Mr. K

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miércoles, mayo 04, 2005

Leading team working

When I took the admission tests for being a Korean Air Force Cadet in 1994, I learned the nature of teamwork, “Never leave our members behind,” and “Achieve our goals together.” Almost 700 candidates gathered in the Jin-Ju Air Force Academy, and stayed for a week to take admission tests. As one of our tests, we had to complete our running test of 1500 meters in 6 minutes. Candidates were divided into several teams of about 50 members and each team started the test in turns. Fifty members started at once. Some of them passed but others did not so the candidates who failed to complete their test in 6 minutes could not become cadets. Now, it was my team’s turn. My team members had agreed to run together in rank before the test. During our test, some members shouted numbers to keep us all in time, and sometimes we sang songs together. All of my team enjoyed our test and passed within the limited time. When we finished our test, every candidate and even the supervisors applauded our teamwork. After that, all remaining teams finished this test by doing what my team did, and nobody failed. This experience has been a fundamental in developing my strong leadership qualities during my ten year career.

Additionally, from my business experience, I learned how much the leader’s visionary foresight is significant for team’s successes. As a CEO of a small venture company, I had no choice but to close up my company and it has remained as the most painful failure I experienced. Due to the company’s advanced technical capabilities and potential clients, I was more than sure that my company had an edge on its competitors. However, the unexpected collapse of the Korean textile industry led to the company’s gradual demise in the business world. To cope with the difficulties, I tried to modify the products for other industries, but the business logic was too different and the conversion required extremely high costs and long time. Nothing I could do, but to switch my company to a project consulting company and to lay off some employees. Unfortunately, I soon discovered, switching my company is one thing, but leading my company and employees amidst financial and industrial difficulties was something else entirely.

To be sure, there are many lessons that I have learned from my ten year career, but perhaps none more important than the nature of teamwork and leadership. Now, I know what my role is in future study groups, how to support my future members, and what contribution I have to make for good teamwork. First, I will try to read potential conflicts among study group members and to assess difficulties in future projects of my study group. Then, with my strong leadership ability, I will make every effort to solve conflicts and to help members adhere closely to our goals. Furthermore, I will cope with the difficulties with accurate analysis and timely decisions.