In this second reflection, I will address the leadership style(s) of individuals from senior to intern level, the relationships/trust levels between employees, and the overall mutual regard between leaders/followers in the UR Events office (and outside of the office, too).
From senior to intern level, the leadership styles throughout the office are rooted in an emphasis on collaboration. This is not to say that each person is not responsible for fulfilling their day’s work (meeting deadlines, making calls, addressing concerns, etc.), but it does imply that there is a positive ambiance in the office, in large part due to the collective value placed on delegation and teamwork. Thus, a collaborative environment can be born.
Another way I have come to understand the laid-back, yet diligent leadership styles in the office is through a lens of adaptability. When working in the Events office, one must employ a flexible leadership style/frame of mind, as outcomes may not turn out as were once planned.
Similar to the many-sided leadership styles, the division of labor in the Events office is multidimensional. This past week, we directed our focus on organizational and administrative work in preparation for reunion weekend on campus. As interns, our primary tasks included creating and labeling one cards for alums staying on campus, conducting room checks (making sure that all furniture is present/in tact, checking electricity and water, and making sure that the one cards have swiping ability), and putting up directional signs around campus.
We would not be able to carry out said tasks without first receiving word and instruction from our site supervisor, David. David coordinates with Cassie (student manager) to delegate tasks. This collaboration for the purpose of delegation once again exemplifies the general leadership style in the office. Both David and Cassie give directions, but they do not turn their backs after doing so. To this point, I personally feel like each senior level employee in the Events office is approachable, as well as willing to help on any task. This leads me to my next point of discussion: the mutual regard between leaders and followers.
What I love most about my position as assistant manager is that I get to lead while following, and follow while leading. Under the supervision of David and Cassie, I get to be an active follower–absorbing information as it is given, and asking questions when necessary. After receiving instruction, it is up to myself and my fellow interns to apply our knowledge in real-world scenarios–transitioning into leadership roles.
For example, David and Cassie trained us in the first week regarding on-call duty. They gave us the run-down and entertained various situations that could arise–i.e. camp/conference participants getting locked out of their rooms on campus. During reunion weekend, we had a couple of cases that were practically textbook in terms of what we had predicted might unfold. So, it was up to us to respond appropriately–in which case, we got to assume the role of leaders in the context of working with clients.
In general, it seems that customer service operates as the core of the Events office’s mission. Thus, this emphasis on outward kindness and positivity has a sure impact on internal office relations. The Events office welcomes diverse personalities, insofar as each person possesses the genuine intent to lend a helping hand for the greater good of not only the office, but the greater University population.
For these reasons, and in closing, I am grateful that I get to have an internship in the service industry, for it has already afforded me vast perspective and appreciation for behind-the-scenes operations–just in the span of two weeks.