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Leadership & Management

Action Centered Leadership
Any group will expect its leader to have certain qualities and these will vary with the situation. There is not, however, a standard mix of qualities to make the perfect leader in all situations. It is therefore important to look at the actions a leader has to take to be effective.


Manager Vs Leader
Management and Leadership are often interchanged within the business world; however, they are two very distinct skill sets.


Effective goal setting
Setting goals and objectives is the number one task you should do if you didn't already to take charge of both your professional and personal life, take the wheel and get out of the backseat. Setting goals and objectives not just to enhances your career or quality of life cause lets face it you can't get what you want if you don't know what you're going for.


SMART goals
Find out what SMART goals are and how to turn your goals to be more specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time bound.


Are you micromanaging?
People managers sometimes think they are indispensible, or feel that to get it done right i got to do it myself or its faster if i do it myself, the excuses are endless.


Managing Up
Many people do not take seriously the need to “manage up”;or at least they do not believe they can have any significant influence over their relationship with their boss which is tottally untrue.


Preparing a business plan
A business plan sets out what a business or an individual intends to achieve and how it will be achieved, in order to attract any investment required.


Steps to Evaluate your staff
One of your most important tasks as a manager is to create a process for properly evaluating your staff members. It may not instantly come to mind when talking about appraisals but one of the most important goals of appraisals is to motivate employees. It just gives you an idea how far off course most appraisals are run and thought of nowadays.


Steps to discipline employees
This article outlines discipline steps that are listed in order of least to most severe. use the least severe step that results in the behavior you want. If that step doesn’t do the trick, move down the list to the next step:


Make your meetings work
Are you attending too many meeting? are they a waste of time with no real purpose and a few decisions actually come out of them? that is actually the case in many organizations.

 

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Managing teams performance

There is no question about the importance of teams in organizations today that's why as a manager to be aware of managing their performance has never been as important as it is now.


What to watch out for when evaluating employees
If you are a people manager then the largest chunk of your responsibility is both to enhance and evaluate the performance of your people, but evaluating people can be tricky, managers need to be aware of the following common mistakes and traps when evaluating employees performance. Read this article to find out more.


Situational Leadership
The Situational Leadership method from Kenneth Blanchard & Paul Hersey holds that managers must use different leadership styles depending on the situation.


Leaders and Corporate culture
The concept of organizational culture is a relatively new one. Organizational cultures, like other human cultures, include particular types of artifacts, special values, and common beliefs and assumptions.

The concept of organizational culture is a relatively new one. Organizational cultures, like other human cultures, include particular types of artifacts, special values, and common beliefs and assumptions. In some respects, it is the culture that makes the organization a true organization rather than just a collection or randomly engaged people. It provides the defining characteristics that make organizations differ from each other, and the foundation for both success and failure organizationally. While organizational culture is, to some extent, organic, it is somewhat malleable and management needs to focus on those aspects of the culture which can be influenced and shaped.

What is corporate culture?

Culture refers to an organization's values beliefs, and behaviors. In general, it is concerned with beliefs and values on the basis of which people interpret experiences and behave, individually and in groups.

Edgar Schein’s five guidelines for Leaders regarding corporate culture:

1. Don't oversimplify culture or confuse it with climate, values, or corporate philosophy. Culture underlies and largely determines these other variables. Trying to change values or climate without getting at the underlying culture will be a futile effort.

2. Don't label culture as solely a human resources (read "touchy-feely") aspect of an organization, affecting only its human side. The impact of culture goes far beyond the human side of the organization to affect and influence its basic mission and goals.

3. Don't assume that the leader can manipulate culture as he or she can control many other aspects of the organization. Culture, because it is largely determined and controlled by the members of the organization, not the leaders, is different. Culture may end up controlling the leader rather than being controlled by him or her.

4. Don't assume that there is a "correct" culture, or that a strong culture is better than a weak one. It should be apparent that different cultures may fit different organizations and their environments, and that the desirability of a strong culture depends on how well it supports the organization's strategic goals and objectives.

5. Don't assume that all the aspects of an organization's culture are important, or will have a major impact on the functioning of the organization. Some elements of an organization's culture may have little impact on its functioning, and the leader must distinguish which elements are important, and focus on those.

 

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In Conclusion : An understanding of culture, and how to transform it, is a crucial skill for leaders trying to achieve strategic outcomes. Strategic leaders have the best perspective, because of their position in the organization, to see the dynamics of the culture, what should remain, and what needs transformation. This is the essence of strategic success.

For further reading regarding Corporate culture refer to Edgar s. Schein work and Culture model – See Management in Theory and practice manual.

