Manager Leadership Style

The use a certain manager leadership style is an important factor that leads to greater engagement of employees.

Managers are those that deal with the necessity of getting the job done. They are the ones who implement and maintain the change that is required in the organisation. The focus of the management is the how and when ensuring that the systems and structure are in place to reach the required outcome.

The question is can a manager be an effective leader? I believe that an effective manager has leadership qualities that encourage their team to excel, such attributes as inspiring others and encouraging head and the heart are leadership qualities which take a manager from going through the motions to becoming an effective leader.

Using these skills they can develop to be effective leaders that the team will turn to for encouragement and support. The measure of a manager as an effective leader can be directly related to the principles of the Blake Mouton Grid which shows the concern of people in relation to the concern for the task at hand.

While this Grid is normally used for the assessment of a team leader role it still holds true for a manager. When a manager has high concern for the people in their team and the completion of the task at hand they will naturally start to progress into the use of a manager  leadership style that is more efective, where they start to consider Task, Team and Individual as a whole.

This type of manger leadership style enables the manager to move away from viewing just the task at hand and start considering a more holistic approach.  There are two styles of leadership which work in tandom for a manager to work effectivly.

1. Situational Leadership 

The situational leadership style focuses on a step by step improvement process that moves through four unique stages. These stages enable the leader to effectively manage employees to be become self supporting.

2. Action Centred Leadership.

Adair's action-centred leadership task-team-individual model enables a manager to consider all the required aspects that affect performance; it can be used with Situational Leadership for a greater impact on the individual. It enables the manager to view the situation from three different perspectives:

1. Task – the job that needs to be done at a particular time.

This perspective is all about focusing on what is necessary to archive the task. It is about clearly defining the goals of that task and making sure that objectives are understood by all members of the team.  As part of this the manager would carry out a risk assessment to highlight potential barriers to completing that task.

Understanding of the task at hand enables the manager to set priorities and access the requirement of resources. This focus also enables clear definition of the measurement of success; this allows a traceable process to be created that is consistently accessed against these parameters.

2. Team – the group of people that the manager is responsible for and who have to work together to achieve the task.

This perspective is all about focusing on what is necessary to develop the team.  This is all about the team dynamics, considering how the team works together and ensuring that it is playing to each team members strengths.

3. Individual- people who make up the team who have different personalities, motivations and skills.

This perspective is all about focusing on what is necessary to develop the individual. This is about understanding how their work contributes to the overall team objectives. This evolves clear understanding of each team member’s capabilities and having a development path to improve any area of weakness. This also requires the manager to have soft skills to understand what motivates each individual and having the ability to deal with any conflict.

This is where situational leadership would really come into play for the manager to understand the amount of direction and support that is required for each individual.