"The first Step in Excellent Management is Excellent
by Craig A.
Stevens, his students, and other professionals.
Excellent leadership is not a trait only for the top of the organization, but
a skill to be developed in everyone throughout the organization. If any one
person cannot lead the tasks for which they are responsible, they are likely not
Someone once said, "The more you need your Boss, Supervisor or Customer
the less they need you."
This is only half of the story. The other half is this, you can
always tell an ineffective leader by how hard that person works in relation to
his or her team. Effective leaders have effective hard working teams.
My pet peeve is
never knew a
true manager who
did not have a
staff and once
you add people
you better add
broader, you can
be a leader
without being a
manager. One can
never be an
Your company cannot have excellent
management without excellent leadership. Leadership is a necessary part of
working with people, managing in general, and obtaining excellent long-term
results. The difference is related more to excellent verses poor management,
instead of management verse leadership.
Craig A. Stevens
Summary of the
article, "Tightrope: Be a leader for your employees, not a parent"
By Steve Sullivan (IBM
and TNU 2007)
Employee motivation is a tricky subject. A manager must walk a fine line
between motivating and de-motivating. As a manager, you must be careful
not to over lead by treating your employees as a child or under lead by
providing not enough directions. In an article in USA
TODAY, Gladys Edmunds attempts to help manager dealing with just such an
Edmunds article, “Tightrope: Be a leader for your employees, not
a parent” explains “each individual must come with his or her own stuff
that motivates them” As our reading from the last week suggests,
managers must figure out what motivates their employees individually. On
Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, self-actualization - the use of
talents, gifts and potential to realize your dreams is the highest need
as related to drives and motivations. (Edmund)
Edmund offers some help to this problem by answering the
question, what can a manger do to help the self-motivated person.
Edmund offers the following six
questions for managers to answer for them selves to help walk this
Do you hold regular staff meetings and invite
suggestions and ideas from your employees?
Do you use their suggestions and reward them fro
Are you employees working in the jobs they were
hired for? Alternatively, did you promise one position and place
them in a different one?
Do you encourage them to set work goals and
report their successes as those goals are reached?
Have you established mutual trust between you
and them? Do they feel like they can trust your judgment?
Do they learn of an important business decision
directly from you or through the rumor mill?
Edmund concludes the article by confirming the
benefits of balancing such a tight rope. The employees that have learned
by your example will be better managers for their employee. In addition,
their motivation will sky rocket while under your charge.
Edmunds, Gladys. “Tightrope: Be a leader for your
employees, not a parent.” August 13, 2007.
TODAY, June 21, 2007.
past CEO of the Girls Scouts of America, explained leadership
eloquently, "Leadership is a matter of how to be, not how to do
it...and... the ethics that works full-time."
Ralph Stogdill said
"The most effective leaders…exhibit a degree of versatility and
flexibility that enables them to adapt their behavior to the changing
and contradictory demands made on them.”
Slocum (TNU 2005)
By Ronie Karr, Allen McPeak, Lamar
Hollingsworth, and Glenda Frierson (TNU 2006)
An effective leader can possess many
different character traits. The four characteristics mentioned below are
a sampling of traits effective leaders demonstrate. Trusting
subordinates, communication, encouraging risks, and expertise in
particular field are important for an effective leadership. Out of all
the valuable skills needed for an effective leadership, these four
skills prove extremely helpful.
Mutual trust between top management and
employees is essential in order to be an effective leader. By
recognizing employees’ potential and delegating authority when possible,
employees will feel more trusted and valued. “The Seven Keys to Business
Leadership,” an article featured in Fortune Magazine mentions one
leader’s viewpoint on trust. Steven F. Dichter, a partner at management
consulting firm McKinsey and Co. says: “You can no longer afford to
manage for average performance, and if you want to get that extra margin
from employees you have to loosen all the boundaries” (par 2). Leaders
who want a high-commitment organization have to start relying more on
the entire work force. This means pushing responsibility down the
ladder. When employees’ efforts are recognized and rewarded, the quality
and quantity of work will improve. Distributing work among subordinates
is the only way this can happen. This act forces management to unleash
their tight grasp on things and forces subordinates to take action.
Giving employees more responsibility and
authority is an important step toward trusting subordinates. One way to
give employees more authority is letting them have a voice in decisions.
Donald E. Petersen, previous Ford Motor chief, was one of the first CEOs
to establish this sense of teamwork. Petersen believed, “employee
involvement requires participative management…anyone who has a
legitimate reason, who will be affected by a decision, ought to have the
feeling that people want to know how he or she feels'' (par 3). This
type of attitude improved Ford’s quality of cars and improved the
financial status of the company. Veterans of the industry say the change
in employee attitudes was obvious. More freedom and input on
decision-making enhanced employees trust. This change made employees
want to work to the top of their abilities. Leaders who exude the
quality of trust when dealing with employees can lead a successful
The effective leader must also have the quality of being a good
communicator. He must be able to put forth his ideas clearly and
concisely. If he fails in this, he will most likely fail in everything.
His very life-blood depends on it.
If those who follow a leader do not receive clear instructions, the
results can be disastrous. Many companies have failed because of bad
communication. Lower management may not have completely understood what
was required of them or their subordinates.
The good leader will not just communicate convincingly. He will
communicate with authority and understanding because he has all the
facts. He will also be able to answer any questions that arise. He will
not be vague. Royce A. Coffin, in his book, The Communicator, says,
“Don’t be vague. You may never know what misinterpretation or confusion
you set in motion by not being clear and complete in what you say”
One area that people take for granted is a leader’s ability to
communicate clearly while making a speech. Business communication is not
just memos and policy statements. A leader must have the ability to
deliver speeches in an effective manner. Social settings are another
area where a leader will communicate among his employees. Even during
these times, he must not remove his cloak of leadership and his ability
to communicate. It is within the social scene that a leader can exert
his communication skills. Socially he should be able to display the
quality of genuine interest in his fellow workers. Unless a leader has a
genuine interest in his fellow workers, his communications with them
will seem shallow and insincere. Dale Carnegie, that great motivator of
men, said it well in his classic, How to Win Friends and Influence
People: “Be sincere. Do not promise anything that you cannot deliver.
