Individuals, as we see them in everyday life, are made of several levels, both visible and unvisible. People carry with them for example their values, motivation, personality and skills – all of these are present both at home and at work. Some of these qualities can change rather quickly, like skills, or slowly, like values. All sides are naturally combined in the complex entity of an individual. This entity is displayed in social aspects. Like at work.
Groups are made of individuals. All persons in the group, smaller or larger, bring all their above mentioned qualities also to the group at work. Groups, new or already established, tend to choose a leader. The choosing can be formal, like a job application process, or it can be informal, perhaps based on the personalities of the group members. Someone usually leads a group, don’t you think?
Leadership, in one of its main functions, is a skill and ability to help people to achieve their goals. Yes, help. Help them to do their jobs as good as possible to meet the goals of their organization. Leaders are individuals as well, and they also bring their values, motivation, personality and skills to work. Action of leadership is sometimes thought to be something based on knowing, guiding and setting rules. I trust, this needs to change for organizations to be able to survive in the global world. Are trust, vision and measuring the main tools in the new era of leadership? Control certainly is not the key, when leading experts in achieving complex targets within their field of responsibility and expertize. After all, organization’s function is to fulfill its main task successfully. I trust leadership needs to enrich the organization and give more than get?
With individuals, groups and leadership change is made. Because no organization makes a change, don’t you think? It is the people in the organization who make the decisions and actions. Change is constant, sometimes minor, sometimes grand. Ability to change is a key thing for individuals, groups and leadership. The mindset to tackle changes by inventing constantly new solutions derives from creativity and motivation. They both need trust and inspiring conditions to flourish. Leadership in change is not necessarily always about showing the way, but also creating the way to look forward and enabling renewing work together with the group.
My research on future work leadership is starting and my aim is to bring the above mentioned elements together in my research. Leadership and change are also one of the three strategic focal points of the University of Vaasa and I am glad to be a part in the research.
I was thrilled to be accepted to the doctoral programme in December. It was one of the most meaningful moments in my life. I have been happy to receive such a warm welcome at the university, both by personnel and other doctoral students. Everyone’s passion and knowledge in their own topics warms my heart in many ways. I am proud to be one individual in this magnificient group.
Business studies, Management
University of Vaasa