 

Recommended Readings and references on Organizational culture

Goleman, Daniel. Emotional Intelligence.  Bantam Books: New York, New York, 1995. 

Goleman, Daniel.  Working with Emotional Intelligence.  Bantam Books: New York, New York, 1998. 

Peters, Tom.  Thriving on Chaos: Handbook for a Management Revolution.   Harper Perennial: California, 1987.

Quinn, Robert E.  Deep Change.  Jossey-Bass: San Francisco, California, 1996.

Schein, Edgar H.  Organizational Culture and Leadership.  Jossey-Bass: San Francisco, California, 1985.

Schein, Edgar H.  The Corporate Culture: A Survival Guide.  Jossey-Bass Books: San Francisco, California, 1999.

Senge, Peter M.   The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of a Learning Organization.  Doubleday Currency: New York, 

A smart goal must be:

Specific - Clear statement of what needs to be achieved

Measurable - Clear method for obtaining evidence that it has been achieved

Action-orientated/Achievable - Clear steps or procedures to achieve my goal

Realistic – Do you have the time, money, man-power or resources… and is it relevant?

Time bound - Clear deadline by which a goal will be achieved, including milestones

  

Specific - A specific goal has a much greater chance of being accomplished than a general goal. To set a specific goal you must answer as many as possible of the six "W" questions:
*Who:      Who is involved?
*What:     What do I want to accomplish?
*Where:    Identify a location.
*When:     Establish a time frame.
*Which:    Identify requirements and constraints.
*Why:      Specific reasons, purpose or benefits of accomplishing the goal.

EXAMPLE:    A general goal would be, "Get in shape." But a specific goal would say, "Join a health club and workout 3 days a week and lose x pounds."


Measurable - Establish concrete criteria for measuring progress toward the attainment of each goal you set. When you measure your progress, you stay on track, reach your target dates, and experience the exhilaration of achievement that spurs you on to continued effort required to reach your goal.
To determine if your goal is measurable, ask questions such as......How much? How many? How will I know when it is accomplished?


Attainable - When you identify goals that are most important to you, you begin to figure out ways you can make them come true. You develop the attitudes, abilities, skills, and financial capacity to reach them. You begin seeing previously overlooked opportunities to bring yourself closer to the achievement of your goals.

You can attain most any goal you set when you plan your steps wisely and establish a time frame that allows you to carry out those steps. Goals that may have seemed far away and out of reach eventually move closer and become attainable, not because your goals shrink, but because you grow and expand to match them. When you list your goals you build your self-image. You see yourself as worthy of these goals, and develop the traits and personality that allow you to possess them.


Realistic - To be realistic, a goal must represent an objective toward which you are both willing and able to work. A goal can be both high and realistic; you are the only one who can decide just how high your goal should be. But be sure that every goal represents substantial progress. A high goal is frequently easier to reach than a low one because a low goal exerts low motivational force. Some of the hardest jobs you ever accomplished actually seem easy simply because they were a labor of love.

Your goal is probably realistic if you truly believe that it can be accomplished. Additional ways to know if your goal is realistic is to determine if you have accomplished anything similar in the past or ask yourself what conditions would have to exist to accomplish this goal.

Timely/ Time Bound - A goal should be grounded within a time frame. With no time frame tied to it there's no sense of urgency. If you want to lose 10 lbs, when do you want to lose it by? "Someday" won't work. But if you anchor it within a timeframe, "by May 1st", then you've set your unconscious mind into motion to begin working on the goal.

 

            Blanchard – Hersey Model

What is Situational Leadership?

The Situational Leadership method from Kenneth Blanchard and Paul Hersey holds that managers must use different leadership styles depending on the situation. The model allows you to analyze the needs of the situation you're in, and then use the most appropriate leadership style. Depending on employees' competences in their task areas and commitment to their tasks, your leadership style should vary from one person to another. You may even lead the same person one way sometimes, and another way at other times.

 
Blanchard and Hersey characterized leadership styles in terms of the amount of direction and of support that the leader gives to his or her followers, and so created a simple matrix as follows :
 
Situtional Leadership Model Blanchard - Hersey

situational leadership-gif


The Leader’s Behavioral Leadership

• S1 - Telling / Directing - High task focus, low relationship focus - leaders define the roles and tasks of the 'follower', and supervise them closely. Decisions are made by the leader and announced, so communication is largely one-way. For people who lack competence but are enthusiastic and committed. They need direction and supervision to get them started.