Forget about the benefits to yourself, and concentrate on the benefits
to the other person” (Carnegie 246).
Another important factor in effective leadership is the ability to
take risks. Having a certain outcome is comfortable but it does not
prove to be rewarding. Taking chances builds personal growth and
develops personal power within an employee and leader. Encouraging risks
helps a company overcome fears, build confidence, and open new
opportunities for the future.
Many leaders do not encourage risk taking among their employees. Some
authority figures also never risk anything themselves because of
concerns. “Fear of failure keeps many people from ever risking something
new or unknown” (The New England Leadership Program par. 5). Overcoming
these fears is the first step in taking risks. Provoking an employee to
take on a task he is not accustomed to is intimidating. Leaders have to
encourage facing fears to open creative thinking. Encouraging employees
to take chances helps them overcome their fears and learn from past
Promoting risks also helps one to build self-confidence. This assurance
not only helps an employee personally but also makes a team stronger.
Past mistakes even helps one with confidence by knowing what not to do.
Leaders encourage risk taking because they understand that mistakes give
hope to employees. Both leaders and their staff build confidence by
pushing themselves to try new things. This confidence in taking chances
helps everyone involved in a team become more creative.
Exploring new territory within a group develops opportunity for the
future. When leaders drive their employees to take chances, the staff
uncovers new ways to benefit their company. “Most organizations consider
taking risks as an essential part of their success” (Simon Firth par.
Encouraging risk taking can lead a company
to new insights. Every risk is a success because even failures build
character. When employees understand that risk taking is vital to a
company, everyone in the company will benefit.
Expertise in Field
The last quality that an effective leader should possess is
expertise in his or her field. Leaders in today’s market must empower
themselves by knowing as much about business as possible. “Continuous
Learning” is part of an ongoing process that keeps the company
up-to-date. Leaders in management, owners, and supervisors need to know
what is going on in the marketplace.
Leaders should have knowledge of products and services of their company
as well as the competitions. These two areas are crucial for a company’s
success. Leaders must recognize that customer relations are also a
primary reason for the success of any company. Continual learning and
improvement in these areas will be beneficial. Customer relations allow
companies to be current with issues that relate to personnel and
internal/external concerns. For leaders to be effective, attention to
this area is critical. The novel, Geronimo Stone by Craig A. Stevens and
Michael Moore discusses these issues: “If your people don’t learn
incrementally, it is harder for them as the technological changes add
up” (124). The book goes on to say, “Remaining competitive requires
constant change and continuous improvement” (122).
Another area a leader should be educated in is marketing and research.
By keeping up with the competition a company can stay proactive in its
marketing. A leader must continuously study each aspect of the business
in this global economy. If not, a leader may find his or her company
falling behind the competition. All leaders should concern themselves
with life long learning. Leaders at every level should be expected to
know as much about the organization as possible. This should be a
continual process, which in turn will keep the company growing.
Another goal of a leader should be to gain knowledge in order to share
information with team members. Results happen when all parties share the
outcomes acceptable to performance standards outlined by the
organization. These goals should be common to all effective leaders.
Results commonly occur through training and development. “Although
training and development go hand in hand…training typically focuses on
providing employees with specific skills while development is an effort
to provide abilities that organizations may need in the future” ( Gomez-Majia,
Balkin, & Cardy 288). The text Human Resource Management, by Gomez-Mijia,
Balkin, & Candy discusses how individual standards can improve
considerably. Simply put, supervisory development is an effort that
enhances the learner's capacity to be a supervisor. Supervision often
includes conducting basic management skills, decision making, problem
solving, planning, delegation, and meeting management. This ensures
conformance to personnel policies and other internal regulations. These
are all critical skills for anyone who has the ability to manage their
own learning. The highly motivated, self-directed leader can gain a
great deal of learning through this method.
Leaders can guide companies through many different channels. Because
of this, it is important to know which leadership qualities motivate
employees the best. A leader that does not trust his subordinates or
communicate well cannot be effective. Encouragement of risk taking and
specialization in particular field is also a necessity for an effective
leadership. Without these traits, a leader will have a difficult time
motivating and encouraging employees.
Carnegie, Dale. How to Win Friends and
Influence People. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1936.
Coffin, Royce A. The Communicator. New
York: Harper and Row, 1975.
Gomez-Mijia, Luis R., David B. Balkin,
and Robert L. Cardy. Managing Human Resouces. New Jersey:
Stevens, Craig A., and Michael Moore.
Geronimo Stone. FL: Llumina Press, 2006.
In the future, empowerment will become more important, leading to fewer layers of management.
To enable a quick, effective response, the information gatekeepers will have to
be empowered decision-makers. However, many efforts of empowerment fail, in
part, due to a lack of understanding that empowerment requires a systematic
step-by-step approach as displayed in the figure below (Pepper and Stevens, 1992).
John Maxwell has a series of must have books. In one of his series of books
related to the 21 Irrefutable laws of leadership, he makes some good
Law number 20 of his 21 irrefutable laws of leadership is "The Law of
Explosive Growth." To add growth in your company lead good followers.
To multiply growth in your company lead leaders. (Maxwell, 2002)
C. Maxwell; The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, Workbook, Thomas
Nelson Publishers, 2002
Leaders have a choice to “Motivate or
Inspire” When we motivate, we serve ourselves first, when we inspire,
we serve others first.
Lance Secretan, Inspiration by Action
Allan Crooks, Darla Sansom, Callie Clark (TNU 2005)
So, How do you create a company of leaders?
The word most often used and sometimes abused is "Empowerment."
