Leadership and Management Traits and Theories

Leadership and Management Traits and Theories

Leadership and Management Traits and Theories Cheri Adams HCA340: Managing in Health & Human Services Instructor: Celya Tilley October 3, 2011 Leadership and Management Traits and Theories An article from The Leadership Quarterly reported on a study: found that by and large, many bosses today are dishonest with and about their workers. The study specifically pointed out some damming evidence reported by workers about the honesty of their bosses: • 39% said their supervisors had failed to keep promises. • 37% said their supervisors had failed to give credit when due. 31% said their supervisors had given them the “silent treatment” in the past year. • 27% said their supervisors had made negative comments about them to other employees or managers. • 24% said their supervisors had invaded their privacy. • 23% said their supervisors had blamed others to cover up mistakes or to minimize embarrassment (The National Learning Institute, 2007). Florida State University, the authors of the report, suggests that such dishonesty creates problems for companies such as poor moral, lower production and higher turnover.

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These results confirm my own research in interviews and focus groups with managers and their employees over the last twenty years. I too found that the major reason why people leave an organization is because of poor management and leadership. People don’t leave a company they leave their boss! What may surprise some readers is that the Florida State study also confirmed many earlier studies about the relationship between pay and turnover.

It found that a good working environment is more important than pay and that “employees were more likely to leave if involved in an abusive relationship than if dissatisfied with pay (The National Learning Institute, 2007). Leadership is the ability to influence a group toward the achievement of goals. It is setting a new direction or vision for a group that they follow, for example, a leader is the spearhead for that new direction. Leadership sets a direction or vision that others follow, without considering too much how the new direction is going to be achieved.

Other people then have to work hard in the trail that is left behind, picking up the pieces and making it work. Management in all business and organizational activities is the act of getting people together to accomplish desired goals and objectives using available resources efficiently and effectively. Management comprises planning, organizing, staffing, leading or directing, and controlling an organization (a group of one or more people or entities) or effort for the purpose of accomplishing a goal (Wikipedia, 2011). I have had many jobs and many diverse managers.

The manager that is wanting to be my best friend, one that felt like they were out to get me or find anything wrong and criticize the things that I did. I have also had one that was such a pushover, I have even had some that I hated to work with or even be in the same room with. John Kotter describes management and leadership as “two distinct, yet complimentary systems of actions in organizations. ” Planning, budgeting, organizing/starting and controlling/ problem solving are the requirements for the management process according to Kotter.

Kotter depicts the leadership process as: “(1) Setting a direction for the organization, (2) aligning people with that direction through communication; and (3) Motivating people to action, partly through empowerment and partly through basic need gratification. ” (Harvard Business School, 2011). How much attention do they pay to one or the other? The following is a model defined by Blake and Mouton in the early 1960’s, originally known as the Managerial Grid but later was changed to the Leadership Grid. Concern for People |High |Country Club |  |Team management | | | |management | | | | |Medium |  |Middle of the road management |  | | |Low |Impoverished |  |Authority-compliance | | | management | | | |  |Low |Medium |High | | |Concern for Production (Task) | (Symlog and The Leadership Grid, 1991). Country Club Management – is the care and concern for the people, but a low focus on tasks may give questionable results.

Team Management – is when the people are committed to the task and the leader is committed to the people and the task. Middle of the Road Management – is a weak balance of focus of both the people and the work. Just doing enough to get things done and nothing beyond. Impoverished Management – is the minimum effort to get things done. Avoids as much work as possible. Authority-compliance – Little concern for the people but focuses on the task. Leadership is defined as, the action of leading a group of people or an organization.

When it comes to being a leader there is more than one way of going about it, the styles vary from formal to informal leaders. A formal leadership is when a single individual is chosen to guide an organization as a whole. When an individual takes the initiative to step up and direct others this is considered informal. Abraham Zaleznik expresses, that while both leaders and managers aid in the organizations success the two positions bring an array of different qualities to the table.

