WHAT TYPE ARE YOU?
As you read through the following characteristics of leadership types, mark with a blue pen those attributes that describe you. Then, go over the items you circled in blue and mark with a yellow highlighter any characteristics you believe may be detrimental to your effectiveness. Finally, read the lists again and circle with a red pen attributes you think would be beneficial for you to develop.
After you finish this exercise, you should have a clear picture of your current leadership assets and liabilities. Using what you have recorded, you can put together a plan to become a more effective leader. By reading the definitions you may realise that you already possess many of the characteristics that make great leaders.
THE DECISIVE LEADER
This type of leadership is singled out by their action orientation. They excel in their willingness to make hard decisions and take firm action.
THE STRATEGIC LEADER
These leaders that are continually thinking through and planning their next moves and the consequences of those moves.
THE INSPIRATIONAL LEADER
This type of leader has the ability to inspire and motivate. They are leaders with an underlying vision of something greater, bigger, beyond and themselves.
THE COMMITTED LEADER
These leaders are driven and committed to succeed.
THE MOTIVATIONAL LEADER
These leaders put meaning and purpose into work.
THE DEVELOPMENTAL LEADER
This type of leadership has the ability to bring together, train and develop winning teams.
LEADERS WHO ‘LEAD BY EXAMPLE’
These leaders are excellent role models.
THE CHARISMATIC LEADER
They have a high degree of ‘personal power’. People act for them because they like and respect them.
Research into the productivity of high-performance managers has found that they share common characteristics. These can be categorised as leadership competencies and are proved to be essential for a manager to lead a team successfully. We have listed these competencies below.
When they make decisions, they make them with the end in mind. This comes from a clear vision of what their organisation is trying to achieve. Here management must play a critical role in creating a mission statement that crystallises the company's key business goals. This should not be framed and hung on the wall like a piece of office art, but instead must be communicated over and over again through memos, newsletters, and meetings. This helps everyone to make decisions with the end in mind.
They create action plans designed to implement the company's mission. Typically, star performers establish precisely what they intend to accomplish in specific time frames, such as one month, six months, a year. Although they remain focused on these time-sensitive objectives, they remain flexible enough to change their tactics if business conditions or the prevailing economic environment change. For example, assume that a general manager is seeking to increase profits by 5 percent over the course of a year, mostly by increasing sales. Then bang, a recession hits in midstream. Rather than throwing in the towel, she sticks to her profit goal, but focuses more intensely on cutting expenses than on increasing sales. To do this, she reviews the company's procedures with an eye toward engineering the assembly line to wring excess costs out of the system. In this way, the manager stays focused on her objective, but pursues new means of achieving it.
Turning intentions into actions, effective managers muster the resources necessary to accomplish their action plans. First, they determine what they will need - raw materials, additional employees, creative input, capital, alliances inside and outside of the company. Then they act to assemble these resources in a way that makes the work process more efficient.
For example, a sales manager who is determined to speed shipments to customers may create an alliance with the warehouse manager, promising faster sales and re-order data in return for accelerated order processing. The bottom line: there is greater collaboration among the company's employees, resulting in the realisation of its goals and greater creativity. They recognise that influencing colleagues and motivating staff workers is integral to getting things done on time and to the correct specifications.
They are good at managing priorities to reflect the company's objectives. Their thinking goes like this: "Here's what I am going to do today. This task is a top priority not because it is the project I want most to clear from my desk, or because someone is pressing me to do it, but because it will draw the straightest line between my work and the company's goals."
They are skilled at balancing the quality/quantity equation that is inherent in all work. For example, a well-intentioned but relatively unproductive employee may take pride in saying, "I always do everything perfectly." When management counters that the quest for perfection caused the company to miss the deadline for a key delivery, he returns to the same myopic theme: "Yes, but you have to admit my work was done beautifully."
Recognising instinctively that this is unacceptable, the best performers strive to achieve the delicate balance between quality and quantity. This means doing the best work in the time frame and the quantities required to meet the customer's expectations and the company's strategic goals.
They take ownership of the projects and responsibilities assigned to them. Super managers always demonstrate a "can do" attitude. They rarely shun responsibility. Instead, they consider completion of a project to be a personal responsibility, and they work to influence others along the assembly line to help achieve stated goals (which, as we have noted, are always linked to the company's objectives). Assume, for example, that your IT manager is asked to produce monthly reports tracking the company's sales trends. Soon after the manager sets out to generate the data, he faces a roadblock: an administrator in the sales department is reluctant to release the necessary reports on a timely basis. Rather than pointing a finger at the administrator and taking a "don't blame me" attitude, the IT manager goes through back channels to tap new sources of data, making certain that the reports are produced on time. Because he "owned" the project, he refused to let it be derailed. This resourcefulness and determination makes the super performer an unstoppable and powerful force for increased productivity.
Manager’s natural characteristics (or styles) are as diverse as the people they manage. How you deal with one of your team and how you speak to them in a specific situation may be different to the way that you would deal with another in the same situation. How they respond to you can be a direct reaction to how you have spoken or dealt with the issue. The old adage ‘it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it’ rings true in many instances, especially in a boss-subordinate relationship.
By analysing your predominate management style and how it motivates or de-motivates your staff may allow you to examine the interactions you have with staff members and develop more effective strategies for leadership.
Task Behaviour versus Relationship behaviour
Task behaviour is when your actions are centred on the task - the job that needs to be done. Relationship behaviour is when your actions are more centred towards relationships with your people.
Someone who concentrates on task behaviour to get the job done:
The benefits of being task orientated are:
Examples of Relationship Behaviour
Benefits of being relationship orientated
There are problems associated with being too task orientated:
There are also problems of being too relationship orientated:
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