Turning Good Managers into Great Leaders, as they relate to leadership and management in the 21st century and the teachings of Hughes, Gannett, and Church. I will evaluate how each source analyzes the leader, the manager, the follower, and the situation compared to Hughes et al. And then discuss how my personal experiences relate.
Leadership Skills for Managers The author, Marlene Carousels, of Leadership Skills for Managers concentrates on he individual leader and the many roles she plays such as visionary, problem-solver, team builder, and communicator. I will discuss these roles in further detail later. Each role is explained using situational scenarios where actions are suggested to allow the leader to better navigate in each role. This book showcases one unique situation after another and gives the reader the tools to ameliorate in whatever role she is playing.
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Management is discussed from the perspective of coping with stress, emotions, energy, time, and people. A manager directs work through others, is responsible for the quality of work from ere subordinates, and acts as a liaison between subordinates and superiors. According to Carousels (2000), a leader “creates something of value that did not exist before” (p. 3). A leader should have the following traits: courage, pride, sincerity, adaptability and influence.
She should have the courage to think outside the box and to create change and prepare for opposition by anticipating objections, showing the benefits of change, accounting for all who will be impacted, and ultimately developing a strong plan for change. A leader should take pride in her accomplishments and be genuine in her interactions towards others. She should take dissidence in stride and be flexible to alter course as warranted to solve problems. A leader should be able to influence others to her point of view.
The visionary leader must be able to see the future of the company as it should be to operate at peak efficiency. One cannot become complacent as this is a visionary greatest enemy. In the process of positive remodeling, a leader should recruit others to brainstorm and contribute their perspective ideas. Benchmarking can be a great tool to examine what others have done in similar situations and help get the creative Leadership and Management By Defoliator juices flowing or possibly create a starting point for the change initiative.
As an idealist, be sure to set strong ethical standards for everyone to follow. Management innovation is defined as anything that substantially alters the way in which the work of management is carried out, or significantly modifies customary organizational forms, and, by so doing, advances organizational goals” (Hammed, 2007, p. 19). Leaders are encouraged to “escape the shackles” (Hammed, 2007, p. 125) of our current way of thinking and operating, which has been passed down over the generations and never truly challenged. Now is the time to question old archetypes and think ahead to create new paradigms.
Think on the fringe by looking at processes from a different perspective as well as looking for truly unorthodox and atypical solutions. Searching for change must be an integral part of the work environment as there will always be a better way to do things; you Just have to find it. Solving problems requires both divergent and convergent skills. Converging skills will allow the leader to logically approach a problem, analyze gathered information, and make an informed technical decision as to the solution. Convergent thinking, as issued by Hughes et al. , means there is a distinct right answer.
Divergent skills should be used to help a leader see things from a different viewpoint that will bring about atypical resolutions. Divergent thinking, as discussed by Hughes et al. , means that there are numerous potential solutions. It is very important that a leader be proficient at creating and handling teams. Most projects are accomplished by teams and those that are most effective have a cohesive and highly functioning dynamic. “Team-building is the process of developing a cohesive group of individuals committed to working operatively’ (Carousels, 2000, p. 50).
The greatest team leaders establish clear expectations and member assignments based on their strengths. Resolve conflicts among the team distraction takes away from goal accomplishment. Reward team members for their accomplishments in the form of time off, appropriate gifts, or recognition. Carousels dedicates an entire chapter to the management of factors such as stress, emotions, energy, time, and people. Emotional aplomb and a calm countenance are ways to keep emotions in check. A leader should exhibit high energy levels and refuse to allow others’ negativity to dishearten them.
Suggestions for time management include proportioning tasks and determining which should get immediate attention. “Leadership is no easy task – and people’s emotions make the task even harder” (Carousels, 2000, p. 80). A good leader should work to have proficient people skills to be able to identify others’ attitudes and properly respond to keep followers motivated. Good communication skills are also required to be an effective leader by clearly conveying intentions and expectations to both followers and superiors.
Practice intelligent and respectful conversations when motivating others to one’s cause, specially when a cantankerous individual tries to stir up trouble. When preparing a formal speech, Carousels recommends using the five Co’s of speech presentation: cite the occasion by explaining why the audience is present, cite commonalities between oneself and the audience, challenge them to do or think something, cheer them on by providing assurances of the confidence in their abilities, and finally conclude by “pledging to make a difference in their small corner of the world. (2000, p. 88) Most importantly, a leader should be able to critically and nimbly respond to any dissenting opinions or arguments. Carousels defines power as “the Judicious use of influence to get things done through other people” (2000, p. 104). Leaders should use power in a morally conscience manner that would never be taken advantage of. Power can be derived from the position one holds in a company, by the technical knowledge one has, by the strength of one’s relationship with followers, and by the kinds of rewards or punishments one can award followers.
Similarly, influencing tactics are “actual behaviors designed to change another person’s attitudes, beliefs, values, or behaviors” (Hughes et al. , 2009, p. 136). The type of power a leader holds can dictate the best tactics to use when influencing others, such as rational persuasion, inspirational appeals, consultation, ingratiation, personal appeals, coalition tactics, exchange, pressure tactics, and legitimizing tactics. A great leader will use both empowerment and mentoring to cultivate their subordinates into leaders themselves.