• S2 - Selling / Coaching - High task focus, high relationship focus - leaders still define roles and tasks, but seeks ideas and suggestions from the follower. Decisions remain the leader's prerogative, but communication is much more two-way. For people who have some competence but lack commitment. They need direction and supervision because they are still relatively inexperienced. They also need support and praise to build their self-esteem, and involvement in decision-making to restore their commitment.

• S3 - Participating / Supporting - Low task focus, high relationship focus - leaders pass day-to-day decisions, such as task allocation and processes, to the follower. The leader facilitates and takes part in decisions, but control is with the follower. For people who have competence, but lack confidence or motivation. They do not need much direction because of their skills, but support is necessary to bolster their confidence and motivation.

• S4 - Delegating - Low task focus, low relationship focus - leaders are still involved in decisions and problem-solving, but control is with the follower. The follower decides when and how the leader will be involved. For people who have both competence and commitment. They are able and willing to work on a project by themselves with little supervision or support.

Effective leaders are versatile in being able to move around the matrix according to the situation, so there is no style that is always right. However, we tend to have a preferred style, and in applying Situational Leadership you need to know which one that is for you.  Likewise, the competence and commitment of the follower can also be distinguished in 4 quadrants.

 

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Development Level of the Follower

• D4 - High Competence, High Commitment - Experienced at the job, and comfortable with their own ability to do it well. May even be more skilled than the leader.

• D3 - High Competence, Variable Commitment - Experienced and capable, but may lack the confidence to go it alone, or the motivation to do it well / quickly.

• D2 - Some Competence, Low Commitment - May have some relevant skills, but won't be able to do the job without help. The task or the situation may be new to them.

• D1 - Low Competence, High Commitment - Generally lacking the specific skills required for the job in hand, but has the confidence and / or motivation to tackle it.

Similar to the leadership styles, the development levels are also situational. A person could be skilled, confident and motivated for one part of his his job, but could be less competent for another part of the job.
 
Blanchard and Hersey said that the Leadership Style (S1 - S4) of the leader must correspond to the Development level (D1 - D4) of the follower - and it's the leader who adapts. By adopting the right style to suit the follower's development level, work gets done, relationships are built up, and most importantly, the follower's development level will rise to D4, to everyone's benefit.

 Steps in the Situational Leadership Process

1. Make an overview per employee of his/her tasks
2. Assess the employee on each task (D1...D4)
3. Decide on the leadership (management) style per task (S1...S4)
4. Discuss the situation with the employee
5. Make a joint plan
6. Follow-up, check and correct

Strengths (Advantages) of the Situational Leadership model.

• Easy to understand
• Easy to use

Limitations (Disadvantages) of the Situational Leadership model. 

  - Model fails to distinguish between leadership and management. What is called leadership style is really management style.
  - Leadership is not primarily about making decisions anyway - it is about inspiring people to change direction.
  - Leaders may indeed vary the way they inspire people to change. But this is when they have already decided on the need to change. Hence leadership style does not reduce to decision making style.
  - Focuses too exclusively on what the person in charge does. 

Of course both leaders and managers have to behave differently in different situations. But that is just a trivial fact of life, rather than anything profound in terms of our basic understanding of what it means to lead or manage.

Assumptions/Conditions of Situational Leadership.
Leaders should adapt their style to follower 'maturity', based on how ready and willing the follower is to perform required tasks (that is, their competence and motivation). 

 There are four leadership styles that match the four combinations of high/low readiness and willingness. The four styles suggest that leaders should put greater or less focus on the task in question and/or the relationship between the leader and the follower. Presumes that leadership is about how the boss makes decisions.


Related articles

Situational Leadership

            Blanchard – Hersey Model What is Situational Leadership? The Situational Leadership method from Kenneth Blanchard and Paul Hersey ...

2012-03-09 20:51:29

SMART goals

A smart goal must be: Specific - Clear statement of what needs to be achieved Measurable - Clear method for obtaining evidence that it has been achieved Action-orientated/Achievable - Clear steps ...

2012-03-09 21:58:21

Leadership & Management

Action Centered LeadershipAny group will expect its leader to have certain qualities and these will vary with the situation. There is not, however, a standard mix of qualities to make the ...

2013-02-10 13:58:56

Effective goal setting

Setting goals and objectives shold be your number 1 priority if you want to take charge of both your professional and personal life, take control the wheel and get out of the backseat. ...

2012-02-11 21:46:57

Action centered Leadership

TASK/TEAM/INDIVIDUAL LEADERSHIP QUALITIES Any group will expect its leader to have certain qualities and these will vary with the situation. There is not, however, a standard mix of qualities ...

2012-02-11 13:14:17

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