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Good leaders are made not born. If you have the desire and willpower, you can become an effective leader. To inspire the workers into higher levels of teamwork, there are certain things the managers must be, know, and do. These do not come naturally, but are acquired through continual work and study. Good leaders are continually working and studying to improve their leadership skills; they are not resting on their laurels.
Before we get started, let us define leadership. Leadership is a process by which a person influences others to accomplish an objective and directs the organization in a way that makes it more cohesive and coherent. Leaders carry out this process by applying their leadership attributes, such as beliefs, values, ethics, characters, knowledge and skills.
Developing effective management skills to deal with specific challenges and problems of each organization is the urgent needs of many businesses and organizations in the global competitive environment, rapid changing of technology and environment. The new tendency of training and development of successful organizations over the world today is developing effective skills in dealing with specific challenge of their own organization to reach their own mission and objectives in the new organization that characterized by networked, flat, flexible, diverse, global organization.
"Effective Management Skills" help people and organization improving their own effectiveness and efficiency. Globalization and rapidly developing technology shows we are in a period of intense competition. Proper management is vital in these complex environments. The quality of manager and effective management styles can determine the culture of the organization, the productivity of its staff, and, ultimately, success or failure. A manager should have the ability to direct, supervise, encourage, inspire, and co-ordinate, and in doing so facilitate action and guide change. Managers develop their own leadership qualities and those of others. Management utilizes planning, organizational and communications skills. These skills are important in leadership also, but even more so are qualities such as integrity, honesty, courage, commitment, sincerity, passion, determination, compassion and sensitivity.
Personal Leadership & Managerial Skills
In today's environment, any manager with ambitions for the future works hard to be effective. The business world brings many changes and new challenges. An approach that has proven successful in the past may not be effective for the future. A manager can be a successful and effective leader only if he has mastered skills like innovation, creativity, passion etc, etc... Here we discuss some important skills in details:
Innovation leaders are those who are either able to better understand customer requirements and exploit new market opportunities, or access new technologies to deliver successful new products and services. They are seen as the corporate heroes of today. Innovation Leaders are the companies that CEOs want to head up and other organisations try to emulate. As companies in different sectors seek to make the most out of innovation, one question that is often asked is who are the real innovation leaders? Who are the companies that may not be shouting about it, but are actually delivering innovation and gaining direct impact to the top and bottom line? Based on the previous researches, Innovation Leaders profiles the organisations that are making the most impact today.
Innovation Leaders continue to deliver significant, sustained growth based on clear strategic ambitions, fast exploitation of new insights and effective collaboration across the innovation arena.
Leaders know in their gut that creativity and innovation are the lifeblood of their organization. New ideas can lead to programs that are superior to those that are already going on or planned in the organization and which would have been divested or never initiated had a better idea or program come along. So, the mission of every leader should be to search continually for ideas and programs that are superior to the ones the organization is currently committed to. In a word, it's called PROGRESS.
Creativity and innovation are not mysterious forces over which leaders have no control. Progressive leadership can and does create a climate that encourages creativity and innovation. There are many specific leadership initiatives, validated by the success of certain high-tech companies, that enlightened leaders can take to stimulate creativity and innovation in any work setting.
To get a creative idea is one thing, but to get it transitioned into the innovation of a new product or service requires other personal characteristics. Innovative people need the kind of mind-set that can produce the succession of processes that lead to successful innovation, such as
1. Generating the idea,
2. Informing "significant others,"
3. "Selling" the idea effectively,
4. Planning the development process, and
5. Overcoming constraints (time, money, relevance).
Leadership is passion. Without passion, a person will have very little influence as a leader. I believe passion provides an individual with the light of leadership and creates an undeniable drive to make a difference.
John Maxwell said "leadership is about influence - nothing more, nothing less." This moves beyond defining the leader to looking at the ability of the leader to influence others. Indirectly, it also builds upon leadership character, since without maintaining integrity and trustworthiness, the capability to influence will disappear.
Passion is the light of the leadership torch that will help guide the way now and in the future!
"In all great leaders there is a purpose and intensity which is unmistakable." (L. Ron Hubbard) Passion is a self-generated tool. You have the ability to motivate yourself; to concentrate on your purpose; to get yourself excited about what you do.
Assertiveness is not what you do, it's who you are! - Cal Le Mon
Assertiveness is the quality of Leaders. No one can become leader without abundance of assertiveness skills. Every Leader will have their own way of demonstrating their assertiveness to get the things done in the workplace. One can identify the assertiveness of Organisations with the way they are exposing themselves to the general public. Lack of assertiveness means lack of confidence and lack of confidence means, lack of leadership qualities. A Leader without Assertiveness Skills cannot manage people. Assertiveness is the key to master the art of people management.