According to Hughes et al. (2009), “mentoring is a personal relationship in which a more experienced mentor acts as a guide, role model, and sponsor of a less experienced prop©g©” (p. 302). Empowerment is all about delegation. The leader gives a subordinate the power to make decisions and the responsibility to be accountable for completing the task or Job. To ensure the subordinate does not fail, they should be provided with the knowledge and resources to properly complete a given Job.
Every leader must be good at designing a plan and still be able to adjust needed. As a leader always has her eyes set to the horizon, she should have long, medium, and short range plans. Short-range plans will dictate the daily tasks that need to be completed. Medium-range plans are used for completing projects for the company. Long-range plans are what a leader is ultimately striving for her career and family and usually starts with a vision of that future. I liked this book from the beginning and felt like I could easily incorporate its teachings into my work.
Marlene Carousels broke down a leader’s many roles into understandable hats and easy to follow chapters. Very specific direction is given on each subject area, aimed at sharpening one’s leadership skills. Because I live by checklists, the concise lists provided are easy to incorporate in daily work life. Ideas were presented in such a way that it was easy o identify the areas I felt I need to improve upon and follow the author’s suggestions. In the future, I will reference this book as I refine my skills.
The Extraordinary Leader: Turning Good Managers into Great Leaders The authors of The Extraordinary Leader focus mainly on the individual leader and developing or enhancing their leadership skills. They conceptualize leadership effectiveness by placing five major categories of behaviors, or competencies, on the floor of a tent. The leader has strengths that correspond to the height of poles that stem from each area. The height of a pole responds directly to the strength of skill in said area.
The higher the poles are creates more area which translates to ever increasing leadership effectiveness. The five competency groups are character, personal capabilities, interpersonal skills, focusing on results, and leading organizational change (Zinger and Folkway, 2002, p. 53). These areas are discussed in detail with examples at each of four stages within an individual’s professional progression. A 360-degree feedback program is used to help the individual leader determine what their perceived strengths and weaknesses are from subordinates, peers, and superiors.
Most organizations use 360-degree tools as an integral part of the training, coaching, succession planning, and/or performance management components of a comprehensive leadership talent management system” (Hughes et al. , 2009, p. 279). The growing leader should look to improve upon their strengths beyond average as this could be the difference in becoming an extraordinary leader. Many aspiring leaders make the mistake of working only to improve upon their weak areas and therefore never become truly proficient in any one area.
As many researchers believe, there is a distinction between being a leader and Ewing a manager, though one can wear both hats at the same time. Managers are focused more on maintaining with skills such as organizing, strategy, financial control, and project management. Leaders are always considering ways to improve efficiency, pushing against the existing state of affairs and are an advocate for change. The two are linked but concentrate on different paths for the organization they work. According to Hughes et al. 2009), leadership is defined as the process of influencing an organized group towards accomplishing its goals (p. 6). Though managers do many of the same things as leaders, management differs from adhering because it has more to do with regulations, and procedures, and administration of paperwork. Leaders ask questions, and innovate, and inspire others. The two complement each other. Hughes et al. Believe that the leadership process also includes followers and the situation and should be looked at through those perspectives. All three elements interact in a plethora of ways so there will never be a clear cut road map.
The best one can hope for is to understand the possible interactions and hone their abilities to be able to handle anything that they may encounter. Ultimately leaders should be flexible to adapt their leadership style for a myriad of different types of followers and situations. Zinger and Folkway do not acknowledge that a leader should adapt to each situation, instead they discuss how leaders should adjust their skills to the type of organization they work for. On the other hand, Hughes et al. Believe that the situation plays an equal role in the leadership process as the leader and follower.
The situation can determine the type of power the leader has and what influencing tactics she will need to use to motivate followers. There are three situation levels: task, organization, and environment that will generally determine how the leader should act. “Leadership is contingent upon the interplay of all three aspects of [the leader, the follower, and the situation]… ” (Hughes et al. , 2009, p. 578). Zinger and Folkway list a number of different types of organizations and explain how best to adapt or showcase certain leadership competencies.
The technology emphasis where knowledge is valued above all else; excellent execution where achieving results is paramount; avoiding mistakes where doing things right is the motto; customer emphasis where customer satisfaction is the main goal; the genteel organization with a caring and respectful environment; the candor organizations where they tell it like it is; the learning organization where learning from one’s mistakes is most important; the high-integrity organization where doing the right thing is vital; the fair organization where everyone is treated fairly; the political organization where it is important to be part of the in-crowd; the celebration organization where accomplishments are rewarded; the bureaucratic organization where procedures ole processes; and the virtual organization where employees work autonomously. In my opinion, these are examples of situations a leader my find themselves in. No company or organization that I have been associated with has fit nicely into only one category. Let’s look closer at the 5 tent poles or areas of competencies. First, the most important competency is character and is the center pole of the tent. Character is the set of qualities that makes a person unique and drives their actions. If one does not have the right character they will never truly get enough area in the tent to be an effective leader.
