This week, the week before the Fourth of July, is the week before many General Motor’s locations close down for a week for the annual North American shut-down. This has meant that after the past few hectic weeks of work, things have been winding down as many people have been preparing for their upcoming vacations.
This slow-down has allowed me to start thinking about how GM operates, specifically how the many different forms of leadership and management come into play within this large company. From what I have gathered through my observations and from what the other interns have told me, I think there are a few different forms of management that all interact within my office. Some managers are very hands-on. They work directly with team members and constantly monitor project progress. Others are a bit more lax, leading from afar but still maintaining high expectations of the performance of their team. Finally, some have teams so large that they are forced to be quite hands-off. All of these styles seem to work flawlessly, it just appears to depend on who makes up the teams being managed.
In a large company such as GM, people are traveling around the globe to various locations, plants, and/or suppliers everyday and it can be difficult to keep track of the actions of every team member every day. I think it has been very important to the growth of this company for the leadership teams that run the organization to give employees the proper space that they need. Some people need to be tightly managed while others need to be able to work things out for themselves, it is vital for managers and directors to be able to see this difference and to lead accordingly. From what I have experienced, this is something all of the leaders I have interacted with at GM have been very good at doing.
Over the next few weeks of your own internship begin to consider the type of leadership styles you have experienced throughout your current, and past, role. Also think about which type of style you prefer; this may be something to look for in your next job and it may be how you choose to lead in the future. You never know!