As the word itself sounds, Assertiveness is nothing but a skill to assert yourself effectively to get the things done. Assertiveness is an integral part of effective communication.
There are four styles of Communication, Passive, Passive-Aggressive, Aggressive and Assertive Communication. All styles have their proper place and use. Among these styles of Communication, Assertive Communication is the healthiest. Assertive Communication is the style of Leaders, who wish to get the things done by motivating the team, for the benefit of the organization.
You lead through two-way communication. Much of it is nonverbal. For instance, when you "set the example," that communicates to your people that you would not ask them to perform anything that you would not be willing to do. What and how you communicate either builds or harms the relationship between you and your employees.
All are different. What you do in one situation will not always work in another. You must use your judgment to decide the best course of action and the leadership style needed for each situation. For example, you may need to confront an employee for inappropriate behavior, but if the confrontation is too late or too early, too harsh or too weak, then the results may prove ineffective. Various forces will affect these factors. Examples of forces are your relationship with your seniors, the skill of your people, the informal leaders within your organization, and how your company is organized.
If you are a leader who can be trusted, then those around you will grow to respect you. To be such a leader, the researcher made a Leadership Framework which is as under:
Be, Know, Do
Be a professional. Examples: Be loyal to the organization, perform selfless service, take personal responsibility.
Be a professional who possess good character traits. Examples: Honesty, competence, candor, commitment, integrity, courage, straightforwardness, imagination.
Know the four factors of leadership - follower, leader, communication, situation.
Know yourself. Examples: strengths and weakness of your character, knowledge, and skills.
Know human nature. Examples: Human needs, emotions, and how people respond to stress.
Know your job. Examples: be proficient and be able to train others in their tasks.
Know your organization. Examples: where to go for help, its climate and culture, who the unofficial leaders are.
Do provide direction. Examples: goal setting, problem solving, decision making, planning.
Do implement. Examples: communicating, coordinating, supervising, evaluating.
Do motivate. Examples: develop morale and esprit de corps in the organization, train, coach, counsel.
Participative (Decision Making)
Involvement in decision-making improves the understanding of the issues involved by those who must carry out the decisions. People are more committed to actions where they have involved in the relevant decision-making. People are less competitive and more collaborative when they are working on joint goals. When people make decisions together, the social commitment to one another is greater and thus increases their commitment to the decision. Several people deciding together make better decisions than one person alone.
A Participative Leader, rather than taking autocratic decisions, seeks to involve other people in the process, possibly including subordinates, peers, superiors and other stakeholders. Often, however, as it is within the managers' whim to give or deny control to his or her subordinates, most participative activity is within the immediate team.
The best action of the leader depends on a range of situational factors.
When a decision is needed, an effective leader does not just fall into a single preferred style, such as using transactional or transformational methods. In practice, as they say, things are not that simple.
Champion in customer Services
The lifeblood of any business is good customer service. By offering low prices and promotions you can bring in as many new customers as you can, but you won't be a champion in customer service and your business won't be profitable for long, unless you can get some of those customers to come back.
If you are a good salesman, you can sell anything to anybody just the once. But it will be your approach to customer service that determines whether or not you'll ever be able to sell that person anything else. The essence of good customer service is forming a relationship with customers - a relationship that that individual customer feels that he would like to pursue.
By remembering the one true secret of good customer service and acting accordingly; "You will be judged by what you do, not what you say."
Customer service contributes to an organization's competitive position. Customers of many organisations have some choice about the services or products they use and who supplies them. Often the technical features and cost of the service or product are almost identical. If this is the case, the quality of the customer service offered makes all the difference about which supplier the customer chooses. In business to business marketing, customer service offers firms the opportunity to differentiate themselves from competitors and thereby establish a competitive edge. However, competing on the basis of customer service presents its own problems in the area of effectively segmenting markets and dealing with the free-ride phenomenon.
Your customers and your market are always going to be changing. The best way to stay successful is to always be one step ahead of those changes.
1.3.9 Creative Problem Solving Skills:
(1) Describing and analyzing a problem, (2) Identifying causes of a problem, (3) Developing creative options and choosing the best course of action, and (4) Implementing and evaluating effective and efficiency of the decision.
Conflict Management Skills:
(1) Identifying sources of conflict - functional and dysfunctional conflicts, (2) Understanding personal style of conflict resolution, (3) Choosing the best strategy for dealing with a conflict, and (4) Developing skills in promoting constructive conflicts in organization and teams.
(1) Distinguishing distributive and integrative negotiations, position and principle negotiation, (2) Identifying common mistakes in negotiation and ways to avoid them, (3) Developing rational thinking in negotiation, and (4) Developing effective skills in negotiation that benefits all parties involved.
