Patient Zero and Adaptive Leadership – Blog #4

As we progressed through the events, I found the decisions harder and harder to make. That being said, I found the final decision regarding the bombing of a group infected citizens the hardest. I felt this particularly challenging as it we were tasked with determining the fate of people. Killing the people came with a promise of decrease in virus cases but at the cost of citizen’s lives and required us to admit a cure was unlikely. The complex nature of this problem made the decision-making process difficult as we attempted to reach consensus among our group members.

Overall, I think our team performed well under the pressure of the simulation. Everyone was respectful of other opinions and largely each person was able to express their views before a decision was made. When the group did encounter conflict, I believe it was handled very well. In several of the decisions, I found myself the lone dissenting opinion as I spoke on what I believed was the best choice to make. In these circumstances, I found that the group was very respectful towards what I had to say and did not try to force their views upon me. Additionally, they provided me ample opportunity to express myself and defend my stance.

Decisions were made based on a majority vote system when consensus was not reached which effectively resolved any conflict from the debate. I believe this system worked very well and it was enjoyable to be a part of. In future simulations, I think the group could do better hearing out all of the voices in the team as I found some voices were more dominant than others. It may be worth trying to be more intentional during out debate time to make sure each person is invited to express the views rather than the more informal debate structure we adopted during today’s simulation.

Adaptive Leadership is a model of leadership that involves a person changing approach and method depending on the type of problem they are facing. In particular, the model differentiates between technical and adaptive problems where technical problems have clear, discernable ideal solution while adaptive problems are more open ended where many viable solutions may exist. I find this leadership style very interesting and practical. As an engineer, I often find myself looking for the perfect solution and catch myself believing there is only one of them.  However, with this leadership style, I like the differentiation between the types of problems, and I may look to use it more as I go through life. More often than not, my problems are adaptive rather than technical and I think I would be a better leader if I recognized that more often.

I found that the principles of Organizational Justice and Development resonated with me the most. Again, I think this goes back to my engineering background. Development, I find, is particularly relevant as finding new ways to overcome obstacles and produce innovation is crucial to the trial-and-error nature of the engineering process. As for Organizational Justice, I was really struck by the emphasis on honesty and putting the needs of the group before yourself. They are ideas that I have always believed were central to good leadership, so it certainly resonated with me.

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