Managing is Leading: Find and Develop Your Personal Leadership Style

shutterstock_227858710.gifThe highest functioning form of management is leadership. But there is an inefficiency in today’s market – not enough people know how to manage and lead. Too many managers look at only the bottom line, rather than the correct process you need to successfully get to that bottom line. Utilizing the right process in a forward-thinking way is true leadership. That’s what really separates the “great” from the merely “good.”

Technical skills are knowledge. You can learn that in a step-by-step format. But teaching people how to lead, communicate and be accountable is much more difficult. It’s a different mindset that says, invest in your people and ensure that they succeed. Then, if they don’t succeed, step in to provide accountability. In order to do that, we need to expend the same amount of time on the management side as we do the technical side. Then we can develop spectators into truly effective managers.
 
It’s time to stop being a witness and start taking action. Learn how to reinforce your leadership skills to find a new, value added approach to being productive. With this in mind, there are five key elements of leadership that need to be emphasized if you are to be highly productive, effective and efficient. Let’s make our way through those elements.
 

1. COMMUNICATE AND CLARIFY EXPECTATIONS

The supervisor and employee should reach mutual agreement in five basic areas:
 
  • The work to be done. Explain the quality standards and set a deadline for each task.
  • How the job fits into the total picture and why it is important.
  • Define the performance factors, e.g., quality; quantity; job budgets; safety, and material and equipment control; and customer relations.
  • How and when performance will be measured. It may be through quantitative measures or a series of statements describing satisfactory performance.
  • How performance will be rewarded, e.g., a pay for performance system.

2. LET EMPLOYEES KNOW WHERE THEY STAND

Accentuate the positive. Give your employees positive reinforcement when they do something well. Make sure the feedback is specific, timely, and relevant while focusing on results accomplished. This type of feedback, like other leadership techniques, is another way of creating ownership for one’s job. Remember, when you reinforce positive behavior, it tends to repeat itself.

3. ESTABLISH A SOUND COMMUNICATIONS NETWORK

Effective leadership requires a network of communication that is both company and employee centered. An approach to communication that goes beyond basic job information can accomplish several things. It promotes a sense of identification, a feeling of being a key member of the team. This in turn fosters the interest, commitment and closeness which are so important to harmony and cooperation. A sound communication system breeds involvement and decreases the likelihood of an employee stating, “I just do my job. That’s what I’m paid for.” When people feel valued, they tend to be more productive and will enjoy coming to work every day.

4. ESTABLISH A POSITIVE WORK CLIMATE

Give people the freedom to do their work without constant interference. Take positive action when an employee makes a mistake – be a coach, not a critic. Provide help and assistance in problem-solving as opposed to always giving the answer. Get them to specifically identify the problem along with the underlying causes. Ask them to provide suggested solutions.

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