Leaders are constantly striving for change and for ways to take their ideas to the next level, whereas managers are focused on making sure the strength and the appearance of the company is at its full potential. The extent of their differences range from “attitudes towards goals” to their personal “sense of self” (Harvard Business School, 2011). In the late 1970’s and early 80’s a number of writers ganged up on management. They were looking for a scapegoat to blame for the failure of U.

S. business to cope with the Japanese commercial invasion. The war cry was to replace managers with leaders. It is time to bring management back from the dead, to take its rightful place alongside leadership as an essential organizational function. To do this we need to expose the writings of management’s detractors to show what nonsense they were writing. Actually, there was nothing wrong with the function of management in the 1970’s, just the way it was practiced.

Today’s most successful leaders are focusing on sustaining superior performance by aligning people around mission and values and empowering leaders at all levels, while serving customers and collaborating throughout the organization. Over the long term, organizations filled with empowered employees who collaborate to serve customers will consistently outperform hierarchical organizations. Top-down leaders may achieve near-term results, but only authentic leaders can galvanize the entire organization to sustain long-term performance.

The trait model of leadership is based on the characteristics of many leaders – both successful and unsuccessful – and is used to predict leadership effectiveness (Management Study Guide, 2011). Some of the core traits identified by the Management Study Guide and Ghee and Daft are: Achievement drive: High level of effort, high levels of ambition, energy and initiative Appearance: How you present yourself to others Leadership motivation: an intense desire to lead others to reach shared goals Honesty and integrity: trustworthy, reliable, and open

Self-confidence: Belief in one’s self, ideas, and ability Cognitive ability: Capable of exercising good judgment, strong analytical abilities, and conceptually skilled Knowledge of business: Knowledge of industry and other technical matters Emotional Maturity: well adjusted, does not suffer from severe psychological disorders. Others: charisma, creativity and flexibility The style of leadership varies by the person. Coaching is one of the six emotional leadership styles proposed by Daniel Goleman.

Coaching builds confidence and competence. Coaching promotes individual and team excellence. Coaching produces valuable leaders. House and Mitchell (1974) describe four styles of leadership: Supportive leadership – shows concern for the welfare and creating a friendly environment. This includes increasing the follower’s self-esteem and making the job more interesting. This approach is best when the work is stressful, boring or hazardous. Directive leadership – Telling followers what needs to be done and giving appropriate guidance along the way.

This includes giving them schedules of specific work to be done at specific times. Rewards may also be increased as needed and role ambiguity decreased (by telling them what they should be doing). This may be used when the task is unstructured and complex and the follower is inexperienced. This increases the follower’s sense of security and control and hence is appropriate to the situation. Participative leadership – Consulting with followers and taking their ideas into account when making decisions and taking particular actions.

This approach is best when the followers are expert and their advice is both needed and they expect to be able to give it. Achievement-oriented leadership – Setting-challenging goals, both in work and in self-improvement (and often together). High standards are demonstrated and expected. The leader shows faith in the capabilities of the follower to succeed. This approach is best when the task is complex. A leader is supposed to be able to follow the tendencies and the changes of the contemporary world and learn new ways of action, reevaluate his ways of solutions.

The behaviors could be defined as follows: Integrate lifelong learning process into one’s routine, deal with complexity and ambiguity of constantly changing environment, know the information needed and the resources necessary to complete the task or solve the problem, be able to find, analyze critically, and question information, theories, assumptions and information. Contingency theories are a class of behavioral theory that contend that there is no one best way of leading and that a leadership style that is effective in some situations may not be successful in others.

A result of this would be that leaders who are very effective at one place and time may become unsuccessful either when transplanted to another situation or when the factors around them change. The field of Organization Development uses a variety of processes, approaches, methods, techniques, applications, etc. , (these are often termed “interventions”) to address organizational issues and goals in order to increase performance. What would be a strategic plan for a company?

Simply put, strategic planning determines where an organization is going over the next year or more, how it’s going to get there and how it’ll know if it got there or not. Effective strategic planning is a critical element in the success of today’s healthcare organizations (Buchbinder and Shanks, 2007). The focus of a strategic plan is usually on the entire organization, while the focus of a business plan is usually on a particular product, service or program. Setting goals are accomplishments that must be accomplished.

