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According to Ward S (2010) Leadership is the art of motivating a group of people to act in a specific way towards achievement of a common goal. A leader therefore is a person who has a combination of skills and personality that will make people want to follow his or her direction. The leader should have the ability to manage all the resources under his or her disposal.
Successful leadership as a discipline involves communicating, supervising and inspiring people under his or her leadership.
On the other hand, Management is the organization and co-ordination of the activities of an enterprise in accordance with certain policies and achievement of certain pre-defined objectives.
As a discipline, it involves formulation of policies, organizing, planning, controlling and directing firm’s resources towards achievement of the policy objectives.
According to Reh .J. (2010) a manager is a person who plans and directs the work of other individuals by monitoring their work and taking corrective action when necessary.
Skills are the capacities and abilities obtained through deliberate and sustained efforts to carry out complex activities or job functions. It involves use of ideas (cognitive skills), interacting with people (interpersonal skills) and doing things (technical skills).
Qualities are the attributes that define the degree of excellence. Something of quality is that which is free from deficiencies and ineffectiveness. Knowledge is the expertise acquired by a person through education or practice.
Ability is the acquired or natural capacity, competence or talent that enables an individual to perform a particular job or task successfully any time.
This paper will analyze the specific skills, knowledge, qualities and abilities that an individual will need to develop to become an effective leader and manager.
There is an argument that there is a difference between a leader and a manager. Indeed it is true that all leaders must be managers first but not all managers are leaders.
There are several theories put forward to distinguish between leaders and followers.
According to Cherry K (2010) there are several leadership theories. These include:
Great man theory: It postulates that great leaders are born and not made. Leaders in this group are heroic, mythic and their destiny is to rise to leadership whenever needed.
Trait theory: This theory assumes that people inherit certain traits and qualities that enable them to be best suited for leadership. The theory identifies particular personality and behavioral characteristics which are common for all leaders.
Contingency theories: This theory focuses on variables related to the environment that determine the leadership style to be used in different situations. Thus leadership styles will have to be changed according to the situation.
Success therefore depends on various variables like the situation in question, the qualities of followers, number of variables and leadership style.
Situational theories: Leaders will choose leadership styles depending on the situation. Different leadership styles may be more appropriate for certain decision making than others.
Behavioral theory: This theory is based on the belief that great leaders are made and not born.
According to the theory people can learn to be leaders through observing and learning.
Participative theory: In this style the output of others is taken into account in decision .Leaders
will therefore encourage participation and contribution of the group members and make the
members to feel more relevant and committed to the decision making process.
Management theory: This theory is based on the system of reward and punishment. In this case, when employees succeed, they are rewarded and when they fail they are punished. The role of the manager is thought to be focused on supervision, organization and group performance.
Relationship theory: This theory focuses on the connection between followers and leaders. Leaders motivate and inspire followers by helping the group members to see the importance of the task. Leaders in this group will have high moral standards because they are focused on performance of group members and they want everyone to fulfill his or her potential.
An effective leader must have followers because the essence of leadership is to convince people to act the way you want. Therefore, a leader must have the ability to convince people to pull people towards his direction. This will entail good communication in order to explain goals clearly to the followers. This will bring about better results because the followers understand the goals to be achieved well.
According to Walker .C.A. (2005) effective leadership must be built on a solid foundation which is in turn dependent on the qualities of integrity and humility. He goes further and defines integrity as firmness of character, honesty, uprightness, sincerity and good moral character. Integrity not only influences the goals that leaders chose but also the type of followers that they get. It means therefore that, high integrity builds trust, honor, respect and loyalty among followers.
Humility on the other hand, has the effect of avoiding arrogance in the work place and also allows you to share glory and celebrate success with followers.
Thus, to be successful as a leader, you should build your personal and organizational code of conduct on humility and integrity.
According to White B. (2010), a good leader has several qualities that characterize him or her. These qualities can be summarized as:
Availability: A leader should be available and in touch with the people he leads. This means that he should be sensitive to the needs of people and respond in time.
Maintaining good relationship: Successful business leaders know the importance of good relationships. They will therefore prioritize on minimizing conflict and lack of harmony.
Self motivation and development: Successful leaders will do anything acceptable to ensure that their skills and knowledge base is kept on track because they know the importance of personal and professional development. They therefore set and use goals for motivating themselves and others.
Appropriate use of authority: Good leaders use their authority with wisdom and sensitivity to different circumstances. Authority should therefore not be used in gratifying or promoting oneself or even controlling or dominating others.
Understanding of group dynamics: Successful leaders are good at using both the strengths and weaknesses of a group to achieve the best results. They also have the ability of bringing groups together by leading them without conflict and minimizing harmony.
Having incentives and building team spirit: A result orientated leader will give his juniors incentives in order to improve their performance and maintain quality results.
According to Burger (2004), there are certain abilities that a good leader should have several vital abilities. According to him, leaders are born leaders and develop according to their environment and education. Management on the other hand, can be learnt and obtained by sufficient training, education and acquiring additional skills.
Leaders are necessary to drive the vision home and making sure that the drive stays alive in the hearts of the staff, members and contributors.
The abilities which are very critical for leaders are:
Encouraging workers to be creative and contribute: This is achieved by setting guidelines and encouraging them to participate at their level.
People are individuals: Understand the strengths and weaknesses of the members of your group, listen to their fears and encourage them to achieve their aspirations.
Lead by example: A leader should have the ability to build up a team to support him or her and this means that the leader should first volunteer. Therefore the example that is set by the individual is followed by the rest of the team.
According to Francis M (2007) the quality of a manager and effective management styles determine the culture of the organization, productivity of its staff and the ultimate success of the organization. As such a manager should striver to use the best Management styles.
