What is leadership? It is being a Churchill, Henry Ford, Saddam Hussein,
President of General Motors, Hitler or a Kennedy. Equally can a Manager
have it according to his situation. Leadership is that part of management
concerned with getting results through people. There are other aspects
of management such as technical and administrative abilities, which are
important but successful managers are those who are aware that leadership
is the key to effective performance.
NEED FOR LEADERSHIP
The need for effective leaders in management is probably greater than
the number of available 'born' leaders. In the past, worker expectations
were low and management might afford to hire and fire. Now the 'Enterprise
culture' the breakdown of class barriers the diminished importance of
the trade unions and increasing wealth have necessitated a different approach
to getting results through people. There are three ways of considering
APPROACHES TO LEADERSHIP
a) Qualities Approach (Leaders are Born)
Too much attention to personality traits led to the idea that leadership
is developed on the playing fields of Eton or by officer cadets at Sandhurst
reading about the lives of great men. Qualities will always be important
eg judgment and acceptability, but not a total answer because:
I) Many people have qualities such as ambition, drive and enthusiasm
but are not effective leaders.
II) No one can agree on 'the' list of qualities or how long should it
III) It is difficult to define concepts such as 'Integrity'. Analysis
tends to be very subjective 'I just know he is good, don't ask me why'.
IV) On the whole, basic personality traits cannot be changed. Can you
develop a sense of humor (by regularly reading 'The Funnies') or emotional
Although this approach is a problem for training, it is important that
the leader has the qualities which reflect the needs and expectations
of his group.
EXAMPLES OF 'QUALITIES'
Judgment; Initiative; Integrity; Foresight; Energy; Drive; Human Relations
Skills; Dependability; Ambition; Emotional Stability; Dedication; Objectivity....
b) Situational Approach
'Authority flows from one who knows' is the basis of the situational
approach. But is technical ability enough to ensure success with people?
Too often someone who is outstanding technically is promoted to a manager
with the loss of a trained technologist but no gain in management expertise.
I) Leadership is a function of the situation, for which technical ability
is important but not the sole answer.
II) Leadership is defined by Organizational structures and cannot be
passed easily round the group.
This approach does represent a breakthrough, as it suggests that leadership
comes from knowledge and skills and these can be developed by training.
C) Functional Approach
Between 1960 and 1967, Dr John Adair developed and started to apply
to training the functional view of leadership. He allocated the responsibilities
of a leader into three inter related areas. These are to define and achieve
the task, to build up and co ordinate a team, and to develop and satisfy
the individual members.
i) Task Needs. The difference between a group and a random crowd is
that a group has some common objective. If a work group does not achieve
the required result, or a meaningful result it will become frustrated.
Organizations have a task; to make a profit, to provide service, or just
to survive. For anyone who manages others, achieving results is a major
criterion of success.
ii) Team Needs. To achieve objectives the group must be held together.
People need to work in a coordinated fashion in the same direction, teamwork
will ensure that their output is greater than the sum of the individual
efforts. Conflict within the group must be used effectively, arguments
can lead to tension and lack of co operation.
iii) Individual Needs. Within working groups, individuals have sets
of needs. They want to know what are their responsibilities, what they
can contribute, how well they are performing. The leader must give them
the opportunity to take on responsibility, to show their potential and
to give them recognition for good work.
1. Set the task of the team; put it across with enthusiasm and remind
people of it often.
2. Make leaders accountable for four to fifteen people; practice and
instruct them in the three circles.
3. Plan the work, check its progress, design jobs or arrange work to
encourage the commitment of individuals and the team.
4. Set individual targets after consulting; discuss progress with each
person regularly but at least once a year.
5. Delegate decisions to individuals. If not consult those affected
before you decide.
6. Communicate importance of everyone's job; explain decisions to help
people apply them; brief team together monthly on Progress, Policy, People
and points for action.
7. Train and develop people especially those under 25; gain support
for the rules and procedures, set an example and 'have a go' at those
who break them.
8. Where unions are recognized, encourage joining, attendance at meetings,
standing for office and speaking up for what each person believes is in
the interest of the organization and all who work in it.
9. Care for the well being of those in the team; improve working conditions
and safety; deal with grievances promptly; attend social functions.
10. Monitor actions; learn from successes and mistakes; regularly walk
round each person's place of work, observe, listen and praise.
ACTION CENTERED LEADERSHIP
Identify tasks and constraints
Hold team meetings
(if you fail to plan, you plan to fail)
Encourage ideas and actions
Delegate tasks and responsibilities
Brief the team
Support and monitor as the task progresses
Re-plan if necessary
Learn from failure
Appraise and praise
Guide and train