Empowerment is an effective management tool in motivating employees for the
benefit of the organization. Empowerment acknowledges employee skills and
demonstrates management's trust in employees. As a result, management can
confidently grant authority to employees, which results in employees' greater
sense of self-confidence and increased motivation. Empowered employees are
liberated to enjoy a more meaningful jobs and to drag the company with them to
success. The people of an organization are the only true power of an
organization to meet its goals. (Craig
Stevens and Gina Jones, HCA Inc., 2004)
In the words of John Maxwell. Irrefutable Law Number 12 is "The Law of
Empowerment, Only Secure Leaders Give Power to Others."
C. Maxwell; The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, Workbook, Thomas
Nelson Publishers, 2002
"First Part of Leadership is Dealing With People and
the Second Part of Leadership is Influencing People to Get
Results." Craig Stevens
THE KEYS TO LEADERSHIP SUCCESS
By: Karen Loso, Ruby
Northcutt, Laura Smith, Mike Toney (TNU 2006)
qualified leaders. Leaders who evolve to perform consistently
within organizations must possess four key abilities to effect
change. These important characteristics include applying
leadership styles appropriately, communicating effectively,
managing performance regularly, and developing associates
responsibly. These keys, when applied skillfully, provide
managers the opportunities to unlock excellence in leadership.
1: Appropriate Application of Leadership Style
theories debate the principles that define specific leadership
styles. The authors, Lee Bolman and Terrence Deal, note that
agreement exists among the major studies regarding leadership
(342). The conclusion reveals that there is no best leadership
style (Bolman and Deal 342). One study by behavioral theorists
Paul Hersey and Kenneth Blanchard fully supports a contingency
theory. Hersey and Blanchard believe that situational behavior
based on contingency forms the basis of leadership styles (107).
This simply means that a leader must assess situations before
taking appropriate action. Progressive leaders need the ability
to apply contingency or situational assessment in changing
organizational environments. The contingency style of leadership
is a model that provides leaders with a menu of choices of
Situational Leadership - Leaders who maximize
effectiveness begin with the understanding of leadership style.
The contingency style of leadership derives its credibility from
a behavioral approach. Hersey and Blanchard define leadership
style as the regular behavior patterns by leaders that create
perceived influence (145). They realize that the variables of
any situation in leadership are never the same. The theorists
understand that leaders contend with a wide range of factors.
Leaders therefore must consider contingencies such as the
individuals involved and the environments of the situations
(Hersey, Blanchard, and Johnson 145-173). Leaders base decisions
on the amount of instruction and emotional support needed by
others to accomplish tasks. Additionally, leaders must consider
the attitudes and ability levels of followers to perform any
designated tasks. Further, leaders use different styles of
decision-making in order to motivate followers to perform well.
Modification of the leaders’ behaviors takes place when
followers reach needed skill levels to achieve goals (Hersey,
Blanchard, and Johnson 173-188). Hersey and Blanchard call this
type of leadership style Situational Leadership. Leaders using
this model of leadership style must analyze each situation,
applying the leadership style that best fits.
Application Process - The process of applying
Situational Leadership style is a cycle that requires leaders to
“diagnose, adapt, and communicate” (Hersey, Blanchard, and
Johnson 144). First, leaders must determine what objectives need
achieving and where to exert influence upon followers. Second,
leaders must assess readiness levels for followers to achieve
set goals. Third, leaders must apply the appropriate style of
leadership to communicate and obtain the desired results from
followers. The fourth phase or the assessment involves the
analysis of the results from the leadership behavior. The final
phase of application requires a follow-up assessment of the
overall situation (Tubbs, Stewart L. 237-239). The chart below
provides a quick overview of the Situational Leadership Model.
When leaders learn to
apply task and relationship behaviors to influence others
effectively, then Situational Leadership becomes successful.
Task behavior is the way a leader defines roles for others.
Relationship behavior involves how the leader communicates in a
variety of ways. The combination of these behaviors forms
subsets of situational leader behavior. The first behavioral
combination, or S1, involves high task/low relationship. The
next combination or S2 involves high task/high relationship
behaviors. A third combination, or S3, behaviors include high
relationship/low task. The last combination, or S4, behaviors
include low relationship/low task. Decision styles for
Situational Leadership application include telling (1), selling
(2), participating (3), or delegating (4). These decision styles
work in conjunction with the degrees and types of behavior that
form a cycle of influential leadership (Hersey, Blanchard, and
A successful application of Situational Leadership style must
also include the abilities and willingness of followers. Hersey
and Blanchard call this factor the “Readiness factor” (175). A
scale rates the abilities and willingness of followers to
perform tasks. Readiness, ranked in categories, includes high,
moderate, and low. Rankings in these categories are from one to
four. Leaders make decisions for appropriate applications of
leadership style in combination with follower readiness rankings
(Hersey, Blanchard, and Johnson 175-187). The table below
reflects the Follower Readiness Rankings as designed by Hersey
and Blanchard for Situational Leadership (236).
The readiness of a new
employee requires a leader or manager to use specific rationale
and behaviors. The readiness level of an experienced employee
requires a leader or manager to use another combination of
behaviors. For example, a new employee’s readiness level may be
low to moderate. This requires S1 (telling) and S2 (selling)
level leadership behavior that includes more contact with the
employee. In contrast, the experienced employee’s readiness
level may be moderate to high. This situation requires more S3
(participating) and S4 (delegating) leadership behavior with
less contact (Hersey, Blanchard, and Johnson 171-191). The
leader offers some assistance and more encouragement, but allows
the employee to pursue work with less supervision.
The Necessity of
Assessment and Follow-Up - The successful implementation
of Situational Leadership style requires two important final
steps. Assessment gives leaders the results of influence. The
knowledge of results assists leaders in determining the
followers’ performances as well as leadership performances.
Additionally, leaders need to do follow-up procedures. This is
to determine if any additional procedures are necessary to
complete desired results. (Tubbs 237-239). The follow-up
analyses of the situations allow leaders to address needed
changes in the application cycles.
