Leadership influence and report

1.1 Introduction

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As senior material manager in a public bus company called Metroline Travel. I supervise a team of 15 Material managers across London. These personnel are the logistical team and their core responsibilities are the supply, storage and procurement of parts to engineering. The logistical hierarchy is illustrated in figure 1.

Figure 1 Metroline Organisational Structure (Engineering Department)

2.1 Stakeholder Analysis

Stakeholder analysis is a useful technique used to identify the key people within the logistical function framework. These key personnel are very important to the organizational structure because they have tremendous power and influence which affects my embarkation on this project, which involves extending me in terms of leadership and change. According to Mendelow’s matrix these can be grouped into 4 categories in figure 2:

Figure 2 Mendelow’s matrix in Metroline Travel logistical function

C- Keep Satisfied
D- Key Players
A- Minimal Effort
B-Keep Informed
Level of Interest

A- Engineering administration clerks

B- Operation, Suppliers

C- Finance department, Material Support Managers

D- Engineering managers, Head of Purchasing, Engineering Director, Head of Manning and Training

2.1.1 My experiences of Leadership

My life has been a journey. In 2000 I was employed with Her Majesty’s Armed Forces. I served for a period of seven years with the logistics corps, which I was responsible for both the national and international supply operation of my unit. I was authorised to organise and manage the handling of dangerous and hazardous goods and advanced air and shipping freight.

I then moved on to serve with the bomb disposal units within the United Kingdom. Serving in the army not only required flexibility, but also enabled me to adapt rapidly to difficult environments and handle confrontational situations. As a Non Commission Officer; leadership was very task oriented where one’s degree of leadership style and authority was determined according to rank. This experience has taught me to place substantial effort and commitment into my actions and work by being a focal point for solving all logistical problems day or night.

2.1.2 My experiences of change

There have been many changes within my life. Leaving the Armed Forces was the biggest life changing decision I have ever made. I felt very uncertain about my life direction and decision after having joined the army at 20 years old. However, I needed more from my life; I wanted to accomplish more in terms of going back to university to get a degree. Further, I could not really study within the armed forces because of work constraints and time. But I took initiative and I have completed 80% training towards obtaining my degree.

I have also seen changes made to other people in terms of new work procedures being introduced in my current workplace and the resistance that can sometimes occur as a result of these changes. Through those experiences; I realise change can have positive and negative personal effects. It can also affect other colleague’s motivation and the business organisational culture.

2.1.3 My experiences of leadership and change

I have experience change within different working environments, change such as having to work on a Saturday for 2 weeks because of a deadline and the “Change Facilitator” taking the initiative by effectively communicating the reasons for the change and their actions. Although the individual was the head of the department and did not have to work on the Saturday, turning up to work which to me (a subordinate) demonstrated leadership and the ability to make the change flow smoothly.

On the other hand, I have also experienced poorly structured change by instructions; such as to change working practices without any consultations coming from directors who have lost touch with their employees and working environment. This type of leadership infuriates me and other staff and the change is always met with high resistance.

2.1.4 The key issues from me and my workplace

My company is very unionised and after reading a few chapters of the developing a productive inquiry; I have started noticing positive and negatives things about myself and my workplace. I found that I am a bit timid within meetings with senior managers, although I have very good ideas about solving problems, I do not speak up and I have no idea why, which creates a level of personal uncertainty. Also within my workplace I have started looking at other manager’s leadership style, the good and the bad. For me to grow and improve as a manager; I would like to incorporate the good points within my current style with the support of the other managers.