A manager should have the ability to direct supervise, encourage, inspire and co-ordinate and as a result facilitate action and guide change. In doing this the manager should develop his qualities and those of others.
Managers use planning, Organizational and communication skills. There are certain other skills which must be possessed by effective managers. These skills are:
Creative problem solving skills-A good manager should have the ability to describe and analyze a problem critically. During the analysis, there is need for a good manager to identify the causes of the problems in question and identify the best options and the best courses of action to take. The manager should then implement and evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of his actions.
Communication Skills-A good manager should be able to listen to the juniors and any other ideas from that may be of importance to the organization. He should also be able to make good presentations, give feedback on issues relating to running of the business and be able to write good reports.
Conflict management skills.-The manager should have the ability to identify the sources of conflict in the organization and understand the personal style of conflict resolution. He should also develop the best strategy of dealing with the conflict and promote positive conflict in the organization.
Negotiation Skills -The ideal manager should develop rational thinking in negotiation. By doing so, he will avoid various mistakes in negotiation and develop an effective skill in negotiation that assists both parties.
Self-awareness and improvement-The manager should understand the importance of emotions in work and self-development. In addition, the manager should attempt to understand the importance of self-motivation and how to effectively manage self-learning and change.
Successful managers must have certain qualities which should be able to define them.
They should therefore be:
Enthusiastic: This means that the manager should always be positive about everything because it helps to motivate those under them. Enthusiastic managers are committed to their goals because they express this through their optimism.
Good communicator: The best managers who have good communication skills support individual and team achievements by creating guidelines for accomplishing tasks and career advancement for team members.
Competence: Managers should have the ability to successfully lead others by having a past winning track record. A competent manager has expertise in management skills which enables him to inspire encourage, challenge and model.
Ability to delegate: The way a manager checks and controls the work of others demonstrates his ability to delegate. A good manager should leave the other team members to participate in the work actively.
Help employees set goals: Talking to employees assists in enabling them to understand the overall goals of the business. The manager should then help them to set individual goals which are geared towards achieving the long term business goals. Positively talking with employees and allowing them to participate in goal setting will motivate the workers to work harder.
Effective management styles
Managers are those people who can make the most out of their employees through their inspiration.
According to the tutor2u business site (2010) Managers use different types of management styles according to the preference of the individual manager. These management styles are discussed below:
Autocratic management style: There is close supervision and control of employees and all decisions are made by the manager. Workers are not trusted. They are just given orders which they are expected to follow to the latter. It means that in this style communication is one way.
This style is very important when dealing with large number of semi-skilled workers who can not make certain decisions on their own. It may also be appropriate in time of crisis when fast decisions must be made.
Paternalistic management style: Managers using this style give more importance to the social needs and view of workers. Decisions are therefore made in the best interests of workers. In addition, managers consult employees over issues and they listen to their feedback and opinions.
Democratic Management style: Managers using this style trust their employees and will delegate to them some of the duties and encourage them to make some decisions. This requires two way communication and listening to employees advice. This means that the managers should encourage democratic discussion groups which form the basis of useful ideas. This style is only effective when decisions are made based on the major views of most workers.
According to Vercillo K. (2010), there are ten traits that an effective business manager should have. These are:
Self motivation: The manager should understand the goals of the business and develop individual strategies for achieving the goals. As such, he should be capable of doing the job with minimum supervision.
Great customer service skills: An effective manager should be effective in dealing with customers and /or clients. He should thus be effective in handling problems which may occur with the customers. This means that the manager should be capable of making even the difficult customers happy in order to retain the customer and ensure business growth.
Be a team player: The manager should be interested in making the business to grow. This means he should be ready to work with a team of people for the improvement of the overall business.
Conflict resolution abilities: The manager should serve as a middleman between the lower employees and the company. He should therefore make an effort to solve any disputes that may arise between employees themselves or employees and the management.
Knowledge of the industry: The manager should be able to answer all questions asked by customers, clients and even staff members. The manager should not only have advanced or specialized experience in the fields but should also have a thirst for more knowledge about the industry.
Although there are some people who still argue that leaders are the same as managers, there are some differences between the two concepts which can not be ignored.
Managers have subordinates unless the title is honorary. This means that managers are paid to get things done and can therefore be said to be subordinates of other people.
On the other hand, leaders have followers and it therefore means that when somebody is leading, he or she has to give up formal authoritative control because leading is majorly about voluntary work.
There are however some attributes that must be possessed by both managers and leaders. For instance both the leader and the manager must have good communication skills to be able to clarify issues for attainment of overall best results.
According to Clemmer J (1996), both management and leadership are important for a high performing organization. It is therefore important to understand the similarities and differences between the two concepts. This will help us to balance and improve the two roles.
It is for instance important to understand that you can only lead people and manage people.
According to Kotelnikov V (2001), leaders strive to seize opportunities and amplify strengths while managers avert threats and reduce weaknesses. As the old proverb says, leadership is doing the right thing while management is doing things right. However you should not dwell so much on the differences because both roles are required for corporate growth since the risk of leadership creates opportunities while the strictness of management turns them into tangible results.
It means therefore, to be successful in business one must be both a good leader and manager because you will have to get followers who can easily listen to you and put the set goals into action .Proper management of organizational resources will minimize losses and in the long run maximize the value of the firm.
Excessive use of managerial authority may deter the workers from doing their work well because they will be executing their duties with fear. The managers should thus device good communication mechanisms that will ensure that they are able to understand the fears of the workers and in turn help solve their problems in time.
In conclusion, good management and leadership skills should be used effectively for the betterment of the organization because the two are inseparable and in most organizations leaders are the managers.
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