Leadership Excellence - The first key of leadership,
application of leadership style provides the foundation to
leadership excellence. The concept of Situational Leadership
provides adaptability to changing situations and assessment of
readiness levels of followers. Further, the concept offers
leaders choices of behavioral styles to achieve leadership that
effects change. Moreover, this style provides a process for
quantifiable results of application and follow-up. The
Situational Leadership style gives leaders the needed
flexibility to unlock the first key to leadership excellence.
2: Effective Communications
requires good communication.. This communication has to be
two-way communication. The results of good communication should
be to gain associate alignment, agreement, and commitment.
One should keep words
simple. Most people absorb about 80 percent of what they hear,
so information should be broken down into small sections
(Leadership, 7). Speakers often ignore their nonverbal actions.
Nonverbal actions make-up the majority of communication and can
determine how a message is understood. Visual, tactile, vocal,
spatial, and images are all forms of non-verbal communications.
A nonverbal action can be body language or even the tone that
the speaker uses. Nonverbal actions can cause the receiver to
interpret the message incorrectly or differently from what the
speaker intended (Importance, 2).
Tips to Help
1. One person can only talk at a time.
2. Be quick to listen and slow to speak.
3. Remember, it is impossible to listen and talk at the same
4. Use proper body language.
5. Make eye contact.
Barriers are a problem
in communication. Barriers are things that stand in the way of
the listener understanding the message. Some of the more obvious
barriers are noise and the misreading of the speaker’s body
barrier is the listener’s language interpretation. For example,
two listeners will interpret what a speaker says in two
different ways and will come to two different conclusions. This
is why language is the key to effective communications. A
speaker needs to be careful with his words and try to enforce
his meaning in more than one way (Importance, 4).
Finally, the speaker
must know how to communicate. In order for communication to be
successful, a speaker must try to understand and know the
listener. Communication has as much to do with human
relationships as it does with informing listeners (Winnett, 5).
There are four steps
to follow when trying to communicate effectively. These steps
are attention, apprehension, assimilation, and action. The first
step is to eliminate interference or noise. The second step in
communicating effectively is apprehension or understanding.
Achieving apprehension is a major part of the communication
process. One thing that a speaker should remember not to say is,
“Do you understand?” This small question can undo everything
that the speaker said by implying that the speaker does not
believe the listeners is capable of understanding.
The third part of
communication is assimilation. In order for assimilation to
occur, a listener must not only understand the speaker’s message
but also believe it. Belief of the message is essential to the
implementation of new ideas or concepts in a company or
The final step is
action. Action only happens if assimilation has occurred. The
speaker of the message plays a vital part of what occurs after
assimilation. In order to accomplish the goals, the speaker must
offer support as well as the tools that are needed (Winnett,
All of these steps are
essential if effective communication is to occur. For a leader
to be successful, he or she must learn to master these steps. A
leader must also learn to recognize the barriers to
communication and become able to overcome them. The last thing a
leader must remember is to use the proper nonverbal actions as
well as the proper verbal actions.
3: Managing Performance
performance management indicates the importance of motivation
involving employees. The task of managing employees to ensure
challenges in their work, while enabling and motivating them to
reach their highest performance potential is a difficult
responsibility for management today (Frigo 10). The challenge
for management is to ensure employees have appropriate skills
for a particular job and are properly motivated to perform that
job (Understanding 8). Motivation is a key factor in managing
To manage performance
properly, the Situational Approach to performance management is
appropriate. Paul Hersey and Marshall Goldsmith developed the
ACHIEVE method for leaders to use as a performance management
tool to help determine specific performance problems and
understand why these problems exist. According to Hersey and
Goldsmith, the use of a situational approach is an effective way
to address performance management. In the situational approach,
the three steps of planning, coaching, and reviewing define
performance management. Feedback is vital for followers. Without
proper feedback from management, followers are unable to improve
their performance. With proper feedback, followers are able to
improve performance and attain new, higher-level goals (Hersey
The mnemonic device
ACHIEVE uses seven variables: ability; clarity; help; incentive;
evaluation; validity; and environment, to provide leaders and
followers with the necessary tools to improve performance. By
using these seven aides, management can identify performance
problems and determine why these problems exist. Again, the
benefit of using the situational approach is that it allows
management to address needs for each employee based on their
individual situation. Below is a more in-depth definition for
The letter “A”
represents ability and constitutes the skills, experience, etc.
possessed by an employee. Managers identify skills possessed by
employees and set goals and tasks based on ability information.
Management assesses each individual situation to determine if an
employee has the ability to perform a particular task.
“C” represents Clarity
and is the ability of an employee to clearly understand
requested tasks and possess knowledge of what must be done in
order to accomplish them. Problems with clarity in a situation
may result in goals that are never accomplished. It is extremely
important that managers clearly state goals and objectives up
front to employees.
The “H” in the third
variable, help, refers to support by the organization necessary
for employees to complete goals and objectives. Support
encompasses anything from monetary resources to equipment
resources. It is the responsibility of management to aide the
employee in obtaining necessary resources. If required resources
are not obtainable, there should not be repercussions to the
employee for inability to achieve a goal.
“I” stands for
incentive. This refers to the motivation of the employee to
achieve a task or goal. Managers must remember that employees
are motivated in very different ways and address motivational
needs based on the individual situation. Some employees may
require elaborate forms of reward, including monetary rewards,
while others require only a compliment or statement of “a job
“E” refers to
evaluation and relates to the incentive variable discussed
previously. Employees must receive periodic on-going feedback
regarding their performance. Without feedback, employees
“wonder” what is going on and can become unmotivated. Management
should document positive as well as negative feedback.
“V” stands for
validity. The validity of a situation includes the legalities of
decisions by managers. Managers must consider laws and company
policies when making human resources decisions. Managers should
document any issues based on performance. It is the
responsibility of management and human resources to ensure their
decisions are valid.
The final letter “E”
stands for the environment variable. Environment refers to all
external factors that may affect performance. Some of these
include suppliers, market changes, etc. Employees can only
perform as their environments allow (Hersey 351-353).
4: Developing Associates
There are four steps
to ensuring the development of associates.
Each of these steps
builds on another. Each step is distinct and occurs in a
specific order. This process applies to all learning situations.