Organisation boundaryFigure 3 The key issues within my workplace

Material managers
Trade Union
Working conditions
Employment contracts
Organisational culture
Senior management support
Support and Improve performance
Senior material manager
Other managers and departments
Good points
Good communicator
Creditable by my actions
Able to get the job done without conflict
Economic factors
Global credit crunch
Slow rate of economic growth
Political and Economic factors
Government sending Review cuts
Factors in outside the system in the Marco environment
2.1.5 The Importance of Leadership and Change to Me

I believe from my past experiences, I have an understanding of the structure of leadership and change. In addition to learn more about leadership and change will enable me to become a better manager. In my work context; it will help me to become more people- orientated with the tools I learn from this course. In my personal life; the course will add points to my degree will enable career development and progression illustrated in figure 4 and mind map.

Figure 4 The Importance of Leadership and Change to Me


Improve my self-esteem and confidence

Change and leadership

Support and personal development

Change and leadership

Improve communication skills


Motivate my team

Change and leadership

Being decisive about choices



Change and leadership

Understanding the uncertainty and fear within me

Change and leadership

Challenging myself to try new ideas

Change and leadership

Setting the example and leading the way


The beginning of my Journey with B204 mind map- (to be continue)

2.1.6 Opportunities to explore my Evidence Base Initiatives (EBI)

My first thoughts on opportunities to explore as a possible basis for my EBI, illustrated in figure 4 (Developing Productive Inquiry P. 27)


Stores reorganisation

6 months

Current organisational change program

Will not be completed by end of course

To improve performance and learning while practicing from tools and theories from B204

To choose a mentor

Lack of support from other managers

Researching universities to study my MBA

1 year

My personal goal

No growth over that period

To use reflecting and research tools to make a choice

Long timeframe to complete

Searching for a new job in China

1 year

My personal and situational goal

High unemployment within China

To learn a new culture

Risk and uncertainty created by my decision to move

Figure 4 my cycle of inquiry


Stores reorganisation

Researching universities to study my MBA

Searching for a new job in China

Series of consequences
Evidence and Evaluation
Gathering Information
And Reflection

I am currently looking at the best possible inquiry to focus on for my EBI, 2 are personal goals which are very important in my development and aspiration and 1 is work related which can improve my performance with support from my peers illustrated in figure 5 and 6 (Developing Productive Inquiry P. 16)

Figure 5 possible inquiries to focus my EBI

Searching for a new job in China

I would like to life and work in China, it’s a very substantial decision. But I have the complete autonomy to make this decision. However this will change the way I interact with my friends and family, so I will seek advice from them

Stores reorganisation
Need support

C- Finance department, Material Support Managers

D- Engineering managers, Head of Purchasing, Engineering Director, Head of Manning and Training

Researching universities to study my MBA

I have the complete autonomy to make this decision. But I will need support from friends and family

Figure 6 possible inquiries to focus my EBI

Searching for a new job in China

A very important project that will really stretches me, but this is very risky.

Scaling Up
Researching universities to study my MBA

A significant project to undertake in terms of research and time

Stores reorganisation

Outside of current job description with this store project which I am trying out new skills

2.1.7 My questions about leadership and change

I have an initial answer for these questions see appendix. However by the end of this course; I would like to answer these questions from my new learning reflections illustrated in figure 7


1. What makes a good leader?

2. What does a good leader do?

3. Is management the same as leadership?

4. Can I be a good manager or a good leader?

5. How do I know I am a good leader?

6. Can a good leader make good changes?

7. Is influence the same as power?

8. How can I improve my leadership skills and make positive things happen?

Figure 7 my questions within the leadership and change context

Evidence Base Initiatives
3.1 Conclusion

I started the introduction with a reflection from my past experiences in the army. I also highlighted features from my present employment. Both past and present jobs have a board understanding of various leadership styles and the change context. I have some leadership strengths. However, I still feel a very high level of uncertainty and fear of not being able to apply some of the tools and skills obtained from this course into my working environment. I hope I will have support of my work colleagues, other students, family and my tutor in order to improve personally and professionally as a leader.

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4.1 References

Developing Productive Inquiry B204 Making it happen! Leadership, influence and change by Caroline Ramsey 2010 The Open University Walton Hall, Milton Keynes MK7 6AA