A leader is a person who possess the art of motivating a group of people to act towards achieving a common goal. They set a direction and vision for an organization that others will be ready to follow. A manager is accountable to manage resources, set objectives, and motivate staff at all levels to obtain the same goals. There is a management proverb that says “Managers do things right, while leaders do the right thing.” (Turk 2007) Being a manager or a leader are two different positions but they are linked indirectly, without which, a business can’t be successful. Efficient studying and effective training are the two main aspects through which, valuable leadership or management skills can be learnt and developed.
Training programs play a fundamental role to combine leadership qualities into the organizational culture in order for leaders to develop. Successful businesses tend to particularly emphasize training and development for managers with the idea that the behavior and attitudes of manager will influence people throughout the organization and lead to culture change (Daft, 2014). Organizations with effective leaders have a tendency to be innovative, react to changes in business sectors and environments, face challenges, and plan to sustain high performance (Vardiman , 2006). Anyways, the role of experience in the development of leadership and management qualities can’t be disregarded.
One of the main qualities to develop leader/management skills is to be optimistic and influential. In many cases, employees may not appear to work till their potential. There might be some reasons which lead them to this attitude towards work. Work might demand too much of time, unfriendly work environment, or not feeling valued. This is where the manager or leader’s tactics will be needed to motivate the employees and provide them job satisfaction. There are many ways to motivate the employees, by offering overtime or bonuses, so that they get motivated to work. This relates to Taylor’s theory, a motivation theorist , who viewed that man was driven or motivated by money alone and the only factor that could stimulate further effort was the chance of earning extra money (Stimpson and Farquharson, 2010). Motivation can also be provided by delegation and empowerment, it makes the employees realize that the firm considers them important, they will have high level of commitment and a sense of ownership for their organization. The environment in the office should be friendly so that employees have a good mood to work and finally a leader would conduct monthly evaluation surveys to know if the workers are doing well or have any other issues (Heathfield, 2018). These all will lead to high level of employee job satisfaction thus, more motivation to work hard and more inclined to get high productivity for their firms benefiting their respective businesses. (Raziq and Maulabakhsh, 2015)
Decision making and problem solving skills also help in development skills of a leader or manager. Managers and leaders are expected to act under conditions of uncertainty or limited information, which have a huge impact at every stage of the decision making process. The leader/manager should have knowledge, abilities, skills, motivation, and personality variables to promote effective organizational problem solving. These are the key characteristics for an individual to perform wisely and effectively (Zaccaro, 2000: 45). Interactive training programmes can help achieve problem solving skills where workers are provided with a situation that requires the skill or through teaching them different approaches to problem solving such as inertia relief analysis (Lee, 2012: 66). However, apart from training programmes, even day to day life experiences help individuals learn problem solving skills.
Communicating effectively is also an aspect to develop leader/management skills. Training programmes can help to give you that confidence to interact and speak amongst people by acquiring direct knowledge or by practicing this skill. It helps to get an idea of what other people’s opinions are. “ Good communication requires effort and commitment. There are no shortcuts.” (Davies, 2011: 03) Negotiation plays an crucial part in communication where people can have a debate and reach a mutual decision. Good ideas can be communicated and choices will be laid upon in practical terms. Communicating with people at workplace or doing presentations can help an individual achieve communication skills. Managers or leaders communication is purpose directed in that it directs everyone’s attention toward the vision, values and the desired goals of the team or organization (Daft, 2014). Hence, communication skills can be learnt through training and practicing individually as well.
At last, one final aspect to say for development of a leader/management skills is to have a clear and reasonable vision. Without a vision, a business is like a ship without a rudder and is in danger of drifting aimlessly. Many businesses lack a clear vision and so they tend to jump from task to task without a clear understanding of what bonds the individual actions together and the value created by the individual actions. When a vision is clear, everyone can evaluate every goal, programme and decision by asking one question: “Does this get us closer to our vision?” (Randall, 2013: 17) According to Maslow’s (1943) hierarchy needs of theory, in terms of leadership, leaders tend to self-actualize more and tend to focus on the upper, or more mature needs such as recognition, status, importance, and respect (Mack, 2018). Having a clear vision is more of a personality trait than a learnt skill which is why leadership training programmes do not necessarily lead to its development however, they do teach how to work on this vision (Solaja, 2016: 102).
Communication skills, having clear and reasonable vision, problem solving and decision making skills, influential and optimistic attitude, all these are required for an effective leadership. These all can be either learned through studying or practiced in training programmes. These programmes help an individual to see where they stand currently and how achieving these skills could help them in their leadership or management. Apart from training programmes, daily activities and experience in workplace also help in developing leadership and management qualities in an individual.
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