The process not only improves an associate’s performance
deficit, but also helps him to develop competencies required to
move to the next level, task, or promotion (Batesville Casket
According to Paul
Hersey, Kenneth Blanchard, and Dewey Johnson in Management of
Organizational Behavior, “Before beginning the developmental
cycle with an individual in a work situation the manager must
decide how well that person is doing right now. What is the
person’s readiness level right now in a specific aspect of the
job” (234)? This leads into the first of the four steps to
The first of the
four steps is Awareness. This step requires the
associate to be aware of where they are in the development
process and where the gaps are. They also have to take ownership
and be ready to improve. This awareness comes from many
different avenues such as one-on-one discussions, 360-degree
feedback, and formal skills/competency assessments.
The next step is
Education. To start the education process, the leader
must demonstrate the correct process to use and show associates
how to do the job. After demonstrating or teaching the correct
procedures, the effective leader will check to insure the
understanding of procedures. Examples of educational development
include assigned readings, specialized classes, seminars, and
In Flipping the Switch
by John Miller, he writes that we are learning when we ask the
Questions behind the Questions (QBQ):
What can I do to
develop new skills?
How can I adapt to
the changing world?
What can I do to
apply what I’m hearing?
How can I be more
What can I do to
be my best (17)?
The third step
in this development process is skill practice. Skill
practice allows the associate to put into practice the learning
from the education step, which enables the skill to be
internalized, or perfected. During this step, the leader must
use coaching skills heavily. Neither the associate nor the
company gain the full benefit of the education step when the
skills learned do not include implementation and practice on the
job in a short period. Examples of skills practice assignments
are job rotation, special assignments, off-line training, and
non-work related activities.
Competency is the
final step in the development process. Demonstrated competency
through skill mastery, full proficiency, and the ability to
teach the skills to others reflects understanding of job
requirements. The competency step is the pay-off to the
associate, the team, the supervisor, and the company for the
efforts and accomplishments of the previous three steps. An
example of competency is winning the Tour De France and then
writing a book to instruct others on the steps to take to win.
situational leadership involves the belief that there is not one
way to manage all employees. Managers must consider the
individual employee’s current knowledge level, skills, ability,
and situation. Using these four keys to leadership success and a
situational leadership approach, managers attain the complete
concept of performance management.
Company, “Keys to Leadership Success Training Manual”
Tennessee Facility). Batesville Casket Training Manual.
Bolman, Lee G.,
and Terrence E. Deal. Reframing Organizations: Artistry,
Leadership. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2003.
Frigo, Mark L.
“Strategy-Focused Performance Measures.” Strategic Finance.
Sept. 2002: Vol.
84, Issue 3, p. 10.
Kenneth Blanchard, and Dewey Johnson. Management Of
Behavior: Leading Human Resources. New Jersey:
Miller, John G.
Flipping the Switch. New York: Penguin Publishing Group,
Tubbs, Stewart L.
A Systems Approach to Small Group Interaction. New York:
Leadership’s Roll in Measurement Strategies.” Best Practice
Strategies. July/Aug. 2001: Vol. 1 Issue 6, p. 8. Winnett,
Azriel. “Communicating Effectively in the Workplace: Four
Leadership and an Environment for Motivating Employees
By Steven V. Scudder (TNU
Three different sources
highlight leadership’s role in developing an environment for
motivating employees at various levels. All three sources
concluded that fads did not get the results most leaders and
managers sought in their work places.
The article by Fredrick Herzberg looked past the minor
boost in production or behavior achieved any time management
pays attention to its employees. Instead, the emphasis is
on creating environments that truly provide employee motivation.
Herzberg writes, “but it is only when one has a generator of
one’s own that we can talk about motivation,” (Herzberg 3).
The automotive analogy fits well in this discussion sense we are
trying to find methods that really work and will not need
constant replacing with the next management fad. Herzberg
shatters several myths about employee involvement in developing
ideas or solutions. Most solutions that come from work
group teams fail to make lasting and significant change.
The employee quality circle fad shows little actual success
compared to the investment of time and money.
In the article, “Looking for Help Training Leaders,”
Gerry Kraines, a manager, is having trouble locating worthwhile
leadership training that is not just running the same old games
that do not produce results. These bad classes that claim
to be the latest great craze in leadership training create
unproductive leadership experiences that result in wasted time
and money. According to Sandberg, “some of those who do
have an equally good excuse: lots of leadership development
exercises fall far short of the mark,” (Sandberg par. 2).
There is plenty of good data indicating what works to produce
leaders and provide environments for motivation in the work
The first four chapters of Paul Hersey’s book,
“Management of Organizational Behavior,” focuses on what is
known and accepted about leadership, management, and motivating
people. Hersey tackles several of the myths that permeate
many discussions about improving employee motivation and why it
is important for management to make real change by understanding
human behavior. He demonstrates through research done over
the years which kind of management involvement produces results
in employee performance and how the world of work is moving
toward the knowledge age. Some people believe with the
technology that is available today management and leaders may no
longer be needed. This idea does not standup to the
scientific data available that indicates organizational problems
revolve around leadership and management of human employees.
Hersey further writes, “the effective management of human
organizations comes down to the one-on-one or one-on-a-group
influence process,” (Hersey 10). Therefore, leadership and
employee motivation is still critical issues in the modern
organization and require study to achieve effective results.
These three sources look at how leadership and employee
motivation affects the organizations ability to achieve goals.
Hersey starts by examining the definitions and exploring
research to determine what the discussion of leadership,
management, and motivation should entail. While Herzberg
focuses on getting results and avoiding what is just a fad.
Finally, the newspaper article pinpoints one manager’s
frustration in finding leadership training that will actually be
worthwhile and not just a weekend rafting trip to build fake
teamwork that does not last past the end of the boat ride.
All three come to the realization that the human factor is
intangible and that there is no one method for motivating and
leading people in all situations.
