Thursday, October 4, 2012

Leadership Persona

To start with, let's be clear that we are actually talking about Leadership, rather than Managerial. There's a huge difference between the two. While managers aim to do things right, leaders aim to do the right thing. While managers enforces rules and regulations, leaders gets the people to embrace those rules and regulations. While managers evaluates the staffs, leaders promotes self-evaluation. While managers reacts to problems, leaders anticipate them.

Now, it is wrong to be a manager? NO, it's not wrong. 

We do need managers to ensure that things are running according to plan, rules and regulations are being followed and targets are being met at all times. Managers are facilitators of their team's success. They ensure that their people have everything they need to be productive and successful. Making sure that the members are well-trained and have minimal roadblocks in their path. Managers will also recognize those with good performance and coach those who are not doing too well.

On the other hand, a leader can be ANYONE on the team who has a particular talent, who is creatively thinking outside of the box and has the ability to politely challenge the status-quo. A leader leads based on strength, not titles. And a good leaders consistently allows different leaders to emerge and inspire their teammates (and themselves) to the next level.

Let me point out that a person can actually have both qualities, Managerial qualities and Leadership qualities, in them. In fact, some leadership gurus explain that managerial skill is part of leadership and leadership skill is part of managerial.

It is also quite important to understand that leadership should be situational, depending on the needs of the team. Sometimes the team needs a visionary to assure them that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Sometimes the team needs a director to put things in a more structured plan and clearly defines roles. Sometimes the team needs a 'wake-up caller' to help them realize that they can actually do better. Or sometimes, the team just simply needs a warm hug.

A good leader chooses their leadership style like a golfer chooses his or her club. And there are many leadership styles that we can adopt to lead our team. Here are a few of those styles :

The Pace-setter Leader : This style can be summed up in the phrase "Do what I do, now". The pace setting style works best when the team is already motivated and skilled. The leader sets the pace and the people follow. Just remember to look back once in a while to avoid burning out the team or setting a pace that the team cannot catch up to. This could have a negative result instead.

The Authoritative Leader : This style aims to brings the team to a common vision. It works best when the team is seen to be working as 'separate entities' - marketing, customer service, finance, HR, operations, etc. It allows the different 'smaller teams' to come together and work as one.

The Affiliative Leader : This style works best in times of stress, when teammates needs to heal from a trauma or when the team needs to rebuild trust. This style of leadership says "People comes first". But it should not be used exclusively because a sole reliance on praise and nurturing can foster mediocre performance and lack of direction.

The Coaching Leader : This style promotes the phrase "Try this". It works best when the initiative of improvement originates from the team themselves and the team needs a leader to help them achieve that common goal. It is least effective when it is a top-down initiative or if the teammates are unwilling to change or learn.

The Coercive Leader : This style demands immediate compliance. It works best in time of crisis and decision making window is not a luxury. This style can also help control a problem teammate, when everything else has failed. However, it should be used cautiously and should be reserved as the 'last option' because it can alienate and hinder flexibility and inventiveness.

The Democratic Leader : This style aims to get the team members involved in the direction of the team. It creates the sense of belonging in the team members and foster the spirit of togetherness. It works best when charting new territories in the team's venture or discussing on innovative ideas. However, it is not the best choice of leadership in a crisis situation or compliance issues. 

That's a brief overview of leadership. At GETA Management and Services (GMS), we offer a wide range of leadership programs, which focuses on individual strength and industry specific modules. 

Call us now to find out more on our Leadership Programs and how our program can help you and your organization achieve more.

Call us at 017-3055744 today.