22 May, Wednesday
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The library of essays of Proakatemia

Friend Leadership – New modern way of leading

Kirjoittanut: Taru Jytilä - tiimistä SYNTRE.

Esseen tyyppi: Yksilöessee / 2 esseepistettä.
Esseen arvioitu lukuaika on 5 minuuttia.

Lead by example – Albert Schweitzer

Leading people can be a passion for many of us. It has always been so to say natural for me and somehow, I always end up finding myself from authority duties.

For me the one leading a team has always been quite powerful character. The one leading has control, gives commands and is not a friend. When I used to be in a leader position in my old job, it was made clear that leaders are above the workers in the hierarchy. I used to work with people mainly from Germany, Great Britain and Spain. All of these countries are so to say old fashioned, when it comes to leadership and hierarchy in workplace.


There were strict rules that you are not supposed to talk to managers above you. Imagine waiting for your coffee in the downstairs bar. There is someone two steps above you, who is waiting for his order as well and you are scared to even have small talk about the weather outside with him, since its forbidden in the working environment? It might seem quite radical working environment now, when I think about it afterwards. But for me, this was a great opportunity to improve my leadership skills in a difficult environment. I learned much from my closest managers and still think some of them as my role models. Specially the woman who worked their way to the top. In the travel business it was very common that men were selected to the higher positions straight from upper educational schools.


When I started my journey in Proakatemia, I figured there is so much more leadership styles that I could have not even imagined. Only after six months in this school, I feel like it has opened my eyes and I very much enjoy this fresh breeze of new techniques. I have to say the new style leadership models might be harder than the so called “ old fashioned “ way. I still have four months left in my business leader position and I will try to enjoy as much as I can of this new leadership style called friend leadership style.


In this essay I will refer to the six steps made by Miyamoto Musashi’s strategy made in the 1600th century. They refer to the six steps you should make, to reach the tribe feeling in your team.




Land is the base for your actions. Without land you can’t lead. If you cannot lead yourself, there is no way you could lead others. Leading with example, is the most important step of the journey. It’s not easy to know yourself, it takes time. You should try to find your way to learn and where to focus your energy. Make research and try to find what is interesting for you. What are your dreams? Where do you see yourself in five years?





Get along with people. It is not easy to build a business together with strangers. You should learn the strengths and weaknesses of your team mates. You don’t have to be closest friends, but you have to be more than familiar with them. How to build trust among the team? How to share your wildest dreams with these people and not to be afraid someone will use or even steal your idea? Trust comes with time. Build the trust by having fun together. Find a common goal so that everyone is motivated to reach the set up goal.




The flame of fire can be smaller or bigger. It’s the flame that you as a leader should give to your team. Give them a spark and inspire them to blow in the wood so that the flame would get bigger. Encourage team mates to encounter challenges. Keep the strategy in handles, make easy weekly or monthly goals for the team. Remember that the example you give has a deep meaning. Value the importance of feedback, giving and receiving. Inspire others to step up and take responsibilities.




Build up a puzzle using peoples own interests. Make exercises to find out what is our dreams as individuals. Build the common goals made by these passions that everyone shares. Remember that money, passion and importance are important factors when it comes to motivation. You should not work only for the money, but do something you also enjoy doing. Obviously this is not always possible and sometimes we have to do what we have to do to survive our every day life. Jim Collin has made a great strategy related to this. It relates to three important factors which helps you to define what could you possibly do or in your decision making. Don’t settle for average, reach for the sky. Use your imagination and the skills you have with your team. Drive the bus towards Hawaiian beach. Remember that sometimes the wind might be stronger than the forecast showed.

“The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing. – Jim Collin ”



Emptiness, of course, is nothingness – Miyamoto Musashi


Musashi has referred to the emptiness in his way of martial arts. In our surroundings it’s more about being there. Listen to others, respect and think what others are saying. Never settle for anything less. There is a funny way of thinking like bob the builder, with the “yes we can” attitude. I read an article written by David Nicholson and it was exactly like he stated. Share your passion and help others to make the working environment more exciting and interesting. Be a thinker and a doer!


David Nicholson : “Your challenge as a leader is to ensure your passion for improvement is shared, that you create opportunities and the environment for those around you and at every level to excel and to do their best. Your challenge is to be Bob the Builder of people.”




After reading about the subject the whole word leading as a friend, has gotten a new meaning. I very much enjoy the possibility of doing together and not having a strong character behind the curtains. Whilst reading other peoples behaviors and experiences, I can relate to the feeling of emptiness and never settling with anything. Even though I set up goals for myself, when I reach them I am never satisfied but I want more. Maybe it’s a bad humanly way of pushing our self and never settling with anything. Normally I get bored easily, look for options to gain more responsibilities and I am very harsh for myself. I believe still it’s a good feature in a person, but you should draw a line somewhere.


In my opinion the old school: “don’t be friends with your subordinates” might be easier way for the leader than the new “ let’s be friends and I lead us at the same time” trend but it’s definitely the new way of leading and I hope it will become more common. It requires common understanding between team members and caring about others. I have mostly seen myself as the lonely wolf who only cared about myself during the years but as the time goes by I have started to care more about people around me. Maybe the knowledge comes with the age as they say. Probably this way of leading works well with communities who shares the same goals and passions, but I would not see it in action in a normal working environment. But there are several other new techniques of leading and after digging into this one. I want to learn more about different leading styles. Coaching is fascinating for me currently, so maybe you will hear more from me soon.










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