer).
    -> Thursdays 1-3 p.m. on uneven weeks.

 

 

BL-Plan for spring tells the team about my plans, schedules, and workload. This will also be used in evaluating the work and successes. It also shows an example of how we could start creating more concrete plans and overall begin to document things for better results and learnings. As already said before, it is sure that these original plans will be modified during our leading season. This and HR’s individual plans have all been agreed upon together with the team. When doing changes, we need to keep that in mind and evaluate what we can add to ourselves and on what should we ask an opinion from the team. 

BL – Plan for spring 

Respondee of weekly meetings 

9-10 every two weeks online on Monday -> tuni.zoom.us/my/notpublicinformation 

Make sure that everyone participates and that the meetings are worth participating in. 

Around 8 weekly meetings in the spring. 

  

Respondee of the financial team 

Following the progress and pushing & motivating to do hard work. 

Re-evaluating together with f-team the 50e/month payment and create & suggest new proposal.

  

Teams number 1 contact person towards the outside and inside Proakatemia 

Be present in the community. 

Represent Flip always when possible (when it is not a waste of time). 

Proakatemias BL/Head’s -meeting every two weeks on Fridays. 2 hours. Around 16 hours in total. 

  

Delegation & communication inside the team 

Un-mandatory 1:1’s with team members in January and before the summer holidays. 

Oversee everyone’s workloads and separate the burden as fairly as possible. 

Represent and maintain quality communication. 

Support & hype projects running in Flip.  

  

The person who knows everything 

Be the person who doesn’t let things continue longer than necessary. (Step in) 

Oversee that everything is going well. 

Stay on track what it comes to: 

  • projects 
  • cooperative board 
  • members doing things for Proakatemia (teams, events, etc.) 
  • Flips financial situation 
  • Supervising Flips image to the outside (social media etc.) 
  • Other necessary things 

  

Head of the leader group 

Responsibility to organize Ämmät – meetings. 

Communicate Ämmät things to the team. 

Supervise Saana, Luiza (and Taru) that they are doing their parts. 

Take the hit for the team if necessary. 

9-10 every week on Tuesdays 1:1 BL & coach meeting. ~16 of them in total.

 

Values 

Since Flip’s values haven’t been updated after our first months in Proakatemia, it is not reasonable to start leading by those. Goals of Ämmät – Our promise to the team is kind of trying to fill in this missing gap. When the team’s values have been updated, we need to re-evaluate if we should change something in our plans for the spring. As Brené Brown writes in his book Dare to Lead (2018), understanding the team’s core values would allow us to self-evaluate and consider whether our actions align with what’s important to Flip as an organization and as a team. The existence of stable values is critical because when things don’t go as planned, they will force you to focus on the things that really matter.

 

As a leader, I am also missing my own core values. As Brown suggested, I will start listing my values down, critically evaluate them, and finally, pick which are my driving force. Since different things feel more valuable on different days or even weeks, the process is going to take time. I look forward to the results.

 

Brown writes about four skillsets for courageous leadership. They are 

  • rumbling with vulnerability, 
  • living your values (rather than simply professing them), 
  • braving trust (and being the first to trust) and 
  • learning to rise. 

I am not sure how much do I agree with Brown on these, but I’ll leave these thoughts to develop.

 

Worries

At the moment Flip is going through some kind of a crisis. There is no trust for the ‘process’ and trust for the team is also on thin ice. There are also worries about member changes et cetera. Since it seems that there would be endless work, it might even be a blessing (for the team) that their leader is battling with exhaustion. This forces the lead to maintain an atmosphere where setting limits is okay but also responsibility-taking is mandatory.  According to Brown, All kind of boundary setting is vital. It allows team members to say ‘no’ and helps everyone to learn each other’s boundaries. This kind of clarity should help build trust since it is hard to collaborate without knowing each other’s limits (Brown, B. 2018). 

To work alongside the exhaustion will be challenging but for sure very developmental. Adding weekly meetings with TAMK’s Wellbeing Advisor (opintokuraattori in Finnish) to BL’s plan for Spring will be tragicomical but most likely necessary. 

 

If the situation would come to it, Waure osk.’s last BL, and as well one of the toimeksiantaja in Sales Days 2021, Nea Systä has a comforting reminder in her essay ‘Johtajuutta kohti itseohjautuvaa Waurea’. When a leader raises hands completely and goes on sick leave to raise personal resources, it makes the teamwork properly in a self-directed manner. However, I agree with Systä that things should be handled so that no one’s resources wouldn’t run out and the team would be self-directed even before that kind of situation. Only that could be enough of a challenge for one spring, eh?

 

Lastly

Well, this became gloomy… Overall I have good feelings about the spring and I am very happy to be part of a leading group that is aiming to be the best leads that Flip has ever had. From difficulty to victory and so on. 

 

 

Brown, B. 2018. Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough conversations. Whole Hearts. London. The United Kingdom. Random House Publishing Group.

 

Systä, N. Proakatemia essay bank. 2021. Johtajuutta kohti itseohjautuvaa Waurea. Essay. Published 17.12.2021. Read 16. 1. 2022. https://esseepankki.proakatemia.fi/johtajuutta-kohti-itseohjautuvaa-waurea/

Kommentit
  • Luiza de Oliveira Vago

    I am also working on a essay about our team and I think yours and mine together will give outsiders a nice perspective of how our team is doing. Your essay actually inspired me to do mine. The structure is really different and it suits its purpose of quick explanations of an overview situation.

    24.2.2022
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