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The Manager’s Leadership Guide

Are you an effective leader? What is your management style?

Management: To have effective control, focus and accomplish tasks involved in a business.

Leadership: Being able to give guidance and motivation to employees, while having the ability to create a relationship and environment in which the employee is willingly able to apply their unique abilities to meet common goals and objectives of the business.

To be an effective manager you need to be an excellent leader. As a leader you need to have competence, focus, commitment and professionalism.

The excellent leaders checklist:

  • A clear vision and purpose
  • Practical goals and objectives
  • Never ending commitment
  • Flexibility
  • Understanding
  • Strong listening skills
  • Confidence in decision making, delegating and supervising
  • Willing to take risks
  • Willing to learn from mistakes
  • Outstanding communication skills
  • Able to speak and delegate clearly and effectively
  • Realistic approaches
  • Resourceful ability

Leadership styles
There are many styles of leadership and it is important to know that like most you aren’t going to fit into one particular category. Picking a leadership style is a bit like a choose-your-own-adventure book. You can mix and match your leadership style to suit the place of business, job role, or individual personalities working under you and so on. There are four common styles of management or leadership, and they are listed as follows.

The Director – Always setting goals, identifying problems, coming up with solutions, delegates effectively, able to give specific directions, announces decisions and supervises and evaluates their employees closely. They will usually give step-by-step instructions and will ensure that the employee is carrying out those directions efficiently and in the respective manner.

The Coach – The coach will set goals and identify problems. However, unlike the director, the coach will seek employees’ ideas, opinions and feelings. They develop plans to solve problems and make final decisions on procedures and solutions once they have consulted with their employees. The coach is likely to praise, evaluate and direct the employee’s work. Building the relationship is important to the coach and will seek the employee prior to committing themselves to something their team may reject, and will share responsibilities among them.

The Supporter – The supporter is similar to the coach in that they will involve employees in making decisions, problem solving, evaluating employees and sharing responsibility among their team. The supporter is strong on employee involvement for goal setting and will listen to the employee while guiding them as they make their decisions. The supporter will provide the employee with whatever they need to help them carry out their job. Although the supporter is strong on employee relationships, they do take leadership in defining how to do a job or solve a problem before sharing the responsibilities out.

The Delegator – The delegator will identify problems, set goals, develop plans and make decisions, but requires their team to take an active role of participation. The delegator will allow employees to decide on who does what tasks, lets employees evaluate their own work, permits their employees to take responsibility and credit for their work and accepts employees’ decisions. Although this leader will pass on responsibilities to their team, they are likely to keep tabs on their performance.

No matter which leadership style you have decided to choose or you naturally carry, it is important that you understand that:

  1. An employees ability can be improved by giving them experience, knowledge and skills
  2. The willingness of employees can be improved by giving encouragement and motivation
  3. As an individual grows through experience, knowledge, skills and confidence, you will need to adapt your leadership style to suit
  4. If an individual seems to become withdrawn and sensitive to situations, alternatively you will need to adapt to this behaviour and change your style of leadership to be more supportive and encouraging
  5. There is no one style which is perfect or consistently ideal – adjust it accordingly
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