Hersey, Paul, Kenneth Blanchard, Dewey Johnson. Management
of Organizational Behavior:
Leading Human Resources. 8th ed. Upper Saddle River: Prentice
Herzberg, Frederick. “One More Time: How Do You Motivate
Employees?” Harvard Business Review
vol. 81 Jan. 2003: 86-96.
Sandberg, Jared. “Looking for Help Training Leaders.” Courier-journal 24 Apr. 2006:
The Law of the Lid - Leadership determines a person's
level of effectiveness.
The Law of Influence - The True Measure of Leadership
Is Influence - Nothing More, Nothing Less. This tells us that tradition and
ego should not replace results.
The Law of Process - Leadership Develops Daily,
Not in a Day
The Law of Navigation - Anyone Can Steer the
Ship, But It Takes a Leader to Chart the Course
The Law of E.F. Hutton - When the Real Leader
Speaks, People Listen
The Law of Solid Ground - Trust is the
Foundation of Leadership
The Law of Respect - People Naturally Follow Leaders
Stronger Than Themselves
The Law of Intuition - Leaders Evaluate
Everything with a Leadership Bias
The Law of Magnetism - Who You are is Who You
The Law of Connection - Leaders Touch a Heart Before
They Ask for a Hand
The Law of The Inner Circle - A Leader's Potential Is
Determined by Those Closest to Him
The Law of Empowerment - Only Secure Leaders Give
Power to Others
The Law of Reproduction - It Takes a Leader to Raise
Up a Leader
The Law of Buy-In - People Buy into the Leader, Then
The Law of Victory - Leaders Find a Way for the Team
The Law of The Big Mo - Momentum Is the Leader's
The Law of Priorities - Leaders Understand That
Activity Is Not Necessarily Accomplishment
The Law of Sacrifice - A Leader Must Give Up to Go Up
The Law of Timing - When to Lead is as Important As
What to Do and Where to Go
The Law of Explosive Growth - To Add Growth - Lead
Followers. To Multiply - Lead Leaders
The Law of Legacy - A Leader's Lasting Value is
Measured by Succession
A manager is more
effective if he is able to recognize the skills of his
employees. If an employee is not excelling in their
current position then the manager should find a position better
suited for that employee. According to Ed Zimmer in his
article from The Entrepreneur Network,
“Not all employees
will like all jobs--or become competent in them. From my
experience, they will realize it about the same time you realize
it. Do not leave them there. Move them on.
Just chalk it up as one job they cannot do, but do not look at
it -- or them look at it--as “failure.”
An effective leader
will encourage his employees to make their own decisions and not
ridicule them when they make a bad decision. In a sense,
you want them to make mistakes—people learn from their mistakes,
not from their successes.”
One of John Maxwell's 21 irrefutable laws of leadership is
"The Law of Explosive Growth (Maxwell, 2002)." Embedded in this
concept is the fact that a company will grow if the company is full of good
followers. However, the company will have explosive growth if the company
consists of good leaders. You as a manager will experience growth if you lead
good followers, but you will break all records if you lead good leaders.
"To lead good leaders," means one has to empower people and
set them free to grow your company. When employees are free to handle minor and
even difficult situations with customers, it sends the message that the
organization puts the customer first. This empowers the employee, the customer,
and the establishment. It empowers employees by giving them ownership of the
position, and it says that their judgment and decisions are valued. It empowers
customers because problems are addressed immediately. Customers are not made to
feel like they are inconveniencing other customers while standing in line
waiting to explain the situation to management. By allowing flexibility, the
workload and some of the day-to-day responsibilities are spread throughout the
workforce allowing management to devote their attention to the bigger picture
and in order to stay focused on the vision of the company.
If the employee is given ownership, a win-win situation
for the employer, employee, and the customer is created. However, for
empowerment to equal ownership, management must build employees up as leaders
capable of being empowered. It is not a one-day implementation; it requires a
planned incubation in two phases. The first phase is people-centered and the
second phase is a result-centered employee growth and development process. In
the people-centered phase, the employee grows over time into a people-centered
leader. Layers are built as the employee masters the art of relating to and
To begin, the employer must be one hundred percent committed to empowering
the employee, and the employee must be one hundred percent committed to
becoming an empowered leader. If either side is not committed, empowerment
will not happen. One cannot give another commitment.
Once committed, the employee can start the process of understanding. An
excellent leader must understand people, experience, and learn about
motivators, dissatisfiers, and real life demands. Likewise, the employers
should understand the employee's need to operate with a sense of
When one understands a situation or a concept, one becomes more sensitive
to the nuances of the situation. Both employee and employer must become
sensitive to the needs of the business, customers, subordinates, peers, and
supervisors. Being empathetic to others will increase the level of
effectiveness when dealing with people.
The fourth step is respect. Respect only comes after one understands and
is sensitive to others. This is a two-edged sword. For example, if the
employer is sensitive to the fact that the employee is lazy, then the
employee builds a disrespected reputation.
Patience is the fruit that grows from respect. If the empowered employee
understands people and is sensitive to others' needs, patience grows. The
employer must give the employee time to develop and grow into the leader he
or she can become. Upon completion of these steps, the employee has built
the foundation for becoming a leader who can deal with people. To build on
this foundation will be the layers required to obtain results.
The first step required when building on the foundation of leadership is
the information layer. A leader needs correct and truthful information on
which to build. If you do not trust your employees, then they are not really
your people, are they? One must give a leader relevant information, set
challenging goals, and have specific expectations before the leader will be
Trust only comes after one is given correct information over time. By
providing truthful information, goals, and expectations to the employee, he
or she will begin to trust their employers. Trust is essential for
empowerment. Without trust, the employee will never believe the source or
feel confident to act with empowerment. Results will never happen without
After trust comes openness to learning. You would never go to a university
you did not trust; likewise, employees are not open to training and
education unless they trust they will someday use the information.
Now comes true empowerment and ownership. Every step leading to this step
is essential if the employer is truly committed in establishing an
atmosphere of empowerment, and for the employee to truly feel
Evaluation and recognition comes at the end. One should never evaluate a
person not empowered to make results happen. Furthermore, one should never
give recognition to one not correctly evaluated.
