butterflies in a cocoon

“I learned so much when I worked for ACME Company. It gave me the leadership skills and background to succeed in a large corporate organization. Most importantly is showed me how each small part of the company is important.”

How has each organization you worked in impacted your leadership? That is the focus of lesson 4.

Todays Activity

Yes, organizations affect us. Each has its own personality and climate. Then within each organization there are the micro-climates of the individual departments, branches, and offices where we actually work. What impact did they have on your leadership?

Your Analysis

I recommend you take a two-tiered approach in your analysis, one at the large organization (macro) and the second at the level you held a position (micro). This analysis could be several layers, I recommend two.

Not sure where to start. For the macro analysis, think about the size and type of the organization. Such as public, private, government, startup, or small business. The mission, vision, and values of the organization may be helpful. 

For the micro analysis, again consider the mission of your team, size, what you had to accomplish and how you accomplished it.

Following the Macro and Micro analysis, document insights into how your leadership was impacted.



At this level describe the overall context of the organization, it may be something like this:

Large Health System: A 3000-person health care system in a large city, serving a diverse urban population. The hospital had a focus on policy, procedures, and keeping costs under control. There were a lot of quality controls in place and an excessive amount of supervision and justification of procedures.


What did you experience within your work unit?

As a nurse within the Emergency Room, I experienced a highly trained professional staff, dedicated to providing the best care possible. We were encouraged to further our professional development, and attended ongoing training monthly. We had a significant paperwork burden, which was handled by a very professional staff that was cross trained in every facet of our operation. We worked hard for the entirety of our 12-hour shifts and felt we made a positive difference, and were growing. 

Additionally, the department leadership embraced the administration and oversight as an important and integral part of our work. The result, the admin burdens did not seem arduous to our team as we were well trained and the same priority as patient care.

Leadership Insights:

How your leadership was impacted?

I learned that small departments in large organizations can be flexible and agile. Just because the “big organization” has a lot bureaucracy does not mean the small units need to act bureaucratic. I also learned to embrace 100% of the mission with equal enthusiasm, even the administration and oversight.

As a leader, I now emphasize acting small. I do that through continuous education, training and cross training of my teams. This creates synergy and trust among team members and is a hedge against limited resources and encourages flexibility.

I also learned is to push hard for the resources required to accomplish the mission and enthusiastically emphasize 100% of the mission. Even the tedious and seemingly mundane tasks.

Today I have a reputation of creating an energetic climate of continuous development for each individual and the team.

Learning Point:

At the conclusion of this exercise, you should have a feeling for how each organization you worked in contributed to your current leadership style.