Self-Awareness and Improvement:
(1) Understanding the concept of self-management, (2) Evaluate the effectiveness of self-management, (3) Developing creative and holistic thinking, (4) Understanding the importance of emotions in works as well in self-development, (5) Understand of self-motivation, and (6) Effectively managing self-learning and change.
Task: 2. Personal Skills Audit
Leadership plays the most important part in the organization as it acts as the back bone of the strategies of the person in the organization.
Let us suppose that I am the manager if a branch of Mcdonald's in East London. I being the manager of the McDonalds Company would surely like to lead from the front. I will adopt those policies which would be possible to improve the customer's services of the organization. Communication is the best key for the leadership. It will be one of the most important parts of my strategies. I would like to share my opinions with the other staff members of the company. Those policies will be adopted which will be beneficial for all the people including staff and customers. After every week, meetings will be organized to improve the efficiency and remove the weaknesses of the workers of the organizations. I will make sure that all the members of the organization are working and fulfilling their responsibilities. I will keep eye on all the important aspects of the organization. Change is also an important key of the organization. I will discuss all the change which could bring innovation in the organization with the members of the organization. There will be a special department in the organization whose duty will only be to keep an eye on the new and important changes outside the department. I will keep the process of innovation on in the organization. All achievements of organization will be celebrated with workers and I will give incentives and bonuses to the workers of the organization. There will be a special prize for the person whose performance will be outstanding. All the flaws will be discussed in weekly meetings and will make sure that those errors and mistakes should not be repeated in the future.
To check my skills level and further improvement, a questionnaire was designed and had been distributed to all the workers working in the branch. A summary of their responses was as under.
Questionnaires have been sent as hard copy to the employees of McDonald's East London Branch working in different departments. There were different sections in questionnaire. To start with analysis of the questionnaires, the rate of response was as follows:
Rate of the response
Table 2.1: Response Received From Questionnaires
Usually the response rate of questionnaires is between 20 - 30 %, but the response rate of this research which is 60% was very pleasant.
The summary of the findings is as under
Being a manager of the McDonalds, it is my duty to work with full devotion, motivate employees to work more efficiently and make a plan about the organization. Based on the final rating and findings, this is the summary of the responses I received from workers.
SWOT is a combination of 4 words; S stands for strength, W for weaknesses, O for opportunity and T for threat.
Based on the responses of questionnaires, my qualities are innovation, passion, customer services, decision making, problem solving and communication. As for as I think, my best strength is communication. It is one of the most important parts of my strategies. I would like to share my opinions with the other staff members of the company.
My weaknesses are creativity, assertiveness and conflict management.
In our organisation
We provide the food according to the where they work, like, most of the Indians customers are vegetarian, and so we provide vegetarian burgers to those people.
We have a world fame and exposure.
We strengthen our customers by providing them different offers and deals that's why our customers are very loyal.
They have a big chain of competitors, who also provide good services and products.
Their main focus in on healthier products for all ages.
In this time of recession, most of the customers cannot afford expensive products, so, they better to choose different cheap product for them, that's why, our sale, has gone down.
Task: 3. Personal Development Plan
Establishment of Future Goal:
I have many goals in my life for my organization. As it is mentioned, these goals should be according to SMART criteria.
SMART is actually a combination of 6 words where S stands for Specific, M for Measurable, A for Attainable, R for Relevant and T for Time bound.
Short term goal:
This is the most important part of the job and goal. To get the success in the organization, one has to start from the lower level. Learning is a part which affects the worker's personality in the organization. I have got enough knowledge of my job's skill but, with the change of the environment and businesses, every day, new policies and skills come in the market which differs from the old ones. I would like to update my mind with the new innovative things to get more reliable results in my organization. Learning will keep me informed about my duties and job.
Without training learning is worthless. It is seen that sometimes very educated people don't get success because of no training and skills. Training is the most important part of the job. I have got enough training in my previous organization, so, I won't have any problem to do this work. To join a new company it is also a very important part. I would love to ask questions from my upper, lower level and most important experienced staff members to train me about my work and duty. With the change of time, new and innovated product and instruments come in the market. So, training is every time required. I would like to get training from all important and possible ways.
3.2 Medium terms goals:
Maintain the discipline:
Being the manager of the McDonalds, It would be my duty to run the organization by all possible means. Discipline is the most important key. I would like to keep the staff to adopt the same habits. This is my goal. I want to keep the staff disciplined. So, that, all organizations would love to take my example of discipline.
Keep an eye on the progress of organization:
This is a part of my job. I know that if I am not successful to do this, I could be expelled from my position. I will surely keep an eye. I will keep the record in my memory and always try to take steps to improve the faults.
Long term goals:
Be a successful business man:
To be a successful business man is my dream and long term plan. I am sure if I keep myself according to my short term and mid-term goal, one day I will get my main and important goal to be a successful businessman.