Personal capabilities describe the way in which people manage themselves and include subject knowledge, critical thinking and problem solving, being creative, having confidence, having initiative, flexibility, and dealing with conflict, Just to name a few. Focusing on results means taking initiative to establish goals for the organization and ensuring subordinates work towards accomplishing them. Interpersonal skills are used every day to communicate and interact with others. Essential interpersonal skills include listening, communication, being a team ember, resolving conflict, being open-minded, and networking relationships with co-workers.
Leading organizational change is fairly self-explanatory. A leader will recognize when and where change is necessary, set goals and objectives to make change happen, and encourage or influence others to take part in the process. As a leader gains experience, they will contribute differently as they progress through the four stages of career growth. The first stage, depending on others, occurs when first entering the workforce and one is essentially learning the ropes. One should be artful of others oversight and suggestions. Contributing independently, stage 2, occurs when the individual has developed her expertise and has established a budding network of co-workers.
This stage is critical to master before moving onto stage 3 and 4. It is imperative that one can work responsibly with little guidance and have adequate social relationships. Stage 3 is contributing through others, and includes mentoring new personnel and representing the company to clients. During stage 3 one is continuing to build a network which now also includes professionals from outside the organization. According to Zinger and Folkway (2002), very few leaders ever make it to the final stage, leading through vision. These leaders are shaping the culture of the organization, creating a vision for the company and defining a strategy (p. 63).
As a leader moves through the stages of the career’s evolution they should be lifting each tent pole higher by becoming increasingly more adept in each area of competency, thus creating more area in the tent and therefore a more effective leader. A number of insights were expressed and discussed in great detail and a summary of important ideas are presented below. According to Zinger and Folkway (2002), great leaders make more of a difference than good leaders and many never work to become a great leader or even understand why they should. “[They] do not recognize that continued improvement in leadership would make a substantial difference in the outcome they are trying to produce” (p. 38).
The focus for improvement is usually on the poor leaders and so the average leaders are overlooked. Perception can make someone out to be an altruistic trustworthy superhero or a greedy manipulative villain. If you are perceived to be a poor leader, hen you are a poor leader. It is not enough to acquire the knowledge and skills to be a competent and resourceful professional; one must properly display their skills to those around them. Many aim too low in their development activities. Great leaders have multiple strengths and should work to maximize those assets. Don’t spend time on weak areas Just to be average in all leadership skills. Instead become expertly proficient in several areas. Of course, fatal flaws must be fixed immediately.
According to Zinger and Folkway (2002), the 5 flaws that will cause a leader to fail re: the inability to learn from one’s mistakes, the lack of core interpersonal skills and competencies, the lack of openness to new and different ideas, the lack of accountability, and the lack of initiative. Care should be taken to avoid dark-side personality traits which are “irritating, counterproductive behavioral tendencies that interfere with a leader’s ability to build cohesive teams and cause followers to exert less effort toward goal accomplishment” (Hughes et al. , 2009, p. 218). I did not especially appreciate this book, nor did I feel that I could use this book in my work fife. So maybe I was predisposed to a negative attitude toward the book. The tent concept is interesting and presents the idea of competencies in a way that is easy to visualize and remember.
There is no clear direction for actions I should take to become the promised great leader. When discussing the type of organizations, I didn’t feel like I’d worked at any of these organizations. In fact, I could identify several that I see at my current company such as bureaucratic, learning, high integrity, avoiding mistakes, and fair; each depending on the task at hand. I do not feel that his book is very helpful and it left me somewhat disoriented on the subject. I found myself asking, “What does this have to do with me? ” while I was reading the book. There is some useful information like the stages of career growth. I am currently contributing independently and working on my networking skills.
I would not recommend this book to my co-workers. The Extraordinary Leader: Turning Good Managers into Great Leaders and Leadership Skills for Managers have great emphasis for the individual leader and developing leadership competencies. Leadership Skills for Managers gives a plethora f example scenarios, which are specific situations, and gives advise on how to handle each scenario using the skill that they are highlighting in that section. The Extraordinary Leader: Turning Good Managers into Great Leaders talks about fitting an individual’s competencies into one of 13 types of organizations. These organizations, in my opinion, are types of situations that a leader will find themselves in.
In the same way, the follower is like a theme park attraction that gets a little attention and then is quickly forgotten. Both authors tell the reader what skills they just develop to be an effective or great leader but do not specifically highlight the follower’s motivations or actions. The manager is identified in each book but is quickly branded as a separate kind of person who deals with opposing concepts. Over the course of this class I have read all or parts of seven books on leadership. In a way I am more confused about the subject because the same general information is floating around but each author arranges the concepts differently and focuses on dissimilar goals. Of course one concept does remain constant.
Each implies that if their formula is followed, one will be a better leader. Ultimately this is true because they present a lot of good ideas that if applied will make the individual more knowledgeable and equipped with the right tools for success.