The overall benefits of empowering your employees can be a
life long commitment from your employees, which in turn is a cost savings for
your company. Consider the following possibilities:
Empowerment gives employees a voice. They are able to take ownership by
having some control over decisions related to their position.
Empowerment leads to pride, which can lend itself to ownership. Work is no
longer just a place to go for eight plus hours a day. It becomes an integral
part of who the employee is as a person.
Empowerment gives an employee focus. Rather than following the direction
of the organization, empowerment gives control, and the employee has the
freedom to make choices based on his or her decisions.
Empowerment gives the opportunity to be challenged. Employees are given
the freedom to take the job as far as it can go.
Empowerment allows the employee to become self-employed. The position
becomes their organization and they own it.
As mentioned at the beginning of the article, people can
be empowered within limits, depending on the situation and the person. Allowing
empowerment requires management to build their employees up so they will be
capable of being empowered. Upon completion of these steps, the employee has a
foundation for being a leader and has been molded into an empowered employee
that is indeed a building block of success.
John C. Maxwell; The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership,
Workbook, Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2002
Calvin Pepper and
Craig Stevens “Project Management - Maintaining Quality by Communicating,”
Third International Waste Management Conference, ASQC, Las Vegas, Nevada, 92
SOME WORKSHOP SLIDES
"Most managers were trained to be the thing they most despise -
Toffler - Source: "The Ultimate Book of Business Quotations" by Stuart
How to be a Super Supervisor
by Scott Simpson
Technology Manager); Mary Waldo (Inventory Control
Manager); Carla Arwood (Human Relations Manager); and Paul Beaty
Supervisor) (TNU 2007)
Communication within a company is the key to its success. Although
communication is complex, the Business Performance website states
effective communication is a hard skill required today. Hard skills are
technical or administrative skills, compared to soft or people skills.
In the past communication has been a soft skill, but today organizations
require excellent communication skills to remain competitive and
effective. Interpersonal communication is essential for building both
internal and external relationships that can be vital to organizations.
All information, both verbal and nonverbal, is a form of communication.
Voice, facial expressions, silence, gestures, eye contact and gaze,
proximity or space, touch, and body movements all impact communication.
It is important that both types of communication agree. Supervisors
should be precise and to the point, to verify
employees and management have a clear understanding. The vocal tone
should match the conversation with expectations clearly defined.
Being aware of non-verbal communication is
extremely important. Body language may
influence the content of a message and listeners may draw conclusions
based on information gained from nonverbal communication. It is
important to remember actions are as important as words.
According to Susan Heathfield, a UCLA study found nonverbal
communications accounts for approximately 93 percent of effective
communication. John Stewart uses the presidential election of 1976 to
display the importance of nonverbal communication. “An analysis of the
1976 Carter-Ford presidential debates argues that Gerald Ford’s loss was
attributable to less eye gaze with the camera, grimmer facial
expressions, and less favorable camera angles” (Stewart 156). This
example shows that in addition to Ford’s verbal communication, which was
extremely important, the American people were also interested in his
A good supervisor knows how to motivate their subordinates. They
understand that people want to feel accepted and receive recognition for
their contributions. This supervisor is wise to the importance of the
individual and knows that when people feel good about themselves they
reach higher standards in their performance.
Giving responsibility and establishing guidelines are important because
employees need to know what the supervisor expects of them. This is a
sign of good supervisory leadership. According to H.R. specialist Toni
Talbot, they must tell an employee what must be told but in a respectful
manner. Asking the employee to verify understanding will avoid
miscommunication. Giving credit when and where credit is due and
rewarding good performance will create an environment where good
employees thrive. Recognizing employee’s in a timely manner is also
Another important characteristic of a good supervisor is
fairness. They should hold each employee responsible for the work they
do. All adults are accountable for their actions. The supervisor also
should not tolerate poor performance or unacceptable behavior and should
always be consistent. Scott Beagrie of Personnel Today emphasizes that
being fair and even-handed is essential.
supervisor must have a clear and complete understanding of the processes
that his or her employees follow. A supervisor must have a complete
understanding of the tasks that he or she is responsible to manage. The
more complete the supervisor’s knowledge, the more equipped that
supervisor is to help the employees improve processes. LaVerne Ludden
and Tom Capozzoli, the authors of Supervisor Savvy, (1) believe
that most supervisors have great technical skills. They also believe
that technical skills are normally accountable for the supervisor’s
promotion in the first place.
Technical skills are quickly outdated. Jide Awe, founder of the
technology career site, Jidawe.com believes that “It is impossible for
the content from a degree course or certification program to sustain you
throughout your working career.” (Awe 2) A supervisor needs to be a
lifelong learner and always updating his or her technical skills.
new technology emerges, supervisors need to be one of the first people
to learn to use it in order to gain efficiency. This graph, from Craig
A. Stevens of Westbrook Stevens, depicts the lifecycle of a product. As
a new product or technology emerges, supervisors need to be learning
about it during the Introduction period.
Supervisors must have an intimate knowledge of software, hardware, and
specialized tools that are required to perform the day-to-day functions
of his or her department. A supervisor must be able to coach his or her
employees when necessary. This requires the supervisor to know the best
way to use the tools that his or her employees will use. A supervisor
also needs to know how to manage time and resources. Managing requires
him or her to know how to use tools that are more specific to the
supervision task than the work environment task. Software tools used to
create project plans, calendars, and spreadsheets are vital knowledge
for today’s supervisors. These tools allow the supervisor to quickly
enter data, analyze the data, and make decisions based on that analysis.
Time Management Skills
The best supervisors never seem to be in a hurry. They plan their day
before it starts. Many supervisors do not think it is very important to
practice good time management skills away from work. Nothing could be
further from the truth. Rob Bates, senior editor for Jewelers Circular
Keystone notes; a supervisor should make time for himself or herself
whenever possible. If a supervisor maintains a good rest and relaxation
plan at home, he or she will come back to work rested and refreshed.
