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UCLA - Sample essays - 2

[日期:2005-10-25] 来源:ChaseDream论坛 作者:jkmbe [字体: ]

QUESTION: Describe your most challenging team-building experience.

I had just reported back to work after a two-week vacation. There was an urgent call from my manager; he wanted me to take charge of product validity testing in different languages for the complete OS/2 TCP/IP package! This $100 million product was to be built in eighteen languages at our site, and then we were to ship it to different countries. The language testing centers in these countries test for specific language needs and interact with us to solve any problems.

My manager identified five members for my team to take care of the build and testing aspects. We started well, but soon I found myself dealing with an extremely reluctant group of people, none enthusiastic about the repetitive work in eighteen languages. The fact that most of them were my peers over whom I could not exercise managerial power did not help much either.

I realized that I had to do something about it. I started making presentations about how language translations were important to maintain the global image of [deleted], and what an important contribution it would be if we could make a truly international product. I circulated schedules among the teammates to solicit their opinion. After a lot of debate on the best schedule, we came up with an extremely robust plan, one that everyone agreed to. These intra-team interactions generated a strong team spirit that proved very helpful when the going was difficult. Only once did we miss a deadline, and that too for factors beyond our control. Soon everybody stood as one, and shouldered the responsibility as a team.

Apart from gaining a set of trustworthy friends I learnt some valuable lessons from this experience. Each person is an individual and has distinctive character traits. A successful team leader should know how to deal with each person in an appropriate and unique way. One individual would show application and do well if left to work independently while another would need constant supervision. Effective leadership is a blend of camaraderie and authority, and is also the ability to strike a balance between them. It needs advance preparation, an understanding of human psychology, and some diplomacy. Any work can be made important and interesting to people by making them understand its relevance and significance, and above all, by granting them due importance and recognition.

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