Strategies are needed to address the issues and the action plans. According to the book Introduction to health care management, “However, it has often been said that the plan is worthless, but planning is priceless; the value of strategic planning lies not in the plan itself but in the planning process. If conducted properly the strategic planning process will challenge management to confront the facts of its market and the organization and to continually refine the organization’s execution skills (Buchbinder and Shanks, 2007). ) Goals-based planning is probably the most common and starts with focus on the organization’s mission (and vision and/or values), goals to work toward the mission, strategies to achieve the goals, and action planning (who will do what and by when). 2) Issues-based strategic planning often starts by examining issues facing the organization, strategies to address those issues and action plans. 3) Organic strategic planning might start by articulating the organization’s vision and values, and then action plans to achieve the vision while adhering to those values.

Some plans are scoped to one year, many to three years, and some to five to ten years into the future. Some plans include only top-level information and no action plans. Some plans are five to eight pages long, while others can be considerably longer. Development of the strategic plan greatly helps to clarify the organizations plans and ensure that key leaders are all “on the same page”. Some benefits of strategic planning include: 1. Clearly define the purpose of the organization and to establish realistic goals and objectives consistent with that mission in a defined time frame ithin the organization’s capacity for implementation. 2. Communicate those goals and objectives to the organization’s constituents. 3. Develop a sense of ownership of the plan. 4. Ensure the most effective use is made of the organization’s resources by focusing the resources on the key priorities. 5. Provide a base from which progress can be measured and establish a mechanism for informed change when needed. 6. Listen to everyone’s opinions in order to build consensus about where the organization is going. Other reasons include that strategic planning: 7.

Provides clearer focus for the organization, thereby producing more efficiency and effectiveness. 8. Bridges staff/employees and the board of directors (in the case of corporations). 9. Builds strong teams in the board and in the staff/employees (in the case of corporations). 10. Provides the glue that keeps the board members together (in the case of corporations). 11. Produces great satisfaction and meaning among planners, especially around a common vision. 12. Increases productivity from increased efficiency and effectiveness. 13. Solves major problems in the organization.

Both Leadership and Management work together to accomplish the desired goals of the company, to make it successful. A leader loses credibility when they cannot practice what they preach. This means that a leader should be well organized, highly competent in their field, communicates openly and encourages feedback, and has a clear idea of the organization’s vision-mission-goals. Leaders are decisive and willing to make hard decisions. Certain management and leadership strategies are effective across the board in business, non-profit, community, volunteer and government organizations.

Specific strategies exist for particular purposes, such as classroom management, IT management and non-profit leadership, but managers can tailor many of the principles to fit a variety of situations. Today’s most successful leaders are focusing on sustaining superior performance by aligning people around mission and values and empowering leaders at all levels, while serving customers and collaborating throughout the organization. Over the long term, organizations filled with empowered employees who collaborate to serve customers will consistently outperform hierarchical organizations

References Buchbinder, S. B. & Shanks, N. H. (2007). Introduction to health care management. Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers. ISBN: 9780763734732 EzineArticles. com. (2008). Retrieved from http://EzineArticles. com/? expert=Mitch_McCrimmon Ghee, L. & Daft, R. (2004). The Leadership Experience in Asia, Thomson Learning, Singapore. Harvard Business School. (2011). Retrieved from http://hbswk. hbs. edu/item/6801. html Health Leadership Council. (2011). Retrieved from www. hlc. org. House, R. J. and Mitchell, T. R. (1974). Path-goal theory of leadership.

Contemporary Business, 3, Fall, 81-98 Management Study Guide. (2011). Retrieved from http://www. managementstudyguide. com/trait-theory-of-leadership. htm The National Learning Institute. (2007). Retrieved from http://www. nationallearning. com/business-commerce The New York Times. (2011). Retrieved from http://psychology. about. com/od/leadership/p/leadtheories. htm Symlog and The Leadership Grid. (1991). Retrieved from http://www. symlog. com/internet/how_symlog_relates/Leadership_Grid. htm Wikipedia. (2011). Retrieved from http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Management


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