This downtime on the personal side allows for increased concentration on
the professional side.
Fortunately, there are tips that work both at home and at work. In an
article for The Legal Intelligencer, Harry J. Sauer points out; a
supervisor should take care of his or her big rocks first. The key is
ranking the objectives to accomplish that day. If the supervisor takes
care of the big rocks first, the sand will trickle in everywhere else. A
manager should never procrastinate; procrastination is the ultimate time
thief. Using these few tips will allow supervisors to manage themselves
instead of time. There are other tips that will help a supervisor
maximize his or her productivity.
One of the keys to successful supervision is only handle your mail or
email one time. Author Mary Ann Bell points out the fat approach for
mail-file, act, or trash. These actions force the manager to refrain
from adding to a growing pile of emails. In actuality, this approach can
work for any kind of interaction with others. In most cases, the
supervisor can trash the majority of issues; delegate some of the other
issues. This leaves the supervisor with only the truly important things
Rob. “Take Control of Your Day!” Jewelers Circular Keystone; Sep.
Scott. “How to be a Good Supervisor.” Personnel Today; 12April
Bass's Successful and Effective Leadership Continuum
Craig A. Stevens
In President Bush's Case, during 9/11 his leadership was strong.
Depending on the specific issues, in many cases resultant behavior was
successful. The views of effectiveness is directly related to the specific
subject and point of view. Many times the results were effective and sometimes less so.
But in all cases, unless you are God, most of the possibilities remain hidden
until they become hindsight. After you take an action, the future changes. We
have no way of knowing what effects the other possible actions would bring and
there is no turning back to see what would have happened. Because we have
changed history, we can only speculate.
That is one reason it is foolish to ever consider any plan an unchanging
document. A plan is always a process, to change as ignorance evolves into enlightenment.
It is dangerous not to understand this and to base any leader's success on
"not changing" a plan.
The Importance of Effective Leadership
(By Bill Arbogast, Teresa
Ogletree, and Lesley Kennedy, TNU 2004)
The key to a successful company is strong leadership in
the eyes of the employees and the customers. . Making this work is essential to
the company's bottom line in addition to the success of the employee. One may
measure a leader's effectiveness in many ways, as in the Bass Model of
Successful and Effective Leadership Continuum, illustrated above.
This chart symbolizes the flow of leadership from point
"A" to "B" and how actions by management during these
processes may or may not lead to the right solution. To be more effective, one
thing a leader should remember is to stick with the developed execution of the
company's objectives. While at the same time, it is just as important to
remember that this objective is not a document; it is a process and requires
constant navigation based on the changing environment, competitive responses,
and new information. Once developed, a plan constitutes the beginning; it is up
to the leader to update the plan and make sure enough resources and research
goes into it to ensure that even small failures provide insight into future
changes. The effect a leader and his or leadership style contributes to, as
illustrated by the above diagram, will dictate whether the company's objectives
and vision are truly successful.
Based on Bernard M. Bass. Leadership, Psychology, and
Organizational Behavior (New Your: Harper & Brothers 1960, pp, 90, 448
Paul Hersey, Kenneth H. Blanchard, and Dewey E. Johnson,
Management of Organizational Behavior, Leading Human Resources, 8th Edition,
Prentice-Hall, Inc., 2001, pp. 128
The Webster's Dictionary
defines leadership as guiding on a way, directing activity or performance
of. Leadership sounds simplistic in word, but for some, it is difficult to
practice. The lack of leadership within our businesses today begs for the
attention of executives and employees alike.
The public frequently learns
about the lives of those in top positions from the local newspapers. We
read about their biographies, accomplishments, leadership philosophies and
fiscal goals, but rarely read their concern for their employees that make
the business profitable and keep them running every day. The information
disseminated in most articles is from the "top down" vantage
point - the information given is from the executive's viewpoint rather
than from the average employee's. We learn what employers want and desire,
but almost never learn from employees what they want and need in an
It is important for leaders and
managers to know that employees not only desire just and appropriate
leadership, but desperately seek those in leadership positions to actually
direct them. Leaders must take time to explore the reasons behind employee
and production problems. The first step in the process of resolving these
issues should begin in review of who you are as a leader.
In her book, "The Deming
Management Method," Mary Walton wrote on the importance of commitment
from those at the top to those working on the front lines. When approached
by Ford Motor Co. in 1981 to share his management philosophies, Deming
told Ford that he would only work "where there was a complete
commitment from top management."
After five years of
implementing Deming's methods, Ford was able to report that
"operating costs had been reduced by more than $4.5 billion since
1979 ... $12 million less a day." Why? The executives at the Ford had
taken to heart Deming's methods specifically aimed at those in leadership
and management positions, not the workers on the shop floor.
Executives, as well as front
line managers, should search within themselves to discover if, indeed, the
problem lies at the top. An effective leader will address the following
What leadership style do I
Does my leadership style
negatively impact employees within the company?
Do the decisions I make
benefit a few, or do they benefit the whole team?
Does what I say as a leader
match up with what I ask you to do?
Through the past century, many
management theorists have shared their insights concerning the management
of others. Deming was rejected for a season by those in leadership
positions in America, only for him to rise eventually in the forefront of
CEOs, chairpersons and businessmen's minds alike. Why? Our Japanese
competitors started surpassing us in quality and in pricing, in the late
1970s. It was only when they affected our pocketbooks that the American
businesses community faced the real issue: the need for effectual and
meaningful leadership within the workplace.
How leaders carry themselves
daily sends messages to those they lead. If the leader arrives in to work
only to be shut off from others through a closed door and closed mind, the
message employees get is, "She can't be bothered with what we are
A leader who gets to know what
employees are doing and recognizes that each plays a part in the effective
functioning of the company send out the message that employees are
Above compensation, flex time
and benefits, employees want good leaders within their company. People
need and desire good leadership, and are willing to leave a company for
the lack of it. Leadership and leading are active words - it should be
something that you do, not a position you hold.