Obviously, this is the dream of most of the people of the organization; I would love to earn a lot of money for me. This is my final goal and I am pretty sure that I will get this goal easily.
Identification & enumeration of specific Actions to achieve goals
All goals mentioned above can be achieved by proper planning and motivation.
I will be focussed and firm in my all goals to achieve them. To be focussed, I have to get enough knowledge and training about my job skill. I have enough education in the field of management but I know that learning education is not enough to run the organization. Practical is the most important part of the duty and job. I will get training about my duties. I will be focussed on all of my objectives. During training and job, my eyes will be fixed on the objective, I have settled for me.
To be a realistic is my first priority. I think if a person is realistic about his work, he can get the confidence of the management easily. Once he get the confidence of their staff and workers, it's not difficult for him to maintain his progress in that department.
Punctuality is actually a characteristic of getting able to do a specific work before the given and specific time. I would love to be a punctual of the Organization as it improves the efficiency of the worker. To get the respect and confidence of the Management, one has to be punctual to achieve the goal.
I want to be reliable person in the organization. In the field of business, if a task is given to the worker by the management or managing director and he does the task accordingly without delaying, so, the person is called a reliable person. I would like to do the work and task given by the managing director before the due time or date. It could make me more reliable in the eyes of the whole management and they would like to share their views and ideas as they would consider me a reliable person of the organization.
I am a motivational person and love to motivate those people who do their work accordingly. Motivation brings the confidence in the worker. I would like to perform myself before asking anybody to do. Being a manager, it is my personal duty to do this.
My ambition of life is to be a most important person of the organization and I am ambitious about it. I love my duty and perform it with my zeal and enthusiasm. I don't want any person to raise the finger on me.
3.5 Communicating plan:
This is a very important task to communicate the plans to the Supervisors or Managers of the Company. If, plans are discussed with the managers or supervisors of the company, it will be easy for them to check the confidence level of the person in front of the top management. It develops the confidence of the employee in that particular organization. Top management of the organization could be satisfied and impressed with the worker. It is also easy for them to know about the thinking and plans of the employee. He will have better chance to be selected in the organization's desirable post. Top management of the organization will be able to know about the employee's positive thinking about his career. They will understand that there are some special plans of the employee to do something for the organization's betterment.
In my thinking, this is the most important and essential part to discuss and share the PDP to the Supervisors to know them about my plans. I will prepare my self to discuss the plans with them. I will make sure before going there that I have prepared the plans well. Is there anything missing? If there is any weakness, I would like to remove it first before going there. To be well dressed will be my first and most important priority. Dressing reflects the personality. I will make sure that I have had all the important needs of my dress i.e. Tie, coat, Nice and simple coloured shirt and well dressed pant. It is very important to look like a smart person before communication to your boss. I will have all the knowledge of the McDonalds and my job. This gives the extra marks in the communication to the boss.
Task: 4. Evaluation & Review
4.1 Implement the PDP:
To design something is always nice, but, implementation is not very easy to achieve them. There will be many obstacle to get the desire result but I will try to solve them with nice and ease. Some of the important way and resources will be used to implement my personal development plans. Those resources are given below.
I am basically a born hard worker and don't fear to do any work. Once a person shows his performance in the organization by doing hard work, he could easily get the confidence of the staff and management of the specific organization. This will also be my priority to get the desire position by working hard.
I would love to have a nice attitude in myself. I would love to be friendly with the staff members and management of the organization. Sweet words could solve the problems more easily and comfortably. I will motivate the staff members and customer service provider to be a nice with the customers.
Honest is the best policy. This is a very natural phenomenon that if you are honest with the work, job and organization, you could be a successful person. I am basically an honest person and love those people who are honest. I would like to be the honest with the job and duties. This is my long term plan, I know, if, I am honest. Everyone can trust me as a reliable friend and worker. Company can only trust me, if and only if, I am an honest with them.
These things are not easy to adopt on the consistent basis as consistency is the most difficult job but I would try to do a consistent in my objectives.
4.2 Review and Monitor the progress of the PDP:
Once I am selected on the basis of the personal development plans which I mentioned, it would be necessary for me to implement those plans as my duty. I will keep this plan with me all the time and feed them in my personal Laptop, which would remind me every time about my planning. I would like to make them in the form of list and catalogue; this is an easy and nice way to keep the data to understand it easily and quickly.
I will divide them in three parts.
1. Short term plans.
2. Mid-term plans.
3. Long term plans
When I go first time in the job, my fist and short time plan will start, I will like to implement on those plans and use all the resources needed for them. First impression is the last impression. I won't miss my first time period in laziness. I would love to adopt my main tool hard work to achieve and get my short term plan. Other plans will be implemented after achieving short term plans.